Perveen Sarwar sponsered her husband Sarwar in 1976 to Scotland UK. Sarwar who at the time was thinking, that money was falling off trees in UK, and he planned to work in UK, work long enough to amass a small fortune and will become a rich man.
Begum Perveen Sarwar, 63, who married her cousin Chaudhry Mohammad Sarwar hailing from a village ‘Sain De Khuie’, a village near Faisalabad, Pakistan and helped him turning Turned Business Into £200million Empire in UK.
Perveen was only 6 years old when her father Ghulam brought her with her mother and three brothers from Pakistan to Lossiemouth.
Ghulam had chosen the Moray Firth fishing town because it reminded him of his waterside village home in India. He came in UK with £10 in his pocket and a rented room. He sold goods door to door, until he established a successful grocery business in the town.
Perveen has warm memories of her childhood in Lossiemouth, arriving with no English to the embrace of neighbours, who walked her to school and taught her to ride her bike in the park. Her mother Azmat made her friends curries and they called her “mum”.
Perveen was the only Asian girl at her school and sobbed the first time she was called a bad name. But her father told her to save her tears for a harder road ahead, to hold her head high and remember she was equal to all.
Mohammad Sarwar was Perveen’s first cousin and they met when she visited Pakistan with her family. She was 17 and drawn to his maturity. When their parents saw there was a mutual affection, a marriage was arranged.
Perveen bring her fiancé to Scotland in 1976 and they were married in the July. After the wedding, the couple moved to Mohammad’s home, a council flat in Glasgow ’s Maryhill.
At start he run
Sarwar took over his brothers shop, which was on the brink of bankruptcy. The shop was in a terrible state, which had a plague of rats and there were big debts to suppliers.
Perveen rolled up her sleeves and helped her husband to get rid of rats at shop. After the hard work of couple they get rid of rats and the shop started to make money.
With in a year Sarwar paid all the debits, which made is reputation good as someone who could be trusted to pay. But as his business was growing, Glasgow City Council demolished his shop and he had to shift his shop to another place.
Sarwar moved to another area with a little money where he started a shop and used old shelves and stands, one of his relative was throwing out after renovating his shop in Lossiemouth.
In those days, when Sarwar went to the cash and carry warehouses he noticed that most of the customers were Asian who were were treated disrespectfully.
He though one day he will have his own cash and carry, where he would treat all of his customers with civility, decency and a smile.
In 1982 Sarwar and his brother founded United Wholesale Grocers, a wholesale cash and carry business. By the end of 1986, brothers had two cash and carries on the south side of Glasgow, with an annual £40million turnover.
Sarwar worked hard and made millions through setting up a chain of cash and carries, it was Perveen’s £2500 savings which gave Mohammad the starter cash for what would become a £200million cash and carry empire. With her money and a loan, they bought a debt-ridden, rat-infested store in Maryhill Road.
Perveen has a message for her community and tells parents, whatever you spend on educating your sons, spend more on your daughters’