Chaudhry Mohammad Sarwar arrive in UK in 1976 to 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 return to Pakistan a rich man.
Sarwar was born to an Arain family in Sain De Khuie, a village near Faisalabad, Pakistan where his brother Ramzan had gone was already residing long before him, and had a shop in Maryhill, Glasgow.
At start he run a market stall, which left him £300 in debt, later he 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. After his hard work he get rid of rats and the shop started to make money. With in a year he paid all the debits, which made is reputation good as someone who could be trusted to pay.
Soon Glasgow City Council demolished his shop, he moved to another area with a little money where he started a shop and used old shelves and stands a relative was throwing out after renovating their shop in Lossiemouth.
Now as Sarwar who was settling down in life, had some human rats to deal with – racist rats, who started abusing at him when he was unloading my van.
It was then a older gentleman came up to him and said: “Just ignore them son, I’m really sorry. But I’m glad you didn’t respond to them because one day, with all your hard work, you will be a success in this country, and when that happens they will still be nothing more than a crowd of thugs.”
Words of elderly man proved turning point to Sarwar, he never gave up. Beating the rats and racism gave us faith in our future. It was simple but true.
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
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 first stood as a Labour councillor for Pollokshields East at the 1987 Glasgow City Council election, almost overturning a large Conservative majority. In the 1992 election he won the ward.
Sarwar did do that, making millions through setting up a chain of cash and carries, but he also forged a ground-breaking political career in the Labour Party. He was elected MP in 1997 a First Muslim MP in the United Kingdom and the first Asian MP elected to represent a Scottish constituency.
Due to his politics, the brothers split the business in 2002, with Sarwar renaming his part as United Wholesale (Scotland) while his brother retained the previous name.
As a councillor Sarwar rescued two sisters who had been abducted and forced to marry in Pakistan. In 2005 he played a crucial role in bringing to justice the killers of fifteen-year-old Glasgow schoolboy, Kriss Donald.
The killers fled to Pakistan, which has no extradition treaty with the UK, but Sarwar managed to negotiate a one-off, no conditions attached, treaty – following which they were tried and convicted of murder.
On 21 June 2007, Sarwar announced he would not stand for re-election at the 2010 general election. His son, Anas Sarwar, succeeded him as Labour MP for the Glasgow Central seat until the election of 2015 when it was taken by Alison Thewliss for the SNP.
The annual turnover of our separate businesses, United Wholesale Grocers and United Wholesale Scotland, is now more than £400million.
Sarwar tell, What I had been told about the UK – that money was falling off trees – turned out to be untrue. There is no yellow brick road to be walked to success. Rather, it is a story of periods of growth and development interrupted by setbacks, difficulties and the prospects of calamity.
Sarwar joined Pakistani politics and relinquished UK citizenship in July 2013 he is now serving as 33rd Governor of Punjab, Pakistan. Sarwar is married to Perveen Sarwar, with whom he has three sons and one daughter.