Vic Bageria enjoys investing in new incubations or start-ups. Pawan Singh / The National
Vic Bageria enjoys investing in new incubations or start-ups. Pawan Singh / The National

Money & Me: Chief executive with 35 years in the UAE now investing in start-ups

Vic Bageria is the chief executive and chief visionary officer of the retail intelligence company Sàvant Data Systems (SDS) and a board member of the Entrepreneurs’ Organisation UAE. The 39-year-old from India, who moved to the UAE over 35 years ago, lives in Jumeirah with his mother, wife and two children, a son, nine, and daughter, six.

How did your upbringing shape your attitude towards money?

I come from a middle-class business family where managing money was a value taught to us at a very early age. A lesson, which has stuck over the years is that it is not about the amount of money you spend, but the value you derive when spending it. This continues to drive a lot of my monetary decisions.

How much did you get paid for your first job?

Growing up in a business fam­ily, I have always worked within the retail environment though I wasn’t paid for it. Outside that, my first paid job was in 1998 as an accountant in London, where I was earning Dh5,000 per month.

Are you a spender or saver?

Your situation in life helps determine whether you are a spender or saver. Today, I am a spender and love spending money on and with my family, along with pursuing my hobbies such as classic car racing or seeing my favourite bands. On the other hand I am a saver when it comes to things I don’t see value in. If my phone works perfectly fine, I don’t need the new model.

What is your most cherished purchase?

A Rolex watch I bought my late father for approximately US$10,000 in 2001.

Have you ever had a month where you feared you could not pay the bills?

Fortunately, no. Being raised in a family where “penny wise” was a virtue taught to us from a very young age, I have always been known as a man with a plan, especially when it comes to money. I try to ensure that budgets and finances are planned way in advance.

Where do you save?

I have started this new practice of putting a certain per cent of my annual income into new incubations or start-ups; companies where students have a new innovative and interesting concept that gets me intrigued and charged up. It gives me an opportunity to not only invest but mentor them too, investing in new blood and talent – something I dearly support.

Do you prefer paying by credit card or in cash?

That totally depends on where I am and how much I have to spend. Cash for under Dh500 and credit cards for any amount higher than that would be ideal.

What has been your best investment?

Investing in myself; personal augmentation. Property rates may go down and businesses may fail, but knowledge derived through learning can never be affected and will always come in handy. I always invest in executive programmes and education, London Business School being one of them.

What do you most regret spending money on?

I don’t regret doing anything and take it as a thing of past. Every bad decision made can be a learning curve. I am not an impulsive buyer, most buying decisions I make are planned.

What financial advice would you offer your younger self?

Don’t get scared of your expenses; increase your income.

Do you have a plan for the future?

Certainly, my plan for the fut­ure is to take time to enjoy a reflective personal journey into self-discovery.

If you won Dh1 million, what would you do with it?

A million dirhams isn’t actually much in gold any more. Booking a trip to space with my family on Virgin Galactic would be fun.

What would you raid your savings account for?

Definitely for an SOS situation, something unforeseen or even a medical one that could pop up.

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Director:Assad Al Waslati

Starring: Omar Al Mulla, Badr Hakami and Rehab Al Attar

Streaming on: ADtv

Rating: 3.5/5


Company name: Supy
Started: 2021
Founders: Dani El-Zein, Yazeed bin Busayyis, Ibrahim Bou Ncoula
Based: Dubai
Industry: Food and beverage, tech, hospitality software, Saas
Funding size: Bootstrapped for six months; pre-seed round of $1.5 million; seed round of $8 million
Investors: Beco Capital, Cotu Ventures, Valia Ventures and Global Ventures


6.30pm: Maiden Dh165,000 (Dirt) 1,400m. Winner: Rio Angie, Pat Dobbs (jockey), Doug Watson (trainer).

7.05pm: Handicap Dh170,000 (D) 1,600m. Winner: Trenchard, Pat Dobbs, Doug Watson.

7.40pm: Maiden Dh165,000 (D) 1,600m. Winner: Mulfit, Pat Dobbs, Doug Watson.

8.15pm: Handicap Dh210,000 (D) 1,200m. Winner: Waady, Dane O’Neill, Doug Watson.

8.50pm: Handicap Dh210,000 (D) 2,000m. Winner: Tried And True, Pat Dobbs, Doug Watson.

9.25pm:Handicap Dh185,000 (D) 1,400m. Winner: Midnight Sands, Pat Dobbs, Doug Watson.

Bareilly Ki Barfi
Directed by: Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari
Starring: Kriti Sanon, Ayushmann Khurrana, Rajkummar Rao
Three and a half stars


Company name: Revibe
Started: 2022
Founders: Hamza Iraqui and Abdessamad Ben Zakour
Based: UAE
Industry: Refurbished electronics
Funds raised so far: $10m
Investors: Flat6Labs, Resonance and various others

Mercedes V250 Avantgarde specs

Engine: 2.0-litre in-line four-cylinder turbo

Gearbox: 7-speed automatic

Power: 211hp at 5,500rpm

Torque: 350Nm

Fuel economy, combined: 6.0 l/100 km

Price: Dh235,000

What are NFTs?

Are non-fungible tokens a currency, asset, or a licensing instrument? Arnab Das, global market strategist EMEA at Invesco, says they are mix of all of three.

You can buy, hold and use NFTs just like US dollars and Bitcoins. “They can appreciate in value and even produce cash flows.”

However, while money is fungible, NFTs are not. “One Bitcoin, dollar, euro or dirham is largely indistinguishable from the next. Nothing ties a dollar bill to a particular owner, for example. Nor does it tie you to to any goods, services or assets you bought with that currency. In contrast, NFTs confer specific ownership,” Mr Das says.

This makes NFTs closer to a piece of intellectual property such as a work of art or licence, as you can claim royalties or profit by exchanging it at a higher value later, Mr Das says. “They could provide a sustainable income stream.”

This income will depend on future demand and use, which makes NFTs difficult to value. “However, there is a credible use case for many forms of intellectual property, notably art, songs, videos,” Mr Das says.

The burning issue

The internal combustion engine is facing a watershed moment – major manufacturer Volvo is to stop producing petroleum-powered vehicles by 2021 and countries in Europe, including the UK, have vowed to ban their sale before 2040. The National takes a look at the story of one of the most successful technologies of the last 100 years and how it has impacted life in the UAE.

Read part three: the age of the electric vehicle begins

Read part two: how climate change drove the race for an alternative 

Read part one: how cars came to the UAE

What is a Ponzi scheme?

A fraudulent investment operation where the scammer provides fake reports and generates returns for old investors through money paid by new investors, rather than through ligitimate business activities.

Profile of MoneyFellows

Founder: Ahmed Wadi

Launched: 2016

Employees: 76

Financing stage: Series A ($4 million)

Investors: Partech, Sawari Ventures, 500 Startups, Dubai Angel Investors, Phoenician Fund

Our legal consultant

Name: Hassan Mohsen Elhais

Position: legal consultant with Al Rowaad Advocates and Legal Consultants.

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