Mosaco Shipping @ 25: A riveting journey of Frank Fernandes


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Dubai, May 7: It is said that a great speaker is usually seen as sincere, knowledgeable and humorous.  If such a person is blessed with other qualities like a photographic memory, a booming voice and mastery over the language, he holds the advantage of arresting the attention of his audience and satiates them.  While not many people have a way with words, one person who comes very close to enjoy all these qualities in abundance is Frank Fernandes, Managing Director of Mosaco Shipping & Forwarding (LLC) Dubai.  

He is a successful businessman, a dream he nurtured in his childhood.  His success story is all the more exemplary   because of his humble background he came from.   Having tasted success in business Frank got into film production by a few years back by    producing a Konkani film “Kazaar” and followed it up with a Kannada film “Ellellu Neene Nannallu Neene”.    Above all, he is a humanitarian, with concern for the fellow human being and is   known for his wide-ranging philanthropic activities which have benefitted many individuals and institutions across the country. 

Frank Fernandes

Listening to him speaking in Konkani, Tulu, Kannada, English with ease interspersed with Sanskrit verses and shlokas, is an absolute pleasure.  Though Frank Fernandes has made Dubai his home for the last three decades his roots in his native place in Thottam,   are as strong as any other local resident of undivided Dakshina Kannada.  He has clearly demonstrated that no matter where he lived his emotional connect with his moors was strong and steadfast.      

As a child growing up in the hinterland of Thottam, in Udupi in the late 60’s young Frank had dreamt of becoming a businessman, having seen other rich people   in the vicinity. “Whenever I saw these rich people moving around with pomp I used to get goose bumps and felt the surge of a feeling that I too should become like them.  Though I did not have the  wherewithal it terms of money or resources I  don’t  know from where I got a feeling that I could be successful provided I take risks.  That is what I did and today I am what I am because of my firm belief in my own capabilities” he explains. 

Though he was ignorant what it entails to be a successful entrepreneur,   there was no dearth for his imagination to think or dream big.  It stemmed from his firm belief that if he worked for others he will never be able to fulfill his dreams.  While many of us dream, the difference with Frank is that he did not allow his dreams to overpower him.  Instead he overpowered his dreams in his own inimitable style to carve out his success story.   The company he started in Dubai Mosaco Shipping & Forwarding is completing 25 years   on May 9, 2014, standing as a testimony to his grit, determination, foresight and perseverance, in his pursuit to reach the goals he set for himself. 

The success of Frank Fernanades, a small village boy with a humble background reads like a fascinating story.  He is the eldest among six children of his parents and was the eldest among the two sons.  After completing his high school from Government Fisheries High School in Kemmannu he left for Mumbai to join his father who was working there as a domestic help.  So in 1967 at the age of 16, a young Frank Fernandes arrived in the dream city Mum bai and the city did nurture his dreams giving him the initial impetus.    He started off learning shorthand-typing, worked as a driver for sometime before graduating to find a job in Larsen and Toubro as a machine operator.  Being an under-aged he could work only for three months at a time with a break of three months.   By 18 he had acquired a driving license and used the break of three months to drive and deliver vehicles of Mahindra and Mahindra to some of the northern states.  This was quite an enriching experience for young Frank who by now had gained wide exposure and had mastered many languages. 

The risk paid off

His risk taking ability came to the fore when he left the job at L &T where he was earning about Rs. 350/-  per month and  joined Shapoorji Palloonji, a leading construction firm of Mumbai  at a salary of Rs. 150/- per month.  He recalls saying “having gained valuable experience due to the wide exposure I could realize that if I were to continue in L & T, it would seal my future forever as the promotional avenues there were few.  That would have been the end of my dream”.  His gamble paid off as the management identified his leadership capabilities and promoted him as a supervisor in to time.  However, in the absence of a proper diploma Frank scouting for opportunities and it came when he went to Dubai on a visiting visa.  He had two options to choose from - namely joining a construction company at 3000 dinars per month or joining a shipping company at 1700 dinars per month.    

Since he did not have liabilities he took the job that offered him less salary but tremendous potential to grow.  He joined the Kuwait Shipping Company of United Arab Shipping and with that his life had taken a complete U turn for the better.  

Having worked for the company for 9 years Frank was armed with necessary ammunition to be his own master.  True to his name Frank is   known for his candidness which brought about his termination from the company.  Undaunted by this development he accepted the challenge  leading to the establishment of Mosaco Shipping & Forwarding which  was formed on May 9, 1989.   His stint in the Shipping field kept him in good stead and the good rapport he had established with the clients helped him to establish a strong foothold.  Again, it was a huge risk but nevertheless his gamble paid off.  Frank Fernandes the naïve village boy, who dreamt of making it big a few years back, had created a flutter with his success. 

“My work experience was my main asset and my cordial relationship with the clients was my major strength and I utilized it to my advantage when I got into business.  It is my good fortune that I have never made a loss in the last 25 years since Masao Shipping was set up.  There is a downslide in the business field from 2007 onwards because Dubai has grown exponentially.  But my company has not incurred any loss since its inception”, he avers.  He attributes his success to his disciplined life, his avowed resolve to succeed and the willingness to take risks and his conscientious efforts to reach the targets. 

As the business progressed he has groomed his children (4 boys and 1 daughter) to look after the business and he now scuttles between his home town and Dubai attending to his multifarious activities.  A few years back he got into movie production when he produced award winning Konkani film “Kazaar’ directed by Richard Castelino, starring his second son Rohit  (Larry) Fernandes.   He followed it with a Kannada flick “Ellellu Neene Nannallu Neene”, once again starring his son directed by Castelino.   Frank is the co-producer of   the Kannada movie “Karkalada Pavada Purusha Santa Lawrence” which was released in January this year.   He decided to be a co-producer to extend his support to Divine World Television Channel. 

A Bundle of Talent 

Franks is gifted with a booming voice which is often mistaken for being bombastic by those who do not know him closely.   Philanthrophy is something that is close to his heart though he does not want to speak much about it.  He has been generously donating to some of the old age homes, orphanages, homes for the poor, cultural and educational institutions  and other organizations involved in public service and those promoting art,  culture and sports.  Philanthropy is an inseparable part of his life because he says “whenever I get involved in philanthropic activities my tension gets released and I feel very happy”.   In the same breadth he adds that whatever he has done so far is very meager as there is so much to do.  

Frank is blessed with two very profound   qualities like a sonorous voice and a photographic memory and he has accentuated these qualities with his reading habits.  He is a voracious reader who reads all sorts of books and scriptures and these qualities have made him a top notch public speaker.    His fluency in Kannada language (despite being in Dubai for more than three decades) is commendable  and is a sheer joy to listen to as he narrates quotes from  Puranas and  scriptures  and also quotes some of the well-known personalities from  diverse fields.   

He strictly adheres to a daily regimen of exercise and eats moderately which he says keeps him healthy and energetic to face the rigors of life.  He gratefully recalls the calming effect his wife Alice Fernandes had   in his life as she had taken up the full responsibility of the family.    This helped him to divert all his energies in strengthening the business.   “Ours was an arranged marriage.  My wife hails from Niddodi in Moodbidri and she played the ideal partner of being supportive and caring.  We balanced our roles perfectly and I never had to worry at the home front.  This is the secret of my good health and youthful looks”, Frank admits.  

Several religious and cultural organizations of undivided Dakshina Kannada have invited and honoured Frank Fernandes for promoting religious harmony and brotherhood and his speech naturally comes as a bonus and he is quite generous with it.
Comments on this Article
Crastos, Kemmannu Sat, May-10-2014, 10:40
congrats on this occassion to Mr frank fer, His comitment for prayers and charity is recognised, memory power is superb that is how he achived all the sucess he remebers all his classmates and all the moments of childhood from Primery school. May God bless you and your family.
Stanley, Kemmannu/Dubai Thu, May-8-2014, 11:18
Congratulations Dear Frank upon completion of 25 years of Mosaco Shipping. Wishing you and your family and team all the very best and praying that Mosaco Shipping will flourish more in the coming years. May God bless you abundantly. Best wishes. Stanley Family
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