Dawood was one of the highest ranking pirates in the Maelstrom's crew, boarding powerful ships and robbing them blind. He was also running a bollywood studio, which he used for his illegal activities like laundering money and running gambling rings.
While his films were moderately successful, Dawood constantly sabotaged his own productions to claim insurance money and cheat his employees out of their pay. He also used his power to blackmail women into doing things like making out with him on set (and possibly more disturbing things off film) and threatening to ruin their careers if they refused.
Due to a failed pirate raid which lead to the destruction of the Maelstrom's crew, Dawood returned to filming his movies and continuing his illegal activities, using his criminal connections to stay above the law. His rivalry with Vanya Shah, his former crewmate, became so extreme that both pirates hired an assassin to murder one another.
Dawood is narcissistic, abusive, obnoxious, cruel, lecherous, and easily enraged, constantly sabotaging film shoots so the crew can stroke his ego, or threatening to murder people for petty things like refusing to kiss him or being more famous than him. He is also extremely cheap, trying to pay an artist in exposure, despite being a multimillionaire.
Dawood's ego is also tremendous. The smallest criticism of him causes him to fly off the handle. His ego is also shown by his mansion being covered in self portraits. He also is cruel, taunting one of his guards for losing money on a game that Dawood rigged.
Dawood is so unpopular that if he is murdered by a malufunctioning fan, his crew celebrate his demise and make jokes about his sudden death. Those who do respect him respect him for his work, and utterly loathe him as an individual. He is incapable of recognising the needs of anyone other than him and only shows respect to the Maelstrom, although this is purely because the Maelstrom enables him to do whatever he wants.