Mid Town Musings: May 2016
Rohit J. Patel: An Industrialist and Philanthropist
Rtn Rohit Patel’s journey with Rotary began in 1984. He and his wife R/Ann Neeta have been committed to the Bombay Mid-Town Club since then. He was the Chairman of the Fundraising Committee for two years and later, the Avenue Director of the Committee for two years. He had organised and hosted a successful eye-camp on behalf of the Club in collaboration with the Rotary Club of Pardi, in rural Gujarat. Rohit and Neeta were awarded the ‘Best Rotary Couple of the Year’ in 1988-89.
Rtn Rohit was born in Ahmedabad but moved to Mumbai soon after. He graduated in commerce from Sydenham College and underwent a Management Development Programme conducted by IIM Ahmedabad.
Rohit started his business career at the age of 21. To support his family business of paper and packaging, he studied Japanese and went for practical training to a straw-based pulp mill and a paper mill producing speciality papers in Japan in 1961. On his return, he embarked upon a pioneering venture – the first of its kind in the country – manufacturing quality writing and printing papers from rice straw. The purpose was manufacture paper out of agro-waste and give the nation an alternative raw material for making paper thereby saving the forests from denudation. He was nominated as a delegate by the Government of India to visit the USSR to study areas of possible collaboration in the field of paper making. He ventured into other industries such as pesticides, polypropylene film and manufacturing of machines for packaging food products.