The three-day Pravasi Bharatiya Divas event was held in Varanasi this week.
The three-day Pravasi Bharatiya Divas event was held in Varanasi this week. The event was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi who hailed the contribution of Indians overseas to the country’s development. A large number of NRIs from across the globe are taking part in it. Among those who are attending include Kiran Patel, a billionaire businessman who last year announced his commitment to donate $200 million to Nova Southeastern University in Florida. The amount was largest donated by an Indian American in the US. He has been awarded at the event this year in the field of medical science
Patel was born in a Merchant family in Zambia where he received his early education.
He had to travel 80km to reach school as there was no school in his town for non-whites. Patel also attended a medical school in India, before moving to the US with his wife, who is also a doctor.
Patel went on to create a network of physicians with different specialities. His real breakthrough was in 1992 when he bought a health insurance company that was on the verge of bankruptcy.
He sold the firm ten years later. The firm at the time of being sold had over 400,000 members and revenue of over $1billion. However, his business empire has had its share of controversies too.
In 2017, as many as two of his businesses reportedly paid over $30 million in a settlement after being accused of artificially inflating costs for care. As a part of the settlement, the firm has not admitted to any wrongdoing on the settlement. Patel, who believes in the old saying, “When the goddess of wealth comes knocking, don’t run away to wash your face,” loves to call himself an “aggressive entrepreneur.”
Dr Patel is known for his philanthropy. The Drs Kiran & Pallavi Patel Family Foundation is working actively in India in areas of health and education. In a recent interview to FE Online, Dr Patel spoke on foundation’s activities in the country.