Life

Parimal Nathwani - A Multi-faceted Man
Nobility, forthrightness, hard work and a little dash of destiny makes a man. Mr Parimal Nathwani is a living example of this. From a ‘Mr. Nobody’ to a man of so many things, his story is a classic case of what determination, sincerity and conviction can get you.
 
Mr. Parimal Nathwani is:
  • Member of Parliament (Rajya Sabha) from Jharkhand
  • Group President (Corporate Affairs and Projects), Reliance Industries Limited (RIL)
  • Chairman, Reliance Rural Development Trust (RRDT) view more »
  • Member - Standing Committee on Personnel, Public Grievances, Law & Justice
  • Member - Consultative Committee, Ministry of Civil Aviation
  • Permanent Special Invitee - Consultative Committee, Ministry of External Affairs
  • Member, Multi-sectoral Development Program Committee (MsDP), Jharkhand
  • Member, the India - Peru Parliamentary Friendship Group
  • Member, the India - Tunisia Parliamentary Friendship Group
  • Member, Hindi Salahkar Samiti, Ministry of Railways
  • Trustee in the Board of Governor's Social Welfare Fund (Gujarat)
  • Vice President, Gujarat Cricket Association
  • Vice-chairman, Dwarkadheesh Devasthan Samiti
  • Member, Nathdwara Temple Board
  • Chancellor, Shree Bruhad Gujarat Sanskrut Parishad
  • Member, Gujarat Ayurved University Development Board
  • Director, Gujarat Petcoke and Petro-products Supply Pvt. Ltd.
  • President, Gujarat Industries Navratri Festival Society (GINFS)
  • Ex-chairman, Vadodara Stock Exchange
Born in a small town of Jam Khambhalia in Gujarat on February 1, Mr. Parimal Dhirajbhai Nathwani completed his graduation from Mumbai and got his doctorate in management from National Institute of Management.
 
Soon after finishing studies, he joined the bleaching department of New Era Mills. After a short stint here, Mr. Nathwani turned an entrepreneur by starting a soap agency in Mumbai — later he started a partnership business for manufacturing and marketing bath soap.
 
But, the soap business turned out to be all but frothy. Next came a switch to the stock markets. Hoping to ride the bulls, Mr Nathwani was done in by the bears during the Harshad Mehta scam in early 1990s.
 
Doomed and depressed, his faith in God helped him rise like a phoenix.
 
Tryst with ‘D’
D for Destiny and D for Dhirubhai. A meeting with Mr Dhirubhai Ambani and Mr Mukesh Ambani in 1995 changed his life. The father of India’s capital markets took Mr Nathwani under his wings at a time when Reliance was planning the country’s largest greenfield refinery at Moti Khavdi in Jamnagar.

Mr Nathwani helped ground Dhirubhai’s dream, literally. He played a pivotal role in land acquisition by removing hurdles in the process of setting up of the refinery. That was the turning point of his life.

The task was herculean. But, Mr. Nathwani worked round the clock in countryside of Jamnagar, dealing with farmers, developing personal rapport with each of them to help Reliance acquire 10,000 acres of land. All this with farmers’ consent.

Around the same time, Reliance required to create huge infrastructure locally as the Jamnagar site was new and the refinery was company’s first project in Saurashtra. The investment and the scale of the project were enormous. Accommodating thousands-strong workforce was a great challenge. The smart operator in Mr. Nathwani ensured that Reliance finalized a deal for 400 properties on ownership basis and 1200 properties on lease — all this before market rates could escalate sensing that it was for corporate giant like Reliance behind the deals.

Having tested his potential in Jamnagar, Reliance bosses wanted Mr Nathwani to relocate to Ahmedabad and operate on a bigger canvas in 1997. And, he did not let the company down.

In no time, Mr. Nathwani became the face of Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) in Gujarat and elsewhere. He spearheaded several prestigious projects of the group. Be it land acquisition for the Jamnagar refinery, setting up of petroleum retail outlets and even establishing Jamnagar Special Economic Zone, Mr Nathwani was always at the centre of all important business activities of the company. He also contributed to cross country gas transportation pipeline network, played a key role in executing telecom network for erstwhile Reliance Infocomm in a record time and helped setting up of consumer retail chain for the group. Now since the RIL is poised to roll out 4-G broadband network in 22 circles of the country, he is once again on the steering wheel to lead the project on the fast track.

All this while he remained in charge of the company’s Corporate Affairs, Human Resources and industrial relations of the Group’s establishments in Gujarat, Delhi and Madhya Pradesh. He is a key member in the core leadership and top management of RIL.

Mr Nathwani emerged as a key trouble shooter for Mr. Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Industries Limited anywhere in the country. Naroda or New Delhi; Moti Khavdi or Mumbai, Hazira or Hyderabad and Kutch or Kakinada, Reliance pressed his services and Mr. Nathwani delivered, everytime and everywhere.

 
A Humanitarian
Welfare activities have always been close to his heart. When the killer earthquake wrecked havoc in January 2001, Mr Nathwani was one of the few outsiders to reach Kutch at the insistance of Dhirubhai.

For 45 days on a trot, he focussed on rescue, relief and rehabilitation work, while supervising medical camps and construction of earthquake-resistant buildings of several government agencies across Kutch under the guidance of Mr. Mukesh Ambani.

He also stood like a rock behind residents of Jamnagar and surrounding villages during June 1998 cyclone. Mr Nathwani arranged for generator-sets ensuring uninterrupted power supply to government hospitals of Jamnagar and Jam Khambhalia, besides help organise medical services and distribution of relief material, food grains and food packets in affected areas of Jamnagar.

As chairman of RRDT, Mr. Nathwani proved to the world how a unique synergy between government and a vibrant corporate NGO could meaningfully reshape the rural scenario for the better. RRDT could reach out to 5923 villages of Gujarat and has created 7896 facilities at a total cost of Rs. 303.69 Crore. The facilities include village roads (1,603), village panchayat offices (741), community-halls (1,507), anganwadis (pre-nursery schools: 3,798), check-dams (39), water-storage tanks (208) etc.

 
A Distinguished Devotee
Mr. Nathwani’s devotion to Lord Krishna continuously inspires him to do something meaningful, productive and sustainable for religious towns like Dwarka and Shri Nathdwara. His calendar on a single theme of Dwarka and Dwarkadheesh year after year provides spiritual succor to devotees. A booklet on Bhagvad Geeta with selected verses in Sanskrit with their meaning in English and Gujarati is always in demand.

His friendship with legends like Pt. Jasrajji or his sponsoring music albums on Krishna Sangeet by renowned artists like Ashit Desai, Manhar Udhas, Soli Kapadia, Lalitya Munshaw to name a few, reflect his disposition, aptitude and inclination for classics and melodies of spiritual and devotional music.
A Quantum Jump
Mr. Nathwani, who often took up causes and issues of Jamnagar and Saurashtra on bigger platforms during his days in Jam Khambhalia, worked in close association with veteran political leaders such as (Late) Mr. B.K.Gadhvi, Mr. Sagar Rayka, Mr. Chiman Mehta, Mr. Ramjibhai Mavani among others. He contributed several articles as a freelance journalist in the then popular Gujarati dailies 'Samkalin' and 'Madhyantar'. He also remained active through his membership in Telephone Advisory Committee, Railway’s DRUCC, etc. In true sense, he became popular as ‘Voice of Saurashtra’, an adjective his close allies used to describe the man.

Mr. Nathwani has extensively travelled both within the country and abroad. Apart from personal visits to countries like Switzerland, UK, North America etc, he has also visited Russia, Japan, Uganda, Kenya, South Korea, China etc as a part of industrial delegations with Gujarat’s Chief Minister Mr. Narendra Modi.

He looks up to Dhirubhai Ambani as his role model in business and has great faith in corporate leadership provided by Reliance Industries Limited in general and Mr. Mukesh Ambani in particular. He is convinced of the philosophy: ‘impossible can be made possible’.

In March 2008, Mr. Nathwani won RajyaSabha election as an independent candidate from Jharkhand. Although an alien to the region, Mr. Nathwani perhaps is the first and the only RajyaSabha MP to keep his promise and open an office in the region. He has used his MPLAD funds for creating village infrastructure in tribal areas of Jharkhand.Besides government funds, he also contributes in his own way for various charitable and public welfare activities. Mr Nathwani has created drinking water and sanitation facilities for Islamnagar, a poor slum in the heart of Ranchi town and made the area worth living. He has promised to rebuild a hospital run by Ranchi Municipal Corporation from his own fund.

With tribal and minorities being the focus of the welfare work, Mr. Nathwani has spent about Rs.3.18 Crore from his personal fund; and has utilized the MPLAD fund to the fullest extent with an aggregate amount of Rs.15 Crore. He has raised about 600 questions/ issues in RajyaSabha of which about half pertain to Jharkand. Details of fund spent and questions raised are available on this site elsewhere.
 
Human Relations Personified
Mr. Nathwani is synonymous with human relations. The kind of contacts and relationships he has built across various sections of society —from poor villagers to political leaders, from clerks to commissioners, from a laymen to a lawyers, from Jamnagar to Jharkhand and Dwarka to Delhi — is not something that can be achieved overnight. It is a result of concentrated efforts with commitment, sincerity and mutual trust.

A mad cricket lover who bunked classes and even examinations for cricket, Mr. Nathwani injured his eye while playing the game.

‘One More Over’ by E.A.S. Prasanna being Mr. Nathwani’s favorite book; it is not out of prudence to expect ‘one more over’ and ‘over after over’ from Mr. Nathwani in time to come.
© 2010 parimal nathwani. All Rights Reserved. Created by: Dhanashree