Gujarat Chief Minister Anandiben Patel expressed grief and sorrow over the demise of noted industrialist and educationist Shrenik Kasturbhai Lalbhai, who passed away on Thursday morning in Ahmedabad.
Hailing from the illustrious Lalbhai family, Shrenikbhai, 79, was the younger son of Kasturbhai Lalbhai, who is considered a doyen of modern Ahmedabad.
The Lalbhais were among the first Indian business houses and also one who co-founded successful textile giant Arvind Ltd of today, and Shrenikbhai was athird generation scion from the family.
A well-known industrialist and MBA holder from Harvard University, Shrenikbhai had served as the chairman of Deepak Nitrite Ltd until 1998 and at Lalbhai Group of Companies for many years. He had also been a Director of Nirma Limited Anukul Investments Pvt Ltd, Able Investments Pvt Ltd, Animesh Holdings Pvt Ltd and Sonalank Investment & Trading Pvt Ltd. He later served as a Director of Deepak Nitrite Limited until May 25, 2011.
Apart from the first textile mills, the Lalbhais founded several educational institutions in the city. Shrenikbhai actively furthered his family’s legacy
of philanthropy in the sphere of industry, education, culture and religion. He was part of family business until he retired a decade ago and later was fully immersed in managing the various trusts that the Lalbhai family looks after and held key positions in many of them.
“He was instrumental in acquiring the miniature paintings from the Gujarat Museum Society for the institute. Till last year before his health took a turn for the worse, I recall him calling up daily to enquire about the working of the institute,” said Jitendra Shah, Director of LD Institute of Indology, that was chaired by Shrenikbhai.
He was a key member in the governing councils of institutes like Gujarat Vishwa-Kosh Trust Cept University, ISRO, Nirma University, Institute of Plasma Research, IIMA and ATIRA (Ahmedabad Textile Industries Research Association). He was one of the trustees of the Sabarmati Ashram Preservation and Memorial Trust that runs the Gandhi Ashram and member of the governing body of the Ahmedabad Education Society(AES) and the various educational institutions run by it. A donor member, he would also actively take part in the meetings of the IIMA (Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad) Society till a few years back.
“With the passing away of Shrenikbhai an era has come to an end. He epitomised and embodied the idea of ‘Trusteeship’ that Gandhiji spoke of. He nurtured and cared for a wide range of institutions including the Sabarmati Ashram Trust, of which he was a chairman. He gave himself selflessly to all the institutions that he was a trustee of. He brought to these institutions a great sense of ethics and morality and probity, ” said Tridip Suhrud, Director of Sabarmati Ashram Preservation and Memorial Trust.
Donning many hats, Shrenikbhai was an acknowledged expert on Jain History and also led one of the largest and oldest Jain trusts namely Anandji Kalyanji Pedhi, that looks at renovation and upkeep of more than 1200 Jain temples and promotes the Jain way of life since last 30 years. His funeral procession was held at Bhat area on Thursday evening.