Veteran Indian businessman and philanthropist Ramchand Dharamdas Rajwani, a senior director of Indian business group T.Choithram & Sons, passed away on Friday at his Dubai residence. He was 90.
Ramchand, a long-time associate of the founder of Choithrams, the late Thakurdas Choithram Pagarani, is survived by his wife Sita, son Mohan, daughter Champa, and four grandchildren.
K. T. Pagarani, managing director and son of the group founder, said the funeral service would be held under Covid-19 protocol on Monday.
Pagarani said Ramchand was a strong pillar of Choithrams group. “He was very much loved by everyone. He joined my father in 1947 in the initial period of the group’s operations in Sierra Leone. Later he moved to London, where the group is headquartered. He arrived in Dubai in 1992.
“The death of Ramchand is a huge loss to the business and expatriate community. He was a great human being, humble and humane. A man of wisdom and a philanthropist who carried a smile on his face in all situations. I have known him for more than 30 years,” said Dr Ram Buxani, a leading Indian businessman, and chairman of ITL Cosmos Group.
Choithrams group’s trading and retail operations started in 1943 when Thakurdas opened its first supermarket – T. Choithram and Sons – in Freetown, Sierra Leone.
Thakurdas expanded operations to the UAE by opening the first supermarket in Dubai in 1974. Using Dubai as its regional base, Choithrams has expanded its operations to Bahrain, Qatar and Oman.
Today, Choithrams has a global presence with a network of companies that span across the US, the Indian subcontinent, Europe, Africa, the Far East and the Middle East. The group employs 16,000 people across 19 countries. Choithrams provide a large range of services ranging from food service, ship channelling, manufacturing, retail and wholesale with imports and exports. The company is the distributor of several leading international brands in UAE.