My Children and Grandchildren
We are blessed with 3 children – 2 sons Riaz & Areef and a daughter Natasha. Being my only princess, I have named many of my businesses after ‘Natasha’. I am also blessed with many grand-children and I believe there is no better stress buster than a little child. On every visit, I make it a point to spend some time with the kids, who I believe are put by God to bring out the ‘little child’ in each of us.
My eldest son, is the shy, quiet and cute-dimpled Riaz. Riaz is 48 years and married to Alisha, who was also incidentally Catholic.
Having graduated in Florida with a Degree in Business Administration and achieving Alumni status in the Largest International Professional Fraternity (the Delta Sigma Phi Membership Award), Riaz has all the makings of an entrepreneur. Riaz was instrumental in setting up several of our Exchange Houses overseas. In USA, Riaz was also instrumental in initiating the business of exports - the Company was involved in the importation of Seafood from South America & Canada during the mid 80s. Later in the 90s, Riaz was also the MD & Director of several group companies involved in the business of export of Gold Bullion to the UK, Middle East & Hongkong. In pursuit of his business, Riaz had moved to the Gulf, where he lived for 8 years.
Having bagged the Duke of Edinbourough’s Silver & Bronze Awards for excellence in training and physical fitness, Riaz tries to maintain a healthy diet regime even today. Very tech savvy & always on his laptop, Riaz is one with all the answers on the latest IT systems and gadgets, with ideas on the best software products. With his keen acumen for business and a quiet observing nature, Riaz continues to run and manage his own businesses, though they have not been connected to the activities & businesses of the House of Patels for several years now.
My daughter-in-law Alisha, was also a Christian like my wife. Alisha completed her B.A in Psychology with a first class scholarship and then went on to complete her Masters in Industrial Psychology from Bombay University. She worked as an airhostess with Saudi Arabian Airlines to satisfy her curiosity to travel the world, which however, was not for long since she met her sweetheart Riaz whom she decided to marry. With her quiet ethereal beauty, Alisha decided the most satisfying job is that of a homemaker and soon Rezan & Nikita became a part of their family portrait. Later in 2002 they took the decision to move to New Zealand where they reside till date. Once the children began to manage their own way round, Alisha decided to work and utilize her time at home as well as on the business front and became Manager and Director of Transcontinental Ltd. and later worked as Senior Corporate Relations Manager with WSD Global Markets. Today she is currently the Director of Matrixx Capital Markets Ltd.. In her spare time Alisha loves going to the gym, reading and socialising.
Rezan Patel, the first born to Riaz & Alisha, oozes with charm and sweetness. Always bright and full of energy, Rezan has bagged several medals in relays and other fields & sporting activities since his early years. An ex-student of the Dubai Gem Pvt School, Rezan is bright and easily motivated. Besides learning karate, he also played tennis and cricket while in school. When the family moved to Auckland Rezan completed his Year 13 through Glendowie College and was on the school cricket, soccer, tennis and kayaking teams. Having finished his first year of Business through Auckland University of Technology, he decided to work and gain work experience for a few years whilst continuing his studies. He therefore, joined his grandfather and worked with Wall Street Finance LLC. New York in the Foreign Currency Retail Shop and in Wall Street Finance (Canada) Ltd, Toronto for a year in 2011. This was his first training and work experience overseas. Now equipped with confidence, Rezan is working with his father in his Mumbai business where he continues his learning and training till today. He is extremely intelligent, independent and loves computers and computer games. In his spare time he goes to the gym.
Daddy’s little girl Nikita, and second child, got her name from her father after the Elton John song. Nikita too, studied in Dubai Gem Pvt. School in Dubai where she also learnt ballet, the piano and guitar. Very athletic driven, Nikita completed gymnastics at an advanced level and has always won the first or second prize in running and hurdles on Sports Day. Having moved to Auckland, Nikita finished Year 13 from ACG Senior College Pvt. School based on the Cambridge system of education. In college, Nikita continued her sports activities, where she excelled in netball soccer tennis and gymnastics. A smart bright child, she also took part in debates and fund raising events for the school. Currently, Nikita is pursuing a conjoint degree in the Bachelor of Arts i.e. Criminal Psychology and Bachelor of Commerce through the University of Auckland where she continues to excel in all subjects. With her keen intelligence & independence, she intends completing her Masters Qualifications as she is extremely motivated to follow a rich career path soon thereafter. Nikita’s spare time will find her reading, cooking, at the gym and on outdoor adventures.
My second child is my daughter, Natasha. Fortunately, the bubbly & ever enthusiastic Natasha gets her looks from her beautiful mother and not her father! Natasha is married to Rajesh Pillai who also looks after my businesses in India currently.
My son-in-law Rajesh is a level headed and prudent man. He is of the firm belief that exercising the body is good for the mind & soul and till today, never fails to go to the gym. He is one with nature and extremely fond of traveling. With his wit and charm, Rajesh has sealed many a business deal for us, not just in India, but in our International businesses as well.
Even though Natasha is in not involved with the businesses, she is always there for our Group and by our side whenever needed. Infact, Natasha with her background & love for designing has always helped us decorate & redecorate our offices and homes till date. Natasha has all the talents of a great businesswoman, however, she prefers the quite evenings at home with her family where she has excelled as a wife & mother. Currently, she is also looking after the interiors of my home in Aamby Valley.
Rajesh & Natasha are blessed with two adorable children, Nishqa & Tanisha, who are studying at The Lawrence School, Lovedale, Ooty. Fortunately or unfortunately, Nishqa is very much like me – she is strong headed, though very clear in her vision, thus her talent as a Goal-Keeper for the District. Excellent in academics with great leadership qualities took her to the position of “Head-girl” for the batch of 2013-14. Once Nishqa has her sights on a particular task or desire, it’s only a matter of time before she gets there! ‘Losing’ has no place in her Agenda. She has a flair for art and intends pursuing a career in design communication
Tanisha, like her father, is a great lover of sports and the outdoors. Combined with her boldness, she has a daring spirit and loves adventure and horse-riding with her Dad. Fearless, quick witted & open with her views, she has often in her innocence ‘hit the nail on the head’ and given us the answers. Brilliant at sports, Tanisha plays hockey and football at the State and National level.
My youngest is the handsome charming Areef. With his lady love Kaykasshan they have 2 adorable Princes – Arhaan & Numaire.
Areef, a graduate of Mumbai University after schooling in USA, got into the act of attending the rigors of business on a day-to-day basis while still sporting short pants. Today, he has grown into a very mature businessman, looking after the group’s Logistics business, in terms of long terms of Strategic Planning, Financial Health, including determining & arranging for mergers, acquisitions, takeovers etc. to develop and take the business onto a higher pedestal.
Areef is a winner in all respects, as, right from childhood from the age of 6, he won the Swamy Mukadam Trophy and a Silver Medal for being the youngest swimmer to swim from Sunken Rock to Gateway of India, besides earning other laurels in swimming during the years 1983 – 86.
He has also been an excellent Squash Player and has represented Otters Club at various State level Tournaments.
Charming Kaykasshan made her foray into the Celluloid and T.V. world through advertisements for products like Clinique and Sunsilk Shampoo, Hero Honda and several others, besides appearing for Press Advertisements for Kanchan, Bajaj and Philips.
She has also been an Actress par excellence in well known videos like
Yaaro Sab Dua Karo – Ram Shankar (Zee Music) ,
Silli Silli Hawa – Hans Raj Hans (T.Series) ,
Husn Jawani – Harbhajan Mann (T.Series)
etc. Besides the above, she has been interviewed on various TV Channels like like Movers and Shakers – Sony, Nexgen - A.T.N. and Ek Mulaqat – C.V.O. and anchored several T.V. shows like Public Demand, Superhit Muqabla and Bajaj Super 10.
Kaykasshan made her debut in the Film Industry with “Hera Pheri” in the songs ‘Jabhi Koi Haseena’ and ‘Mujse Milti Hai Ek Ladki’.
My youngest grand-children, Arhaan and Numaire are still enjoying life as Primary & Pre-primary students, awaiting their turn to grow take the mantle from their father as they grow.