A sharp business acumen, keen intelligence, hard work, talent and integrity, accompanied by a charitable disposition, with a strong religious bent of mind and a knack of winning people, that’s the dynamic, able and charming Viraf Chiniwala, owner of a well known renovation and reconstruction firm Veldon Coats, established in 1977 in Mumbai.
The construction of Jupiter Apartments at Cuffe Parade had won the Times of India foundation’s Glory of Mumbai award in 2007 and also the first prize in the category of Best Apartment Building in South Mumbai.
Apart from his business he also leads on the social front. He is the president of the Indo-Swiss society and the Founder President of Indo Argentine Society. He is the vice president of the International Tourism Council, Mumbai, an NGO engaged in promotion of international and national tourism activities.
Speaking to ADC about the contribution of the Parsi community in the business development, he feels that even a 100 books may not be sufficient to describe it. The establishment of erstwhile Bombay and subsequent growth is synonymous with the Parsi community. “In the18th and 19th Century, the Merchant Prince families of Dadyseth, Banaji, Wadia, Petit, Readymoney, Dubash and Jamshedji Jeejeebhoy were ruling society in Bombay. In the 20th Century, Tata, Godrej, Shapoorji Pallonji are in the forefront of business, not only in Mumbai but on a global level.
Besides these highly prominent names, there are many other reputed business houses like Thermax, Industrial Boilers, Rustomji, UTV etc. owned and managed by new generation Parsi families, which are contributing in their respective business fields in Mumbai on a highly significant scale.
Commenting on the trend of more Parsi youths moving away from their traditional family businesses to find their own space, Chiniwala said that world has become a global village and due to the passage of time, some businesses become obsolete or they do not have much future. Similarly many new innovative fields have evolved, like Information Technology, BPOs, entertainment industry, media, building and restorations, event management, modeling, investment consultancy etc. Hence, if these are the areas being explored by young Parsis, it is only to be expected that they would keep up with the times!