The occasion was momentous – certainly because both ‘Parikh Saheb’ and Surekhabhabhi have fought back very critical illnesses in the last couple of years; because they have maintained same conviviality, grace and equanimity, and certainly because we had had opportunity to meet many of Gujarat Steel Tubes (GST) colleagues.
When I joined GST (1973), he had already made his place in the (India’s the then) steel tube industry’s steel procurement space. He had laid foundation for meeting demands of the raw materials that GST ‘s major capacity addition was poised to need by 1974-75 period., within 5 years of taking over this role – from a core civial engineer’s mantle that he donned previously.
Shri ST Parikh was my mentor in the truest sense of mentorship, when management lexicon had not ‘known’ the concept of mentoring. He not only made possible all the opportunities for me to learn the ropes , but also showed several opportunities of new areas of learning in that short period of six years. He also had foresight to identify talent in the organization which was not fully used by their existing jobs. He drafted such persons in different capacities under his umbrella and paved way for their growth and provided the organization the much needed depth of expertise in an area (steel procurement) which he could have continued to operate as his ole domain. He never hesitated in training this team in all possible tricks of the trade. He was laying the foundation of of building a team in area which could have merrily remained his one-man-playground.
Moreover, he was always ready to extend helping hand to the weaker players of the industry without affecting the interests of GST. This showed his skills of balancing two totally divergent activities. This, also, was building up of wide area network of those days.
He knew which relationships to build and ensured that once built, the relationship did not whither out, as long as he so desired. It should be no one’s surprise that all these bridges that he assiduously built have kept serving him even now.
And the bonus of attending today’s function – we met Apoorvabhai (Shah) and Karunaben, Pradip Desai, K M Shah, M N Shah, Manibhai Patel, Jyotindra Buch and KP Shah, after a good 30 years!