25.09.2014 ►Delhi ►ASK ►The Day Before The Conference

Published: 13.02.2015
Updated: 20.02.2015

The day before the conference, after a short tour around the campus of Adhyatma Sadhana Kendra, we made a quick stop at the office of the conference organising team. All there were concentrated on completing the preparatory tasks in time for the opening of the conference. When we tried to sneak off the room someone hold us up to present us to a very special person.

2014.09.25 HN4U @ Delhi N5807 Adhyatma Sadhna Kendra Site Plan

ASK site plan in 2014-09

2014.09.25 HN4U @ Delhi 00996 Adhyatma Sadhna Kendra

 Bhikshu Auditorium, location of the conference lectures, is situated In the first floor of this building

2014.09.25 HN4U @ Delhi 00997 Adhyatma Sadhna Kendra

The upper stores of the monks‘ house were let to lay followers, among others the conference organising team

2014.09.25 HN4U @ Delhi N5805 Christian Geerdes, Surendra Patawari

Christian Geerdes was happy to meet Surendra Borad Patawari personally

Surendra Borad Patawari was about to enter the room we just wanted to leave. Immediately after his arrival in Delhi he rushed to say hello to the members of his team and to get the latest news on how much the preparations were conform to the schedule. According to the relaxed atmosphere and the smiling faces all around everyone here was very pleased. If I ever had to imagine the chairman of an enterprise belonging to the global players I would never have guessed Surendra Borad Patawari to be one of them. We met a very kind, relaxed and open-minded person giving enough time to the people of his surrounding, in no way making them feel to steel his time and whom one likes to remember because one enjoyed the meeting. Always very well briefed, he easily finds subjects his interlocutors are able to contribute. Actually after this description it is self-understood that he definitely is an encouraging listener. Our request to take his interview immediately got a positive answer, and about 14:30h we were appointed with him in Bhikshu Auditorium.

2014.09.25 HN4U @ Delhi 01001 ASK Assembly Hall

Bhikshu Auditorium is situated directly atop of the Assembly Hall, stretching approximately over the area between the columns

2014.09.25 HN4U @ Delhi 01003 Entrée Bhikshu Auditorium Posters

The 9th and the actual 11th Acharya are the spiritual inspirators of the conference

2014.09.25 HN4U @ Delhi 01013 Shashi Bhansali, Carla Geerdes

Shashi Bhansali welcoming Carla Geerdes in the entree of Bhikshu Auditorium

We climbed the stairs beside the stage in the Assembly Hall up to the 1st floor and saw the entrée of Bhikshu Auditorium behind the glass door to the staircase. Some movable walls showing statements on circular economy, sustainability, and economic structures resulting in peace and prosperity just had been delivered there for the conference. Some volunteers welcomingly waving at us already had set them up. Shashi Bhansali who had worked 22 years for Surendra Borad Patawari as consultant to Gemini Corporation smilingly welcomed us and accompanied us to Bhikshu Auditorium. Bhikshu Auditorium in its hall-like character and with its comfortable seats covered by turquoise material, being as comfortable to sit on as they are looking, nevertheless appears to receive its visitors with open arms. An important detail when one is supposed to spend whole days on them, at least the next three to come in our case. In spite of its broadness one felt immediately at home, not only because of the very comfortably tuned AC, but also because of its well succeeded design. Hopefully many people will gather there for meetings or conferences in the future, feeling as comfortable as we did during Anuvrat International Conference. Surendra Borad Patawari arrived after a few minutes, and we had an extended talk with him.

2014.09.25 HN4U @ Delhi Interview Surendra Borad Patawari 03

Surendra Borad Patawari during the interview in Bhikshu Auditorium

Born in Momasar, Rajasthan, a small village near Bikaner, Surendra Borad Patawari lived there until the age of 10. Later he went to Kolkata where he completed in 1980 his studies as Chartered Accountant. 1989 in Antwerp, Belgium, he founded Gemini Corporation dealing with sourcing, processing and logistics of recyclable raw materials, meanwhile worldwide number 1 in recycling plastic scrap. Meanwhile the enterprise entertains a network of warehouse facilities, manufacturing units and offices on 3 continents, in Europe, Asia, and North America. Since some years its chairman Surendra Borad Patawari is the contributor to the European Parliament on policy-making related to European recycling industry. Gemini Corporation was crowned for its exceptional growth with “Excellent Enterprise Award 2012“ by the Antwerp Chamber of Commerce which bestows traditionally every 3 years this honour upon companies from the district Antwerp. 

2014.09.25 HN4U @ Delhi Interview Surendra Borad Patawari 01

The chairman of Gemini Corporation was born in Momasar, Rajasthan

We wanted to know from Surendra Borad Patawari how it came that he supported I. Anuvrat International Conference by means of providing free journey (air tickets), accommodation and meals for the participants. On a variety of grounds he had thought rather early circular economy to be an economic system of the future and therefore went into that business for himself. In this context he mentioned the readiness of European, especially Belgian and German public for conserving resources as well as recirculation of raw materials, especially plastics. That’s why he founded an enterprise in Antwerp where the conditions were very much in favour for his project. At the occasion of a visit to India he told then Acharya Mahapragya in which branch of trade he was working. The latter asked how a person might lead a happy life while earning his livelihood by waste recovery, as the customers are  generally widespread and not present when the work is performed. He suggested to Surendra Borad Patawari to follow always 3 rules:

  • Commitment
    Identifying with the task
  • Integrity
    Doing the right thing when nobody watches
  • Trust
    Creating credibility

To realise these rules means to apply the character-building strategy of Anuvrat in business. That’s how a trustworthy businessman not only can survive in the shark pool of waste industry, but also remain true to himself, we thought when hearing this. Surendra Borad Patawari obeyed the rules given to him by the great spiritual teacher and very soon he was very successful. Likewise the philosophical strategy of life taught to him by his parent culture fits with 21st century business ethics, bringing both together for the benefit of the whole. 2500 years ago Lord Mahavira pleaded for not to destruct or destroy our planet earth and to value all facets of life thereon. Later on this was written down in Acarang Sutra by his disciples and through them conveyed to us.

2014.09.25 HN4U @ Delhi Interview Surendra Borad Patawari 02

Surendra Borad Patawari has stayed to himself in business life

The vows chosen by one-self as code of conduct are small things according to Surendra Borad Patawari. But small things can change the world, he thinks, e.g. when someone decides not to apply dishonorable means in business or not cut unnecessarily any trees. To make clear his point he told a story of a fisherman and his son. Once both of them walked on the beach, where many small fishes were stranded and struggled for their lives. The son bent down, put one of them back into the Sea, and the small fish quickly swam away. His father said, “But there are millions of them for whom nothing will change!” The son replied, “You are right, father, but everything is changed for that fish.”

Asked on his modest attitude Surendra Borad Patawari told us that modesty is very important in Jain philosophy and that in his enterprise nobody will be modest if he is not giving the example thereof. But the success of his enterprise is not only his merit alone, he continued. He is blessed with an extraordinary team with a dynamic approach to their work and a very strong work motivation, all together being the foundation of the company’s success. Further he is no manager giving schedules to be followed, but a leader working on the mind sets of the people working for him. Sometimes it is his task to communicate the strategies relevant for working in his enterprise, e.g. to make clear that there will be no things made of leather in the company. Finally his ethical values are expressed in all his actions, and therefore there are no contradictions between his business policies and his being brought up in Terapanth community. Acharya Mahapragya further has underlined that Surendra Borad Patawari should never judge another person and conserve his identity in his business life. Even people seemingly to be right opposite to his own values have reasons for their behavior, which are not revealed to others. That’s why nobody should be judged and every human being should be treated with respect.

Video: Interview of Surendra Borad Patawari

The encounter with our host, such a modest and sympathetic chairman of a successful Europe based enterprise, had really an impact on us. On this afternoon there was nothing more to do for us than to change hotel, followed by an excellent dinner. We looked forward to the start of the conference next morning, being accommodated in Delhi Grand Hotel, take breakfast and dinner there, pampered by the team of our host, backed by the qualified employees of Grand Hotel.

Photos 25.09.2014:

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Page glossary
Some texts contain  footnotes  and  glossary  entries. To distinguish between them, the links have different colors.
  1. Acharya
  2. Acharya Mahapragya
  3. Adhyatma
  4. Adhyatma Sadhana Kendra
  5. Antwerp
  6. Anuvrat
  7. Anuvrat International Conference
  8. Bhikshu
  9. Bikaner
  10. Business Ethics
  11. Carla Geerdes
  12. Christian Geerdes
  13. Circular Economy
  14. Delhi
  15. Jain Philosophy
  16. Kendra
  17. Kolkata
  18. Mahapragya
  19. Mahavira
  20. Momasar
  21. Rajasthan
  22. Sadhana
  23. Sadhana Kendra
  24. Surendra Borad
  25. Surendra Borad Patawari
  26. Sustainability
  27. Sutra
  28. Terapanth
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