AHMEDABAD: Padma Shri Dr. Viharidas Gopaldas Patel, fondly known as VG, a noted economist and hailed as the ‘Father of Entrepreneurship Movement’ in the country, passed away on Thursday, at Ahmedabad after a brief illness. He was 79 years and is survived by his wife and three children.
An eminent economist and international figure in the sphere of entrepreneurship, small industry policies and growth management, Dr. Patel had held several key positions in his career marked with laurels and triumphs. He was the Chief Economic Advisor to Gujarat Industrial Development Corporation; Founder Director of Centre for Entrepreneurship Development, Gujarat and Managing Director at Gujarat Industrial & Technical Consultancy Organization Ltd.
An institution builder, he set up Entrepreneurship Development Institute of India (EDII) in 1983 to work for potential and existing entrepreneurs. Dr. Patel’s work towards inclusion of entrepreneurship in the formal education system, sensitization of support system, entrepreneurship research in addition to routing several other developing countries on the trajectory of entrepreneurship has been widely recognised.
The Government of India also incorporated the EDP approach as a part of its self employment schemes. The Central Government’s ‘Rojgar Yojana’ incorporated entrepreneurship training, based on work done by Dr. Patel.
His book “The Seven Business Crisis & How to Beat Them” (reissued as When the Going gets Tough) is a best seller. Equally acclaimed are “Managing India’s Small Industrial Economy” and “Entrepreneurship Development Programme in India and its Relevance to Developing Countries”
He was honoured with the Padma Shri in 2017 for his contribution to development of entrepreneurship in India.
As per institute statement, EDII family and the entrepreneurship fraternity has lost a mentor and a guide; a loss which cannot be replaced. EDII family is grieving the loss of its leader; a trailblazer who introduced the country to a distinctive development concept.