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Bombay to Banking story of Zero to Hero

Bombay to Banking story of Zero to Hero
December 21
06:14 2017

CHICAGO: The story of Chandrakant Patel – known more popularly here as Chan Patel – is of a person who from a virtual non entity shot to fame and wealth by sheer hard work, perseverance and honesty of purpose.

The owner of a number of commercial banks including two in Chicago – the State Bank of Texas and Seaway Bank of Chicago – Chan Patel was recently asked to speak at the Leaders & Legends Speaker Series at the University Of Dallas College Of Business. The audience included students, professors, alumni, as well as Dallas Indian community members. The topic was “Bombay to Banking”.

Chan talked about the hardships that he encountered throughout his life but made a huge headway in life owning a number of motels and banks in Dallas and Chicago. It was the perseverance and confidence in himself that made him the man that he is today – professionally and socially. He touched in details the history how he started State Bank of Texas and also the ongoing success it has achieved.

The entire idea to start a bank was sparked from new immigrants who migrated to Dallas and had no credit but were definitely credit worthy.

Many a time Chan was asked to co-sign on several loans for friends of his that would need car loans or other small loans. He could not understand why the banks kept asking him to co-sign on loans when he knew these individuals were credit worthy. That repeated experience triggered an idea into his mind – why not starts a bank of our own whereby he can assist other immigrants in achieving the American Dream.

Academically, Chan attended University of Bombay, Stanford University, and Johns Hopkins University. He went on to work for Braniff Airlines in Dallas for several years before he got in the hotel/motel business. Then it was in 1987 on Black Monday when the doors of State Bank of Texas were open.

SBT has been consistently one of the top banks in the entire country in profitability. The bank was started with $2 million in capital in 1987 and since then it has given $250 million in distributions and has current capital of $140 million.

The key takeaways he emphasized to the audience were the following:

• Your education major doesn’t necessarily have to match your actual profession.
• Have an MBA in any profession is invaluable.
• Unity is a key to the success of all areas in life (work, family, social).
• It is very important to have ethics, transparency and earning the trust of your peers, customers, regulators, and shareholders.
• Don’t be ashamed to do the lowest job within your organization.
• Delegation of authority is crucial to having efficient success.
• One should always have a balanced life which includes community involvement.
It was an inspiring rags to riches story and obviously many students and members of the audience came afterwards to Chan and expressed their awe and admiration for a man who has shot to fame but still retains his mooring and humility.

Ramesh Soparawala
India Post News Service

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