TRF Trustee – Gulam A Vahanvaty

He is an Alumnus of two of Mumbai’s finest Educational Institutions, St. Mary’s High School, Byculla and St. Xaviers College, Fort. He was selected for a Post Graduate Diploma in Management by I.I.M. Kolkata on the basis of a very competitive examination and on graduation in 1970, was invited to join the Tata Administrative Service (T.A.S.) which in its heydays, was the Finest Administrative Service in India , where only the Best and the Brightest were selected and groomed for High Office.

Unfortunately, due to his Father’s indifferent health, Gulam had to leave T.A.S. in 1974 and take over the reins of the Family Business of Scrap Processing and Ship Breaking.

Gulam’s initial “Eureka” Moment in Rotary happened in 1978 when he was selected as a Member of the District 314 Group Study Exchange (GSE) Team bound for Rotary District 656 in Indiana, U.S.A. To this day he carries fond memories of the Families that hosted him. In December 1979 he was invited to join the Rotary Club of Bombay Downtown, and in 1985-86 was elected to serve as President.

In 2002-03 District 3140 elected him as District Governor. As District Governor, he united the District Leaders and Presidents of disparate Rotary Clubs, big, small, committed, hesitant by a motivating message “Working Together Works”, and Working Together, did Work. It resulted in a record contribution to TRF in District 3140 of US$ 654,000, the largest contribution by any Rotary District in India till 2006-2007.

There was, however, an equally big Game-Changer…. the Jan Seva Abhiyan or Railway Station Adoption Project. Rotary Clubs across the District adopted Railway Stations and made it their mission to ease the hassles associated with Local Rail Commuting. Most Leaders would baulk at attempting an exercise of this magnitude but it was an unqualified success which resulted in very positive PR for Rotary.

In acknowledgement of his Motivational and Training Skills and his record collection for TRF he has been, among other International appointments, Training Leader (twice), Rotary Regional Foundation Coordinator, Chairman of RI’s Communications Committee, Chairman of TRF’sAlumni Advisory Committee, Member of the critically important TRF Future Vision Committee and member of TRF Peace Centers Committee. A Major Donor, he is a recipient of RI’s ServiceAbove SelfAward and TRF’s Citation for Meritorious Service and Distinguished ServiceAward.

His Motto of Service encompasses other Initiatives. He is a Member of the Governing Board of Mumbai First, a high-powered group of Citizens committed to improve the quality of Life in Mumbai,Trustee of the Mohalla Committee Movement Trust and Public Concern for Governance Trust, both spearheaded by Mumbai’s Former Police Commissioner Julio Riberio that works for probity in public life, promoting the use of RTI and promoting Communal Harmony.

A proficient Rider from Childhood, Horses have always been a passion. He is currently a Committee Member and Steward of the Royal Western India Turf Club Ltd. Haseena, Spouse and the Love of his Life passed into the Ages on New Year’s Day in 2015. Everybody who knew her knew also that Gulam was blessed to have such a Life Partner.

Son, Zameer, a partner in the Family Business, which now encompasses diversified ventures, Daughter-in-law, Khatija, Grand daughter Sumehra, Son-In-Law Satpal Brainch , Daughter Zahabia and their sons Rishaan and Jaiyaan , are testament of the inclusiveness and understanding of this remarkable Individual.