HR Shah, an Indian-American entrepreneur, is the recipient of this year’s Padma Shri award announced in New Delhi, last week. A recipient of the 2005 Ellis Island Medal of Honor, Shah is also a well-known entrepreneur, philanthropist and community leader.
Shah is among three recipients of the honor from the US. “I cannot believe it and am still trying to fathom this wonderful news. I am deeply humbled, honored and overjoyed that the Republic of India has decided to confer on me the Padma Shri,” said Shah who has lived in the US for 46 years.
Shah has said that he would “rededicate” himself to help India and US further strengthen their ties. “I look forward to receiving the Padma Shri in New Delhi later this year and rededicate myself to helping India and the United States further their close relations, as well as to promote India’s rich culture and heritage,” Shah said yesterday after he was announced as a recipient of India’s prestigious civilian honor.
Shah is originally from Bahadarpur in Gujarat. He is also chairman of Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan (USA). “It is recognition of my work for more than 35 years and I am grateful to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his government as well as the people of India for rewarding me with this highest civilian honor,” he said.
“I am also grateful to my family, friends and well-wishers who have supported me all these years,” said Shah, who is the first NRI to run a 24/7 TV station (TV Asia) in North America since 1997, reflecting his diverse interests.
TV ASIA was started by Amitabh Bachchan in 1993. Shah is the first NRI to own a chain store business anywhere in the world. A turnaround expert, he became prominent for rescuing Krauszer’s Food Stores, New Jersey’s largest chain having over 400 convenience stores.