Auckland, June 6, 2017
It is with great regret and sorrow that I report the passing away this morning of Raman Ranchhod, one of the most popular businessmen and philanthropists of the Indian community in New Zealand. It is a personal loss to me as it would be for the members of his family and thousands of people all over the world.
Mr Ranchhod briefly unwell but remained cheerful and calm.
The end came around 8 am today at his residence in the presence of his family.
He was 78 years old and left behind his wife Lalita, son Mahesh Ranchhod, daughter Remela, daughter-in-law Tejal, son-in-law Chetan Patel and grandchildren.
Fine human being
Mr Raman Ranchhod was one of the finest human beings that the world ever had – gentle, understanding, compassionate, ready-to-help anyone at any time and most important of all, a bearer of goodwill and love towards all.
He was a resident of New Zealand for about 65 years.
With a combination of integrity, honesty and transparency that have been the hallmarks of his life as a businessman, he has been a source of endearment to thousands of people through social and community work.
Commencing his working life when he was 16 years old as fruits and vegetables vendor in Wellington, Mr Ranchhod launched into car business 16 years later, and over the next 35 years, expanded it to account for four dealerships with rental and finance divisions in the greater Wellington region.
He launched into property business with his son Mahesh, who obtained a graduate degree in Property. Success in the sector encouraged him to sell his car business and invest in properties across New Zealand and Australia. He established the Ranchhod Group to manage various properties and businesses.
Business acumen, financial discipline and openness in dealings have enabled the Group to grow from strength to strength and with acquisitions and judicious management, it has generated employment for many and profits, a substantial part of which have been used for reinvestment and charitable projects.
The Property portfolio of the Group is poised to expand into America, strengthened by his experience, expertise and vision.
Commitment to people
Mr Ranchhod was a philanthropist with a deep commitment to community welfare. The Wellington Indian Association, which his late father Rama Ranchhod established with his peers, had the benefit of his services for several years. His commitment and support were central to the purchase of a community hall, now called, ‘Bharat Bhavan,’ a major venue for Indian festivals and programmes.
Over the years, he helped scores of new and young migrants from India to resettle with emotional and financial support.
Deeply religious, Mr Ranchhod had a sound knowledge of the rites and rituals.
He conducted several Hindu weddings in New Zealand. A Justice of the Peace, he made his services available to everyone at all times.
The Ranchhod Foundation
The most outstanding attribute of Mr Ranchhod was the establishment of the Ranchhod Foundation in 2011, which works towards the betterment of humankind, undertake charity work, and offer solace and comfort to those in need in New Zealand and India.
Through his guidance, the Foundation provides monetary assistance to medical organisations offering voluntary medical treatment, and opportunities in education, health and welfare to the disadvantaged.
Hospital in Gujarat
The Foundation constructed the ‘Laduben Ranchhod Urban Hospital’ in Navsari, Gujarat, the birthplace of Mr Ranchhod. The Medical Centre provides several medical services free of cost to people in rural areas.
Among the other beneficiaries are the Starship Children’s Hospital, At Heart New Zealand, CBM Foundation of New Zealand, a rural hospital in Tanzania and a number of villages in India.
Apart from his benevolence and genuine care for the community, the most significant aspect of the personality of Mr Ranchhod was his humility and preference to work for the community without publicity or fanfare.
Recognising his great work to the community, Queen Elizabeth II decorated him with a Queen’s Service Medal in 2015 recognising his services to the community.
Along with the member of his grieving family and all you, I pray God that the departed soul should rest in peace. It is a personal loss to me; I have known Mr Ranchhod for several years and he was my elder brother.
Details of the Funeral of Raman Ranchhod, to be held on Friday, June 9, 2017 will be announced shortly.
Former Governor General Sir Jerry Mateparae honouring Raman Ranchhod with a QSM on May 7, 2015 at Government House in Auckland
Raman Ranchhod at the launch of ‘Electionlink’ of Indian Newslink by Prime Minister Bill English at Raviz Restaurant, Botany Junction, Auckland on February 27, 2017