Parag Desai, the executive director of Gujarat-based Gujarat Tea Processors and Packers Limited, best known for its Wagh Bakri brand of tea, passed away at a private hospital in Ahmedabad. Desai, 49, was admitted to the hospital after he suffered injuries following a freak accident near his residence. He is survived by his wife Vidisha and daughter, Parisha.
Sources close to the family say that Desai met with a freak accident while on a morning walk near Iscon Ambli Road on the morning of October 15. He suffered a severe head injury following a fall, said sources.
“He was first taken to a private hospital in Prahladnagar area of Ahmedabad. As his condition began deteriorating after nearly 24 hours, he was shifted to another private hospital on Hebatpur Road. A surgery was carried out immediately,” explained a source. On a ventilator for seven days, Desai succumbed to multiple health complications late on Sunday, sources said.
Desai held an MBA from the Long Island University in New York, USA, and was the fourth-generation entrepreneur of the premium tea conglomerate. Besides spearheading the group’s sales, marketing and exports division and taking the brand to new heights, Desai was also a fervent tea taster and evaluator. He had keen interests in travel and wildlife and generously gave his time to sustainability projects.
Desai joined the business in 1995, when the company’s worth was less than £10 million. Today, the group owns and operates, under its umbrella, one of the leading packaged tea companies in India with a turnover of over £200 million and over 50 million kg of tea distribution. The company is present across 24 Indian states and exports to some 60 countries.