H.G. Sri Nathji Prabhu
Sri Nathji Prabhu (Dr N.D. Desai) is an industrialist, philanthropist, educationist and currently the Chairman of the Apar Group of Industries, a Rs. 50 billion (US $ 800 million) establishment. He is a technocrat with an honours degree (1961, Elect. Eng.) from the University of London and holds a Masters and Ph.D. (1964) from the University of Pennsylvania, USA, including Cost and Business Management Studies at the Wharton School. He was also an Assistant Professor at Drexel University and has been a visiting lecturer at various institutions in India and abroad such as Carnegie Melon, Drexel University and many other universities in India.
He is the President of Dharmsinh Desai University, Nadiad (Gujarat), a leading university in Gujarat and trustee of Dharmsinh Desai Foundation, Vice Chairman of DDMM Heart Hospital in Nadiad (Gujarat), Chairman & Managing Trustee of Lady Northcote Hindu Orphanage, Mumbai, and Administrative Advisor to the Board of Trustees of the Midday Meal Program which serves 1.6 million under-privileged children daily lunch in government schools in India. He has been the Founder-Chairman and a 50% shareholder of GE Apar Lighting India Ltd., a joint venture with General Electric USA. He has been a prominent all-India industry leader and was the past President of ELCINA (Electronic Components Industries Association), ELCOMA (Electrical Lamp and Component Manufacturers Association), AMPS (Association of Manufacturers of Petroleum Specialties) and many other associations. He sits on the Board of Governing Council of Justice K.S. Hegde Institute of Management, Nitte, Karnataka and Board of Governors of Centre for Fuel Studies and Research, Ahmedabad.
Sri Nathji Prabhu met Srila Prabhupada in 1971 while he was following Chinmayananda (a Mayavadi leader) and got convinced by Srila Prabhupada/ Giriraja Swami by 1974-75 and joined ISKCON / Bhaktiyoga then.
Sri Nathji Prabhu was Srila Prabhupada’s driver (as a service), including a last driving service to Srila Prabhupada from Juhu to Bombay Central Station, serving him in the train and getting his blessings. He missed taking initiation due to Srila Prabhupada’s ill health. As per the GBC’s directive Sri Nathji Prabhu was initiated in Oct 1978 by the regional guru Kirtananda Swami and re-initiated by Radhanatha Swami in 1993.
As per the directive of Radhanath Maharaj he organized Sri Sri Radha Gopinath Temple at Chowpatty (Mumbai) from The Lady Northcote Hindu Orphanage and helped financing/ building up the Wada farm (51 acres), 100 km. north of Mumbai. He has also authored books on Vedic Sanatana dharma including ones on the Kalisantarnopnishad and on the mahamantra.