COLUMN: Passing On A Legacy Of Caring For Others

CRN Executive Editor Steve Burke spotlights All Solutions CEO Nalit Patel and the valuable life lesson that he has used to build a thriving solution provider business.

When Nalit Patel was a young boy growing up in Nairobi, Kenya, his grandfather taught him and his father a valuable life lesson that he has used to build a thriving solution provider business.

It is also a life lesson that Patel (pictured), CEO of All Solutions, a Livingston, N.J., solution provider, has used to support his own employees, his community and his family.

Every evening before he sat down for dinner, Patel’s grandfather, PursottamDass Patel, would ask if everyone had been fed. That meant everyone from employees who worked on the farm to family members and even animals. If someone had not been fed, he would not put food into his mouth—not a morsel—until that happened.

That moment was a visible expression of how much he cared for all his employees, family and all those whose lives he touched each day.

That important principle was passed on Nalit’s father, Arvind, who then passed it on to his son, who has passed it on to his children.

The fruits of that lesson were brought home when Nalit’s father passed away at the age of 89 on April 14.

Arvind Patel had a successful career as an entrepreneur and supporter of his community. He had built a chain of successful mini-supermarkets before coming to the U.S. with his wife, Ramilaben.

At his funeral, more than 600 people showed up to thank him for all he did.

Nalit was touched by the expressions of love and support for his father, many from those he had never met.

“We did not know just how many lives he touched,” said Nalit.

Among those paying their respects were those Arvind had given financial support to for education, including three young adults planning to be doctors, two entering the aerospace industry and two entering the accounting profession.

Nalit has taken the life lesson on caring for others to build his own business, knowing the greatest asset he has is his employees. When the pandemic threatened to crush all he had worked to build over the course of more than 30 years, Nalit was unsure if he was going to be able to make payroll. His father counseled him that it was his moral and ethical duty to protect his employees and their families. “Draw on your savings, and make sure everyone is fed and has a roof over their head for their families,” he told Nalit.

Nalit gathered his 40 employees and all agreed that rather than implement layoffs everyone would tighten their belts and take less pay until the storm had passed.

After the pandemic, Nalit restored the salaries, and today All Solutions is thriving. In 2021, it had record sales growth that resulted in bonuses for all his employees.

Nalit misses his father but honors his memory by taking the life lessons he learned and upholding them every day.

“I miss my guide and mentor, but I know the lesson of caring he passed on to me and my children lives on,” he said.

Here’s to all of us striving to uphold the principle of caring for others that Arvind held so dear in both our professional and personal lives.