NZ Business Hall of Fame: Yet another feather in Ranjna Patel’s cap!

Ranjna Patel is not just an entrepreneur and philanthropist; she’s a force of change, a beacon of hope, and a relentless advocate for community welfare. Her journey, marked by resilience, compassion, and unwavering determination, has left an indelible mark on New Zealand’s healthcare landscape and social fabric. From humble beginnings to towering achievements, Patel’s story is one of inspiration and empowerment.

Born and raised in Auckland, Patel’s upbringing was grounded in the values of hard work, integrity, and community service. Growing up in a joint family that ran a fruits and vegetables shop in Herne Bay, she learned the importance of solidarity, compassion, and giving back from an early age. These values would shape her future endeavours and fuel her passion for making a difference in the lives of others.ranjana patel

In 1977, Patel embarked on her entrepreneurial journey alongside her husband, Dr. Kanti Patel, with the establishment of East Tamaki Healthcare. What started as a modest solo GP practice in the South Auckland suburb of Otara soon blossomed into something much greater. With Patel doubling as the Receptionist and Administrator while Dr Patel tended to patients, the practice grew steadily, driven by their unwavering commitment to providing quality healthcare to the community.

Over the years, East Tamaki Healthcare evolved into Tamaki Health, the largest private primary healthcare network in New Zealand. With over 50 clinics and a digital platform, Better, Tamaki Health has impacted the lives of over 300,000 patients, providing them with access to essential healthcare services and innovative digital solutions. Patel’s visionary leadership and entrepreneurial acumen have been instrumental in steering Tamaki Health to new heights, cementing its reputation as a pioneer in the healthcare industry.

But Patel’s contributions extend far beyond the realm of healthcare. In 2014, she co-founded Gandhi Nivas, an innovative family harm prevention program that aims to break the cycle of violence and provide support to individuals and families affected by family harm. Recognizing the need for a different approach to addressing family violence, Patel spearheaded the establishment of Gandhi Nivas, drawing upon her deep understanding of community needs and her unwavering commitment to social justice.

Gandhi Nivas offers a range of services, including emergency shelter, crisis counselling, legal advocacy, and support groups, operating from three locations in Auckland. Its holistic approach focuses not only on supporting victims but also on addressing the root causes of violence and providing wraparound support for perpetrators. Patel’s vision and leadership have been instrumental in transforming Gandhi Nivas into a beacon of hope for those affected by family violence, offering them a pathway to healing and empowerment.ranjana patel 2

In recognition of her tireless efforts and significant contributions to the community, Patel has received numerous accolades and honours over the years. In 2009, she was awarded the Queen’s Service Medal (QSM), alongside Dr Kanti Patel, in acknowledgment of their outstanding service to the community. In year 2017, she was appointed as an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit (ONZM), further cementing her status as a trailblazer and role model.

The most significant milestones in Patel’s illustrious career came this year in 2024 when she was inducted into the New Zealand Business Hall of Fame. As the first person of Indian origin to receive this prestigious honour, Patel’s induction was a testament to her exceptional achievements and transformative impact on New Zealand’s socio-economic landscape. Joined by other luminaries such as Sir Ian Taylor, Tod Heller, and Diane Foreman, Patel’s induction ceremony was a celebration of her remarkable journey and enduring legacy.

Beyond her professional achievements, Patel’s commitment to community service and social justice is evident in her involvement in various voluntary and charitable projects. From serving as President of the Manukau Indian Association to being a member of advisory committees such as the Counties Manukau Police Southeast Asian Advisory Board and the MIT Indian Community Advisory Group, Patel has played a pivotal role in shaping policies and initiatives that promote diversity, inclusion, and social cohesion.

But perhaps Patel’s most enduring legacy lies in her role as a trailblazer and a role model for future generations of entrepreneurs and philanthropists. Through her tireless advocacy, innovative thinking, and compassionate leadership, she has not only transformed the lives of countless individuals but also inspired others to follow in her footsteps and make a difference in their communities.

As she continues to chart new territories and break down barriers, Ranjna Patel remains a shining example of what is possible when passion, purpose, and perseverance converge. Her journey is a testament to the power of one individual to effect positive change and leave a legacy that transcends generations. And as she stands on the shoulders of giants at the New Zealand Business Hall of Fame, Patel’s legacy will continue to inspire and empower future generations to dream big, aim high, and make a difference in the world.-TIN Bureau

 

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