Duluth Hotel developer Mukesh "Mike" Patel demonstrates as deep commitment to making a difference in the world through his continuous work with Americans of Indian descent and to work to help those less fortunate and his commitment to helping others achieve a high level of success personally and professionally.


Q: What has been the toughest challenge you have faced during your career in the United States?

A: I don't like to think in terms of "challenges" - I prefer to see "opportunities." Albert Einstein put it well when he said that within every problem lies opportunity. In other words, it's a matter of perspective - the old adage about whether the glass is half empty or half full. I look forward, not back, and I always urge those around me to do the same.

Q: What do you think is the secret behind your success?

A: Quite simply, by using my past to guide my present and my future. I think of it as keeping one eye on the ground and the other eye on the horizon. For example, when I was growing up in London with my three brothers and two sisters, I learned the value of having friends from many different nationalities and ethnic backgrounds, not just Indians. I was exposed to various cultures and learned the best of many worlds. Today, as my brother RC and I run Diplomat Companies, the friends and business contacts that we have are still a very diverse group - something that constantly challenges me to improve myself, to give back to the community, to think about more than just monetary and materialistic achievements, and to generally be more mature. I still remember my father working as a conductor in Leicester before he bought a newspaper shop - the whole family pitched in and to this day we have never forgotten where we came from. We've also never forgotten the people in Nuneaton who gave us a place to stay when we first arrived in the UK. Helping fellow immigrants is a very special Indian quality, and that's why my door is always open to Indians who need a hand.

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