In 2000, the year of clunky Nokia phones and $1.50 gas, a guileless 18-year-old Jigar “JP” Patel left the comforts of his home in India to make a name for himself in America. Even at that young age, it was clear to those around him that JP had that certain spark that drew people to him. He joined the family business of convenience stores from the ground up. With his combined business acumen and tendency to devote himself in his work, he wasn’t cleaning restrooms and manning the register for long!
Fast-forward to 2018, and JP is now a co-founder and VP of SAASOA (Southeast Asian American Store Owners’ Association), the largest such association in the entire Southeast. In the last 2 years, SAASOA has successfully represented approximately 1500 stores owners. JP continues to be implemental in increasing bottom line profits, partnering with other organizations to increase merchandise and volume and expanding SAASOA’s reach across the Southeast.
His magic touch is not limited to the business world. He mentors under represented teenagers and young adults in choosing the path best suited for them. He is a recognized advocate of service and health initiatives through The Art of Living. He is a unifying member of the community, bringing together people from all religions, ethnicities, ages, and genders to participate in personal health workshops.