A management graduate from IIM Calcutta, Gulam Vahanvaty worked for a while at Tata Administrative Services, and later joined the family business of scrap processing and ship breaking. The TRF Trustee Designate is himself a beneficiary of a Rotary scholarship and exchange programme. In 1978 he was selected as a member of TRF’s Group Study Exchange programme and went to Indiana, US, which he describes as “a life changing experience” that made him want to join Rotary.
In 1979 he joined RC Bombay Downtown, and was unanimously nominated DG of D 3140 in 2002–03, and oversaw a record contribution to TRF — $654,000; the largest in Indian Rotary Districts till 2006–07. His tenure as DG was marked by transparency and integrity, the two qualities, said PRID Ashok Mahajan, when Vahanvaty was felicitated by his D 3141 during the Rotary World Festival in Mumbai in November, which were mainly instrumental in his being appointed TRF Trustee Designate.
Vahanvaty was appointed RRFC during 2004–07 for Zone 5, was later a member of RI President Nominee Kalyan Banerjee’s “think-tank” and was in charge of his Secretariat in Mumbai during his tenure as RIPE and President. Earlier, he was appointed by TRF Trustees to be Assistant Advisor to D 3280 (Bangladesh) for five years (2007–12); has served as a member of TRF Stewardship Committee and was appointed RI Training Leader for the International Assembly in San Diego in 2007, 2008.
Observed PRID Mahajan at Vahanvaty’s felicitation: “The million dollar question is how did Gulam get nominated as a TRF Trustee, because the selection of Trustees is very crucial and important. Well, the RI President Elect sees the involvement of the individual in TRF activities, knowledge of TRF, integrity and honesty. Seeing his performance, credibility and integrity, the President Elect put forth his name to the Board. This is a proud moment for D 3141 and our country as a whole.”