Ramesh 'Jimmy' Lakhwani (left) and his grandson, Aryan Lakhwani, accept the St Ann Chamber of Commerce President's Award from President Pixley Irons. - Photo by Carl Gilchrist
Ramesh 'Jimmy' Lakhwani gets President's Award 2016 from St Ann Chamber
Carl Gilchrist, Hospitality Jamaica Writer
The kindness of Ocho Rios businessman Ramesh 'Jimmy' Lakhwani knows no bounds. His willingness to assist others often tends to overshadow the astute businessman he is.
Little wonder, therefore, that he was awarded the St Ann Chamber of Commerce President's Award for 2016 at the organisation's banquet, held recently at Jewel Runaway Bay in St Ann.
"It was never my intention to seek glory or recognition for my work," Lakhwani told Hospitality Jamaica after receiving the award.
"I genuinely love people and love to know that I have been effective in some small way. When I am awarded, I am not even aware that my kindness was being observed, but it makes me happy."
The award adds to a long list of other awards the well-loved philanthropist has received over the years, including the Chamber's Corporate Award in 2011, in recognition of his invaluable contribution to the community.
Add to that, the Kiwanis Club of Ocho Rios' Citizen of the Year Award in 2012, among others, stretching back to the 1990s.
The President's Award, among other things, was awarded for Lakhwani's record of public service, which goes back decades.
An advocate for education, he assisted in building the Parry Town Basic School in 1992, and has offered several scholarships to secondary- and tertiary-level students.
Lakhwani has covered the cost of constructing a wing for Sunday classes at the New Testament Church of God, St Ann's Bay, and has made regular donations to the sporting fraternity in the parish, including to Black Star football club and several cricket teams.
His contributions over the years also benefitted the St Ann's Bay Hospital, Windsor Girls' Home, Jamaica Cancer Society and the Ocho Rios police, where he was a major contributor to the donation of four motor vehicles to the station.
Lakhwani, who is also a justice of the peace, is the owner of Soni's Plaza, Harbour Shops and Turtle Plaza, facilities that provide over 300 jobs. And there is more to come.
"I hope to continue expanding the business in order to create more jobs," Lakhwani said.