Neil is the son of Parag Parikh, 61, chairman of Parag Parikh Fund Advisory Services, who passed away on May 3 after a road accident. Neil has taken over as chairman and CEO.
It was a Sunday evening when we got the news that my father Parag Parikh and mother Geeta Parikh had met with an accident in Omaha, Nebraska in the US and that my father did not survive (Parikh was there to attend the annual general meeting of legendary investor Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway).
The news from the hospital was that my mother was critical and may not survive either. We were totally shocked and after communicating with the hospital through the night, I had to come into office in the morning. My mind was somewhere else. I had to go through all the formalities in office. Our office is almost like a family. On an average, employees have spent seven years working here. Everyone was emotional and I could feel it. Somehow we managed to go through the day mechanically.
Because my father had died there were things that we needed to do that week and the next. On Monday night, along with my wife Khushboo, I left for the US. We flew Mumbai-Paris-Detroit and then to Omaha. During the second leg of the journey, I got some time to sit and think. I asked myself what my father would want me to do. I realised that he had a very strong value system and he always insisted on doing the right thing.
This realisation suddenly gave me extreme clarity and at that instant I found the purpose of my life. I had to grow his legacy and I had to grow the fund. I felt confident and motivated and started discussing it with my wife and writing it down. I put down the worst case scenario and what I would do if people want to take money out of the fund. We reached the hospital and met my mother. She got better and the way she faced the whole tragedy with courage gave me and my brother Sahil a lot of strength. Today Khushboo, Sahil and his wife Sitanshi are all in the US taking care of my mother.
She will probably get permission to travel back to India in mid-August. I had returned to India alone after seven days in the US. Back here, I found a great support system in my friends and the people in the office. As I started attending office and meeting clients I found they were all worried about us and no one spoke about business. As the days went by, the whole office seemed to be more motivated. I feel there are two ways to deal with a tragedy. It can either get to you or you can take this as a great opportunity. And I am looking at it as a great opportunity.
I am just 33 today. I will be growing my father's legacy. I have lost him and I cannot do anything about it. But I can take all the positives and make him and his legacy immortal.
The original article could be seen here.