Before people lived by two false beliefs:
1.Entrepreneurship is for only privileged class of society
2.Entrepreneurs happen by birth
With his empowering vision, he broke both the beliefs and proved that entrepreneurs can be from any class of society. Even from the most downtrodden situation, entrepreneurs can be created by proper guidance, motivation, training and counseling which enable people from all walks of life, disregarding caste, community, family, income or religion, to become capable and confident owners of their own enterprises and become job-creators. His work has proved that entrepreneurs, “the engines of growth”, are not born, but can be created also. This has been a socio-economic breakthrough. He established curriculum for higher education and tailor made programs to enhance income generation activities as his vision to empower people.
Dr. Patel not only created a vibrant and functional network of institutions engaged in capacity building, but also developed a large pool of human resource in entrepreneurship development for nation building and its growth through individual empowerment. He believed in economic empowerment for marginalized people to create peaceful, inclusive and sustainable society. His novel model of institutional governance with public accountability and efficient but not profit centric management, generated impact making results.
Founder & Former Vice President & Director, Entrepreneurship Development Institute India (EDII), Ahmedabad and Chairman, Consumer Education Research Centre, Ahmedabad, he dedicated his whole life for the empowerment of common people. He was the Chief Economic Advisor to Gujarat Industrial Development Corporation; Founder Director of Centre for Entrepreneurship Development ,Gujarat (CED), and Managing Director at Gujarat Industrial & Technical Consultancy Organization Ltd. (GITCO).
He led several missions and projects for the World Bank, International Labour Organization, UNIDO, Commonwealth Secretariat etc. and counseled a large number of Asian and African countries for New Enterprise Creation programmes, enterprise growth policies and institution building for SMEs.
The Government of India also incorporated the EDP approach as a part of its self- employment schemes. The Central Government’s ‘Rojgar Yojana’ incorporated entrepreneurship training, based on work done by Dr. Patel
He has been awarded the Aga Khan International Award for pioneering work in Entrepreneurship by the Aga Khan Foundation, Geneva; and the A. B. Bhatt Entrepreneurship Development Award by Entrepreneurs International Trust, Pune, India.
He was honored with the Padma Shri in 2017 for his contribution to development of entrepreneurship in India.