Sudhir Choudhrie, a successful businessman, is also a philanthropist. Sudhir’s story began in Delhi, India, as a young child with severe medical complications. His focus and drive helped him build an impressive career and begin his incredible life journey. He has been active in politics, diplomacy and international commerce and is experienced in building companies from the ground up. He is passionate about his community and supports many causes.
After earning a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Delhi, Sudhir Choudhrie joined his grandfather’s real estate business. He then moved on to start his own business, providing UK televisions to the Indian government. In 1975, following his calling to entrepreneurship, he officially launched Magnum International Trading Company. In 1995, Sudhir began work with Adidas AG and Taj Hotels and Resorts. He built up four local resorts in India that became huge successes. He created Adidas Indian Trading, which brought 180 Adidas stores and manufacturing plants to India.
A Setback Turned Driving Force
Since the age of 8, Choudhrie knew that a leaking valve in his heart would lead to many struggles. He suffered a predisposition to infections because of his heart condition and at the age of 50 his heart gave out prematurely. He was rushed into emergency transplant surgery, which saved his life. As one of the oldest living heart transplant recipients in the world, he continues to thrive and help others.
Sudhir’s wife noted that even before the operation, her husband had promised to be a force for positive good if he were given the opportunity to have a second chance at life. After his transplant, that’s exactly what he did.
Between 1999 and 2005, Choudhrie became a director of Ebookers PLC. He helped finance the first budget airline in India, Air Deccan, which began with a sole airplane and grew to become a large company, scheduling more than 200 flights a day. His forward thinking led to him growing and saving a number of businesses that needed supportive consulting services.
Building Key Awareness of Transplantees and Donors
Sudhir discovered that a rare gene, which is common in his family, increases the likelihood of heart failure. This spurred him to help raise awareness of the importance of organ donations. He wrote a book about his experiences with heart transplant surgery. From My Heart: A Tale of Life, Love and Destiny is a bestselling book on Amazon.com. In it, he details his experiences and provides insight into the healing process. Choudhrie writes:
“I have written a book about my own experiences to show that there is life beyond the operating table. I have met inspirational people who have had a transplant whose attitude and ambition have been breathtaking, including a woman who ran a marathon after transplant surgery. Equally, however, I have met people who threw away the opportunities they were given by the surgery by adopting a negative, pessimistic attitude.”
He writes that changing his lifestyle to incorporate a healthy diet is a key factor in reducing the need for an additional operation and extend the life of the donated organ. He remembers talking to another transplant patient who refused to even think about giving up junk food, who said, “Why should I? I’m going to die anyway.” This comment pushed Sudhir to realize:
“Mine is a message of hope. Surrounded by a loving family, cherished by all of them, one thing is quite clear: if your heart has a reason to keep beating, it will. My hope is that stories like mine can inspire more potential donors.”
To continue his research, Sudhir opened the Sudhir Choudhrie Professorship of Cardiology within the Columbia University Medical Center. This organization supports the vital research performed by his own family, including his sons, who have joined him on an advisory board that supports the hospital. In 2010, The Choudhrie Family Foundation was started to support specific medical, health and education projects for the transplant community across the UK, United States and other countries. The foundation supports the #OrgansWill movement, which works to pair donors to those who need the lifesaving organs.
Choudhrie continues to work as vice chairman of Alpha G: Corp Development Pvt. Ltd. and holds a board position with Magnum Intl. Trading Co. Ltd. His life’s work has been revitalized through the generosity of a donor, and he continues to let that donation drive his ambitions to better the world.