IACCGH’s 2018 President, Swapan Dhairyawan

Swapan Dhairyawan Photo: Bijay Dixit

Swapan Dhairyawan
Photo: Bijay Dixit

By Manu Shah

HOUSTON: On the first day of every year, Swapan Dhairyawan spends two hours writing his goals for the year. He sticks this sheet of paper on his closet door and reads them every day. One of the big goals on that sheet this year is to take on the mantle of leadership as President at IACCGH and empower business.

In 2004, Swapan and a colleague Irfan Moosa branched out on their own with MD & Associates LLP- a Certified Public Accountancy firm. He took up a friend’s invitation to attend a Chamber networking event and the potential made him renew his membership every year. In 2012, he joined the Board and became Treasurer. For five years, Swapan oversaw the books and in 2017, was voted unanimously as President for the year 2018. Executive Director Jagdip Ahluwalia sums it up when he says he is highly impressed with Swapan’s organizational skills, his willingness to understand a different point of view and work at building a community consensus.

Running a business is no easy feat and no one knows this better than Swapan – an entrepreneur himself. One of his goals this year is to empower small businesses and help them adapt to the changing times. He would also like to continue the momentum of engaging younger demographics in the Chamber’s activities.

Swapan came to Houston in 1999 and along with finding a foothold as a CPA, was active in community service – a bent of mind inherited from his mother. Over the years, he headed the India Culture Center as President, the International Hindi Association as National President and played a key role in organizations such as Sewa and IMAGH.

His CPA side is clearly visible as one of the first pieces of advice he gives any organization is to develop “fiscal responsibility” and have a “rainy day fund.” No organization, whether commercial or nonprofit, he insists, can survive long term without this in place. He pushed for this as well as transparency practices in several organizations. A point of pride is a compliment from an IRS Audit agent who told Swapan – “I wish all nonprofits maintained their books like this.”  His favorite financial advice to people – “controlling your lifestyle is the way to build wealth.”

Swapan is a great believer in time management and multitasking which probably accounts for his ability to attend dozens of community meetings, events and run a leading CPA firm. He is quick to credit wife Pallavi for her unwavering support, whether it’s missing dinnertime again or writing out a check for a community cause. The one thing he never compromises on is dad-time with his 11 year old daughter, Eesha.

When Hurricane Harvey battered the city in August, Swapan was struck by the fortitude Houstonians displayed and it reminded him of his hometown Mumbai’s “never say die” attitude. Like many Indo Americans, he pitched in to help the community get back on its feet, whether it was organizing meals or assisting folks who were stuck. He is a proud Houstonian and IACCGH is proud to have him head the Chamber this year.