Living the Indian American Dream with Bhavesh Patel


By Ram Panda

HOUSTON: At the prestigious institution India House, 57 open-minded and energetic Indian youth, all who are in the Youth Leadership Development Program (YLDP) of Houston gathered to honor and learn from one of the most inspiring Indian Americans of our time: Bhavesh Patel.
He is the CEO of one of the most prestigious and well known chemical companies in the world – Lyondellbassell. Patel, without a doubt, used his company to play an integral part in the revival of the engineering and natural gas economy in Houston since the economic recession in 2008. He shared the driving force behind his success with the whole group of students in our gathering.

Patel discussed his journey as an engineer who also became successful in the corporate environment. The way that he connected to all of the students so well is because a majority of the students stated that they wanted to pursue engineering careers when they grow up. Patel knew exactly how to relate to those students because he is an engineer himself. He shared with us how he went from using his chemical engineering and business degrees in college to being an executive in more than 5 of the fortune 500 engineering companies.

For example, Patel, in 2015, was able to take the huge risk of leaving a high level management position at Chevron to join Lyondellbassell as chief management officer of European operations because he had absolute confidence in himself. He described it as a crucible moment when he went through a huge transformation for the good. As Patel advised us, without full confidence in oneself, fear will take over and ventures cannot get traction.

A final lesson that he had to share with all of us is that no matter what point in life you are in, we can always find mentors to talk with and get through tough situations. They can help us make the best possible decision even when a huge decision rests on our shoulders and failure is not an option.