Delaware Commission on
Indian Heritage and Culture

Commission Members

Palash Gupta

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Palash Gupta, Commission Chair,  is the Chairman of Delaware Asian American Business Association (DAABA) and Vice President of The Gujarati Samaj of Delaware. As President and Chairman of DAABA, he ensures that small business owners have the opportunity to gain access to economic advancement through networking and community representation. He also plays an active role in legislative and regulatory developments for business owners, often proposing beneficial policy changes.

At the age of 22, Palash started his career in business and since then has ventured into, retail, real estate, restaurants and construction. Prior to that, he managed is family’s textile business. He has a Bachelors degree in Chemistry and owns several businesses in Delaware. Palash is married and has one daughter.

Viren Bhatia

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Born in Mumbai, India, Viren has proudly called Delaware his home since 1986 where he lives with his wife, Varsha and daughter, Alpa. He completed his Masters in Computer Science from the University of Denver, before moving to Delaware. Viren has 31 years of experience in the IT industry with both hands on and strategic experience and fortunate enough to have worked on projects around the globe. Viren serves on the board of directors for the Indo American Association of Delaware (IAAD) and greatly enjoys organizing community events with passion. Additionally, Viren loves to socialize, read, write, travel and spend time with his dogs, Oreo & Cooper.

Pooja Verma D’Souza

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Pooja Verma D’Souza grew up in Blue Bell, Pa and pursued a Psychology and Computer Science degree at the University of Delaware. She then worked for a fast-paced bank, where she honed her project management and customer service skills. Pooja then went into the healthcare sector for the next ten years, sharpening her business development and sales skills. She is currently the President of The Independence School Parents Association (IPA), an active member of the The Indo American ASSOC of Delaware, and the founder of Learn, Lead, Launch, a leadership organization that seeks to partner and collaborate with young students, schools, and other entrepreneurial groups to help today’s youth to grow their personal and professional brands. Pooja spends her free time with her 2 boys and husband in Hockessin, DE and lives by the belief that kindness, connection with real people, collaboration and community giving, are the cornerstones to a meaningful and fulfilled life.

Dr. Priya Dixit-Patel

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Dr. Priya Dixit-Patel is a board certified family physician practicing for the last twenty years, and currently works for Christiana Care at Smyrna Family Practice. Born in Varanasi India, Dr. Dixit-Patel immigrated to the United States at the age of three. She returned to India to complete her Middle school studies, and credits this part of her life as being the foundation for her strong cultural identity. Dr. Dixit-Patel attended the University of Pittsburgh for undergraduate studies and attended the Ross University School of Medicine for her Medical degree. She completed her residency in Somerset Medical Center in New Jersey and did an additional year of training at Newark Beth Israel Hospital in Obstetrics and Gynecology.

Dr. Dixit-Patel resides in Dover with her husband Dr. Sharad Patel and their two children Jiya and Ruhan. She enjoys living in the community she serves, and sees the opportunity to work in an underserved area as both challenging and rewarding.

Dr. Arun Malhotra

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Dr. Arun Malhotra is a board certified physician in nephrology and internal medicine. He has done his fellowship in Renal, electrolyte and hypertension at the Univ of Pennsylvania and his residency at Albert Einstein Medical center. Dr. Malhotra was president of the DE academy of medicine from 2014-2016.

He is an integral member of the Indian community serving as a key volunteer for IAAD and multiple organizations giving back to Delaware. He and his wife Dr.Reema Malhotra, have three children and love traveling with them.

Ashwin Patel

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Ashwin Patel was born and raised in Nairobi, Kenya. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Engineering from Sardar Patel University in 1991. He and his wife, Nishtha, moved to the United States in 1993 and Delaware in 1997.

Ashwin has become a successful entrepreneur and business owner in the hotel, and liquor industry. He also has two beautiful children who currently attend college at Drexel University and Penn State University. While raising a family, and being involved in the day to day operations in his businesses, Mr. Patel also serves as the Vice President of The Delaware Asian American Business Association.

Emilie R. Ninan

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Emilie R. Ninan is a partner at Ballard Spahr LLP, a full-service Am Law 100 Firm with 600 lawyers in 15 offices. A former Office Managing Partner of the firm’s Delaware office, she currently serves as the Chair of the firm’s Public Finance Department and a member of the firm’s Expanded Board. In that role, Emilie oversees national strategy and administration for the firm’s public finance department across the country. In addition, she maintains an active legal practice focused on obtaining lower-cost financing for capital projects through the issuance of tax-exempt bonds for the benefit of educational and health care institutions, other 501(c) organizations, affordable housing developers, manufacturers and state and local government She also represents corporate and bank clients in commercial real estate lending matters, contract negotiation and other finance transactions.

Emilie, a past President of the South Asian Bar Association of North America (SABA) and the founding President of the South Asian Bar Association of Delaware (SABA-DE), is the recipient of multiple awards in recognition of her leadership and dedication to advancing diversity in the legal profession, including DuPont’s Hinton J. Lucas, Jr., Torchbearer Award and Pennsylvania Diversity Council’s Leadership Excellence in Law Award. She was also a member of a trade mission delegation to India led by former Delaware Governor Jack Markell, profiled by Law 360 as a Female Powerbroker and recognized as an Influential Woman in Business by Delaware Today. Emilie is a graduate of Georgetown University Law Center (J.D.), Georgetown University School of Business (M.B.A.) and Temple University (B.B.A., summa cum laude).

Jay C. Patel

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Jay C Patel is the owner and President of Greenhill Pharmacy, an independent specialty pharmacy corporation, with two locations in Wilmington, DE. A former Pharmacy Manager at Walgreens, he branched out to create his own pharmacies to provide patients the service, care and innovation he feels they deserve. The vision of Greenhill Pharmacy came from the years of dedication and service to the community that Jay has committed to the socio-spiritual organization – Bochasanwasi Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha (BAPS). Jay utilized his experience in leadership from managing a student organization at Philadelphia College, participation and execution of charitable events, and implementation of his professional pharmacy knowledge to create his vision of the ideal pharmacy – where the patient is the center of focus.

Greenhill Pharmacy is actively involved in the local community, including homeless shelters, mental health clinics, assisted living facilities, and an enormous amount of healthcare provider facilities. Jay has developed programs to assist these facilities in medication adherence, health education, and copay assistance. The focus has been to provide care where patients’ socio-economic barriers may hinder the life of quality and health they deserve.

Jay serves on the Delaware Pharmacists Society, where he participates in many patient care services, including wellness programs, patient health screening, and education programs.

Anand Swaminathan

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Anand Swaminathan has been a resident of Delaware for over 17 years. He is an Engineer and Information Technology consultant with extensive experience in defense, chemicals, services, automotive, beverage, and pharmaceutical industries. In addition to his professional responsibilities, he is one of the executive directors of the Indo-American Association of Delaware, a not-for-profit organization based in Newark, DE. He speaks six Indian languages and is a very active community member and volunteer. He is passionate about community service, and organizing events that bring people together.

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