The elections in the U.S. have a Belagavi connection. Shrinivas Thanedar, who goes by the name of Shri Thanedar and has been elected to the Michigan House of Representatives in the U.S., has roots in Belagavi Old City.
A member of the Democratic Party, he unsuccessfully contested the elections to the Governor’s office in Michigan in 2018.
“My life has seen ups and downs. I came from a low income family to build a multi-million dollar business empire. I have suffered losses in business and recovered,’’ he wrote on his website, www.shriformi.com.
The 65-year-old multi-millionaire pharmacology industrialist began his life in the U.S. as an emigrant student of chemistry in 1979.
He left Belagavi five years before that. He studied in the Chintamanrao School in Belagavi. His father, a government employee, died when the children were young and his mother, Sulochana, worked hard to raise her six children. Dr. Thanedar worked as a clerk in the State Bank of India and studied for his B.Sc and M.Sc while in service.
He left for the U.S. after he cleared his post-graduation from Mumbai University with good grades. He completed his research in polymers and received a doctorate from the University of Akron and and continued his post-doctoral work in the University of Michigan. He also worked for a few years as a Polymer Synthesis Chemist and Project Leader at the Petrolite Corporation in St. Louis, in the late 1980s.
He has declared on his website that he has been elected to the House of Representatives in Michigan with 93 % votes. He raised over U.S. $ 4.3 lakh for his campaign in the primaries. He began his campaign in late 2018, with slogans like “Shri for We” . He spoke of his humble beginnings and the American dream that let a constrained emigrant student achieve success as an industrialist. He spoke of his “comeback story” several times in his speeches.
He bought Chemir, a small company in the U.S., in 1990 and turned it around. It went from U.S. $ 1.5 lakh in annual sales to over U.S $ 60 million and from three employees to 400 employees.
He wrote and published “Hi Shrichi Ichcha”, a book in Marathi about his life’s challenges.