Image Alt


Rajni Patani’s impression and Bharti’s Endorsement

                                                          SOBHAG HARIA BIOGRAPHY

I arrived in the U.K. in May 2003 from Kenya for permanent settlement.

I first met Sobhag early in the year 2005 when I was first invited by Prabhulal (Metro) of Club 25 to attend one of their meetings as a guest. This soon became a regular visit by me as a guest for the rest of that year during which time I slowly got to know Sobhag better. Before then I had only heard of him as a brother of Navin of Packaging Industries Limited from whom we used to buy polythene products for Patco Industries Limited in Nairobi. 

In Nairobi Sobhag seemed to have a kind of odd reputation and the only thing most people would talk about would be about his marriages and how he had married a couple of times and divorced and that he was now a womaniser and so forth. Not knowing him intimately then, I was not at all that concerned, but being in the community you became aware of this kind of gossip all the time.

However, my first impressions of Sobhag when I met him at the club, changed my perception of him completely. I found him to be very open minded, sincere and communicative even though he had hardly known me before. He talked about his marriages and his affairs and also how he had recently got married to Anju and how happily they lived together. He was not at all ashamed and explained clearly that in life you can not hang on to something if you are not happy with and you have to let go of the things at the right time. At the same time, he said, never spoil past relationships if it’s in your control. Sometimes he found resistance in his own family and he had to accept that. I found it fascinating when he said that he was the happiest now after marrying Anju in the year 2001/2.

At the end of that year in 2005 I became a member of Club 25 and so I was then a regular attendee of the Club every month. Sobhag was then busy running his Care Homes and would miss a quite a few Club meetings because of his visits upcountry to visit the Homes and he would be returning home late. He also did not like to travel alone to Southall to come to the Club meetings. So, from our conversations I always encouraged him to pick us from Kenton and we started going to the Club together in his big seven-seater car and we used to enjoy each other’s company. Behind the scenes, Anju was always asking me to take him to the Club as often as possible.

By some good fortune in March 2006, we Sobhag and I both travelled on Nutan’s tour to CHINA. Sobhag had 10/12 of his family members accompanying him and I had my own friends and family. Both were allocated separate coaches because the group was large, but the route we travelled on was the same and for a period of 12 days we spent a lot of time together at all the hotels and restaurants and stop overs. We would also spend late nights in one of the rooms in the hotel drinking tea/coffee and alcohol in large groups and had lots of fun. 

This was also my first real opportunity to get to know Anju. I used to joke on the tour that Anju looked like a 34-year-old and how lucky Sobhag was to find such a beautiful young bride and also teased him to tell us his secrets! Privately I knew Anju’s real age but all enjoyed the fun and it was a great laugh for everybody. As I got to know her, I found Anju very understanding, polite and humble. She is also calm and very social. I found her devotion to both sides of Sobhag families very admirable. During the lockdown we have discovered via the Habari Group how talented Anju is in cooking too.

Sobhag himself has a very unique way of keeping the family and friends happy. As he is a very kind, generous and benevolent person, he is always the first one to pick up any bill wherever he happens to be. Most of the time he treats a lot of his extended members of his family on holidays be it local or overseas. He also regularly takes them all to cinemas, theatres or concerts. He likes to pay bills at restaurants even when the group is going “dutch”.

Sobhag is a disciple of Gandhi and he has held various exhibitions in the U.K. and also overseas.  He has a TATOO of Gandhi embossed on his arm and he tries to follow a lot of his principles. Once he was eating non-veg food and used to drink alcohol but now he has converted completely to be a tea-tootler. Either Anju has worked the magic on him or he has spiritually changed himself.

Sobhag is generally quiet unless when he is on his own topics. He can be very persuasive in his arguments and ladies love him for it. No wonder he was once called a womaniser! His favourite topics are varied and interesting. He likes to talk about health issues and how to keep fit and does regular yoga himself. He loves to talk about family values and he adores young children too. He has adopted a few young children in the past by giving them financial aid or if they are mentally weak gives them treatment expenses etc. Overall, he likes to extend his hand to help look after the less well off in the society.

In the year 2011, his benevolent nature truly came to light when Ekta centre fund-raising scheme was introduced by the Oshwal community to purchase the centre.  Five members of the Club 25 jointly agreed to donate a sum of £100K (if we could join forces). When I approached Sobhag to consider for his share of £20K donation for the cause, he happily obliged and made our life so much easier. This then became a united force and we called ourselves -The INFINTY group of which we all are very proud of. A plaque has been placed at Ekta centre acknowledging this donation.

 A few years later in the year 2014 Oshwal Centre was being refurbished and the community were looking for a similar donation from the Infinity Group. Without asking Sobhag I had the huge confidence in him to confirm his share of £20K to this new project. Again, Sobhag happily obliged. Once again, the Infinity group donated £100K for the Foyer at the newly re- furbished Oshwal Centre and the Group were all given the privilege of tape cutting ceremony when the Foyer was formally opened in April 2015.

In summary, Sobhag is a very likeable, pleasant, easy going, principled person with a very generous heart. His motto is “first others and then him”.  

Finally, he likes to remember his roots and never wants to forget the humble background he grew up in Meru in Kenya and how he has developed and started so many new ventures in his lifetime and how he has experienced life first hand when a lot of wealthy people have had it on the ready on the plate. 

  • He calls himself a self-made man.

This is his pride and happiness……..besides Anju.!!!

Add Comment