India-origin investment banker quits job to serve at BAPS temple in Abu Dhabi

In the early 2000s, while vishal patel was helping at the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in london, he happened to run into someone who introduced him to the world of investment banking. Patel's life took a different turn decades later while he was serving at a different BAPS temple, this one in the United Arab Emirates. On this occasion, he made the decision to resign from his lucrative position in order to begin volunteering at the recently opened Bochasanwasi Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha (BAPS) temple in Abu Dhabi.

The temple is the first Hindu temple in Abu Dhabi and was constructed on a 27-acre tract of land. On february 14, prime minister Narendra Modi gave it a ceremonial opening. Since relocating to the uae from the UK, 43-year-old vishal patel has been closely associated with the BAPS, helping with everything from building the temple to feeding visitors for the inauguration. He currently serves as the temple's chief communication officer and is in charge of media relations and strategic communications, among other things.

Gujarati by birth, vishal patel was raised in London. In 2016 he relocated to the United Arab Emirates and began employment at the dubai International Financial Centre. He has previously held positions at large financial banks and hedge firms.
"My family and I have been residing in the uae since 2016. Prior to this, I always put my job first, holding positions at reputable hedge funds and investment banks. Nonetheless, by sponsoring this Mandir in the uae, I was able to participate in activities that advance the common good and have a significant influence on society. According to patel, "This was too big of an opportunity to pass up," the Khaleej Times said.

But he chose to pursue his spiritual vocation because of his strong bond with the foundation, which he had grown up with at the london BAPS Mandir.
"Being a full-time volunteer felt like a chance to make a big difference in society," patel said in regards to his choice to support the Abu Dhabi Mandir. According to The Khaleej Times, he took an active part in the temple's construction, helping to build walls for protection and then providing meals to visitors.
"Many like me are willing to give up their careers to serve the Sanstha," patel stated.
He remembers the serendipitous meeting that first paved the way for his career as an investment banker.

Vishal patel was unable to obtain job following his graduation from the university of london with a degree in economics. While working as a volunteer at the BAPS Mandir in london, he had a breakthrough.
He met a senior director at Merrill Lynch there, and she gave him tips on how to break into the investment banking sector. In order to assist students and job seekers, patel and other young volunteers organised career fairs at the temple as a result.
"The Mandir gave me, along with many others, a solid foundation. The community here would surely receive a comparable level of assistance from this Abu Dhabi Mandir, according to Patel.

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