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By ELLEN STOLZ
A Fiji-born businessman who has developed major businesses in Papua New Guinea has been honoured there for his service in healthcare, commerce and sports.
Mahesh Patel is on the 2012 Queen’s Birthday Honours List and made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire.
The chairman of the largest retailing network; City Pharmacy Limited (CPL Group) Papua New Guinea, Mr Patel also has business interests ranging from Fiji to India.
He arrived in Papua New Guinea in 1984 to work as a pharmacist. He has founded and built his own CPL into a successful group that now operates a chain of Papua New Guinea pharmacies, supermarkets, hardware stores and coffee shops.
In 2011, the CPL Group had a combined retail operations of 54 stores nationwide which employed over 2000 staff, of which 95 per cent were Papua New Guineans. Its retail network spans health and beauty chains, grocery, hardware stores, coffee shops and now a multiplex cinema.
Partners in the cinema project are Damodar Brothers, which operates Fiji’s Village Six and Four Cinemas, and PNG FM.