THE HISTORY OF Indian immigrants in the U.S. could fill several books, but Mahendra Doshi has captured a core aspect of it with his book “Surat to San
Francisco: How the Patels from Gujarat Established the Hotel Business in California 1942-1960.” The book is, as the title says, the story of the individuals
who first left their home for a roundabout journey to the American Dream.

Doshi is journalist in San Jose, California, not a businessman himself, but he is originally from Vadia in the Indian state of Gujarat. His family moved to
Calcutta in West Bengal where Doshi earned degrees from Presidency College and the University of Calcutta before moving to the U.S. in 1967 and eventual
graduated with a master’s degree from the University of Nevada, Reno.

“I have never even thought of business. I had a degree in journalism and I did marketing work for General Motors. That’s where I made my living for
30 years,” Doshi said. “At the same time, I pursued my journalistic impulses. I wrote for mostly all those ethnic papers, Indian ethnic papers like India
Times of Chicago and India West and India Post.”

Doshi also published two “Who’s Who among Indians” lists in 1976 and 1981. That whet his appetite for exploring his people’s history.