Dubai: Businessman G.B. Choithram Jethwani, chairman of the Geebee Group of Companies, a stalwart of the Indian community has died at the age of 90.

The Indian businessman breathed his last at his residence on Sunday, May 11 where he suffered a cardiac arrest.

Speaking to Gulf News, his younger brother Bhagwan Jethwani of VETCO International LLC said GB, as Choithram was popularly called, died of a cardiac arrest.

“He was seated in a chair. As he got up, he suffered a massive cardiac arrest and collapsed on the floor,” said Bhagwan.

GB is survived by his sons Deepak Choithram Jethwani and Girish Choithram Jethwani, both of whom head his company as managing directors. The late businessman also leaves behind four daughters.

Prominent textile magnate in Dubai Vasu Shroff, recalled fond memories with the late businessman.

“He was a social person, always up for a meeting with friends. He was a philanthropist and did much work for the Indian community. He was the last of his generation of people to transform Dubai,” said Shroff.

Setting up a business back in the 50s

GB established his flagship company in Dubai in 1950 Geebee Group with diversified interests in manufacture, exports and imports, trading and distribution.

Family background

Jethwani said their family originally were exporters of textiles to Dubai, Bahrain and Kuwait, operating out of Karachi during the pre-partition days. Following the partition, however, in 1947, GB’s family business moved to Mumbai. They established their head office in Mumbai and then started an office in Dubai in 1954.

The story goes that GB landed in Sharjah on June 9, 1954 on a six-seater aircraft just months after his marriage.

Community efforts

GB was also involved in community interests and was a former president of Dubai Indian Association and Indian Sports Club. GB was also the trustee of several institutions, including the Indian High School, Dubai. He was also on the board of Dubai Electricity Board. GB who has built a temple in Jumeirah villa would see hundreds of people come there every weekend.

“This of course is not happening now due to the social distancing norms in place,” said Bhagwan.

Bhagwan added that the cremation will be a low key affair keeping in mind the movement restrictions in place and the social distancing norms.

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