Volume - 7 : Issue - 2

Published : April - June 2008

Group : Personalities


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Dream Big, Live Simply, Work Hard.


Anyone who knows Dayal Meshri would probably agree these three principles describe his life philosophy, not because that is what he says, but because that is what he does, what he has done since 1987 when he first located his fledgling chemical research company at the Port of Catoosa.

Known to his employees as “Doc,” Meshri started ARC in 1987, choosing the Port's industrial park because he read an article about the incubator program in the newspaper.

“What's unique about Doc and his operation is that he came our here hat-in-hand with only $100,000 to his name,” said Port Director Bob Portiss.

Meshri left a good paying job with a large corporation to follow his dream of starting a business.

“I encountered a lot of bureaucracy. I'm a scientist basically, and a scientist's  goal is to explore new areas and new technologies. After exploration,  you like to see it to be commercialized and used for the public benefit,” said Meshri, “I'm not talking about the charity point of view, but all the new technology, no matter, whether developed for space and defense, some how they end up in the commercial – used to benefit the individual.”

Following postdoctoral work at Cornell University, Meshri had joined Ozark-Mahoning Company as Head of Research and Research Director. He was there for 18 years, but he felt disconnected from what happened after he had done his job as a chemist.

“When you don't see the end result, you get frustrated,” said Meshri.

Still, dreams come with a price tag.

“Going into business is one thing, getting the proper resources is another thing,” said Meshri. “You need money, manpower, a place to work, and you need somebody to buy (the product)-customers. Those are the big challenges for anyone who wants to start a business.”

With no more than $100,00 of his own to invest and loans from friends, Meshri knew he needed help. Someone to believe in his dream. He found that someone at Stillwater Bank. “In 1986 I had talked to a few friends and went to the banks looking for money,” said Meshri. “Most of the time you found out that banks were not really sympathetic in those days. It was the mid-80's. . . . . a lot of businesses were going down.” Meshri felt very lucky to get a loan $100,000. “Keep in mind there was no collateral,” said Meshri. He did not want to mortgage his house which actually belonged to his wife.

A “young man” at the bank believed in Meshri. “He told them, 'this guy's a visionary and we've got to give him money,' so they finally approved the loan,” said Meshri.

Visionary was right. Meshri found an abandoned building on the cheap at Port of Catoosa, buying the property rather than joining the incubator program. The place was a mess, but Meshri got busy cleaning it up.

“An oil field tubular goods company had walked away from that building,” said Portiss. Until the oil bust of the 1980s the Port, like everyone else in Oklahoma,, had been heavily reliant on the oil industry.

In the early days Meshri said they didn't even have a fax machine. At that time fax machines cost around $2,500 Meshri remembered, and very few companies had them. He had to use the Port's fax number to communicate with prospective clients.

The big break came when Meshri managed to get a contract with General Motors for a zine fluoride solution that radiators were dipped into in order to prevent corrosion. And the breaks just kept coming because if there was a chemical problem, Meshri could solve it. Some might say the chemist / businessman made his own breaks.

Today, ARC has become one of the “largest Inorganic Fluoride Specialty Chemical Producers in the world.” ARC's client list includes more than 200 “Fortune 500” companies whose names most of us recognize. DuPont, Dow Chemical, General Motors, Monsanto and Westinghouse are just five. As a custom chemical producer, the company's creations are used in all kinds of products, from automobiles and batteries to semiconductors and pharmaceuticals.

Meshri, who gets up early enough to do an hour of yoga every morning before coming to work, is a member of The European Grand Sasso Neutrno Project and of the Space Research Advisory Board as well as numerous other boards.

At 71, the spry vegetarian can beat most people up the flight of stairs to his second story office. He drinks green tea, opens doors for ladies, and treats guests graciously. Never mind that he's lectured worldwide and met with congressmen and presidents or that he's considered one of the top fluorine scientists in the world. His employees smile and call out, “Hey Doc!” as he walks through the plant. He greets them and sometimes stops to ask about their families.

Meshri emphasizes that safety is a top priority at the pristine plant. Special filtering machines he refers to as “scrubbers” clean the air and recycle it through the facility. “Because we care for the community, we are cautious, careful,” said Meshri. “We use nothing but the best technology around here.”

Meshri has co-authored 7 books. Amongst many other honors, he received the Better Business Bureau, “BBB,” Integrity Award for Marketplace Ethics.

“Doc” Meshri has brought his dreams to life. Son, Sanjay, following in his father's footsteps, is also a chemist.  “It's 100 percent a family business,” said Meshri. “My son is also a chemist, a chemical engineer. He joined me 15 years ago.”

Of the proposed expansion?

“We need the room to grow,” said Meshri. This forward-looking scientist is still looking forward.

(Extract from an article in U.S. business magazine.)

Dr. Dayal T. Meshri

Dr. Meshri is the President/CEO of Advance Research Chemicals, Inc., “ARC”, Catoosa, Oklahoma, which he started in 1987, currently one of the largest Inorganic Fluoride Specialty Chemical Producers in the world.  In addition to the US facilities, ARC has plants in Monterrey, Mexico and research and production facilities in both Mumbai and Hydrabad, India.  Next year, ARC will also be expanding the Hydrabad facility to produce over a thousand kilograms per day of telomer and surface treatment products for worldwide sales.

He was a member of The European Grand Sasso Neutrino Project and Member of the Space Research Advisory Board, Princeton University, Member of the Advisory Board for Scientific Curriculum at TJC (TCC) and he was recently appointed as Member of the Oklahoma Center for the Advancement of Science and Technology (OCAST), by the Governor of Oklahoma.

Dr. Meshri is an author and co-author of many technical papers, patents, books, and encyclopedias of chemical technology.  Furthermore, he is well recognized as an expert industrial fluorine chemist all over the world and coordinates his research with associates in England, France, Georgia, Germany, India, Japan, Russia and Ukraine.  He travels globally to deliver lectures to academic and industrial research institutes.  He works closely with Oklahoma's academic universities.  Recently, he has been invited to join the faculty as Honorary Professor of the University in Dneproptrovsk, Ukraine to promote solar research and new polymers for fuel cells.

Professional Affiliations include, Fellow of American Institute of Chemists, American Chemical Society (he has served as an alternate councilor, secretary, treasurer and two-time Chairman, Tulsa Section), Board Member of The Electrochemical Society, American Association for the Advancement of Science, New York Academy of Sciences, American Engineers Automobile Association, Board Member of the Executive Committee, SAE International, and Society of Sigma XI.

Honors and Social Services include, Research Fellow, University of Idaho Postdoctoral Fellow, Cornell University, Watumall Foundation Fellowship, Government Merit Scholarship (Dexana Fellow), STCU Projects Coordinator and technical advisor for the U.S. State Department, Nominated for Congressional Business Honor Roll, Hon. Chairman Business Advisory Council (National Republican Party), Chairman & Founder of International Society of Indian Chemists & Chemical Engineers, Served as a Advisory Member of Space Research Team Princeton University, One of the founders and Trustee HTGT, Consultant to faculty of several different universities, recipient of the Pravasi Divas Award (India), Bharat Gaurav Award (India), India Glory Award-Gold Medal,  Ronald Reagan Republican Gold Medal Winner, sponsors tours & talks to local high schools, colleges, students, etc., for future business leaders of America. Honorary Chair for ADA, American Diabetes Association.  Received Better Business Bureau, “BBB”, Integrity Award for Marketplace Ethics.  Supports local charities, including Boy Scouts of America, Catholic Charities, DVIS (Domestic Violence Intervention Services, Inc.), United Way, Sindhulogy, Alliance of Sindhi Association, and many more. He is listed in the “Who's Who in America” and “Who's Who in Information Technology”.

Message From Dr. Dayal T. Meshri

President Alliance of Sindhi Association of Americas Inc.

on the occasion of 15th International Sindhi Sammelan at Barbados

Honorable guests, executives of World Wide Sindhi Associations, Honorable members of the executive committee, respected Host Committee Members, and my dear fellow participants, it is my pleasure to welcome you all on behalf of Alliance of Sindhi Associations of Americas, to the beautiful land of Barbados to enjoy its exceptional natural beauty and warm climate.

This Sammelan is going to be a very important part of our history because it is going to fulfill the expectations of our theme, “Sindhi youth and culture – we are all one.”

What is Sammelan and why have one?

To me, the Sammelan is the union of like-minded people who have a passion for progress, preservation of civilization, craving for bringing a change in the existing system.  It is an outlet to express our views, achieve dreams via dialogue and discussion, pride to preserve our invaluable inheritance, a ground to greet our old friends and make new ones.  It allows us an excuse to take time off from busy schedules, forget sorrows and disappointments, drown ourselves in joys of drinks and enjoy exceptional Sindhi meals and music.  It provides us the opportunity to prepare the next generation of community leaders to preserve our inheritance and to thank Jhulelal for giving us good health and for keeping us alive to celebrate these memorable moments with fellow friends, and to remember those who are not physically with us today.

This brings up the sweet memories of the dedicated individual and mentor, Late Shri Kishore Lala, who never stopped working, even from his deathbed, for the causes of Sindhyat, Sindhi civilization, and unity among Sindhis.  Let us salute to him and his dedications.  I also miss my beloved wife, Dr. Indurani D. Meshri, who has been an inspiration of each activity in my life.  She was a great scientist, orator, philanthropist, artist, and a perfect life partner in every sense.

Sindhis are well-known as traders and businessmen.  But we do have a small percentage of educators, civil servants, writers, physicians, engineers and scientists.  It is not important in which profession we are involved, but our overall success in every undertaking is exceptional.  Why is this?  It is in our genes to do the best in every aspect of life, work hard and provide tough competition.  This is the gene of Indus civilization or the direct inheritance from Aryans.  Our desire to explore the world (now universe) is so strong and keen that we have sailed the seven sees without modern instrumentation, left behind wives and children to the mercy of Jhulelal, “Kando Assanja Beda Par!” We brought back wealth, virtues and precious stones with us.  We became the richest community in the world and things have not changed even today.  So let us enjoy this Sammelan to the fullest extent and unanimously come up with better ideas for our future generations.

This message will remain incomplete without acknowledging the hard work, dedication, and sacrifice of time and money spent by our host Barbadian and their leader Didi Asha Mirchandani and her exceptional committee.  I take my hat off before our Sindhi legend, Dada Shri Arjan Daswani for his continuous feedback, inspiration, persuasion, guidance, which has been unparalleled in the history of our community.

I am also greatly indebted to the Chairman of our Alliance of Sindhi Association of Americas, Mr. Prem Lalvani, for his encouragement and support, committee members, Ramola Motwani, Kamal Lala, Mohan Karamchandani, Rosham Gidwani, Dr. Gita Meshri-Raisinghani, and our Secretary/Treasurer, Nand Balani.  Last, but not least, I am very grateful to the Barbados Prime Minister, local government, volunteers, contributors, advertisers, exhibitors, and all of you who are the most beautiful flowers of Sindhyat Garden.

Jhulelal / Jai Hind / Jai Sindh / Jai Sindhi Civilization