At three commencement ceremonies May 17-18, Bipin Doshi of Mishawaka, Indiana, retired chairman, president and CEO of Schafer Industries of South Bend, Indiana, encouraged Missouri S&T graduates with stories from his life and practical advice for success. He assured students that they were prepared for the next phase of their lives.
“The administration and faculty have done their utmost to prepare you for this exciting and challenging world,” said Doshi. “You are prepared to successfully tackle any problems and make a mark in your chosen field. You are prepared not only with the academic knowledge required, but with the practical, mid-western, approach to life that Missouri S&T prides itself on. Students here are trained to solve problems and excel in whatever vocation they choose and whatever challenges they might face.”
Doshi earned bachelor of science and master of science degrees in chemical engineering from Missouri S&T in 1962 and 1963, respectively. During commencement, he was awarded the doctor of engineering, honoris causa.
Doshi said S&T graduates constantly impress him. “I am always amazed to hear the stories of S&T alumni and their accomplishments. In addition to being successful engineers and scientists, alumni have succeeded as astronauts, doctors, lawyers, entrepreneurs in many diverse fields, CEOs, and directors of major corporations,” said Doshi. “Their achievements have contributed greatly to society and reflect the values of Missouri S&T. You are the next generation of S&T alumni, and we expect nothing less of you. Missouri S&T has prepared you for that.”
He encouraged students to follow their own moral compass, pay off their debt as fast as they can and to “be part of positive movement forward.”
“You may face some unusual problems so remember that there is more than one way to solve a problem,” said Doshi. “Do not fear failures. Treat those as opportunities to learn. Take calculated risks that help you develop sound judgement.”
He also told students not to measure their success purely in monetary gain but to find balance in life.
“Also remember that success is measured in many ways, not just in gaining wealth. You must define your core values and stay focused on those,” said Doshi. “Be a good citizen, make the world a better place; practice your profession as a true professional; nurture a good social life and prioritize your family – they are your best support system. Finally, look after your physical, mental and spiritual health.”
After graduating from Missouri S&T, Doshi, who also holds a bachelor of science degree in chemistry and physics from the University of Bombay, joined the U.S. Rubber Co., later known as Uniroyal, as a research engineer in the chemical division. Over the next 20 years, he advanced from process engineer to project manager to vice president of a Uniroyal subsidiary.
In 1988, Doshi left Uniroyal and entered private business with the purchase of Schafer Gear Works. In the 29 years he ran the company, its annual revenue increased 30-fold and the number of employees grew from 50 to over 300. He sold Schafer Industries in 2017 and retired from active business.
In retirement, Doshi chairs the board of directors of Beacon Health System, the largest health care provider in the Mishawaka area. Doshi is a member of the Missouri S&T Board of Trustees, the Academy of Chemical Engineers and the Order of the Golden Shillelagh. In 2001, he received S&T’s Award of Professional Distinction, and in 2016, he was named one of S&T’s Alumni of Influence.
Doshi and his wife, Linda, whom he met in Rolla, have been married over 50 years. They have two sons and seven grandchildren. The Doshis provided the major gift that named the Frank Conrad Unit Operations Laboratory in Bertelsmeyer Hall on the Missouri S&T campus in memory of Doshi’s mentor, advisor and friend.