ETW STAFF – Mumbai
The Indian travel and tourism industry’s veteran and the founder of one of India’s leading tour operating company Raj Travel World passed away today in Mumbai. As per a PTI report, Lalit Sheth allegedly committed suicide by jumping off the Bandra Worli Sea Link bridge in central Mumbai, police said. “56-year-old Sheth, who owns Raj Travels, jumped from the sea link bridge this afternoon, leaving a suicide note,” Deputy Police Commissioner Dhananjay Kulkarni told PTI.
Lalit Sheth was known to be a fighter, living life with a positive attitude. In an exclusive with Express TravelWorld Lalit Sheth, mentioned that when be came to Mumbai from Kolkata in 1976, he had about Rs 2,250 in his wallet. This was meant to set up his chemist’s shop. “The business of a chemist always fascinated me and it is a profession that does not require bargaining with buyers,” says Sheth. So the travel industry seemed like a far-fetched idea. However, Sheth changed his mind after a careful assessment of the market and pursuing a career as a tour operator seemed like a more profitable option. So in the August of 1976, he began selling packaged tours to Kashmir, South India and Nepal from a tiny office with one computer in the Masjid Bunder area in Mumbai. It was tough competing with established players in the industry but within the first week of operations, his company had received 39 calls and in a month, 23 people had been sent out on Raj’s maiden tour.
In the year 2008, Sheth told Express TravelWorld that “My motto has always been to indulge in activities that are respectable and socially right. I don’t plan to hang my boots at 60.”