Hopkinton resident Dwarka (D.N.) Chadha has found success in business, advocacy and family. Through his memoir, “Suitcase: A True and Inspiring Immigrant American Dream Story,” Chadha hopes to inspire others to do the same.
After immigrating to the United States in 1970 with just one suitcase (hence the book’s title), Chadha started working in pharmaceutical sales, eventually leading a team of 100 people that created more than $100 million in revenue, he said. Chadha also received recognition from former Massachusetts governors Michael Dukakis and Deval Patrick, and he helped promote the Affordable Care Act for President Barack Obama. In addition, he and his wife raised two daughters who both have MBAs from Cornell University.
Chadha’s book focuses on his story from his time in India to his political advocacy in the United States. He emphasizes community involvement and higher education.
“I have said it’s not only meant to be just a book about how to better oneself and family, but also how to participate,” Chadha said. “When we come here as immigrants, we have a duty to participate, to vote and to get involved with our community.”
For the 81-year-old Chadha, who has lived in Hopkinton since 2012, that meant serving as president of the Indian Association of Greater Boston and first vice president of the Hopkinton Lions Club.
In his book, Chadha credits his success and his family’s to higher education.
“I told my daughters that you have to be well-educated in order to compete with the American public here,” Chadha said. “If you want to achieve the American dream, you want to have a higher education.”
The book tells the story of Chadha’s life — which includes his grandmother hiring the military to rescue a young Chadha and his family from a village in West Pakistan during the partition in 1947 — while sharing advice on how others can achieve similar success and best serve their communities. He shares 10 steps that helped him.
“These 10 steps have been revealed in the book, explaining how I succeeded in all these things and overcame challenging situations,” Chadha said.
He also shares relatable and often funny stories about his immigrant experiences, like learning how to drive a car for the first time.
“I was asked, ‘D.N. do you drive,’ so I said, ‘Yeah,’ but I only knew how to drive a scooter. The $600 that I brought from India I basically spent on my driving,” Chadha said.
Chadha always has had an interest in literature. He received his Master of Arts in English Literature from Delhi University. His first book, “Touchdown: No. 1 Salesperson,” was published in 2010.
His latest book took Chadha more than 10 years to write. He got the idea to share his immigration story after finishing up his first book.
“You need a lot of time and effort and concentration, and it doesn’t work thinking that you can finish it in two or four weeks,” Chadha said.
“Suitcase: A True and Inspiring Immigrant American Dream Story” can be purchased on Amazon in paperback for $17.99 and hardcover for $27.