Thanedar, 51, is chief executive of Chemir Analytical Services Inc., a Maryland Heights company that provides chemical testing and analysis services. He bought the company in 1999 for about $75,000 when it had only two employees and annual revenue of about $150,000. Today, Chemir Analytical employs about 120 people and projects revenue of about $16 million this year.
History: Founded in 1959, Chemir was purchased in 1990 by Dr. Shri Thanedar or who developed it into an independent testing laboratory. Having since developed a national reputation as experts in deformulation, Chemir scientists have helped over 6,000 clients solve challenging industrial problems with chemical analysis, consulting and litigation support. Distinction: Chemir is committed to the betterment of the St. Louis community. It has been an annual sponsor of the Susan G. Koman Breast Cancer Foundation, is a long-time supporter of the Salvation Army and, this year, through an internal fund-raising drive, Chemir and its employees, donated almost $2,000 to emergency hurricane relief. It also sponsors various activities and athletics at several local school districts.
About Shrinivas Thanedar: Dr.Thanedar has never forgotten the poverty he endured while growing up in India. Those memories, he said, propelled him to become a successful entrepreneur in America.
Thanedar grew up in Belgaum, a small town in southern India, the firstborn in a family with six children. “We were very, very poor. We struggled a lot.”
Thanedar’s parents encouraged him to study hard and made sure he enrolled in India’s public elementary school, high school and universities — where he earned a bachelor’s and a master’s in chemistry.
He scored a meagre 55% marks in his SSLC. He had got a job at the age of 18 itslef in the state bank of India in Bijapur. He wanted to do his MSc. but the princiapl of the Dharwad did not allow him to do so. He had to go upto the Vice Chancellor for the same and atlast he got the permission. But the bank denied him leave for his exams for 15 days and he dedcided to leave from Bijapur and came to Dharwad for his exams. He slept for only one hour for 8 days and finished his studies. Even before his exams got over he got to know that he had been fired out of his job from the bank.
But the pains he took paid off, he got a first class in M.Sc and he got an intyerview call from the Bhaba Atomic research centre Mumbai. On the way to the interview he fell in dicth and all his clothes were dirty. He went to the interview in the same way and as a cartoon he gave his interview and got selcted. All his relatives and frineds said, see this mad man; he his leaving his bank job for this hardship.
He had to finish his M.Sc but the first year done in Dharwad was not to be counted in BARC. SO he did the 2 years of M.Sc without anybodys knoweldge as his Principal there Mr.Soman did not give him permission.
After finishing his MSc he applied for higher studies in America. But Mr.Soman denied to sign on his passport. The American consulate denied him visa for 6 times, he got the visa when Mrs.Virginia from the consulate had been on leave and thus he stood on the soil of America.
Thanedar came to the United States in 1979 to study for a doctorate in chemistry at the University of Akron in Ohio. He also did post-doctoral work at the University of Michigan before coming to St. Louis in 1984, to take a job as a researcher at the former Petrolite Corp. in Webster Groves.
But he wanted to work for himself and not for others. He strived hard to buy the loss making J Chemir company. Atlast he bought it and took it out of loss and now has similar 6 other companies which were making loss and now are making huge profits.
He says “I am not in th Business, I am on the Business.”
Thanedar said his late mother, Sulochana Thanedar, was his greatest inspiration and pushed him to use education as a means to escape the brutal life of poverty. “She taught me how to deal with problems.” Thanedar said he considered coming to the United States as the biggest opportunity he ever got to better his life. He wasn’t quite sure how he would achieve that goal, but he said he had big dreams and was determined to start his own business. “Because I had suffered so much (in India), I always said to myself that one day I will be very successful.” The opportunity for Thanedar arose in 1990 when Clara Craver, a scientist and founder of what was then known as Chemir/Polytech Laboratories Inc., offered to sell him the company for $75,000. He financed the acquisition by taking a loan from a local bank. Since 1990, Chemir has grown tremendously, mainly by acquisitions that Thanedar engineered. The company’s latest purchase was 2004 when the company bought PRA Laboratories of Ypsilanti, Mich., which provided research and development services to the paints and coatings industry. Bill Chionio, president of Business Owners International, a local business consulting organization, said one of Thanedar’s biggest strengths as an entrepreneur is his ability to learn new things quickly and his willingness to delegate authority to his managers. “I consider him one of the finest business people I’ve ever met, but he has always remained humble. When one has money, when one has power, they have a way of inflating their egos. Shri has never done that.” Thanedar lives in Ladue with his sons, Neil and Samir, and his wife, Shashi.