Ravi Desai briefly owned of a string of small shops in the Weatherfield area. He bought the Corner Shop from Fred Elliott in February 1999 and began running it shortly after along with his daughter Nita and son Vikram. However, Nita later packed in her job and began working at supermarket Freshco.
In June 1999, Ravi disapproved of Vik dating Leanne Tilsley, aware that she was married to Nick Tilsley, although estranged. He attempted to put her off Vik by saying that he had many girlfriends. Ironically, Alma Baldwin, who was married to Mike Baldwin at the time, agreed to go on a date with Ravi a month later. However, unlike Ravi, Alma didn't want more than a friendship. Despite this, they began a short-lived relationship. Ravi was insulted when Mike called him a "randy old goat" and told that Alma was just after a meal ticket.
Ravi left Weatherfield to visit his family in India after his brother Raj died in October 1999. He left Vik to look after the shop by himself and Nita also took holiday from Freshco to help run the shop. Shortly after, Ravi sold the shop to his nephew Dev Alahan because he needed the money to help out the family. This annoyed Vik and Nita who refused to work with Dev. They didn't see the fact that Ravi had left them his house as any consolation.
In June 2019, Dev received news that Ravi, still living in India, was terminally ill. In light of this, Dev decided to travel to India and spend precious time with Ravi.
- The character was introduced as part of the first Asian family in Coronation Street.
- The character was written out of the soap after appearing on the soap for only 7 months. Shortly before, actor Saeed Jaffrey was arrested for being drunk on a train, but the producers denied that this had anything to do with their decision. The character's departure linked in with the arrival of Dev Alahan.