Ram Patil, 47, owner and operator of a grocery store and an import-export business in Bethesda who also was active in Indian cultural affairs here, died Sunday at Washington Hospital Center. He had a heart ailment.

Mr. Patil came to this country in 1961. He taught economics at Morgan State College in Baltimore and was a business consultant in Dover, Del., before coming to this area in 1967.

He then operated a market and curio shop in Prince George's County for about a year before establishing the Ajay International import and export business and International Foods in Bethesda.

Mr. Patil founded the Indian Music Circle in Washington and was an early sponsor of a one-hour area radio program devoted to Indian music. He also founded the Indian cultural association in Baltimore.

He was born in Dhulia, India, and earned an economics degree from the University of Poona. He also earned a master's degree in business administration from Atlanta University.

Survivors include his wife, Vijaya, and two sons, Ajay and Dinesh, all of the home in Fairland, Md.; his mother, Bhagirathibai Patil, of Dahiwel, India, and two brothers and four sisters, all of India.

The family suggests that expressions of sympathy be in the form of contributions to the Washington chapter of the American Heart Association.