Introducing Pre-Independence India's most prominent businessman, beyond Jamsetji Tata, Mahindra, and Lovji Wadia
Born on October 19, 1888, Govindram Seksaria was one of the most successful businessman of pre-independence India. According to reports, Govindram Seskaria, who was also known as the Cotton King of India, was the biggest businessman of his time. Seskaria was born in Rajasthan’s Nawalgarh, in a marwari family. He lost both his parents at the age of 16. After the death of his parents, Seskaria, took responsibility of his wife, brothers Bholaram, Ramnath, Makhanlal & two sisters.
In early 1900s, Seskaria came to Mumbai (which was then known as Bombay). Since India was under British rule, all the major businesses in the country was owned or managed by Britishers. It was very tough for Indian companies and businessmen to operate in those circumstances. Govindram Seksaria first worked as an operator on the Bombay Cotton Exchange and soon became a member of the Cotton Contract Board. He later became the member of the East India Cotton Association and became a hugely popular name in the cotton market.
After tasting in the cotton market, Seksaria expanded his horizon and entered into bullion and other commodity markets. He was one of the founding members of the Indian Stock Exchange.
In 1934, Seksaria decided to expand his business outside India and became a member of the New York Cotton Exchange. He was also a member of the Liverpool Cotton Exchange. Seksaria turned industrialist in 1937 by establishing Govindram Brothers Pvt. Ltd. He started a vegetable oil business and then took to sugar, textile, minerals, mining, banking, printing and motion pictures. Govindram Seksaria died in 1946. Seskaria was a big philanthropist too and he established many schools and colleges.