Padmabhushan (Late) Pujya Shree Karamshibhai Jethabhai Somaiya (May 16, 1902 - May 9, 1999)

“Whatever you do in word or in deed, do all the Name of Lord, Giving Thanks to Him.”

It's no small achievement to distinguish oneself in such diverse fields as commerce, education, and philanthropy. Pujya Shriman Karamshibhai Jethabhai Somaiya, born on May 16 1902 in the remote village of Malunjar in Ahmednagar district of Maharashtra, India, was however, a blessed person by dint of hard work and singular devotion to service.

Born to humble beginnings, he rose to become one of the doyens of the industry in Western India. The young Karamshi, after completing school at the New High School in Mumbai (now the Bharda School) went back to his hometown in Ahmednagar embarking on a career of tireless work marked by singular devotion to whatever he did.

Young Karamshibhai Somaiya began his career by engaging in his father's small grocery business and then went on to become a partner in a leading sugar trading firm in the area while continuing to nurture his dream of contributing to the creation of a resurgent India – a vision painted by Mahatma Gandhi and Swami Vivekananda.

In the 1939 Shri K.J. Somaiya launched two sugar factories in Sakarwadi and Lakshmiwadi. He soon came to be known as the Sugar King of India. At the age of 60 he relinquished the leadership of his economic enterprise to his son Dr. Shantilal Somaiya, and fully immersed himself in social service. No sketch of Shri K. J. Somaiya can be complete without mentioning his philanthropy. More information on K. J. Somaiya available at Outreach section of Somaiya Group website.

Shri K.J. Somaiya was warm and endearing. Stately in appearance, immaculately dressed, generally in spotless white hand spun khadi, he exuded a picture of resourcefulness and restraint. He was compassionate and reached out to those in suffering. In all he did, Karamshibhai brought a sense of love and humanism, qualities imbibed in his early youth from the teachings of Mahatma Gandhi. He believed in the ancient Sanskrit saying (Namanushit Parodharmah). "There is no religion greater than Humanity". Karamshibhai's life exemplified this lofty principle through practice.

Shri Karamshibhai Somaiya passed away on May 9, 1999, a week before his 97th birthday. Somaiya Vidyavihar is the living legacy he has left behind, a standing monument to his sagacity, perseverance and foresight.

Dr. Shantilal K. Somaiya

“Whatever you do in word or in deed, do all the Name of Lord, Giving Thanks to Him.”

Dr. Shantilal K. Somaiya, B. Sc, LL. B, (D.Sc. honoris causa) (born in 1927) is Promoter and Director of various companies having business and manufacturing interest in Sugar, Industrial, Alcohol, Organic Chemicals, Salt, Printing and Publications, Agriculture, Bulk Drugs, etc. As a leading Industrialist and Businessman he has been a member of many prominent committees and apex bodies in India.

Dr. Shantilal K. Somaiya was the chairman of the K. J Somaiya Trust that has sponsored the Educational Society “Somaiya Vidyavihar”. It has established various institutions of higher learning under its banner and has developed a unique and vibrant educational campus. He participated in many international and national events.

  • World Blind Union General Assembly held at Melbourne, Australia in November 2000 as an Observer.
  • World Blind Union General Assembly held at Cape Town, South Africa, in December 2004.
  • Millennium World Peace Summit of Religious and Spiritual Leaders, held in August-September 2000 At United Nations, New York.
  • Kazakhstan Congress as the Leader of Hindu Delegation.

Dr. S. K. Somaiya left behind a wonderful vision of an integrated development in medicine, business, education, religion, and philosophy. One that engages rather than divides, and encompasses all, reflecting the true spirit of our heritage and tradition.

As a leading Industrialist & Businessman, he received various awards including prestigious 'Luminosa' & 'Sanskrit Mitra' titles. He strongly upheld the peaceful co-existence of religions and traveled extensively across the globe to spread the message of Indian Culture & Philosophy & also made remarkable contribution to Education & upliftment of 'Adivasis'.