- Sardar Vallabhabhai Patel, India’s first Home Minister
“Walchand Hirachand was a dreamer, a visionary, a great builder and a great leader of industry. Above all, he was a patriot, and in his own way, he was an inspiring leader of our struggle for freedom. I salute his memory. When we celebrate the life of an entrepreneur like Walchand Hirachand, we must draw the correct lessons from his life. The lesson I draw is that the ultimate spur to growth and development is individual creativity and enterprise”.
- Dr.Manmohan Singh, Prime Minister of India (2004 – 2014)
About our Founder, Visionary Industrialist and Patriot
Seth Walchand Hirachand was one of the renowned industrialists of pre-independence India. He carved out his name in the industrial world on the basis of his qualities like thinking out of the box, following up on the idea and acting on it without delay and with faith in his own capability. With the belief that India has the potential to become a world leader one day, he strived to make India self sufficient through various industrial and business ventures all his life. He was renowned for practicing appropriate management principles, impeccable planning, unparalleled human resource empowerment and rigorous project management.
Seth Walchand promoted and established business ventures in core sectors like Automobile, Civil Engineering, Aircraft manufacturing, Ship building, Maritime Shipping, Hume Pipes, Construction of dams, bridges and tunnels and Organized farming.
Pioneer in Aircraft manufacturing: Founder Hindustan Aircraft Limited
He founded “Hindustan Aircraft Limited” which manufactured planes like Harlow Trainer, Glider, Hawk-P36, Horlow-PC5 etc. Later it was nationalized by Government of India.
Pioneer in Maritime Shipping: Founder Scindia Steam Navigation Company
On 5th April 1919 the ship “SS Loyalty” sailed on its maiden voyage, a crucial step when sea routes were controlled by the British. 5th April is now celebrated as “National Maritime Day” in India.
Pioneer in Shipbuilding Industry: Founder Hindustan Shipyard, Vizag
Seth Walchand recognized the need of country’s infrastructure for ship building and established a shipyard in. Vishakhapatnam in 1948. The company’s 1st ship “Jal-Usha” was commissioned by India’s first Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru. Later on the shipyard was nationalized by Government of India.
Pioneer in Organized Farming
He successfully transformed the barren, rock-strewn, practically uncultivated land near Kalamb village into lush green sugar cane fields and organized sugar cane farming. This led to the foundation of Walchandnagar Industries Limited in 1934 for a sugar factory to process the sugar cane. The township of Walchandnagar was built around this sugar factory.
Heavy Engineering Project Execution and Manufacturing: Founder, WIL
Since 1934 WIL has grown and diversified into a high-tech heavy engineering project execution and manufacturing company across various sectors.