Seth Walchand Hirachand (1882-1953)
One of the renowned industrialist of pre-independence India, who promoted and established various business ventures in various sectors.
Pioneer in Aircraft Manufacturing-Founder Hindustan Aircraft Company
Founded “Hindustan Aircraft Company”.Manufactured planes like “Harlow Trainer”, “Glider”, “Hawk-P36”, “Horlow-PC5”.Later on it was Nationalized by Govt. 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 celebrated as “National Maritime Day”.
Pioneer for Shipbuilding Industry-Founder Hindustan Shipyard Vizag
Seth Walchand recognizing the need of the country of infrastructure for ship building, established a shipyard in Vishakhapattam in 1948. Company’s 1st ship “Jal-Usha” was commissioned by Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru. Later on the shipyard was Nationalized by Govt. of India.
Pioneer in Organized Farming
Successfully transformed the barren, rock-strewn,practically uncultivated land into lush green sugar cane fields near Kalamb village and organized sugar cane farming. This led to the foundation of Walchandnagar Industries Ltd in 1934 with a sugar factory to process sugar cane.The township of WALCHANDNAGAR was built around this sugar factory.
Walchandnagar Industries Ltd
WIL has grown and diversified into a High-tech Heavy Engineering Company,manufacturing Critical Equipment for India’s diverse requirements in the field of Defence, Nuclear Power and Space Programmes, and also for core sectors like Cement Plant Machinery, Steam Generation and Power Projects, Sugar Plant Machinery, Industrial and Marine Gearboxes.
Established many new ventures in various core sectors like, Automobile, Civil Engineering, Construction of Dams, Bridges, Barrages, and Tunnels, Hume Pipes.
“The patriotic industrialist whose life was truimph of persistence over adversity” – Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel
“Walchand Hirachand was a dreamer, a visionary, a great builder, 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.