Padmashri Lalchand Hirachand (1904 - 1993)
Seth Lalchand Hirachand was a noted industrialist and philanthropist. His interest and involvement covered a diverse swath of industries, including automobiles, construction, engineering, sugar, etc.
He held the Chairman’s position at Walchant Group of Industries, Premier Auomobiles Ltd., The Premier Construction Co. Ltd., Walchandnagar Industries Ltd, Ravalgaon Sugar Farm Ltd., The Hindustan Construction Co. Ltd. and Hindustan Hume Pipe Co. Ltd. He was also Director of Hindustan Aircraft Ltd., Scindia Steam Navigation Co. Ltd., Oriental Insurance Co. Ltd. and Mysore Petrochemicals Ltd.
In addition, Seth Lalchand Hirachand was the Founder President of Deccan Sugar Technologists Association, the Association of Indian Automobiles Manufacturers, the Automotive Research Association of India, the Indian Sugar Mills Association and the Deccan Sugar Factories Association.
Moreover, he had held the President’s chair at the Indian Merchants Chamber, the Maharashtra Chamber of Commerce, the Maharashtra Economid Development Council, the Bombay Management Association, the M. Vishweshwaraya Industrial Research and Development Centre and the National Institute of Motivational and Institutional Development. He was also the President of Institute of Engineers, Pune.
A tireless campaigner for industrial progress, he was also a member of the Development Council for Machine Tools Industry and of the Import Advisory Council of the Government of India.
Aware that legislative reforms are a vital ingredient for the evolution of Indian industries, he also became a Member of the Rajya Sabha from 1952 to 1958, as well as a Member of the Bombay Legislative Council, to which he was elected in 1939.
Despite his passionate dedication to Indian industrial development, he was also a sports aficionado and held memberships in the Cricket Club of India, the Willingdon Sports Club and various similar institutions. In addition, he was an avid golfer (he was awarded the Dunlop Trophy) and had a fondness for tennis, badminton and bridge, as well. To add to his long list of personal accomplishments, he even obtained a commercial pilot’s license.
Seth Lalchand Hirachand also took social responsibility and cultural roots very seriously, and was President of All India Digamber Jain Tirthakshetra Committee from 1972 to 1983, apart from being actively connected to a number of charitable institutions. Finally, he even took time out to author an acclaimed book on the Indian epic ‘Ramayana’. He passed away in October, 1993.