Eminent industrialist and successful entrepreneur, Shri Hiranand was born on 4th October, 1923 in the town of Digri (Sind) to the parents, Shri Ratanchand and Smt. Sitabai. After passing matriculation in 1941, he joined his father’s business in Dubai in 1942 at the age of 18. Dubai was then a small sleepy desert port town and he found life very dull and uneventful. Due to the second world war the business became dull and people used to doze their time away. As he had mechanical bent of mind and as that time radio technology was fast evolving, he decided to educate himself of this subject through correspondence course from U.S.A. He worked very hard and learned electronics, telecommunication as well as practical radio repair. People around him scoffed at him but with a positive mind he progressed with firm determination and passed the test.

Before partition his father had started real estate business in Karachi and made some notable gains but the family migrated to Bombay (India) in penury as refugees in 1947. Hiranand approached B.O.A.C. for a job in electronics and telecommunication. His hard studies and gainful knowledge came in handy and he was hired to repair the complicated equipment of aircraft. In one month he so excelled himself that the company put him in charge of qualified graduate technicians to man the communication system at Bahrain Airport. Here he gained considerable experience and self confidence.

Hiranand had vast vision. He opened a shop in Bahrain and called his younger brother, Kishin, to man it. In due course, he resigned his job in B.O.A.C. and plunged fully in business. He obtained agencies of well known European/Japanese companies dealing in radios, cameras, tape recorders, electronic equipments, watches and other appliances. His business spread and he opened branches in Dubai and Kuwait. Soon he started a joint venture, Tokyo clock manufacturing company, to manufacture orient clocks. He boldly took over a sick unit of Bifora Urhen (Watch Co.) in Germany and effectively turned it into success and profitable. To fulfil his long standing dream, he opened a watch factory in Bangalore in the year 1984/85. He had offices in Tokyo, Hong Kong, U.S.A., Germany and throughout middle east. He was awarded “man of the year” in horological industry.

Shri Hiranand by nature was humble, serene, modest and compassionate. He was a philanthropist par excellence and had promoted many social and charitable objectives. He loved his community and was ready to support any worthy cause. In post partition days, he donated handsome amounts so that our institutions should stabilize, grow and have their own platforms and premises for integrity, identity and service. In 1973/74 when Shewa Fund was in dire need of money for the construction of the present building, he came to its rescue and donated large amount to tide over crisis. His philanthropic activity was expansive. He helped financially Dada Sewak to establish International Balkan-Ji-Bari to serve the cause of downtrodden adivasis in order to raise their living standards and provide them modern facilities. His wife, Tarabai, was the trustee. He has donated large pieces of land to Ramakrishna Mission in Tokyo (Japan) and Seatle (U.S.A.) for construction of their Ashrams. He helped many worthy causes but shunned publicity and considered his foremost duty to serve the society. Due to his humility, he never aspired for name or fame. Recently Shri Hiranand and his brother Lalchand combined had donated sum of Rs. 11,00,000/- to Shri Dayanand Vidyalaya High School, Charkop-Kandivli, for construction of one thousand seater auditorium (Public Hall).

Shri Hiranand had travelled worldwide but still remained a staunch teetotaller, vegetarian and non-smoker. His ambition was to open vocational training centres and correspondence courses so that younger generation become more practical in life and be self-supporting, thereby helping community’s growth.

Compiled by Late Shri MULJI GANDHI

Courtesy Sampark – November 1994 to March 1995 Issue