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Framroze Edulji Dinshaw

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Framroze Edulji Dinshaw was the second son of the Karachi landowner and philanthropist Seth Edulji Dinshaw, and was one of prepartition India's most prominent businessmen and lawyers. He died in January 1936.


FE Dinshaw took over and expanded upon his father's landholdings in Mumbai. The FE Dinshaw Estate was, in 2002, the largest private landowner in Mumbai, with a total holding of 2,200 acres.[1] It is today administered by industrialist Nusli Wadia[2]


FE Dinshaw played a key role in the foundation of the Indian cement business, pioneering a merger between ten companies owned by Tata, Khatau, Killick Nixon and Dinshaw, so as to form Associated Cement Companies Limited.[3]

He was closely associated with the Tata Group, being described by J. R. D. Tata as "the most brilliant man" he had ever met.[4] He lent huge sums of money to the Tata Group during the 1920s which, over the years, were converted into equity.[5] By 1936, the year of his death, he owned some 12.5% of the group. Upon his death in January that year, this stake was sold by his heirs and trustees to Shapoorji Pallonji Mistry, a construction magnate who had overseen the building of FE Dinshaw's residence in Pune, which was designed by the architect George Wittet. The shareholding is now owned by billionaire Pallonji Mistry.[6] FE Dinshaw's residence in Pune is now the Tata Management Training Centre.[7]


FE Dinshaw floated F.E. Dinshaw & Co, a financial company, and was one of Bombay's top financiers.[8] He was the financial advisor to the Fifth Maharaja of Gwalior, Madho Rao Scindia, who built the Samudra Mahal palace at Worli in order to accommodate frequent trips to Bombay to see him. In the cotton industry alone, FE Dinshaw had 30 directorships in the 1920s.[9]


FE Dinshaw played a key role in the development of the Bombay Talkies, the most modern film studio in India in the 1930s. It was his summer mansion in suburban Mumbai which was the first venue for the studios, and he contributed capital to the project.[10]

Memorial Library[edit]

In 1967, the Indian Merchants' Chamber set up the FE Dinshaw Commercial & Financial Reference Library in order to commemorate his contribution to Indian industry.[11] The library is located at 78, Veer Nariman Road, behind Churchgate Station in Mumbai. It is funded by the FE Dinshaw Memorial Trust, and has recently re-organized on modern lines, introducing computerisation to help users find required information with speed and accuracy.


He had one son, Edulji F. Dinshaw, and two daughters, Bachoobai and Markie (who died at a young age). Edulji and Bachoo settled at 1080 Fifth Avenue in New York in the 1940s. Edulji and Bachoo died in 1970 and 2003 respectively, without children.


  1. Nauzer Bharucha, Private Landowners hold 10% of city, Times of India, 3 September 2002
  2. Nauzer Bharucha, Big landowners benefited from colonial largesse, Times of India, 7 September 2002
  3. http://www.acclimited.com/newsite/heritage.asp
  4. Jehangir Pocha, Tata Sons: Passing the Baton, Forbes India Magazine, 12 December 2011
  5. Jehangir Pocha, Tata Sons: Passing the Baton, Forbes India Magazine, 12 December 2011
  6. http://www.moneycontrol.com/news/management/pallonji-mistry-phantombombay-house_165234.html
  7. http://www.tata.com/careers/articles/inside.aspx?artid=DEz4C0o7bwo=
  8. Natsuko Kitani The Network of Entrepreneurs in Bombay in the 1920s, 2011, p59
  9. Natsuko Kitani The Network of Entrepreneurs in Bombay in the 1920s, 2011, p66
  10. http://www.essortment.com/bombay-talkies-her-forgotten-heroes-20339.html
  11. http://www.imcnet.org/services_library_facilities.asp

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