ramkrishnaPersonal Profile

Born on 7 April 1893, RamKrishna Dalmia was a pioneer industrialist and founder of the Dalmia-Jain Group. He was born in a small village of Chirawa in Jhunjhunu district of Rajasthan. His father died when he was only 18 years old, leaving behind no property. Ramkrishna had to support his mother, grandmother, wife and his younger brother Jaidayal Dalmia.

His Beginning

His maternal uncle, Motilal Jhunjhunwala, gave him a job in his bullion business, which enabled him to earn just enough to support his whole family. He started speculating on silver and followed the advice of an astrologer. By luck he quickly made one lakh rupees. This was the beginning of what would soon become India’s third-largest business empire.

He started his business with a sugar factory Dalmianagar in the state of Bihar and after that he went on to set up many industries with the assistance of his younger brother. He built several sugar mills, and went on to acquire Bennett and Coleman, (the Times of India group).

His Contribution in Indian Independence

In the years leading up to Indian independence, Dalmia supported both Gandhi and Jinnah. Gandhi’s Civil Disobedience movement, started in 1930 with the salt Satyagraha, was, in fact, financed almost entirely by him.

At the time of India’s independence, he was among the wealthiest and most powerful men in India, with good contacts with most political leaders. At one point his name was being considered for India’s finance minister. However, in December 1956 the firebrand socialist Feroze Gandhi exposed in parliament how Dalmia, as chairman of a publicly traded bank and an insurance company, had illegally transferred nearly a crore rupees to his mill in order to fund the Bennett and Coleman acquisition. In 1956 he was sentenced to two years in jail.

However, Ram Kishan was a colorful character, and he appears to have bribed a doctor and spent the time at hospital, returning soon to his newly married sixth wife.