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Sir Shriram

(1884-1963)

Sir Shriram was an eminent and public-spirited philanthropist, an outstanding industrialist and one of the trend-setting visionary leaders of the Indian business community. He possessed the rare business perceptions and uncommon entrepreneurial acumen for setting up industries.
One among the first generation of Indian businessmen under whose leadership the DCM, the erstwhile Delhi Cloth & General Mill and North India’s first textile mill grew, diversified and achieved national prominence. Beginning as a humble worker in Delhi Cloth Mills at a young age, he not only turned it around in a matter of years but also went on to set up one of India's largest business houses - the DCM Group.
Born into a family of modest means, Lala Shri Ram, in the 79 years of his life, built an industrial empire manufacturing a vast variety of goods like - textiles, sugar, chemicals, vanaspati, pottery, fans, sewing machines, electric motors and capacitors. In a society as stratified as the Indian society, he has the unusual gift of looking at the process of industrialization through the workers eyes. He was not only a successful industrialist but a great educationist as well.

Late Sri Ram was an advocate of education. As early as 1921, Lala Shri Ram demanded free and compulsory education for all. During his life, Lala Shri Ram’s main emphasis was on vocational, technical and women’s education. In 1920, he had decided to conduct first experiment in vocation-oriented education by founding the Commercial Education Trust. Over the next 40 years the trust set up no less than seven schools including Shri Ram College of Commerce (SRCC) and the Lady Shri Ram College (LSR), both in Delhi. Both the colleges are recognised as one of the best academic institutes of the country.

Lala Shri Ram took up the responsibility of patronizing the classical artistes with full dedication and commitment. He would often play host to many of the leading artistes of that era such as Pt. Uday Shankar, Ustad Ali Akbar Khan, Ustad Alauddin Khan, Pt. Ravi Shankar. Gradually his passion for the music, art and culture grew and encouraged his daughters-in-law to set up some of the leading institutes of the country namely Shriram Bhartiya Kala Kendra in 1952 and Shri Ram Centre for Performing Arts in 1958, both in New Delhi. The British Government in recognition of his contribution to the society bestowed on Lala Shri Ram the prestigious knighthood in 1941. In was an honour that made him Sir Shri Ram.
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