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Pirojsha Godrej

Time Period : 1882 - 1972

Reference: MS06-01-94-8 to 22
Years covered: 1909-1985
Extent & Medium: 16 Files (490 documents; 1323 pages)

If Ardeshir Godrej is known as the 'Founder' of the company, to his youngest brother, Pirojsha Godrej is assigned the sobriquet "The Consolidator of the Godrej Group of Industries." In the year 1906, Pirojsha joined the business at the tender age of 24 soon after graduating from the Victoria Jubilee Technical Institute, Mumbai. His four decade long stint at the helm of affairs saw the company grow roots deep into the Indian middle class milieu. Apart from locks, safes and soaps, during his period manufacture of furniture, cupboards, typewriters and refrigerators found a place in the Godrej product portfolio. The development of the tiny hamlet of Vikhroli (a suburb in Mumbai) into a bustling industrial township is also the result of the foresight of Pirojsha Godrej. The Centenary Collection is largely an outcome of Pirojsha's practice and foresight; for he has even preserved the envelopes in which rare letters and documents were sent to him or to his brothers Ardeshir and Manchersha Godrej as well as his sisters Tehmina and Shirin. The collection also includes correspondence between him and his sons. Over the years, letters have been exchanged at different levels and with different people that throw light on the factory operations in the early years.

 

Genuinely concerned about the squalor of the chawls in which the workers lived, Pirojsha built a modern industrial garden – township which was later dedicated to him and named Pirojshanagar after his death. In his meticulous way, he maintained detailed notes on Vikhroli, which is a part of the collection.

 

Among other things, the Pirojsha Godrej Papers include documents pertaining to his wife, Sunabai Pirojsha Godrej, and her grave at the Mussorie Aramgah; speeches delivered by Directors of the company during the Diwali Sammelan (function) held every year for the workers; his views on the prevailing shortage of steel in the 1950s; newspaper clippings collected by him revealing the socio-political-economic trends in the country, letters written to Pirojsha by well wishers who were recipients of his charity and condolence messages received by the family following the death of Pirojsha Godrej in the year 1972.

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