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History - Founders

The founding fathers of G. E. Shipping were great visionaries who excelled against all odds and laid the foundation of The Great Eastern Shipping Co. Ltd. The Company was promoted by the Muliji (Sheth) brothers and Bhiwandiwalla family.

Jagjivan Ujamshi Mulji

Jagjivan Ujamshi Mulji was a businessman by instinct, a nationalist by thinking and a humanist by tradition. Initially in the textile business, he went on to start a sugar-trading firm in partnership with the Bhiwandiwallas. Popularly known as ‘the Sugar Bapa’, he fathered the culture of fair-price shops for an efficient distribution network of sugar in the country. It was in the sugar importing business that he acquired considerable expertise in the business of chartering ships, which eventually helped him in laying the foundation of the company.

Maneklal Ujamshi Mulji

Maneklal Ujamshi Mulji worked with his brother Jagjiwan in both the textile business and later in the sugar business. He was a man known for his organizing capability, which helped the brothers to design and establish an efficient model for the distribution of sugar in India. He supported and helped Jagjiwan in establishing Great Eastern.

Vasant J. Sheth

Vasant J. Sheth, a visionary of exceptional abilities and a pioneer of the Indian shipping industry, built Great Eastern Shipping into the largest shipping enterprise in the private sector. He was the first to respond to the demands of the oil industry that led Great Eastern into the offshore services business, which has gone on to become GOL Offshore now. Besides leading and guiding Great Eastern Shipping, Vasant was also a founder member of the National Shipping Board and the youngest President of the Indian National Shipowners’ Association. He was also keenly associated with maritime education, training and research in India.

Sudhir J. Mulji

Sudhir J. Mulji, grandson of Jagjivan Mulji and nephew of Vasant Sheth, was educated at Charterhouse and at Christchurch, Oxford. He was the first member of the family to study abroad. A brilliant Keynesian economist, Sudhir formed Great Eastern - London to provide a way in which Great Eastern could participate in the international markets without the constraints of Indian government controls and tight regulation. He was always and champion of liberalization and free-market policies in India. Sudhir was appointed chairman of the Indian State Trading Corporation (STC), a position which he took on with considerable energy before returning to Great Eastern. Sudhir was vocal in his firm belief that the Offshore Division of Great Eastern should be demerged into a separate company. A fellow of Nuffield College, Oxford, Sudhir was much more than a businessman and had several interests including economic policy, journalism and academic studies.

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