Homi Maneck Mehta
Homi Maneck Mehta
Homi Maneck Mehta was born in Mumbai (Bombay) to poor Parsi parents. Through hard work and perseverance he became a millionaire through Textiles, Banking and Insurance. He started working at the age of 17 in the Bombay Mint at a wage of Rs 20 a month (£1.50). He managed to save enough to travel to the UK and there he gained his knowledge of textiles as an operative in the Lancashire Cotton Industry. He also attended engineering classes during his apprenticeship.
In his mid twenties Sir Homi started business life in Mumbai. He slowly attained controlling interests in a number of cotton mills in Mumbai as well as in the State of Baroda. Apart from his own mills in Navsari and Gaekwar, he was managing director of two Indian Insurance Companies and also of chemical and sugar companies. Sir Homi was also involved in banking  and was on the Central Board of the Reserve Bank of India and served on many select committees. Sir Homi also used his experience and expertise in East Africa and was one of many Indian Industrialists investing in the textile industry in Uganda.
Despite being a busy industrialist, Sir Homi Mehta had time for public and philanthropic work. He represented India at the League of Nations in 1933-34  and in 1936 he represented the employers of India at the International Labour Conference in Geneva  He was elected to the Council of State at New Delhi.
In 1941 Sir Homi was invited to the Presidency of the Bombay National Democratic Union which body strongly supported the War effort. In 1945 the media reported that there were not proper amenities for Indian troops and he was invited by the Viceroy Lord Wavell to visit Indian camps in war zones to investigate these allegations.
In 1944 Sir Homi chaired the Bombay War Gift Fund and later after the war the Victory Thanksgiving Fund. He and his committees were responsible for raising £4m in total (quoted in The Times Obituary 17 Apr 1948).
In 1934 The Bombay Hockey Association was established and Sir Homi was the first president.
He was also President of the Bombay Photographic Society 1944-45.
Sir Homi was President of the Bombay Cricket Association for two years between 1946-48. Sir Homi had a Cricket XI that entered the Bombay Festival Tournament of 1946/47. They reached the final drawing with AA Jasdenwala's XI at the Brabourne Stadium. Notable players in Sir Homi's team were two Indian Test Players Dattatraya Gajanan Phadkar (batsman and right arm off break and fast medium bowler) and Khanderao Moreshwar Rangnekar (right arm medium pace bowler).
- Barons of Banking by Bakhtiar Dadabhoy
- 1935 Joint Select Committee
- Indian industrialists in Africa see Page 5
- League of Nations representative in July 1934
- 1936 Sir Homi Mehta, Deputy President, Employers’ Federation of India
- Council of State citation at foot of first column Aug 1942
- Scorecard of the Final Bombay Festival Tournament 1946/47
- London Gazette July 1933
- London Gazette January 1941
- London Gazette June 1946
- Booklet written about the crash by Tony Cassidy