Khwaja Abdul Hamied

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Dr. Khwaja Abdul Hamied (31 October 1898 – 1972). He was an Indian nationalist and anti-imperialist scientist who founded Cipla, India's oldest pharmaceutical company in 1935. His son, Yusuf Hamied headed the company after him for the next 52 years.[1]

Early life and background[edit]

Hamied was born in Aligarh, Uttar Pradesh, to Khwaja Abdul Ali and Masood Jahan Begum.[2] He graduated from Allahabad University in Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh and held M.A. and PhD degrees from the Humboldt University of Berlin in Germany. He was a disciple of M.K. Gandhi and former founder professor along with Zakir Husain of the Jamia Milia Islamia in Aligarh, now based in Delhi.


Hamied followed Mahatma Gandhi's Indian nationalism. Hamied's family raised money to send him to study chemistry in England, India's colonial master, in 1924. Instead, he changed ships and went to Germany, then the world's leader in chemicals. On a Berlin lake, he met a Lithuanian Jewish socialist, whom he married. They fled as the Nazis rose to power in Germany.

Chemical, Industrial and Pharmaceutical Laboratories (CIPLA) was founded in 1935 with an initial capital of Rs. 2 lakhs. The company commenced production in 1937 making it the oldest pharmaceutical company in India.[1] His eldest son Yusuf Hamied, who did study chemistry in England, is now Chairman of Cipla. Yusuf still refers to his chemistry notebooks from Cambridge.[3][4]

Apart from conceiving the idea of establishing a National Chemical Laboratory and making it a reality, Dr Khwaja Hamied floated the idea and conceptualized the establishment of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) as an umbrella organization to run a clutch of laboratories. He remained a Member of the Governing Body of the CSIR right from its inception till the very last [5]

During the last four decades of his life, he played an important role in raising the pharmaceutical and chemical industry standards in India to an extraordinarily high level through founding the firm Cipla.

Dr. Hamied was an honorary professor and a member of the executive council of the Aligarh Muslim University, member of the Senate of Bombay University and a fellow of the Royal Institute of Chemistry, UK. He was also a member of the Bombay Legislative Council from 1937–1962, refusing the offer of becoming a Muslim Minister in the cabinet in Bombay. Hamied also served as Sheriff of Bombay.

Dr Khwaja Abdul Hamied died in 1972 after a brief illness.[6]


  1. ^ a b "Grand old man of Cipla Yusuf K Hamied hangs his boots". Economic Times. Feb 7, 2013. Retrieved 2013-11-08.
  2. ^ Hamied, Khwaja Abdul (1972). K. A. Hamied: An Autobiography; a Life to Remember. Lalvani Publishing House.
  3. ^ Selling Cheap 'Generic' Drugs, India's Copycats Irk Industry, By DONALD G. McNEIL Jr, Published: 1 December 2000
  4. ^ New List of Safe AIDS Drugs, Despite Industry Lobby By DONALD G. McNEIL Jr, 21 March 2002
  5. ^ "Khwaja Abdul Hamied". Retrieved 6 October 2014.
  6. ^ "The Hamieds of Cipla" (PDF). Retrieved 6 October 2014.

Khwaja Abdul Hamied : Father of indigenous modern pharmaceutical industry of India [1]