Premchand Roychand

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Premchand Roychand Jain
Premchand Roychand.jpg
BornMarch 1831 (1831-03)
DiedMarch 1906 (aged 74–75)
OccupationStockbroker and businessman
Notable work
Doner of Rajabai Clock Tower

Premchand Roychand was a 19th-century Indian businessman known as the "Cotton King" and "Bullion King" from Bombay.


Born in 1831 he was the son of Roychand Dipchand, a Dasa Jain, a merchant from Surat. The Roychand family moved to Bombay when Premchand was a young boy. He was educated at Elphinstone College. Recorded as the first Indian broker able to speak, read and write English, he entered the lists as a stock broker in 1849. Apart from the capital markets, Premchand Roychand had significant business interests in the cotton and bullion trades along with the stock market. He was a founding member of The Native Share & Stock Brokers Association which is now Bombay Stock Exchange, the second largest stock exchange of India.[1] He earned significant profits from the cotton boom which was triggered by the start of the American Civil War in April 1861 which stayed till 1865.[1][2][3][4]

He lost the majority of his fortune in the Backbay reclamation scheme, and other such ventures.[5] He subsequently earned a portion of it back and turned to philanthropic ventures. The Rajabai Clock Tower in the University of Bombay was named for his mother and was built from a donation of ₹200,000 in 1878.[1][6] He was director of the Bank of Bombay, the largest in the Bombay Presidency.[3] He also invested in other schools, including many for girls such as J.B. Petit High School for Girls; he also established the "Premchand Roychand Award" for outstanding art students with the University of Calcutta. He also donated to the Asiatic Society.[1][7][4]

He died in 1906. His bungalow in Byculla that he named Premodayan became Regina Pacis Convent, an orphanage and school for destitute girls.[8][4]

Further reading[edit]

  • Sharada Dwivedi (2006). Premchand Roychand (1831-1906): His Life and Times. Eminence Designs. ISBN 978-81-903821-1-3.


  1. ^ a b c d Mishra, Ashish K. "Premchand Roychand: Mumbai's original share king". Livemint. Retrieved 27 July 2016.
  2. ^ Kaul, Vivek (4 March 2007). "Mumbai's first realty bust was in 1865 | Latest News & Updates at Daily News & Analysis". DNA India. Retrieved 27 July 2016.
  3. ^ a b Lakshmi Subramanian (15 January 2016). Three Merchants of Bombay: Business Pioneers of the Nineteenth Century. Penguin Books Limited. pp. 122–130. ISBN 978-81-8475-721-7.
  4. ^ a b c "Premchand Roychand and Bombay dreams". The Hindu Business Line. 14 February 2010. Retrieved 18 July 2017.
  5. ^ "An insane interlude in history". Retrieved 18 July 2017.
  6. ^ Rakesh Kumar Bhatt (1 January 1995). History and Development of Libraries in India. Mittal Publications. pp. 39–40. ISBN 978-81-7099-582-1.
  7. ^ Sunavala, Nergish (19 June 2016). "Schools get architects to save a chapter of their own history - Times of India". Times of India. Retrieved 27 July 2016.
  8. ^ "This home stood witness to the hands that built Bombay". The Indian Express. 21 January 2014. Retrieved 18 July 2017.

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