Surat, Gujarat, India
|Died||March 1906 (aged 74–75)|
|Occupation||Stockbroker and businessman|
|Notable work||Donor of Rajabai Clock Tower|
Premchand Raichand was born in 1832 as Porwal, a Jain community. He was the son of Roychand Dipchand, a merchant from Surat. He was born in the Dasa caste. 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. 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.
He lost the majority of his fortune in the Backbay reclamation scheme, and other such ventures. 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. He was director of the Bank of Bombay, the largest in the Bombay Presidency. 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.
Premchand Roychand Scholarship award was started in 1886 by Premchand Roychand, by the contribution of the prize money by millionaire of the society. It is very old and prestigious scholarship award. Each year this competition and award is organized by University of Calcutta.
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