Premchand Roychand

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Premchand Roychand
Born March 1831 (1831-03)
Surat
Died March 1906 (aged 74–75)
Nationality Indian
Occupation Stockbroker and businessman

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

Born in 1831 he was the son of Roychand Dipchand, a merchant from Surat. The Roychand family moved to Bombay when Premchand was a young boy. 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', the original name for the Bombay Stock Exchange.[1] He earned significant profits from the cotton boom which was triggered by the start of the American Civil War in April 1861.[1][2]

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.[1] 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.[1][3]

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