Early Life and Education of Dr. Keki Hormusji Gharda
Dr. Keki Hormusji Gharda was born on September 25, 1929. He is an alumnus of St. Stanislaus High School in Bandra, Mumbai. He acquired his Bachelor of Science degree from University Department of Chemical Technology (UDCT), presently the Institute of Chemical Technology under the University of Bombay. He then obtained a Masters degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Michigan in the United States. Following the defence of a Doctoral Thesis, he received a PhD (Doctor of Philosophy) in Chemical Engineering from the University of Michigan.
Career of Dr. Keki Hormusji Gharda
Dr. Keki Hormusji Gharda started his career as an Assistant Professor, Process Design & Chemical Engineering at the University of Oklahoma in Oklahoma, United States. During this time he was granted his first 2 patents for projects he executed for an oil company. Upon his return to India, Dr. Gharda briefly taught as a visiting faculty at UDCT, following which he established Gharda Chemicals Limited in the year 1965, a R&D company manufacturing and dealing in agrochemicals, polymers and actively pursuing an entry into the market of high performance pigments, of which he is the Chairman and Managing Director. He started the company in a small rented shed with a drum as a table and a carboy as a chair. Over the next 4 decades, Gharda Chemicals repeatedly perplexed multinationals like Sandoz, Bayer and Hoechst, by making their products at a fraction of the cost through technological and innovative prowess. The company made them so cheap that often the original manufacturer was eventually forced to buy from Gharda Chemicals and supply to the world. In the process, the company recorded many firsts in dyestuffs, pesticides, veterinary drugs and polymers, which have fetched dozens of awards from the government and the industry. Today, it is one of the largest agrochemical companies in India, with manufacturing units in Dombivli, Lote Parshuram, Chiplun in Maharashtra, Panoli and Ankleshwar in Gujarat and Samba in Jammu. Dr. Gharda’s foray into agrochemicals was a result of a monopolistic product that was a subject matter of the Monopolies and Restrictive Trade Practices Commission, where he was invited as an observer.
A strong and vibrant R&D programme and expertise in process development has enabled Gharda Chemicals to capitalize on superior technology. This has led to the production of vital import-substitute products and cost effective agrochemicals on a large scale that have been immensely successful in the market, consequently bringing the company a strong and competitive national and international presence. Gharda Chemicals rose from a small unit to one of the most successful and reputed companies in the Agrochemical Industry. Dr. Keki Gharda’s maxim and goal is "Knowledge converted through products to Wealth for the benefit of Society."
Dr. Gharda is still the Chief Scientist at his company with a 200-strong research team with 15 doctorate degree holders. The company continues to work on new products and technologies. One such technology in the works has the potential to replace huge blast furnaces in iron and steel making, by burning the lower grade Indian coals in a reactor, and thereby replacing high grade coal imports.
Dr. Gharda is also known for his philanthropic activities. He has promoted Gharda Scientific Research Foundation, a Section 25 company dedicated to develop and research basic technologies. The earnings of this foundation will be used to promote more technologies and will also contribute to the welfare and upliftment of the society in the Health and Education arenas.
Awards and Recognitions received by Dr. Keki Hormusji Gharda
Dr. Keki Hormusji Gharda was elected as a Fellow of the Indian Academy of Sciences in the year 1976, in the field of Process Design. He has also been bestowed the following awards and honours.
Personal Life of Dr. Keki Hormusji Gharda
Dr. Keki Hormusji Gharda is married to Abaan, a graduate from St. Xavier's College and a PhD from the University of Mumbai. He is an avid reader and has promoted Bai Ratnabai Gharda Library in Bandra.
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