Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Wednesday led a galaxy of political and corporate leaders mourning the death of veteran industrialist Bharat Ram, whose acumen and philanthropy are behind a host of well-known businesses and educational institutions.
Singh joined Bharat Ram’s family members at the funeral held at the Lodhi Road crematorium. The Delhi-based industrialist, aged 93, died on Tuesday after a prolonged illness, months after the demise of his brother Charat Ram, with whom he helped expand an industrial empire founded by their father, Lala Shri Ram.
UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and her son and MP Rahul Gandhi also attended the funeral of Ram, one of the founder members of the CII. In a letter to his son Vinay Bharat Ram, Singh said, “ I was deeply saddened to hear about the demise of your father, Bharat Ram. I had known him for decades and cherish the moments I have spent in his company.”
Besides his association with companies such as SRF Ltd and other entities of the DCM Group, he was very closely involved with prestigious organisations like Ganga Ram Hospital, Shriram College of Commerce, Lady Shriram College, the Delhi Golf Club and the Shri Ram Centre that forms the hub of Delhi’s theatre culture.
The Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry's (FICCI) president Habil Khorakiwala described Bharat Ram as “an entrepreneur with rare foresight and vision and one who constantly raised his voice against the fetters that throttled Indian industry during the licence-quota raj.”
Bharat Ram was considered a visionary and far ahead of his times. At a time when labour and management were poles apart, he encouraged labour participation in management and had an elected worker on the DCM board.
“He was known for his straight forwardness, crisp and clear understanding of business and economic issues and fought with courage and dignity the evils of closed economy,” said Assocham president Venugopal Dhoot, while CII director-general Gen S S Mehta said lauded his “business acumen and simplicity of lifestyle.”