Ahmed Dawood: The Notable Pakistani Industrialist of Sindh

Ahmed Dawood (1899 – 2 January 2002) was a notable Pakistani industrialist, pioneer merchant and a philanthropist. He was the founder and eponym of the Dawood Group (Dawood Group of companies is named after him).

Early life and career

Born in the area of Bantva, Kathiawar peninsula in Saurashtra (region), Gujarat, British India, to a Memon family, Ahmed Dawood got introduced to business basics at an early age through working at his grandfather’s shop of cotton yarn and various utilities. In the year of 1920, he developed his own shop in Bombay and succeeded in establishing a trading house there that dealt in commodities, textiles, jute and yarn. He shifted and fled to Karachi city, Pakistan in 1947 and started a number of industrial projects in East and West Pakistan upon the appeal and encouragement of Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the founder of then new state of Pakistan in 1947. Dawood Group’s Karnaphuli Paper Mills used to meet the newsprint requirements of Pakistan before separation of East Pakistan in the year of 1971. Ahmed Dawood and Dawood Group of companies had played a key role in industrializing of Sindh province of Pakistan.

Business setbacks of Ahmed Dawood

  • First major setback was the partition of British India in the year of 1947, when he lost his established businesses in Bantva, Calcutta, Madras and Bombay because he chose to migrate to Pakistan and leave those businesses behind.
  • Separation of former East Pakistan into the new state of Bangladesh in the year of 1971 and the subsequent loss of businesses there by Ahmed Dawood and his Dawood Group of companies.
  • Massive nationalization in the year of 1972 during Zulfikar Ali Bhutto regime in Pakistan and the subsequent losses in life insurance and petroleum businesses.

Dawood Group of Companies

  • Dawood Cotton Mills established in 1952 at Landhi Industrial Area in Karachi city, Pakistan.
  • Burewala Textile Mills (former old name), now termed as Dawood Lawrencepur Limited at Burewala, Vehari District, Punjab, Pakistan.
  • Dawood Hercules Corporation Limited, established in 1968 at Sheikhupura, Punjab.
  • Engro Foods
  • Hub Power Company at Lasbela, Balochistan.

Death

Ahmed Dawood passed away on the day of 2 January 2002 at age of 103 years after a protracted illness in Karachi. Among his survivors are two sons Hussain Dawood and Aziz Dawood, who, along with his nephew Abdul Razak Dawood, attended his funeral in Karachi.

Legacy

  • Dawood College of Engineering and Technology established in Karachi, Pakistan in the year of 1962 by The Dawood Foundation.
  • The Dawood Foundation (established in 1961 with initial capital of Rupees 25 million).
 

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