Sir Adamjee Haji Dawood the Muslim who donate free Yangon Tram Pass for Monks

Tram free ride for monks

Sir Adamjee Haji Dawood
Director, Rangoon Electric Tramways, Rangoon (Burma)

  • Ko Ko Gyi I heard the owner of this electric train was a ?Muslim but donate a free ride for monks in the morning for “Soon Khan Kwya”.
  • Ko Ko Gyi TQ Ko Maung Khin for confirmation of the owner of the Muslim Tram, Sir Adamjee Haji Dawood, Director, Rangoon Electric Tramways, Rangoon (Burma) who donated the free ride for monks.
  • Maung Maung Ko I Think he also owned ” NAT THA MEE ” Match factory
  • Maung Khin Yes sure…in his chronology… 1923 Established a Largest Match Factory in Asia at Rangoon (Burma).
  • Maung Maung Ko During my young age his name was one of the long and difficult to pronounce as written on the small little match boxes..
  • Ko Myo Yes that Bangali Kalar Gyi tried to burn our Golden Land down with his matches! !!!!
  • Ko Ko Gyi And the popular joke at that time was “Oo du thone par khan thee” associated with the brand of his matches.

Sir Adamjee Haji Dawood

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Sir Adamjee Haji Dawood (30 June 1880 – 27 January 1948)[1] was a renowned businessman and philanthropist of his time in undivided British India and later Pakistan.

The Adamjee name has been a prominent and highly reputed name amongst the business circles of the Indian subcontinent throughout the 20th century.

The House of Adamjee was founded in Burma (now Myanmar) by the illustrious Memon, Sir Adamjee Haji Dawood who was born in 1880 in Jetpur town of Gujarat. Whilst still in his teens, he ventured out to Burma and started operating as an independent businessman. The first few years of his career were spent in rice, matches & jute trade. With his keen business sense and financial acumen, he met with early success.

By 1922, he had accumulated sufficient resources and a strong presence in the commodities markets, enabling him to setup his first Industrial venture – a match factory in Rangoon [now Yangon]. In 1927, he returned to India to establish a jute mill in Calcutta.

In 1927, he returned to India to establish a jute mill in Calcutta. The Adamjee Jute Mills Ltd. was the third jute mill to be setup by an Indian and the first Muslim public company. To capture this emerging niche, Adamjee along with Mr. G.D. Birla of Birla Jute, broke into this monopolistic trade controlled by the East India company.[2]

The founding father of the Adamjee industrial group was not just a businessman, but also an avid educationist and philanthropist. Education of the youth, was a subject very close to his heart, thus he was responsible for financing and helping a number of educational institutions. In addition to that, he also established numerous educational institutions from his own resources.

In recognition for his services to his countrymen, the British government knighted him in 1938.

By the 1940s, Sir Adamjee, as he was then called, had become a prominent figure in the business circles of India and Burma. His recognition was acknowledged by Muhammad Ali Jinnah (Founder of Pakistan) who become a good friend and appointed him advisor to the freedom movement of the Muslims, which eventually led to the Creation of Pakistan.

Sir Adamjee at the request of Jinnah, convinced the entire Memon & Gujarati Muslim communities to migrate to Pakistan. With this vision in mind again at the request of Jinnah, he also established two major Institutions along with Mr. M.A. Ispahani i.e. The Muslim Commercial Bank Ltd. and the Orient Airways Ltd. The purpose of this was to assist the migration process by providing transport of Muslims to Pakistan and to create banking facilities in the new country.

Once Pakistan was created, Sir Adamjee and his sons established Businesses in both East (now Bangladesh) & West Pakistan. In January 1948, six months after the creation, Pakistan fell in financial difficulties and was in urgent need of funds. On January 24th 1948, Jinnah sent an “SOS” to Sir Adamjee who rushed to Karachi on 25th to the present day Governor House and presented a Blank Cheque to Jinnah to save Pakistan from Financial collapse.

Sir Adamjee was then invited by Jinnah to participate in the establishment of the State Bank of Pakistan, it was during this meeting that he suffered an heart attack and later passed away on the night of January 27th, 1948.

Though Sir Adamjee passed away in the very early days of Pakistan, his dedication lived on in the ideas and ideals passed on to his family. It was this same spirit and dedication that led his eldest son Mr. A.W. Adamjee to spearhead the industrial and financial development efforts of the new country, which was industrially backward. At the time, the Adamjee Group was the only business house of its kind with experience in large scale manufacturing.

In less than two decades, the Adamjee group setup and managed over forty industrial and financial enterprises in the East and West Pakistan, Burma, Thailand, Malaysia, Lebanon and United Kingdom. In 1971, due to the ethnic and social differences between the Eastern and Western Pakistan, a Civil war broke out which ultimately resulted in bifurcation of the East wing and creating it into the independent Bangladesh. The newly formed socialist Government of Bangladesh took over control of all major industrial and financial institutions. The Adamjee Family lost all its assets in Bangladesh and were compelled to shift its group head quarters to Karachi.

On the Western front, the Group became a subject of public criticism under the propaganda of anti-trust laws concerning the monopolistic business families of the country. As a consequence of this movement, the greater percentage of West Pakistan Assets were also lost, under the Prime Minister Z.A. Bhutto’s Nationalization Programs in 1974.

See also


  1. Jump up ^ Chronology of Life Achievements of Sir Adamjee Haji Dawood in Souvenir: Launching Ceremony of A Biography of the Merchant Kinght Adamjee Haji Dawood, Karachi 2005 pg 35, 36
  2. Jump up ^

Further reading

Legends–Sir Adamjee Haji Dawood

Jetpur is a small town presently in India. In the latter half of eighteenth century a boy was born to Hanifa bai and Haji Dawood, parents named this boy ADAM. Though not much is known about his early age but it is learnt through some people, Adam was sent to Calcutta as was custom at the time
Adam was in his early teens and Calcutta was a big city. The boy from the small town was confident enough to face hardships of a big city. After spending a few days there, he noticed that most of the businessmen in Calcutta were illiterate and they hardly knew a few words of English. They had to hire persons who knew English for correspondence. But in doing so, their business secrets were leaked and they lost money. Young Adam who was ever wondering in business areas had keenly noticed this situation and took it as a bright chance. He was educated enough to write a few short lines in English. The young man offered the businessmen to handle their correspondence at very nominal charge. The boy handled his work very nicely and easily. As most of this work was done in the evening, some well-wisher told Adam that he should do some work in the spare time. He suggested the business of collecting empty jute bags. Adam did not waste any time and started this business.

He used to go to the streets of Calcutta and started collecting empty jute bags. He used to collect two or three bags and ran to the market to sell these bags at a very small profit. After some time he established his credit in the market and was offered some advance. Now he was able to collect 10 or 15 empty bags at one go. This burden was too much for him so he managed to buy or borrow a bicycle in junk condition. He repaired the bicycle and started his daily rounds on it. His business grew and in a little time he became a whole sale dealer.
He not only collected bags himself but also bought from other street vendors. All this business started sitting on a footpath. He already has gained enough experience to contact banks and machinery suppliers through correspondence. He tried contacting them and got some favorable replies. He knew that the demand of jute bags was increasing many folds, so he decided to establish a jute factory in Dhaka (presently Bangladesh Capital). It was in those days when the word Jee was added to his name (a word showing respect). This was perhaps how the Adamjee Jute Mills was established. This mill soon grew up to be the largest jute mill in the whole world.
Now Adamjee was a wealthy and an important person of business community. An incident of this period is worth mentioning which shows the honest nature of this great man. A Hindu Marvari, who was financially in trouble, contacted Adamjee for help. Adamjee offered him loan to support his business. The Marvari refused, and offered to sell a stone quarry that was running at loss. The deal was finalized then and there.

Adamjee Jute Mill Bangladesh

Adamjee went to the quarry next day and announced, though the ownership has changed but no body would be sacked out, everyone would work as usual.
Fortunately, workers discovered gold nuggets from the mine the same day. It was a gold mine. As Adamjee was informed about this discovery, he went to the Marvari, told him everything and offered him to return the mine.
The marvari also shown honesty and refused to take it back, saying that it was Adamjee’s luck. He told that he could not mine even stones and just as the ownership was changed gold was mined. This mine provided gold for many years. The whole matter is recorded in British Archives.
Accumulating significant wealth, Adamjee went on to establish schools, colleges and hospitals in various parts of India and Burma. A philanthropist to the core, Adamjee never refused to support a deserving cause. In 1933, realizing the overriding need for education in his own ethnic Gujarati Memon community, he established the Memon Education & Welfare Society (MEWS) to support the financially deprived students. His charitable activities were greatly appreciated by Muslims in India and they demanded that he be officially recognized for it. Finally on 9th June 1938 Lord Bradbourne Governor of Bengal, On Order of British Empire (OBE), conferred the title of Knight Commander of Indian Empire (KCIE) to Adamjee. Thereafter he was known as Sir Adamjee Haji Dawood.


Adamjee Science College Karachi


Adamjee Cantonment College, Dhaka Cantonment

When Pakistan was established there were no funds available to support the newly independent country. Extremely worried Quaid e Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah asked the newly appointed Finance Minister Ghulam Mohomad to search down Adamjee. Amidst migration and transition chaos, Ghulam Mohomed searched hectically to appraise Adamjee of Quaid’s message. Finally, a few days later, at the Palace Hotel in Karachi, the gentlemen were able to discuss the issues. Adamjee then spoke to his banker M.A. Habib and then turned to Ghulam Mohomed and said “your problem is solved”. Singlehandedly Adamjee had financed the new nation by arranging a bridge finance secured on his personal assets. This has come to be known as the “blank cheque offer” which Sir Adamjee is remembered for today.

Adamjee died on 27th January 1948 but he is still alive in every Pakistanis heart. On Adamjee’s death, The Quaid mentioned in his address to the nation: “that if I had a dozen men like Adamjee, Pakistan would have been achieved earlier. It is truly a national loss to Pakistan”.

Sir Adamjee’s family continued with the legacy of charities, and established educational institutions like Adamjee High School in Dhaka, Adamjee Science College, Sir Adamjee Institute of Technology ,The Adamjee Academic Center and Lady Mariam Adamjee girls School in Karachi
To pay respect and recognition to Sir Adamjee, governments of Bangladesh and Pakistan named various streets and neighborhoods in Dhaka, Karachi, Peshawar and Rawalpindi after him. In year 2000, Government of Pakistan initiated and issued postage stamps with image of Sir Adamjee.
A Shrewd businessman , a great philanthropist , an unmatched politician people like Sir Adamjee are Pride of every nation and community


1880 Born at Jaitpur, Kathiawar (India) on Wednesday,30th June, 1880.
1895 Joined M/s. Salehmohammed Gnaziani & Co. at Rangoon (Burma) at the age of 15.
1896 Joined the family Business at Rangoon (Burma) at the age of 16.
1898 Got married with Mariam Bai at the age of 18.
1901 Established his own business & expanded the business and became one of the largest Exporter of Rice and Matches. One of the largest Importer of Jute & Jute goods in Burma.
1904 Opened a branch office at Calcutta (India).
1916 Establish a Rice Mill at Rangoon (Burma).
1918 He gave the financial help to Jamia Tibbia, Dehli (India).
1919 His mother Hanifa Bai died.
1920 Appointed as Member of Advisory Committee of Central Bank of India (Burma Branch).
1923 Established a Largest Match Factory in Asia at Rangoon (Burma).
1924 His father Haji Dawood died at Calcutta (India).
1925 Founded Burma-India Chamber of Commerce at Rangoon (Burma).
1925 Founded Burma-Muslim Chamber of Commerce at Rangoon (Burma).
1925 Appointed as Director, Rangoon Electric Tramways, Rangoon (Burma).
1925 Elected as President of “Rangoon Memon Jamat”, Rangoon (Burma).
1928 Sir Adamjee Haji Dawood met Quaid-e-Azam Mohd. Ali Jinnah first time at Dehli.
1928 Establised a Jute Mill at Calcutta (India).
1932 Settled Permanently at Calcutta (India).
1933 Fouded the Memon Educatioal & Welfare Society on 29th May, 1933 at Calcutta (India).
1934 Memon Relief Society carried out relief operation under the guidance of Sir Adamjee for Bihar Earthquake victims.
1935 Carried out Relief operation for Quetta Earthquake victims.
1938 The British Government Awarded the Knighthood title “ SIR” in recognition of his services to Humanitarian causes as well as to Business & Industry on 21st June, 1938 on Birthday of King George VI.
1941 Established “Adamjee Muslim High School” at Jatpur (India).
1943 Founded “Muslim Educational Society” in Calcutta (India).
1944 Federation of Muslim Chamber of Commerce & Industry was founded. Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah Proposed the name of Sir Adamjee Haji Dawood as its first President on 9-7-1944.
1947 Establish Muslim Commercial Bank in Calcutta (India) on the introduction of Quaid-e-Azam on 9-7-1947.
1947 Establish adamjee Boarding House at Karachi.
1947 Founder Member of Orient Airways Sponsored by Quaid-e-Azam.
1948 Came to Karachi on the call of Quaid-e-Azam Mohd. Ali Jinnah for the establishment of the State Bank of Pkistan on 25-01-1948 from Calcutta (India).
1948 He had Heart Attack while attending the meeting in connection with the establishment of State Bank of Pakistan on26-1-1948.
1949 He died on Tuesday, 27-01-1948 at 10: 30 PM at Karachi, Pakistan.

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