Yusuf, Sir Mohammad Ismail (1876-1965)

Bombay businessman & philanthropist

Titles: Kt, 1915; KCIE, 1914.

A Cutchi Memon, the only s of an illustrious father, Haji Ismail Hasham, JP, who was a pioneer in the steamship business, b Bombay, 1876.

Joined his father's company, The Bombay Steam Navigation Co at the age of 18; possessed great business acumen and helped his father expand the activities of the company.

Estd a Nautical & Technical Inst, the first College in India to provide for the training of Indians as Ship Masters, and a Seamen's Orphanage at Nhava Island, 1910; also estd a girl's school, a general hospital, a dispensary and a sanitorium there; founded Ismail Yusuf Coll at Jogeshwari, Greater Bombay, 1923, in memory of his father; this benefaction drew forth a comment from Sir Fredrick Sykes, then Gov of Bombay, who, while inaugruating it said: 'His (Sir Mohammad Yusuf's) memory will be held in the same veneration by future generations of students of the Ismail Yusuf College as that of Sir Syed Ahmed in Aligarh'.

Connected with other charities also.

Supported the swadeshi movement; was a patron of the Grandhalaya Maha Vidyala and a close friend of the late Pandit Vishnu Digambar Paluskar, the founder of the Vidyalaya; collected a large number of books on philosophy, literature and the arts in English, Persian and Urdu and presented his library to the Institute established by him at Nhava Island.

Died, 15 Sept 1965.

Source: Memons International Directory, p. lix. (Muslims in India: A biographical dictionary, ed. N K Jain. Delhi, Manohar, 1979. Vol. II. p. 215)