Ardeshir Godrej

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Ardeshir Godrej     Ardeshir Godrej

Bharuch: Ardeshir Burjorji Sorabji Godrej was an Indian businessman. With his brother Pirojsha Burjorji, he co-founded the Godrej Brothers Company, the precursor of the modern Godrej Group.

In 1894  Ardeshir   fresh out of law school, was hired by a well-known firm to argue a case on a client behalf in Zanzibar.The fine details of the case are not knownbut according to his biography  it went well until  towards the end when Ardeshir refused to acknowledge that his client had visited a particular place because there was no hard evidence that he had done so. As Ardeshir would later say  it required him to make an assumption that he could not with a good conscience make, and would thus be wrong. Not allowing himself to be convinced the client had to find a replacement and Ardeshir returned to Bombay and gave up the law altogether. As Ardeshir would later recall instead of seeing my side of the case  I saw both sides  the plaintiff  as well as the defendant. In this divided state of mind I realized I’d make a very poor lawyer whichever side I took.

Upon returning to Bombay after the Zanzibar debacle, Ardeshir was employed at a pharmacy, where he served as an assistant to a chemist. In  Ardeshir visited Merwanji Muncherji Cama  a friend of his father and who was highly respected for his business acumen. Ardeshir described his plan to manufacture surgical equipment and asked for a loan. When Cama asked why Ardeshir did not approach his father for the loan, Ardeshir replied that his father would give him the money not as a loan but as a gift, which Ardeshir was not willing to accept This principle to not accept money as a gift would also become evident in 1918  when his father died: Ardeshir refused to accept the inheritance.

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