Girish Mahajan (Editor)

Sarabhai family

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The Sarabhai family has been a major business family of India belonging to the Shrimal Jain community. Sheth Ambalal Sarabhai, the doyen, an industrialist, who had five daughters and three sons. The family was involved the independence movement for India and later with the developmental tasks undertaken by the government of India.


Ambalal Sarabhai was a mill-owner and also interested in philanthropic activities. His wife Sarladevi Sarabhai got inspired by the Maria Montessori philosophy and in the year 1922, Montessori sent E. M. Standing to India for the homeschooling of Sarabhai children.

Sarabhai Enterprises branched out after India's independence and many pioneer ventures were made in fields dominated by foreign companies. The manufacture of drugs and pharmaceuticals, chemicals and intermediates, dyes and pigments, industrial and house hold detergents, soaps and cosmetics, industrial packaging and containers, and later engineering and electronic products.

Family members

Prominent members of the Sarabhai family include:

  • Ambalal Sarabhai was in the 1940s and 1950s, the owner of the Sarabhai Textile Mills in Ahmedabad - at the time one of India's largest textile companies.
  • Anasuya Sarabhai (his sister), Gandhian freedom fighter
  • Gautam Sarabhai (his son), industrialist and philanthropist
  • Mridula Sarabhai (his daughter), freedom fighter and Indian politician
  • Vikram Sarabhai (his son), co-founder of the Indian Space Research Organisation and Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad.
  • Mrinalini Sarabhai (his daughter-in-law), noted danseuse
  • Kartikeya Sarabhai (his grandson), noted educationist and environmentalist
  • Mallika Sarabhai (his granddaughter), noted danseuse and activist
  • Leena Sarabhai (his daughter, founder of Shreyas Foundation)
  • Institutions built by Sarabhai family

    1. Calico Mills - Ambalal Sarabhai
    2. Jubilee Mills - Ambalal Sarabhai
    3. Jyoti Sangh - Mridulaben Sarabhai
    4. Vikas Gruh - Mridulaben Sarabhai
    5. Majoor Mahajan - Anasuyaben Sarabhai
    6. Kasturba Gandhi Rashtriya Smarak Trust - Sarladevi Sarabhai
    7. Shreyas Foundation & School - Leenaben Sarabhai
    8. B.M. Institute of Mental Health - Gautam Sarabhai & Kamlini Sarabhai
    9. The Physcotherapy Study Group - Gautam Sarabhai
    10. National Institute of Design - Gautam Sarabhai & Giraben
    11. Darpana Academy of Performing Arts - Mrinalini & Vikram Sarabhai
    12. Calico Museum of Textiles - Giraben Sarabhai
    13. Ambalal Sarabhai Enterprises, Baroda - Gautam Sarabhai
    14. Centre for Environment Education - Kartikeya Sarabhai
    15. VIKSAT - Kartikeya Sarabhai
    16. CHETNA - Kartikeya Sarabhai
    17. Sangeet Kendra - Geeta Mayor
    18. Darpana for Development - Mallika Sarabhai
    19. Mapin Publishing - Mallika Sarabhai & Bipin Shah

    Major Institution Building Efforts of Vikram Sarabhai (1947-1971)

    No.4 was renamed as the Vikram A. Sarabhai Community Science Centre after Dr. Sarabhai’s death in 1971. No.18 & 19 were merged under the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre after Dr. Sarabhai’s death in 1971. Nos.21,22,23,24,25 and 26 were merged under the Space Applications Centre after Dr. Sarabhai’s death in 1971. No. 31 was renamed as Vikram Earth Station after Dr. Sarabhai’s death in 1971.


    Sarabhai family Wikipedia