Sarabhai family

The Sarabhai family is a prominent Indian family active in several fields. The patriarch, Ambalal Sarabhai, was a leading industrialist. While he created significant wealth, his children interested themselves in a wide variety of other endeavours, and the family is better known for those activities, rather than for industrial enterprise, which is now all but defunct.

Family historyEdit

The Sarabhai family are major business family of India belonging to the Shrimal Jain community.[1]

Its twentieth century doyen Sheth Ambalal Sarabhai, was a Gujarati industrialist. He had five daughters and three sons who were involved in the family business as well as the Indian independence movement. After India's freedom, the family remained involved in developmental tasks undertaken by the government of India.

Ambalal Sarabhai was a prominent mill-owner and also interested in philanthropic activities. His wife Sarladevi Sarabhai was impressed 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 household detergents, soaps and cosmetics, industrial packaging and containers, and later engineering and electronic products.

Family membersEdit

Prominent members of the Sarabhai family include:

  • Ambalal Sarabhai. Patriarch of the family. Born into a family of tradesmen, he invested the family wealth into various industrial enterprises in the early 1900s, including Sarabhai Textile Mills at Ahmedabad, which was one of the largest in India at that time.
  • Anasuya Sarabhai (Ambalal's sister), a trade unionist, activist and freedom fighter. Married young, she never cohabited with her husband.
  • Saraladevi Sarabhai, devoted wife of Ambalal and the mother of his eight children (three sons and five daughters)
    • Suhrid Sarabhai Sr. (Ambalal's son), industrialist
      • Suhrid Sarabhai Jr (elder Son of Suhrid Sr)
      • Sanjay Sarabhai (younger son of Suhrid Sr)
    • Gautam Sarabhai (Ambalal's son), industrialist and philanthropist
      • Mana & Shyama, daughters of Gautam sarabhai
    • Mridula Sarabhai (Ambalal's daughter), freedom fighter and Indian politician; unmarried
    • Vikram Sarabhai (Ambalal's son), co-founder of ISRO and IIM Ahmedabad.
      • Mrinalini Sarabhai. Wife of Vikram Sarabhai and herself a noted danseuse.
      • Kartikeya Sarabhai (son of Vikram Sarabhai), educationist and environmentalist
      • Mallika Sarabhai (daughter of Vikram Sarabhai), noted danseuse and activist; briefly married to Bipin Shah, a publisher
        • Revanta Shah Sarabhai, son of Mallika Sarabhai and Bipin Shah; a dancer by profession, he chooses to be known by his mother's famous maiden name
        • Anahita Sarabhai, performance artist, co founder of QueerAbad[2]
    • Leena Mangaldas (Ambalal's daughter), founder of Shreyas Foundation. She is married to Madanmohan Mangaldas Girdhardas, noted industrialist
      • Kamal Mangaldas (son of Leena Mangaldas), noted architect
        • Arjun Mangaldas (son of Kamal Mangaldas), architect
        • Abhay Mangaldas (son of Kamal Mangaldas), founder House of MG
    • Gira Sarabhai (Ambalal's daughter), unmarried; founder of the National Institute of Design, the Calico Museum of Textiles
    • Gita Mayor, (Ambalal's daughter)
    • Bharti Sarabhai, (Ambalal's daughter), unmarried

Institutions built by Sarabhai familyEdit

  1. Calico Mills - Ambalal Sarabhai
  2. Jubilee Mills - Ambalal Sarabhai
  3. Kasturba Gandhi Rashtriya Smarak Trust - Sarladevi Ambalal Sarabhai
  4. Majoor Mahajan - Anasuyaben Sarabhai
  5. Jyoti Sangh - Mridulaben Sarabhai
  6. Vikas Gruh - Mridulaben Sarabhai
  7. Shreyas Foundation & School - Leenaben Mangaldas
  8. B.M. Institute of Mental Health - Gautam Sarabhai
  9. The Physcotherapy Study Group - Gautam Sarabhai
  10. National Institute of Design - Gautam Sarabhai and Gira Sarabhai
  11. Darpana Academy of Performing Arts - Mrinalini & Vikram Sarabhai
  12. Calico Museum of Textiles - Gira Sarabhai
  13. Ambalal Sarabhai Enterprises, Baroda - Gautam Sarabhai, a commercial (corporate) venture
  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 and her husband Bipin Shah
    Gautam Gira Sarabhai Square, National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad. Earlier known as Nayak Square.

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

  1. Ahmedabad Textile Industry’s Research Association (ATIRA)
  2. Physical Research Laboratory (PRL), Ahmedabad
  3. Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad
  4. Community Science Centre (CSC), Ahmedabad
  5. Nehru Foundation for Development (NFD), Ahmedabad
  6. Ahmedabad Management Association (AMA), Ahmedabad
  7. Sarabhai Chemicals, Baroda
  8. Sarabhai Glass, Baroda
  9. Suhrid Geigy, Baroda
  10. Synbiotics, Baroda
  11. Sarabhai Merck, Baroda
  12. Sarabhai Engineering Group, Baroda
  13. Operations Research Group (ORG), Baroda
  14. Sarabhai Research Centre (SRC), Baroda
  15. Systronics, Ahmedabad
  16. Swastik Oil Mills, Bombay
  17. Standard Pharmaceuticals, Calcutta
  18. Thumba Equatorial Rocket Launching Station (TERLS), Trivandrum
  19. Space Science and Technology Centre (SSTC), Trivandrum
  20. Shriharikota Rocket Range (SHAR), Sriharikota
  21. Experimental Satellite Communication Earth Station (ESCES), Ahmedabad
  22. Satellite Communication System Division (SCSD), Ahmedabad
  23. Electronics System Division (ESD), Ahmedabad
  24. Microwave Antenna Systems Engineering Group (MASEG), Ahmedabad
  25. Audio Visual Instructional Division (AVID), Ahmedabad
  26. Remote Sensing and Meteorological Division (RSMD), Ahmedabad
  27. Indian Scientific Satellite Project (ISSP), Bangalore
  28. Satellite Instructional Television Experiment (SITE), Ahmedabad
  29. Indian National Satellite (INSAT) Satellite Launching Vehicle (SLV) Trivandrum
  30. Satellite Communication Earth Station,
  31. Arvi Fast Breeder Reactors (FBR), Kalpakkam
  32. Nuclear Centre for Agriculture, New Delhi
  33. Variable Energy Cyclotron Project (VECP), Calcutta
  34. Electronic Prototype Engineering Laboratory (EPEL), Bombay
  35. Electronics Corporation of India (ECIL), Hyderabad
  36. Uranium Corporation of India (UCIL), Jaduguda, Bihar

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.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Vikram A Sarabhai". Outlook. 19 August 2002. Retrieved 21 March 2018. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  2. ^

External linksEdit