Padma Bhushan Shri Karamshi Jethabhai Somaiya’s first initiative in education was the founding of Somaiya Vidyavihar Mandir school in 1942 in rural Maharashtra (Kopargaon taluka), to provide quality holistic education. It was founded on the belief that education is an important pillar of nation-building with the power to change lives, and that it is the duty of the privileged to provide education to the needy.

Shri K J Somaiya guided Somaiya Vidyavihar until 1999; his son Dr S K Somaiya was at the helm of affairs till 2010. Presently, Shri Samir Somaiya, a Cornell University and Harvard University alumnus, serves as the President.

At Somaiya Vidyavihar, we want to create an education institution that is proudly Indian, world class in research and universal in the reach of ideas. Somaiya Vidyavihar comprises 34 allied institutions, with more than 39,000 students and 1,500 faculty. These educational institutes are spread across two widespread main campuses in Vidyavihar and Ayurvihar in Sion, both located in the heart of Mumbai. A number of smaller campuses across rural Maharashtra, Karnataka, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh are also managed by the Trust. The Somaiya educational institutions offer a wide range of programs at the undergraduate, Post-Graduate, and Doctoral levels. The Somaiya Vidyavihar campus also offers vocational programs, in addition to junior colleges and schools in English, Gujarati, and Marathi medium from pre-primary level onwards.

Somaiya Vidyavihar fosters an ecosystem that excels in education, research, consultancy, and service. It is a place where knowledge is preserved, disseminated and new knowledge is created. It is well-known for its Science, Technology, Medicine, Engineering, Management, Social Sciences, Humanities, and Commerce programs, as well as for its studies in various Faiths and Cultures of India.

Padma bhushan

K. J. Somaiya

Founder of The Somaiya Trust

An all-round education must integrate Indian culture, values & morality into the curriculum.

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"Whatever you do in word or in deed, do all in the name of the Lord, Giving thanks to him."

Early Life & Education

It's no small achievement to distinguish oneself in such diverse fields as commerce, education, and philanthropy. Pujya Shriman Karamshibhai Jethabhai Somaiya, born on May 16 1902 in the remote village of Malunjar in Ahmednagar district of Maharashtra, India, was however, a blessed person by dint of hard work and singular devotion to service.

Born to humble beginnings he rose to become one of the doyens of the industry in Western India. The young Karamshi, after completing school at the New High School in Mumbai (now the Bharda School) went back to his hometown in Ahmednagar embarking on a career of tireless work marked by singular devotion to whatever he did.

Karamshi’s young, fresh mind was moulded by Gandhiji's ideas of 'Swadeshi' and 'Satyagraha'
Business Career

Young Karamshibhai Somaiya began his career by engaging in his father's small grocery business and then went on to become a partner in a leading sugar trading firm in the area while continuing to nurture his dream of contributing to the creation of a resurgent India – a vision painted by Mahatma Gandhi and Swami Vivekananda.

In the 1939 Shri K.J. Somaiya launched 2 sugar factories – in Sakarwadi and in Lakshmiwadi to mark the launch of his own sugar business. He soon came to be known as the Sugar King of India.

At the age of 60 he relinquished the leadership of his economic enterprise to his son Dr. Shantilal Somaiya, and fully immersed himself in social service. No sketch of Shri K.J. Somaiya can be complete without mentioning his philanthropy. You can read more about it under the Outreach section of this website.

He was committed to the ideal "what you receive from society give back multifold"
Morals & Beliefs

Shri K.J. Somaiya was warm and endearing. Stately in appearance, immaculately dressed, generally in spotless white hand spun khadi, he exuded a picture of resourcefulness and restraint. He was compassionate and reached out to those in suffering. In all he did, Karamshibhai brought a sense of love and humanism, qualities imbibed in his early youth from the teachings of Mahatma Gandhi. He believed in the ancient Sanskrit saying (na manushit paro dharmah). "There is no religion greater than Man". Karamshibhai's life exemplified this lofty principle through practice.

Shri Karamshibhai Somaiya passed away on May 9, 1999, a week before his 97th birthday. Somaiya Vidyavihar is the living legacy he has left behind, a standing monument to his sagacity, perseverance and foresight.

न मानुषात् परो धर्म:। There is no religion greater than service to humanity.

Dr. Shantilal K. Somaiya

Our Guiding Light

Strongly believes in the dictum, “being religious is indeed being inter-religious"

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He has traveled extensively across the globe to spread the message of Indian Culture and Philosophy and to promote Interreligious Dialogue.

Work & Contribution

Dr. Shantilal K. Somaiya, B.Sc, LL.B, (D.Sc. honoris causa) (born in 1927) is Promoter and Director of various companies having business and manufacturing interest in Sugar, Industrial, Alcohol, Organic Chemicals, Salt, Printing and Publications, Agriculture, Bulk Drugs, etc. As a leading Industrialist and Businessman he has been a member of many prominent committees and apex bodies in India.

Dr. Shantilal K. Somaiya was the chairman of the K.J Somaiya Trust which has sponsored the Educational Society “Somaiya Vidyavihar”. It has established various institutions of higher learning under its banner and has developed a unique and vibrant educational campus.

He was also a believer in the power of the sugar industry, To bring about social as well as financial prosperity
He conceptualized the Sanskritivihar, which comprises of
  • K J Somaiya Bharatiya Sanskriti Peetham
  • K J Somaiya Institute of Buddhist Studies
  • K J Somaiya Jain Centre

He attended the World Blind Union General Assembly held at Melbourne, Australia in November 2000 as an Observer. He also attended the World Blind Union General Assembly held at Cape Town, South Africa, in December 2004.

At United Nation, New York He has Participated In the Millennium World Peace Summit of Religious and Spiritual Leaders, held in August-September 2000. Also Participated In the Parliament of the World’s Religious held in Barcelona from 7-13 July,2004. Dr. SK Somaiya has participated in Kazakhstan Congress as the Leader of Hindu Delegation.

Dr. S K Somaiya as Philanthropist

Dr. Shantilal Somaiya has promoted a project called SAHAS(Somaiya Action for HIV/AIDS Support), under the K.J Somaiya Medical Trust to provide services for the HIV infected and affected. These services are run from the Somaiya Hospital since 2003.


Dr. S. K. Somaiya left behind a wonderful vision of an integrated development - be it in medicine, business, education, religion, or philosophy. One that engages rather than divides, and encompasses all, reflecting the true spirit of our heritage and tradition.

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