-Sir Shri Ram
An eminent and public spirited philanthropist, an outstanding industrialist and one of the trend setting far-setting leaders of the Indian business community, Lala Shri Ram, the enigmatic visionary behind the institution, was born on April 27, 1884. The first son of Madan Mohan Lal and Chando Devi, Lala Shri Ram got his early education from a Municipal Primary School in Bazaar Sita Ram. He matriculated in March, 1900 and later enrolled for the course of Intermediate Arts at Hindu College. In 1909, Lala Shri Ram joined DCM at a young age of 25.
He possessed an analytical mind, an infinite capacity for work, and a knack for human relations. His view of business and perhaps of himself was put down by him in later years in rather introspecting statements,
“In my humble opinion, business is not merely a matter of attending work for a few hours. It is a matter of thinking, dreaming, imagining and working.”
-Sir Shri Ram on business
His election in 1930 at the age of 46 as the President of Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) was the first intimation of his national stature. On February 16, 1930, he had taken over from G. D. Birla as fourth President of the FICCI with Mahatma Gandhi by his side, a bold gesture for the time.
Sir Shri Ram was nominated as a member of first Central Board of Directors of Reserve Bank of India with effect from January 1, 1935. On March 2, 1937, the Delhi Improvement Trust was founded with Sir Shri Ram amongst its founding members. He also was one of the founder members of All-India Organisation of Industrial Employers (A.O.I.E) and became its President for the years 1940 and 1941.
“Education is the key which is going to unlock the door to greatness”
-Sir Shri Ram on education
During his life, Lala Shri Ram’s main emphasis was on vocational, technical and women’s education. As far back in 1920, he had decided to conduct his first experiment in vocation-oriented education by founding the Commercial Education Trust, with his association with the Trust continuing right upto the end of his life. The first school taken over by Commercial Education Trust was the Commercial High School. The Commercial High School was raised in 1926 to the standard of an Intermediate College, in 1930 to a degree college and in 1934 to a post-graduate College.
In 1942, Lala Shri Ram became the Chairman of the Governing Body of the College. By the year 1948, although comparatively young among the colleges of University of Delhi, the Commercial College had the maximum enrolment possible under the University rules. The College offered B. A. Pass course and the B. A. Honours course in Commerce and M. A. courses in Economics and Commerce.
In 1949, it was proposed to rename the College as “Shri Ram College of Commerce” which took three years to implement due to the reticence of Lala Shri Ram. Until 1949, the College was located at 8, Darya Ganj, New Delhi. In 1950, the proposal to shift the College to the University Enclave was accepted and implemented.
Lala Shri Ram’s association with the College continued till 1962, when because of failing health, he resigned. His health continued to deteriorate and he passed away on January 11, 1963. On the demise of Lala Shri Ram, Dr. S. Radhakrishnan, the then President of India said, “He was not only a great industrialist but helped many good causes. His contributions to education are memorable”.
Every year, in memory and remembrance of its revered founder, the College celebrates April 27, the birthdate of Sir Shri Ram as “Founders Day”.