Indian businessman Maghanmal Pancholia passes away in Dubai

Pancholia, also known as 'Maghabha', founded Maghanmal Jethanand Group and was one of the UAE's earliest residents

Maghanmal Pancholia was a famed Dubai resident.
ITP Consumer Publishing Ltd
Maghanmal Pancholia was a famed Dubai resident.

One of the UAE's earliest residents, Maghanmal Jethanand Pancholia – or Maghabha, as he is referred to by much of his fellow Thathai Bhatia community members – passed away in Dubai on 2 September, 2019. 

Pancholia was founder of Maghanmal Jethanand Group, which was established in 1942 and dealt in steel products, among other items.  

Additionally, Pancholia was chairman of Arabian Trading Agency, a Dubai outfit founded by Parmanand Jethanand Pancholia. The family business established its roots in Dubai as a trader of pearls and foodstuff, and today trades as a major retailer in the city.

Between 1957 and 1960, Pancholia supplied electricity to the emirate of Dubai, and was in 1961 elected director of Dubai Electricity, which was founded by the late Ruler of Dubai, HH Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum. Pancholia held this post until the organisation was nationalised around 1980.

Pancholia, aged 95 in 2019, was viewed as a patron for the Sindhi community in Dubai. He founded Dubai’s Indian High School in the 1960s, and served as its trustee and chairman until 1979, following which he was chairman emeritus of the school, according to Arabian Trading Agency's website.

Between 1965 and 1980, Pancholia was part of the board of Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry, after being nominated by HH Sheikh Rashid.

Pancholia was founder and permanent trustee of Dubai’s India Club, and was elected chairman of Mercantile Hindu Community of Thatta (Sindh), Dubai, between 1978 and 2008.

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