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Bhai Boolchand-the Indian who launched trade with Ghana

The first Indian to arrive in the Gold Coast (Ghana's colonial name) in 1890 , Bhai Boolchand launched trade in India with Ghana

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Ghanian flag, Bhai Boolchand launched trade in India with Ghana.
Ghanian flag, Bhai Boolchand launched trade in India with Ghana. pixelbay
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  • Bhai Boolchand, the anonymous Indian, is credited with starting trade between Ghana and India
  • The year was 1890.

Not much is known about him, but it has now emerged that trade relations between Ghana and Indiawere started by Bhai Boolchand, the first Indian to arrive in the Gold Coast — Ghana’s colonial name — in 1890. That’s some 67 years before the British colonial government granted the country independence, research by the Indian Association of Ghana has found.

“As far as our records show, Bhai Boolchand (of the Bhaiband Sindhworki trading community), landed on the shores of the Gold Coast in western Africa in 1890. Nearly twenty years later, in 1919, the first Sindhi company was established by two brothers — Tarachand Jasoomal Daswani and Metharam Jasoomal Daswani,” the Indian Association said.

The duo opened a store — Metharam Jassomal Brothers — in the then capital city of Cape Coast in 1919.

“Their business flourished and branches were opened in Accra and Kumasi. A few years later, the two brothers separated and whilst Bhai Metharam Jasoomal continued the business as Metharam Brothers, Tarachand Jasoomal operated his business as Bombay Bazaar. These were the first two Indian companies that were established in the Gold Coast,” the Association said.

Boolchand’s arrival, therefore, pre-dates the historical links between the two countries that were always thought to have started between Ghana’s first President, Kwame Nkruman, and India’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru. Boolchand can thus be described as the one who paved the way for the arrival of other members of the Sindhi community, initially as traders and shopkeepers.

The Indian Association said more of this group arrived in the 1950s and 1960s, with a few venturing into manufacturing industries such as garments, plastics, textiles, insecticides, electronics, pharmaceuticals and optical goods.

The Association said two more Indian firms were established under the names of Lilaram Thanwardas and Mahtani Brothers in the 1920s. This trend continued in the 1930s and 1940s with the creation of several more Indian companies like T. Chandirams, Punjabi Brothers, Wassiamal Brothers, Hariram Brothers, K. Chellaram & Sons, G. Motiram, D.P. Motwani, G. Dayaram, V. Lokumal, and Glamour Stores.

Glamour Stores, which was stared by Ramchand Khubchandani who arrived in Ghana in 1929, has grown — after changing its name to Melcom Group — to become the largest retailing business in the country. The Melcom Group, headed by Ramchand’s son Bhagwan Khubchandani, is now in its 60th year and about 40 stores all over the country.

Ramchand and his brother later went into garment manufacturing in 1955 and once employed over 1,200 Ghanaians. They later opened the first Indian restaurant, Maharaja, in Ghana. Bhagwan followed in his father’s footsteps and in 1989 established the Melcom Group with his sons-in-law, Mahesh Melwani and Ramesh Sadhwani.

Another Indian-owned company that has survived through the years is the Mohanani Group, which is currently in its 51st year. At the first-ever Ghana Expatriate Business Awards, the Ministry of Trade and Industries recognised the work of one of the thriving Indian-owned B5 Plus Steel Company and awarded it the Best Expatriate Company in the metal and steel category.

As these companies brought in new expatriate staff, some left their employers to venture out on their own — resulting in more companies opening up.

“After 1947, the Gold Coast attracted the attention of some Indian multinational companies, and big names like Chanrai, Bhojsons, K.A.J. Chotirmal, Dalamals and A.D. Gulab opened branches in Ghana,” the Association said.

“The employment of Ghanaians by these founding companies also helped to lessen the burden of unemployment in the country. This amply demonstrates the level of commitment India has in the developmental agenda of Ghana,” it said.

Indians are not only investing in the manufacturing and commercial sectors of the country; they are also investing in the financial sector. Bank of Baroda, one of India’s biggest and most reputable banks, recently established a branch in Ghana and hopefully it will expand its operations in other parts of the country very soon. (IANS)

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Samsung Brings its First Smartphone With Triple Camera in India

Samsung is offering cash back worth Rs 2,000 on the smartphone when buyers make payment through HDFC bank credit and debit cards

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Samsung's first triple camera smartphone in India. Flickr

Samsung India on Tuesday launched Galaxy A7 with triple rear cameras for Rs 23,990 in blue, black and gold colours.

The smartphone is slated to be available in over 180,000 outlets by September-end. It will be available on September 27 and 28 during a special preview sale on Flipkart, Samsung e-shop and at Samsung Opera House in Bengaluru.

“We are expecting to disrupt the market and gain significant share specifically in our ‘A Series’. So this is the first triple camera phone that we are bringing to the market which we have not even launched in our flagship segment but the whole idea is to really expand this series,” Mohandeep Singh, Senior Vice President, Mobile Business, Samsung India told IANS.

The Galaxy A7 sports 24MP main + 5MP live focus + 8MP ultra-wide sensors at the rear and a 24 MP selfie shooter.

The device features a 6.0-inch FHD+ super AMOLED Infinity Display and also supports Dolby Atmos immersive sound technology that brings HD content to life.

It has a 2.5D glass back design, 7.5-mm body and a side fingerprint sensor which has been integrated into the power button itself.

Samsung
The device will be available in 6GB RAM+128GB storage and 4GB RAM+64GB storage configurations.

“The new colours and a side fingerprint sensor deliver a refreshed design. We are confident that with this device, we will capture the imagination of the Indian millennial and be able to add to the celebrations during the festive season,” said Sumit Walia, Director, Mobile Business, Samsung India.

Galaxy A7 is powered by a Samsung’s proprietary Exynos 7885 2.2GHz octa-core processor.

The device will be available in 6GB RAM+128GB storage and 4GB RAM+64GB storage configurations.

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The smartphone is powered by a 3300mAh battery and runs Android Oreo operating system (OS).

Samsung is offering cash back worth Rs 2,000 on the smartphone when buyers make payment through HDFC bank credit and debit cards. (IANS)

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