A commemorative postage stamp on Vasantrao S. Dempo, founder chairman of the Dempo Group of Companies :
Issued by India
Issued on Mar 4, 2016
Issued for : The Department of Posts is pleased to release a commemorative postage stamp on Shri Vasantrao Srinivassa Sinai Dempo.
Stamp / FDC / Cancellation Cachet : Smt. Nenu Gupta
Type : Stamp, Mint Condition
Colour : Multi Colour
Denomination : 500 Paise
Stamps Printed : 0.4012 million
Printing Process : Wet Offset
Printer : Security Printing Press, Hyderabad
Name : Vasantrao Shrinivas Dempo
Born on Feb 4, 1916 at Santa Cruz, Goa, India
Died on Nov 9, 2000
- Mr. Vencatexa Sinai Dempo, also known as Vasantrao, was born to Mrs. Satyabhama and Mr. Srinivassa Sinai Dempo on 4th March, 1916. The family home at Calapur (Santa Cruz) in which the young Vasantrao grew up was steeped in religiosity and orthodox ritual, from which came his staunch piety towards his family deities and reverence for the Pontiff of the Monastic School to whose sect he belonged. Having studied Marathi, Portuguese and English, he grew aware of the great world of business that lay beyond Goa. Generations of land-owning, shipping, trading in agricultural produce and underwriting had led to the Dempos being esteemed highly, for their integrity as much as for their social responsibility. It was Vasantrao’s genius that he kept alive and strengthened this glorious tradition, while pioneering new lines and new practices of business.
- Commencing the trading in commodities sourced overseas, Vasantrao made available a wealth of choice to the Goan consumer. Casting about for business opportunity, he showed great foresight in recognizing the potential for iron ore mining in Goa. Acquiring mining concessions in the late 1930s and early 1940s, he formed V. S. Dempo & Co. Pvt. Ltd., the Group flagship in 1941, assisted by his brother, Mr. Vaikunthrao S. Dempo. The Company would go on to become a much-lauded eport house in addition to the region’s premier mining and processing concern. Acquiring the ore-rich mine at Bicholim, till today Goa’s largest, he set up Dempo Mining Corporation Pvt. Ltd., the flagship’s subsidiary, a few years later. Recognizing the vulnerability of Europe-oriented exports to the Suez Canal, Vasantrao looked far Eastwards instead, commencing exports to Japan, in particular to Nippon Steel, starting a long business relationship that abides to this day; over half a century later. Vasantrao invested in transhipper vessels on contracts with international corporate giants such as Krupp. He did so, correctly foreseeing the logistical scale of operations involved in the undertaking. Vasantrao’s iron resolve rode the Company out of the pre-Liberation naval blockade of Goa.
- The years following Goa‘s Liberation were those of consolidation and expansion, when his son and eventual successor, Vasudeva V. Dempo, joined in assisting him in a long, devoted and fruitful apprenticeship that saw newer lines of activity at the House of Dempo. Manufacture of calcined petroleum coke, marine paints and baby foods, newspaper publishing, shipping, ship building, civil contracting, real estate development, travel services, automobile dealerships, and stevedoring, followed.
- Vasantrao Dempo set the foundations for higher education in newly-liberated Goa. He patronized Goa’s most consistently excelling soccer club and supported charitable causes and exerted his influence in promoting Goan industry. Honoring him for his efforts in nation-building, the Government of India conferred upon him the civilian award, “Padmashri”. Some of the awards that deserve special mention are the Jawaharlal Nehru Award for Excellence for 1990 for enhancing India’s prestige and contributing towards national development, given by the London-based Non Resident Indians’ Institute, the Rotary Club of Panjim‘s “Ambassador of Goodwill” honour, and the Shiromani Institute’s award for national integration.
- Vasantrao was highly sought after as advisor by a number of institutions of worth. He sat on several highly regarded Committees and bodies. Chairman of the Indo-Portuguese Trade Council, he was also a member of the Lloyd’s Register of Shipping for India, the American Bureau of Shipping’s Technical Committee and the Indo-Japan Business Corporation Committee. He also served as the President of the Goan Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
- Vasantrao was a man of great charm and enormous dignity. He radiated authority and exuded an unmistakable aura of power. When the end came on 9th November, 2000 Vasantrao had ensured not only a place for himself in India’s industrial history, but also in the hearts and minds of Goans.
- Text : Based on the material received from proponent.