I am usually the very attentive driver who manages to keep her eyes away from the beautiful and colourful hoarding on the roads. But driving down in Gurgaon on a March afternoon last year one hoarding got the better of me, or lets say the better of the parent in me.
Based on what I can recall, the hoarding read something like:
Important notice from the promoters of The Shri Ram Schools: We have no relationship with The Shri Ram Global School/Shri Ram Centennial School
While most of us may be used to seeing “We have no branches” or “Humri koi shakhai nahi hai” on sweet boxes, this phrase on that hoarding caught my attention as a parent hoping to seek nursery admission for my daughter in one of the hugely popular Shri Ram schools. What followed is my 2-week long investigation to make sense of that hoarding and understanding who is really behind the Shri Ram schools. This article is a brief summary of my understanding that involved a lot of internet research, visit to the Shriram brand of schools and a few sleepless nights reading through some books I managed to lay my hands on, namely - From the brink of bankruptcy: The DCM Story, DCM: Shri Ram, A Biography and Point and Lines.
The Shri Ram family has given us some great educational institutions topping many ranking charts. Let’s see how it all started and who runs these Institutions today.
Sir Shri Ram (famously known as Lala Shri Ram) and his family
It all started with Lala Shri Ram, a first generation Indian entrepreneur, who became Sir Shri Ram in after being awarded knighthood in 1941. After a humble begin at the Delhi Cloth and General Mills Co Ltd, he went on to lead the company. He setup premier colleges such as Shri Ram College of Commerce (SRCC) and Lady Shri ram College (LSR), in spite of being modestly educated himself. He had three sons - Murli Dhar, Bharat Ram and Charat Ram.
Differences between Bharat Ram and his younger brother Charat Ram resulted in a three way split of DCM into DCM Shriram Consolidated Limited (Ajay and Vikram Shriram, sons of Murli Dhar), DCM Limited (Vinay & Arun Bharat Ram, sons of Bharat Ram), DCM Shriram Industries Limited (Vivek Bharat Ram, son of Bharat Ram) and Shriram Industrial Enterprises Limited (Siddharth Shriram, son of Charat Ram). DCM Limited saw a further split with Vinay Bharat Ram retaining control of DCM Limited and Arun Bharat Ram parting away with SRF Limited.
Bharat Ram and his descendants
Descendants of Dr. Bharat Ram seem to be the only one with interests in the education industry among the three sons of Lala Shri Ram. Dr. Bharat Ram, middle of the three sons of Lala Shri Ram, was a prominent Indian industrialist who after taking charge of the Delhi Cloth and General Mills Co Ltd. gave it the form we have popularly known it as – DCM. He graduated from the St. Stephen’s College and was an influential leader. The government also made him the chairman of Indian Airlines. He has three sons – Vinay Bharat Ram, Arun Bharat Ram and Vivek Bharat Ram. Vinay, the oldest of the three sons of Dr. Bharat Ram, was the chairman and managing director of DCM and also led DCM Toyota and DCM Daewoo at their time. He does not seem to have major interests within the education sector.
Arun Bharat Ram
Arun Bharat Ram is the middle of the three sons of Dr. Bharat Ram and is the chairman of SRF Limited. He is a graduate of the University of Michigan, USA. He is the chairman of the board of governors for Lady Shri Ram College and also involved with The Shri Ram Schools (TSRS) through his SRF foundation and other K-12 schools through the Shri Educare Limited (SEL). His late wife, Mrs. Manju Bharat Ram was the founder and chairperson of the managing committee for The Shri Ram Schools (TSRS).
Shri ram Educational Institutions associated with the Arun Bharat Ram family
- The Shri Ram School, Vasant Vihar, Delhi (TSRS)
- The Shri Ram School, Moulsari Avenue, Gurgaon (TSRS)
- The Shri Ram School, Aravali, Gurgaon (TSRS)
- The Shri Ram Police Public School, Bhondsi, Gurgaon (TSRPPS)
- The Shriram Millennium School, Noida (TSMS)
- The Shriram Millennium School, Faridabad (TSMS)
- The Shri Ram Early Years (TSEY) Play school
- The Shri Ram Coaching Classes, Delhi (TSRCC)
- Lady Shri Ram College, Delhi (LSR)
- Ghiyasuddin International School, Maldives
Vivek Bharat Ram
Vivek Bharat Ram is the youngest of the three sons of Dr. Bharat Ram and currently the chairman of Shri Ram New Horizons Limited and trustee of Shri Ram Education Trust (SRET). He was in charge of DCM Shriram Industries and was the chairman and senior managing director of DCM Benetton India Ltd, Chairman of Shriram Global Enterprises Ltd and the co-promoter of DCM Daewoo. Vivek has studied at the prestigious Doon School and is a graduate of the University of Michigan, USA.
Shri Ram Educational Institutions associated with the Vivek Bharat Ram family
- Kingdom of Kids play school, Gurgaon, Haryana
- Shri Ram Global Pre-School, Gurgaon, Haryana
- Shri Ram Global Pre-School, Punjabi Bagh, Delhi
- Shri Ram Global School, Gurgaon, Haryana (SRGS)
- Shri Ram Global School, Rohtak, Haryana (SRGS)
- Shri Ram Centennial School, Agra, Uttar Pradesh (SRCS)
- Shri Ram Centennial School, Indore, Madhya Pradesh (SRCS)
- Shri Ram Centennial School, Patna, Bihar (SRCS)
- Shri Ram Centennial School, Thane, Maharashtra (SRCS)
- Shri Ram Centennial School, Dehradun, Uttrakhand (SRCS)
- Shri Ram Centennial School, Siliguri, West Begal (SRCS)
DCM and the Shri ram family has already given us some great education institutions, including being the training ground for people like Shiv Nadar (of HCL), who has also forayed into K-12 schools in Gurgaon after their flagship in Noida. While, the Shri Ram family saga surely tells us that managing the family is as important as managing businesses, but we hope that their family disorders and the possible lack of succession planning that may have resulted in the two Bharat Ram siblings competing in the K-12 school sector give us some more great schools.
So what happen to my daughter nursery admission - you ask? Well, that’s a story in itself, perhaps in another blog another time.