Thavar Pir Muhammad hailed from Dhoraji. It is said that he left Dhoraji in 1890 with his sons, Shakur Thavar and Hashim Thavar and arrived in Deccan, Hyderabad. He again moved towards Bijapur, where he opened his small grocery shop. His sons were traders of cutlery items and bones. Soon afterwards, Thavar Pir Muhammad ventured into the business of leather. His elder son, Shakur who was born in 1880 had established the Sholapur Tenneries at very young age in Sholapur and became a pioneer merchant of leather. Shakur Thavar died on June 4, 1952 at the age of 72 years.
Jan Muhammad Hansraj was born in 1838 in Kutchh. Not much is known about his early life. He however made a trip of Zanzibar in 1852 and ventured in the business field. He started first a retail store with his brother, Kanji at Bagomoyo, and eventually expanded into wholesale trade. He is still remembered as industrious and generous, who helped the arriving Ismailis in Africa.
Jan Muhammad Hansraj owned at least five stone houses with plots in Bagomoyo, and was also the deputy of Sir Tharia Topan (1823-1891) in the town since 1860.
Mukhi Ramzan Ismail (d. 1910) was a prominent leader. Imam Aga Ali Shah appointed him the Mukhi with Kamadia Hashim for the Kharadhar Jamatkhana, Karachi in 1882. Mukhi Ramzan was also an elected member of Karachi Municipality in 1854. He served the ailing persons in the community with his means and materials during the outbreak of plague in 1897. Mukhi Ramzan Ismail had eight sons, and the best known among them were Mukhi Rehmatullah, Mukhi Teja, Sabzali, Mukhi Nazar Ali or Mukhi Nanda, Ghulam Hussain or Gulu and Dr. Datoo.
Dhamu Chunara also known as Dharamsi Panjuani was an eminent trader in Bhuj, Kutchh. He visited Iran with his wife Mulibai to behold Imam Shah Khalilullah in Yazd in the beginning of 1817. The Imam granted him a sealed letter of patent in Khojki script and also bestowed upon him the title of Dharas. He had two sons, Sumar and Virji. The son of Virji was Rahimtullah, whose son was Ghulam Hussain. The son of Sumar was Premji, whose son was Jan Muhammad, the father of Ali Muhammad.
Lakhpat, an oldest port of Kutchh, lying near the Indus river was a native soil of his family tree. The population dropped from 15000 to 2500 persons in 1851 due to severe famine, and the area became almost desolated. His grandfather, Thavar walked down to Badin, Sind with some Ismaili families. Later on, Thavar is reported to have gone to Muscat, located on the Gulf of Oman coast and isolated by a hill range. Thavar is believed to have worked with Baledina Asani (1802-1896), the Estate Agent of Imam Hasan Ali Shah in Muscat. He made Gwadar as his next home, where he died.
Ramzan Ali (d. 1886), son of Sabzali Hansraj, a dedicated social worker and businessman in Mundra, Kutchh, had six children: three sons: Mahomed Jaffer (1874-1918), Rahim (1880-1929) and Pir Sabzali (1884-1938); and three daughters: Fatimabai, Jainabai and Sonbai.
Basaria I, the ancestor of the later Basaria family was a devoted person in Bhuj, Kutchh. His son was Fadhu, who travelled on foot to behold Imam Shah Khalilullah in Iran, where Fadhu died. Fadhu had three sons, Ghulam Ali, Basaria II and Jaffer. The most shinning figure among them was Basaria II, known as Basaria Fadhu.
Mukhi Alarakhia Sumar was originally of Mulla Katiar, Sind, but his family came to settle in Bombay. He was an eminent merchant of cloth and sugar. He became Mukhi of the Bombay Jamatkhana soon after the death of Mukhi Alibhai Padamsi in 1848.
The Ismailis possessed a graveyard near Dongri, Bombay since 1790, measuring 12706 sq. yards. He and Kamadia Khaki Padamsi extended the site by purchasing an adjoining plot of 6978 sq. yards from Nilaji Lakshamji for Rs. 11500/- in September 1856.
Ali Muhammad Jessa Bhaloo was born on July 21, 1917 in Zanzibar, where he got his early education. Later on, he proceeded to London for a higher education. He also qualified as F.I.C. (Fellow of the Institute of Commerce) and F.R.Econ. S. (Fellow of the Royal Economic Society) in England.
He formed his business soon after he terminated his education, which flourished financially. He was a leading dealer of radio spare parts and some electronic items. He was also the manufacturer's representative and insurance property, etc.
Kassim Mitha Budhwani's father Mithabhai Ratansi Budhwani was born in Dhoraji, India in 1844. He was the Kamadia of Dhoraji Jamatkhana till his last breath. Kamadia Mithabhai, who was also lovingly called as Ad or Bata, was the President of the Dhoraji Local Council and the Khoja Panjibhai Club. He was a devoted and dedicated social worker. Truth, love and honesty all the times sprouted in his speech. His oft-spoken words were, 'One who works is a Kamadia.' He prepared tea at daily at midnight in the Jamatkhana. He always felt proud when the known or unknown persons visited his house.
Rahmatullah Mulji Macklai was born in Kera, Kutchh in 1843, but came to Bombay for business purposes. He was a self-made man, whose business of gold and silver flourished due to his efforts. He was the first merchant to introduce the gold bars, bearing the seal of the royal mint to save the people from buying imitation gold. His services in the religious field were incredible. In 1913, he retired and consigned his business to his sons. He died in 1928 at Versova at the ripe age of 85 years and was buried in Bombay.
Chagla Vali Muhammad's forefathers were originally from Mulla Katiar, Sind. They migrated to Lasbela and finally settled in Karachi. Amongst them, Vali Muhammad, known as Vali Bhagat came to live in Kharadhar, Karachi. He was a religious teacher, and a ginans reciter in Jamatkhana. The Imam paid a gracious visit to Karachi for 27 days on April 10, 1920. On that occasion, a large concourse of ten thousand Ismailis flocked in the city. The Council formed a Managing Committee to control its administration. Vali Muhammad extended his incredible services as a member, presided by Wazir Col.
Bhagat Walji Velji was one of the most dedicated persons in Mekhandi, Porebandar, having four sons, Nanji, Premji, Jivraj, and Ali. The elder son, Nanji, had a son Hussain and a daughter Jetbai with his first wife. He had three daughters, Manbai, Nurbai and Hirbai and a son Alibhai with his second wife.
Alibhai, the son of Nanji was born in Mekhandi on Sunday, June 10, 1893. His father Nanji Walji owned a small fertile land at the end of the village. He was a devoted person and very knowledgeable of ginans; therefore, his son Alibhai acquired his formal religious education at home.
Alibhai Premji Tyrewala was born in Bombay in 1898. Nothing is known of his early life. He started a small shop of second-hand tires on Grant Road, Bombay. He gradually erected two big stores of tires and old cars.
His career in jamati services began when he became a lifetime member of the Ismailia Students Library, Kandi Mola, Bombay in 1923 till his death. He was also the Treasurer of the Central Panjibhai Club, Bombay.
Ali Muhammad Alidina, the son of Mukhi Alidina Asani (1793-1881) was an eminent contractor in Karachi. In addition, his brothers and himself managed a business of hides and skins. They extended their mercantile activity as far as Burma. Ali Muhammad was an influential person, sharing a close friendship with the British officers in Karachi. He was also in good terms with Muhammad Rawjee (1830-1897), Sir Karim Ibrahim (1840-1924), and some other eminent persons of the Persian Gulf.
Kanji Ramji originated from Samaghoga, about 14 miles from Mundra, Kutchh. He had a religious proclivity since childhood. His habits were very simple and he lived a saintly life till last breath, so much so that the Imam during his first visit to East Africa said, 'What should be the momin's qualities, habits and manners are seen in Kanji Ramji. Everyone must follow them accordingly.' (Zanzibar: July 5, 1899). He was also the Mukhi and became known as the 'Dini Darwish of Kutchh' due to his pious life.
He was born in Kera, Kutchh in 1851 and came to Zanzibar by a sailing vessel in 1863 at the age of 12 years. He proceeded to Bagamoyo to work as an assistant to Sewa Haji Paroo (1851-1897). After having earned enough money, he began to organize caravans for domestic travelling. His business expanded, at first slowly but later more quickly. He had extended his operations all along the caravan route, opening branches of operations of his firm in Dar-es-Salaam, Sadani, Tabora, Ujiji and of Kalima and Tindo in the Belgium Congo.
Alibhai Lalji is reported to have migrated from Junagadh, India to Mombasa, Kenya in 1880 to explore business opportunities. His son Hussain also came from India in 1912, and settled however in Mwanza. Later on, his son Hasan Ali and the rest of the family joined Hussain in 1920 in Mwanza. They jointly ran a general store, called Alibhai Lalji & Sons, and made steady progress.
Hasan Ali liked modernity in dressing and eating. He was meticulously dressed and was easily distinguished in a crowd of Asians. Due to his modern tastes, he was nick named as Hasan Ali Fancy.
Amir Ali Muhammad Ormadawala was born in 1917 in the house of Mohammad Hirji of Amerali. His father died in 1918 when he was hardly a year old. His mother, Sambai had a religious proclivity and rendered her services as the Mukhiani of the Ormada jamat.