Kailash Chandra Mahindra was born in 1894 in Ludhiana, Punjab, the second of nine children. When their father died at an early age, his older brother J.C. stepped into the role of head of the family. K.C.’s deep lifelong friendship with J.C. was remarkable.
K.C. studied at Government College, Lahore where he showed early promise of a brilliant scholastic career. Continuing his studies at Cambridge, UK, he earned Honors, played hockey, and took a keen interest in rowing.
When K.C. graduated from Cambridge, Mr. Sachinanda Sinha, Vice Chancellor of Patna University, introduced him to Mr. R.N. Mukherjee, Senior Partner of Messrs. Martin & Company. He quickly rose through the company, editing the monthly magazine INDIA and, briefly, the Hindustan Review.
In 1942, K.C. was appointed Head of the Indian Purchasing Mission in the United States. Returning to India in 1945, he was appointed the Chairman of the Indian Coal Fields Committee of the Government of India and also of the Automobile and Tractor panel. His contribution to developing strategic coal policies and applying the latest methods of coal mining in India helped shape the industry, and his Coal Commission Report became a seminal document in the industry. During these years, he also wrote a biography called “Sir Rajendranath Mookerjee: A Personal Study.”
In 1946, K.C. moved to Bombay with his brother J.C. to found Mahindra & Mohammed. Under his 13-year leadership as Chairman, Mahindra & Mahindra established itself as a major Indian industrial house in several sectors. He also served as Director of RBI, Air India, and Hindustan Steel and Chairman of Indian Aluminium Company.
K.C. died in 1963.