Moloo Brothers & Co.

Moloo Brothers & Co.

Tanganyika

Moloo Brothers & Co was established in 1900 by Moloobhai Bapa (b.1874-1956). In 1891 when Moloobhai was 17 years old he started going on board the ships visiting Zanzibar harbour and used to sell goods to sailors and tourists. Initially one Goan gentleman took Moloobhai on board a ship called Man-of-War to sell goods worth about Rs 10-15 and he made a good profit.

This started him off doing business with the sailors and tourists selling food stuff, cigarettes, ready made wears, curios etc. on board the ships. That was the beginning of the hawker business.

In 1896 he started a partnership business of curios, carpets, silk, etc. with a Sindhi named, Hotchand, under the name of “Moloo & Hotchand. In the year 1900 they rented an old building owned by a Parsee on the Main Street. This is where the business of Moloo and Hotchand moved.

The partnership lasted until 1903 when Hotchand retired from the business selling his shares to Moloobhai and a new business was established under the name of Moloo Brothers & Co. His younger brother, Mohamedbhai then 16, joined the business.

The business was a general dealer in silk, ivory, jewellery and oriental curiosities. It was also a stamp dealer and money exchange. It was touted as the largest curios shop in East Africa.

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