Sir. Mokshagundam Visvesvaraya also known as Sir M.V. is a noted Visionary and one of the Builders of the Indian Economy. He was a well known mathematician and an English scholar having an impeccable character.
On graduating as an engineer, Sir M.V. took up a job with the Public Works Department (PWD) of Bombay (now ‘Mumbai’) and was later invited to join the Indian Irrigation Commission. He was good at research, planning and development. Sir M.V. completed various projects on irrigation, water supply systems and drainage systems. The Governor of Bombay during those days, Lord Sandthrust complimented Sir M.V. as the ‘Most Abled Engineer’ at inauguration functions of Water Work projects around the city. Over the years, a lot of ventures such as preparing memorandums on irrigation, furnishing well-known working Block System of Irrigation were taken up by Sir M.V. Soon he became one of the best officers among European and Indian circles, within the Public Works Department.
Formation of MVIRDC
Sir. M. Visvesvaraya had established the All India Manufacturers’ Organisation (AIMO) in 1941, with the objective of spurring industrial development. AIMO continuously initiated and organised several programmes and activities to achieve these objectives and in the process, set up chapters all over the country. Research and Development (R&D) being the backbone of industrial growth, Dr. Visvesvaraya was keen on establishing an R&D facility for Indian industry and economy. Mumbai, as the financial and commercial capital of the country, seemed the obvious choice. The idea was vigorously pursued by AIMO with the government of the then Bombay State in the late 1950s, to acquire suitable land for the project.
With the concept of a World Trade Center (WTC) emerging strongly world over, the idea of incorporating it in India took root. A high-level delegation from AIMO was formed to muster support from Mr. S. K. Wankhede, Minister of Industry, Government of Maharashtra. At its Annual General Meeting 1968, Mr. Y. A. Fazalbhoy, President, AIMO put forth the concept to Ms. Indira Gandhi, Prime Minister, who was the chief guest. It found immediate favour with her and from then on the project proceeded at a quick pace. Mr. Phiroz Kudianwala, well known architect was commissioned to develop the WTC plan overnight. Mr. P. L. Badami, Director General and Financial Advisor to AIMO Industrial Foundation and Mr. D. R. Joshi, were nominated as key persons to speed up the WTC proposal and present it to the government as well as to business and industry. WTC Mumbai finally received the much-needed impetus and Mr. Wankhede was nominated its first President.
WTC Mumbai came into existence on June 26, 1970 and was registered under the Indian Companies Act,1956 under section 25 as a not-for-profit company named, M Visvesaraya Industrial Research and Development Center (MVIRDC),with the main objective of facilitating trade through education, research, trade promotion activities and provide facilitation for Trade and Industry through office space, exhibition space, conference and meeting rooms and the ancillary objective of establishment of WTCs in India and abroad. The Maharashtra Government, Central Government and private sector represent the Council of Management of MVIRDC, popularly known as Visvesvaraya Center - The Multipurpose Commerce Center
The commercial nerve-centre of the entire complex, the multi-storeyed Commerce Center dominates the Visvesvaraya Center complex and towers above the surrounding Bombay landscape. This is a common feature of World Trade Centres, symbolising - rising-above, looking-out and beyond, to international understanding and co-operation.
The Commerce Center houses:
Institute for industrial research
Information centre providing trade information services
Offices of organisations connected with national and international industry and trade; state and regional agencies; customs and custom house brokers, steamship, rail, truck and air carriers; trade commissions; banks, financial and insurance services; and trade service organisations