Early Life and Education

Sohrab Pirojsha Godrej, fondly known as Soli, was born on June 3rd, 1912, in Mumbai to the co-founder of the renowned Godrej Group Pirojsha Burjorji and his wife Soonabai . The eldest of three sons, Sohrab was inclined towards the Arts but after his initial schooling at Queen Mary School and St. Xavier’s High School, he graduated in Science from St. Xavier’s College, a degree more useful for the family business. Mumbai. In 1972, following his father’s passing, he assumed the role of Chairman of the Godrej Group, leading the company towards remarkable success.

Beyond Godrej

Man of the Trees

Yet, Mr Godrej never let the chairmanship of the Godrej group come in the way of his espousing causes close to his heart. As a man of varied and diverse interests, he pursued travel, was an advocate of population control a pioneering activist for preservation of wildlife and ecology, and supported the conservation of heritage architecture. development, education, social welfare, international affairs and archaeology, Notably, he held esteemed positions such as the President of the International Chamber of Commerce – India, the Council of EU Chambers of Commerce in India, the Indo-French Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and the Indo-Belgian Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Mr. Godrej’s visionary approach to conservation led him to play a pivotal role in managing the Godrej Mangroves ecosystem of Vikhroli, situated along the West bank of the Thane Creek. In recognition of his efforts, the Soonabai Pirojsha Godrej Foundation was established in 1965, ensuring the preservation of this ecologically sensitive area. His immense dedication to environmental, heritage, and wildlife conservation earned him well-deserved titles such as ‘Mr. Environmentalist’ and ‘Man of the Trees.’

Other Positions Held

Throughout his illustrious career, Mr. Godrej held numerous esteemed positions that further exemplify his commitment to environmental preservation:

  • ‘Friend’ of the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources.
  • Vice-President and Vice-Patron of the Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS).
  • Vice-Chairman of the People’s Commission on Environment and Development, India.
  • President of the National Society of the Friends of Trees.
  • Founder-Member of the Salim Ali Centre of Ornithology and Natural History.
  • Active involvement with the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) Committee on Environment, ASSOCHAM Committee on Industrial Pollution and Safety, and Indian Natural Trust of Art and Cultural Heritage.
  • Chairman of the Maharashtra State Animal Welfare Board.
  • Founder-Trustee of the World Wide Fund for Nature.
  • Founder and President of the Pirojsha Godrej National Conservation Centre.


Sohrab Godrej receiving the Padma Bhushan Award from the President of India Shri K R Narayan

For his commitment to and his relentless efforts for animal welfare, wildlife and environment protection, Mr. S P Godrej, President, World Wide Fund for Nature (India) was honoured as the ‘WWF 25th Anniversary Benefactor’. On the occasion, he was presented with an authorised print of Robert Bakeman’s famous painting ‘The White Pelicans’ by HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh and WWF’s International President, at the Buckingham Palace.

Sohrab Godrej receiving the Indira Gandhi Paryavaran Puraskar for 1991 from the then Prime Minister P. V. Narsimha Rao at Prime Minister’s garden, New Delhi. Kamal Nath, Minister for Environment can be seen in the photograph.