University of Michigan alumnus, Sarv D.S. Mongia, passed away earlier this year, on March 1st. Mongia graduated from the University with a BSE in Mechanical Engineering and a BSE in Industrial & Operations Engineering in 1957. After completing his undergraduate education, Mongia stayed at the University to apply the technical aspects of engineering to an education in business. He graduated with an MBA from Ross in 1960.
Upon graduation, Mongia worked with General Motors for two years and then moved to India, where he worked with Hindustan Motors, an Indian automobile manufacturer. Mongia soon quit, and planned to move back to the States. Before leaving, he reunited with Michigan friends in New Dehli, where he was subsequently hired to work with Escorts Ltd, one of India’s leading engineering conglomerates. He created a motorcycle division within the company, where he developed the Indian Motorcycle. He was also the first to introduce Yamaha motorcycles to the country. His company quickly gained recognition, so that he became known to many as the “Father of the Motorcycles in India.”
India has remembered him honorably, signifying the impact he had on the nation and its technological developments, specifically related to motorcycles. The Times of India, the most widely read English newspaper in India, notably published his obituary earlier in the year.
Mongia greatly influenced India’s motorcycle business as well as, on a more personal level, the people closest to him. His daughter Nandini also graduated from the Ross School of Business.
Fellow classmate and lifetime friend of Mongia, Jagdish Saluja, recalls spending his undergraduate career with his friend, from being roommates in a house on State Street to taking a summer road trip, driving a brand new Cadillac to Miami. After their time at the University, the two remained friends, even after moving back and forth from India, and today, the two families remain close.
“Time takes its toll on all of us; many of my Michigan friends are already gone and we few who are still around will always cherish our Michigan memories as long as we live,” Saluja said.