Late Seth Motilal Sanghi
The M. K. Sanghi Group had an extremely humble beginning. In the early 1920s, a young man from Jodhpur, Motilal Sanghi, decided to start a general merchandise shop after taking a loan of five thousand rupees. Driven by enthusiasm and a burning desire to be successful, he soon became the largest retailer in the state of Jodhpur and figured that if he could sell food and garments, he could also sell cars.

It was the British Raj era and the only buyers of cars were the Maharajas and the Princes of the Royal States. Motilal not only established strong personal relations with these potential buyers but also obtained dealerships from General Motors, USA and Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, England. He also began to sell a new car produced by Sir Herbert Austin in England called the Austin Seven.

By the 1940s, Seth Motilal Sanghi (as he had come to be known by then) had established a vast network for the sales, service and spare parts of cars. His network was spread over Jodhpur, Jaipur, Udaipur, Kota, Ajmer, Bikaner, Mount Abu, Indore and Delhi.

Motilal Sanghi with one of the first
Mercedes-Benz imports into India
Mahendra Sanghi in 1962 with
the Hindustan Ambassador Mark II

Seth Motilal Sanghi also diversified into the nascent cinema business and was soon operating over ten movie theatres in North India. The aim was to use the cinema business as the bedrock for profitable real estate investments. During his lifetime, Motilal Sanghi also ventured into manufacturing industrial gases by setting up one of the first oxygen gas plants in Jaipur.

The Hughes Road showroom in the 1950s
Shown here selling Chevrolet cars
The legacy of Seth Motilal Sanghi was nurtured by his eldest son, Narendra Sanghi, who remained an active member of the Indian Parliament (Lok Sabha) for over sixteen years. The business was further expanded and strengthened by Mahendra Sanghi, Seth Motilal Sanghi's youngest son.

In 1952, the Government of India asked all car manufacturers who did not have plans to manufacture cars in India to shut their operations. This resulted in the exit of auto manufacturers such as General Motors from India. Motilal had to virtually restart his operations and take on dealerships of the new Indian vehicle manufacturers such as Tata Motors (then known as Telco), Hindustan Motors and Mahindra & Mahindra.

Over the years several celebrities have
taken their cars through Vitesse & the
MK Sanghi Group
In 1962, Mahendra Sanghi shifted from Jodhpur to Mumbai in order to establish the group’s footprint in India’s commercial capital. Over the ensuing years, the group took on new dealerships such as Mercedes-Benz and Maruti-Suzuki, expanded its real estate interests, consolidated its industrial gas business and diversified into manufacturing and engineering of industrial gas plants and power generation.