25 Most Prominent and Famous Parsis In India

The Parsi community, also known as Zoroastrians, is a community in India that, despite having a very small population, has made significant contributions in crucial fields such as medical, IT, the military, film industry, nuclear technology, business, industries, and much more. On August 16th, 2023 there is also Parsi New Year. So, let’s learn about some well-known and famous Parsis and their contributions.

The ‘Qissa-i Sanjan’ narrates that Parsis, immigrants from Persia, arrived in Gujarat, India, between the 8th and 10th centuries. At that time, the local ruler ‘Jadi Rana’ granted them permission to stay under certain conditions, such as learning the Gujarati language and having their females wear traditional clothing (sari). The Parsis accepted these conditions and established their settlement under the name of Sanjan.

In a country with a population of 1.4 billion like India, there are only 70,000 Parsis, which is merely 0.00005% of the total population. Despite having such a small population, their contribution to our country is significant.

1. Sam Manekshaw

One of the finest Chiefs of the Army Staff is Field Marshal Sam Hormusji Framji Jamshedji Manekshaw, who is known for his role in the 1971 Indo-Pak war. In this war, India divided Pakistan and created a new country called Bangladesh.

The first Indian Army officer who was bestowed with the Field Marshal rank.

Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw

2. Ratan Tata

One of India’s foremost industrialists and philanthropists, Ratan Tata, is an inspiration to the youth of today.

Honored with the Padma Vibhushan and Padma Bhushan awards, Ratan Naval Tata served as the Chairman of the Tata Group from 1990 to 2012.

On this day, almost every household in India uses some product of Tata in one way or another.

Ratan Naval Tata

3. Homie J. Bhabha

Today, if India possesses nuclear power, a significant credit for this goes to ‘Homie Jahangir Bhabha.’ That’s why he is also referred to as the ‘Father of the Indian Nuclear Programme’.

Father of the Indian Nuclear Programme

4. J. R. D. Tata

Famous Parsis and their contributions include Jehangir Ratanji Dadabhoy Tata, who initiated one of the world’s largest IT companies, TCS (Tata Consultancy Services).

J. R. D. Tata, apart from TCS, also founded companies like Tata Motors, Titan Industries, Tata Salt, Voltas, and Air India.

His mother, Suzanne RD Tata, was the first woman in India to drive a car, and J. R. D. Tata became the first licensed pilot in India.

Parsi Jehangir Ratanji Dadabhoy Tata

5. Ardeshir Godrej

The Godrej Group’s beginning dates back to the year 1897 when Ardeshir Godrej read an article in the newspaper about the rising crime in the city. This article inspired Ardeshir Godrej to come up with the idea of making and selling locks.

Today, Godrej’s products can be found in almost every household in India.

Ardeshir Godrej founder of Godrej Group

6. Jamsetji Tata

One of the most famous and respected among the Parsis, Jamsetji Nusserwanji Tata, is the founder of India’s largest conglomerate (a large firm made up of several different companies) company, the ‘Tata Group’.

One of the most famous and respected among the Parsis, Jamsetji Nusserwanji Tata

7. Feroze Gandhi

One of the biggest names in Indian politics is Feroze Jehangir Gandhy, who was the husband of Indira Gandhi and the grandfather of modern Indian politician Rahul Gandhi. Feroze Jehangir Gandhi was also a Parsi.

Feroze Jehangir Gandhi was an Indian politician, freedom fighter, and journalist.

One of the biggest names in Indian politics is Feroze Jehangir Gandhy

8. Bhicaji Balsara

Bhicaji Framji Balsara was a Parsi from Bombay. In 1900, he went to the United States as a cotton buyer, where he also got married and applied for U.S. citizenship in 1906.

After winning cases in the Circuit Court in New York and the Federal Court of Appeal, he was granted U.S. naturalized citizenship in 1909.

He was the first Indian to be granted naturalized citizenship in the United States.

Bhicaji Framji Balsara was a Parsi from Bombay


9. Freddie Mercury

One of the most famous Parsis in the world was ‘Farrokh Bulsara,’ the lead vocalist and pianist of the iconic rock band Queen. His parents, Bomi and Jer Bulsara, were part of the Parsi community in Gujarat.

 'Farrokh Bulsara,' the lead vocalist and pianist of the iconic rock band Queen.

10. Cyrus S. Poonawalla

Cyrus S. Poonawalla is an Indian billionaire businessman who serves as the chairman and managing director of the Cyrus Poonawalla Group.

His company, Serum Institute of India, is the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer.

Many of you may have received the ‘Covishield’ vaccine, which was manufactured by his company, Serum Institute of India.

Parsi Businessman Cyrus S. Poonawalla

11. Dinshaw Maneckji Petit

Today, the Indian textile industry is one of the largest in the world, and it was Dinshaw Maneckji Petit who initiated the process of modernizing and making the textile industry in India more productive.

Sir Dinshaw Maneckji Petit was an entrepreneur and the founder of India’s first textile mill.

Prominent Parsi Dinshaw Maneckji Petit

12. Homai Vyarawalla

The first lady in India who drove a car was a Parsi, and India’s first ‘Photojournalist’ is also Parsi.

First female Photojournalist Homai Vyarawalla

13. Dadabhai Naoroji

Economist and political activist Dadabhai Naoroji was the first person to publicly demand India’s independence.

Economist and political activist Dadabhai Naoroji

14. Sir Pherozeshah Mehta

Among the largest political parties in India, one of the co-founders and Presidents of the ‘Indian National Congress’ is also a Zoroastrian, Sir Pherozeshah Mehta.

Sir Pherozeshah Mehta Photo

15. Homi Nusserwanji Sethna

The very famous and prominent Parsi, Homi Nusserwanji Sethna, was a chemical engineer and nuclear scientist.

When India conducted its first nuclear test named “Smiling Buddha,” it was carried out at the Pokhran Test Range in 1974.

At that time, Homi Nusserwanji Sethna was the Chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission of India.

The very famous and prominent Parsi, Homi Nusserwanji Sethna

16. Pallonji Mistry

The world-famous Parsi businessman Pallonji Shapoorji Mistry was born in India. He was a construction magnate and the chairman of the Shapoorji Pallonji Group. He was also one of the major shareholders in the Tata Group, which is India’s largest private conglomerate.

The world-famous Parsi businessman Pallonji Shapoorji Mistry

17. Byramjee Jeejeebhoy

This is a businessman and philanthropist who has established several educational institutions in India.

Here are some notable colleges of which he is the founder.

  • Byramjee Jeejeebhoy College.
  • Byramjee Jeejeebhoy Medical College.
  • B. J. Medical College.
Byramjee Jeejeebhoy indian businessman and philanthropist

18. Farah Khan

In India’s film industry, numerous renowned directors, writers, and film producers, such as ‘Farah Khan,’ are also followers of the Zoroastrian faith.

Farah Khan,' are also followers of the Zoroastrian faith

19. Aruna Irani

Aruna Irani is an Indian actress who has worked in more than 500 films across Hindi, Kannada, Marathi, and Gujarati cinema combined.

Aruna Irani is an Indian actress who has worked in more than 500 films

20. Nusli Neville Wadia

Nusli Neville Wadia is a multi-billionaire businessman and the chairman of the Wadia Group. The Wadia Group encompasses industries such as FMCG (Fast-Moving Consumer Goods), Textile, Airline, and Real Estate.

21. John Abraham

The very famous and well-known Bollywood actor and film producer John Abraham is also Parsi.

Parsi actor John Abraham

22. Nani Palkhivala

Nanabhoy “Nani” Ardeshir Palkhivala is a very prominent and respected lawyer and jurist in India.

 prominent and respected Parsi lawyer Nani Palkhivala

23. Boman Irani

One of the most talented actors in Bollywood, ‘Boman Irani,’ is also a Zoroastrian.

Famous Parsi bollywood actor Boman Irani

24. Fali Sam Nariman

Fali Sam Nariman is a jurist and senior advocate in the Supreme Court of India.

Nariman is an well known jurist on International Arbitration.

Famous and prominent Parsi Fali Sam Nariman

25. Mehr Jesia

She is the one of the most famous Parsis. She is an Indian model who won the Femina Miss India title in 1986.

Miss Femina India Mehr Jesia

Must Read – India in 1947 vs Now: Independence Day


Who is the richest parsi family in the world?

Mistry Family is the richest Parsi family in the world with over $15 billion of wealth.

Finals Words

So, there are many famous and prominent people in the Parsi community. Although the Zoroastrian population is very small in India, their contribution to our country is significant.



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