Cover Story

75 Years of Excellence — 1940 to 2015
between US and The Dubash Family of Pakistan

By Danesh N. Dubash | July 2023

An unspoken legacy from 1855 is that of the Dubash family, who chose to remain silent, a legacy known to a limited number of people. Pestonji Bhicajee’s legacy, who initiated services to Sir Charles Napier prior to 1855, was then adopted by Jehangeer Perozshaw Dubash, and all the works started at Kimari, now known as Keamari, Karachi. The evolution of efficiency and service excellence had commenced in those days as recorded in history for stevedoring as the title of GOM (Grand Old Man) of the Kimari Harbour. In the same year, Pestonji Bhicajee was awarded the contract as Admiralty Agents for Her Majesty’s Navy. The Dubash business carried through by Jehangeer Perozshaw Dubash continued past 1940 when his son, Perozshaw Jehangir Dubash, came into the business, followed by his grandsons.

In 1940 Pestonjee Bhicajee started representing the US Army as Master Stevedores, Dubash’s, and general contractors for all types of cargo at the Karachi Port to ensure the turnaround time of every vessel was maintained. Recorded by the Water Transportation Office, Base Section No. 1, SOS-CBI, U.S. Army, Major John E. Meyer issued a recommendation which remains framed and in our possession. Similar appreciation letters from the U.S. Army dated 23 January 1945 and 1946 are also documented. As the grandchildren grew older Perozshaw Pestonjee and Company was formed in 1959, serving Hansa Line AG, Bank Line, DDG Hansa Bremen, Dutch Royal Line, Ellerman Steamship Company, Waterman Steamship, British India Company, Lloyd Triestino, Neptune Orient Lines, Wilhelmsen Lines and almost all foreign naval ships that visited Karachi Port.

In 1962, on the retirement of the Consulate General of Greece, Mr. Nicholas S. Maratos, a company was formed by Naushirwan P. Dubash, “Maratos & Company,” to represent all Greek shipping lines, namely Springfield Shipping Company, Chandris Lines, N.S Lemos & Company and the Onassis Shipping Group who were served with the same quintessence of excellence.

In 1973, BenaCo was established, where all naval vessels were transferred from the Perozhaw Pestonjee & Company to BenaCo under the leadership of the same Dubash family.

The Dubash’s, as we were often called, served over 24 flags exclusively and uninterruptedly for the longest period till 2015, i.e., 160 years of stellar services to Her Majesty’s Service and 75 years to the US Army and US Navy. During the period of globalization back in 2005, world-class regional and global operating companies secured comprehensive contracts and we remain proud to state that we operated under such alignments, especially for the US Navy, Her Majesty Ship’s Navy, Her Majesty’s Canadian Service, and Her Majesty’s Australian Service. We had the distinct honor and pleasure to have been registered for the ports of Pakistan, and are proud to put on record again that we continued our legacy and worked with these leading regional world-class naval husbanding service companies where we Bena’Co/Dubash continued to uphold and reinforce our commitment to excellence, again becoming the number one naval husbanding shipping agent of Pakistan.

Our long-term, mutually beneficial relationship was that of trust, integrity, and service excellence over multiple generation clients that Naushriwan P. Dubash lastly served and then the 6th and the last generation leadership of Nadir N. Dubash and Danesh N. Dubash. We also proudly served the Aman exercises from 2007 to 2013, the Inspired Union (the 5th and 7th Fleet, NATO Exer,cises amongst others), including the three battle groups with aircraft carriers of the US Navy, i.e., the USS Enterprise, the USS Kittyhawk, and the USS Constellation.

Many years ago, at a 4th of July US Independence Day celebration reception in Karachi, our dad Naushirwan P. Dubash joked with the U.S. Consulate General and said, “My father Peroshaw J. Dubash actually passed away on 04 July 1972”. It is now so uncanny, so coincidental, and so unexpected that our dear father, Naushirwan P. Dubash also passed away peacefully on the 4th of July 2021.

This journey of life of six generations of the Dubash family was known to some, and the experiences and respect gained over the decades is thanks to our trustworthy world-class clientele and, of course, the blessings of the Almighty Lord.

We wish the United States of America a wonderful 247th Independence Day with great goings now and for always.