How Chicago Radio Marked Several Milestones In Indian History
With the likes of Mahatma Gandhi, PT Nehru, and Eisenhower as 'brand loyalists' and unique testimonials from back in the day, the story of Chicago Radio is one for the books!
Started by Nanik Motwane in 1929, Chicago Radio emerged as the 'Voice of India' during the independence struggle, with Motwane's legacy closely tied to that of the firm.
Curiously enough, this Bombay-based firm named itself Chicago Radio, borrowing it from the Chicago-based radio maker with due permission (and possibly because of the family's global fascinations!)
Chicago Radio was not only the advent of advanced communication and public address systems in the country, but most importantly it was the means to an 'independent' end.
Interestingly, it also aided in the broadcast of the covert 'Congress Radio', an integral chapter of the freedom struggle, that ran for three months before the Quit India Movement.
The bootstrapped 'Chicago Radio' had a full-service agency available to them in the form of Motwane, who would write to newspapers to collect copies of photographs where leaders were speaking into Chicago Radio microphones, that he would later display at public events.
And there were video tapes too, that lie scattered over the Motwane residence in Mumbai to date. For almost three decades, the firm didn't charge its main (& only) customer, the INC. It was only after the 1960s that it would charge 6000 INR to cover an event.
When it was thriving, Chicago Radio had over 200 employees all over the country making their systems in two cities and servicing them in countless others, across a range of events like speeches of global leaders, victory celebrations (Indira Gandhi's election victory, the 1970s) and paying ode to martyrs (Aye Mere Watan Ke Logon) alike.
Chicago Radio, almost 100 years after it was launched to amplify the voice of India's freedom struggle, continues to maneuver today's advanced, highly saturated market, albeit in a hushed manner. It recently made an 'appearance' in Gangubai Kathiawadi as well!