58. Indian Industrial Giants

India got Independence, when its industrial scenario was at its nadir. Indian small time workmen, artisans, traders, young entrepreneurs were tossed between the siphoned-out Indian resources by foreign rulers on the one side and the adverse impact of Western Industrial revolution on the other side.

The World recognizes today, India's Industrial achievements with awe and wonder. Captains of Indian Industry are venturing into foreign lands and are adding many colourful feathers to their success caps.

The heroes of these success stories are industrial legends, whose vision and leadership had paved the way for such a splendid performance.

Tata Group :

Modern India's Industrial history is linked with Tata Group's evolution into an industrial giant.

During the year 2005-06, Tata group achieved a turnover of Rs. 96,722.9 crores.

This constitutes the 2.8% of India's GDP. Tata group has establishments in six continents, 40 countries. Under its banner, there are 96 major companies.

The luminary who had founded the Tata industrial empire is Jamshedji Tata, (1839-1904). He became an entrepreneur at the age of 29 and Tata's history began with that.


1874 - Spinning mills were established
1902 - Taj Mahal - First luxury hotel of India
1907 - Tata Iron & steel was founded
1910 - Tata electric company went into steam, first hydroelectric company.
1911 - Indian Institute of science was established. Today it is one of the world's premier institutions.
1912 - First time in the history of the world, standard of working eight hours in a day had been implemented in Tata institutions.
1917 - Soap, oils ad house hold utensils factories were established.
1932 - Tata Air lines was founded and this institution had later become Air India.
1939 - Tata Chemicals
1945 - Tata locomotive came into existence, today this institution has changed into famous Tata Motors.


1952 - Lakme - cosmetic company.
1954 - Voltas - Air Conditioning Company.
1962 - Tata tea today is one of the largest tea producing companies in the world.
1968 - India's first software company & today's highly reputed TCS was founded - during the 2002 - this company's turnover stood at Rs. 4500 crores.
1970 - Book publishing company was established.
1984 - Titan Watch Company was founded.
1996 - Tata Teleservices was established.
1998 - Indian designed first car - Indica rolled out.
2000 - Purchased Tetly-Great Britain's tea producing major. This is the first time in the industrial history of country that, an MNC is being purchased by Indian company.
2001 - Insurance Company - TATA - AIG came into being.
2002 - Purchased majority stake in VSNL.
2004 - Created history by purchasing 'Daewoo motors', one of the biggest Korean car manufacturing company.
2005 - Tyco global network and a steel company were purchased.
2007 - Created history by purchasing British Iron & Steel Major - CORUS.

G. D. Birla (1894-1983) :

Ghanshyam Das Birla wanted to be innovative in his trade pursuits; hence he got into jute business at Calcutta, when his father was doing cotton business. He faced tough competitions from the British and Scottish traders and could withstand them with resolve. Second World War had given him enough opportunities to establish himself and he never looked back afterwards.

BITS, Pilani, Engineering College established by Birla at Pilani is one of country's premier institutions.

G. D. Birla was a close follower of Mahatma Gandhi and was funding the freedom struggle.


Dhirubhai Ambani (1932-2002) :

We know a person called 'Dhirubhai', an industrial cult figure, who has won the hearts of small time Indian investor. His name was "Dhirajlal Hirachand Ambani". He went to "Yaman" at the age of sixteen in search of employement. He worked there in petrol bunks and oil companies for fifteen years. He returned to India and established Reliance industries, a textile unit with a petty capital of Rs. 15,000. Today Reliance Industry is biggest business house of India, with businesses ranging from textiles, Petrochemicals, Telecommunications, Retail, IT, Energy, capital market, logistics and many more.


Ardhisher Godrej (1868 - 1936) :

A very young person suddenly discontinued his study in law and manufactured locks, which stood for quality. At another instance he manufactured soaps using vegetable oil and world was struck with awe. That young boy was Ardhisher Godrej and the institution that became an Industrial empire was 'Godrej'.


R. Narayana Murthy :

A technocrat, industrialist, software tycoon who established India's number one software company is R. Naryana Murthy. He started Infosys, along with his friends in the year 1981, with a small capital and today his business assets value, USD 1.1 billion (Rs. 5000 crores).

R. Narayana Murthy is often called as "Indian Bill Gates". He is one of the Indians elected by Forbes magazine for its list of billionaires.

Azim Premji :

Azim Premji hails from an ordinary business family. He had taken the control of his father's oil business at the age of 21, after his father's demise.

From oil to software the journey of Azim Premji is the success story of "Wipro", India's largest company in Information Technology. Wipro remains to be one of the biggest foreign exchange earners of the Indian companies. In the year 2003, Forbes magazine had listed him among top 10 people, who can bring change in the world.


Anji Reddy :

Dr. Kalam Anji Reddy, in the year 1984, has established a pharmaceutical company at Hyderabad called "Dr. Reddy'd Labs". Today its turnover is around 1950 crores and is considered to be one of the top pharmaceutical companies of the world. Dr. Reddy is also in the acquiring spree by purchasing many pharmaceutical giants in Europe and America.


Varghese Kurian :

Today India stands as the largest producer of milk in the world. Sri Varghese Kurian is responsible for this white revolution that took place in India. He had established this popular diary at Anand, Gujarat under co-perative system and today it collects 10 million litres every morning from milk producers. He is instrumental in establishing National Diary Development Board.


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