Here Is How These 6 Iconic Indian Companies Were Started
The Indian economy stagnated during the British Raj and neither did it grow enough after independence.
But, that didn’t stop Indian visionaries in the 19th and the 20th centuries, from laying the foundation of companies that eventually became India’s biggest business conglomerates.
Most founders came from a humble background and didn’t have proper business training.
Here, we look at the foundation of India’s most iconic business groups:
1. Tata Group
1868: Jamsetji Tata was 29 years old when he laid the foundation of the Tata Group as a trading company in Bombay
He learnt the know-how of business while working in his father’s banking firm.
Trivia: In 1903, Jamsetji built the Taj Mahal hotel in Bombay, after he was denied entry into a luxury hotel for being an Indian
Revenue: Rs. 6,24,757 crore
Major Subsidiaries: Tata Steel, TCS, Tata Motors
2. Reliance Industries
1966: Dhirubhai Ambani started a textile company after returning from Yemen, in partnership with his cousin, Champaklal Damani.
The company imported polyester yarn and exported spices to Yemen.
Trivia: RIL contributes 14% of India’s total exports and 5% of the Government of India’ indirect tax revenues
Revenue: Rs. 4,01,302 crore (RIL), Rs. 56,000 crore (Reliance ADA)
Major Subsidiaries: Reliance Retail(RIL), Reliance Gas Corporation(RIL); Reliance Communications (Reliance ADA), Reliance Power (Reliance ADA)
Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group is headed by Anil Ambani and Reliance Industries Limited by Mukesh Ambani.
3. Aditya Birla Group
1857: Seth Shiv Narayan Birla laid the foundation of the group when he started a cotton trading company.
Trivia: During the freedom struggle, freedom fighters often used the Birla house in Delhi as a venue for meetings, because of Birlas’ close ties with Mahatma Gandhi
Revenue: Rs. 2,40,000 crore
Major Subsidiaries: Hindalco Industries, UltraTech Cement Limited, Idea Cellular
4. Mahindra Group
1945: ‘Mahindra & Muhammad’ was started as a steel trading company by brothers J.C. Mahindra and K.C. Mahindra along with Malik Ghulam Muhammad in Ludhiana, Punjab.
Muhammad migrated to Pakistan after the partition and became the first Finance Minister of Pakistan and the company was renamed Mahindra & Mahindra.
In 1947, the company started a franchisee for assembling Willys jeep from USA.
Trivia: Mahindra & Mahindra is the largest manufacturer of tractors in the world
Revenue: Rs. 99,000 crore
Major Subsidiaries: Mahindra & Mahindra, SsangYong Motors, Tech Mahindra
5. Bharti Enterprises
1976: Sunil Bharti Mittal started the company along with his two siblings as a bicycle manufacturing company.
Trivia: Bharti Airtel is the 4th largest mobile operator in the world
Revenue: Rs. 98,897 crore
Major Subsidiaries: Bharti Airtel, Bharti AXA, Bharti Infratel
6. Essar Group
1969: Started as a construction company by Shashi Ruia and Ravi Ruia, that undertook construction of a breakwater at the Chennai port as its first project.
Trivia: The name ‘Essar’ was derived from the first letters of the founders’ names ‘S’ & ‘R’
Revenue: Rs. 2,10,000 crore
Major Subsidiaries: Essar Steel, Essar Oil, The MobileStore
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