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8 Most Successful Indian Family Businesses Running Over A Century

| Published on October 7, 2019

There are a lot of Companies which took birth in India but only a few have managed to survive the ever-growing competition. Some of these companies had started way before independence and with every passing day are growing stronger. They have not only shined in India but also all over the world. In this list of 100 year old Golden Companies a few stand out because of their history and dedication towards customer satisfaction.

Here is a list of 8 companies that have been successfully run for more than 100 years. The stories of the companies stand as an inspiration for us to work with vision, take chances and risks along with hard-work.

1) Tata group

Name of the founder: Jamsetji Tata

Headquarter: Mumbai

Year of establishment: 1868

The Tata Group was founded as a private trading firm in 1868 by Entrepreneur and philanthropist Jamsetji Tata In 1902 the group incorporated the Indian Hotels Company to commission the Taj Mahal Palace & Tower, the first luxury hotel in India, which opened the following year. After Jamsetji’s death in 1904, his son Sir Dorab Tata took over as chair of the Tata Group. Under his leadership the group quickly diversified, venturing into a vast array of new industries, including stell. Following Dorab Tata’s death in 1932.

Six years later (J.R.D.) took over the position. His continued expansion of the company into new sectors—such as chemicals (1939), technology (1945), cosmetics (1952), marketing, engineering, and manufacturing (1954), tea (1962), and software services (1968) and thus earned Tata Group international recognition.

In 1945 Tata Group established the Tata Engineering and Locomotive Company (TELCO) to manufacture engineering and locomotive products; it was renamed Tata Motors in 2003. In 1991 J.R.D.’s nephew, Indian Business Tycoon  Ratan Tata succeeded him as chairman of the Tata Group.

The Tata Group is currently operating in different sectors like Titan, Tata Global Beverages, Tata Teleservices, Tanishq, Fasttrack, Croma, Tata Salt, Tata Starbucks, Voltas, Tata Sky, Tata Docomo, Tata Steel are among famous ventures of Tata. It has its enterprises in defense, electric utility, finance, healthcare, IT Service, Real estate.

2) TVS Group

Name of the Founder: T V Sundaram Iyengar

Headquarter: Madurai

Year of establishment: 1911

Thiruvengudi Sundaram Iyengar belonging from a Tamil Brahmin family had worked as a lawyer, in Indian Railways, and in a bank before starting his own bus service in 1911. TVS Sons and Ltd was started in the same year. TVS Gas Plant, Madras Auto Service Ltd, Sundaram Motors were started by him. The business turned into an empire and is still being run by the family itself. TV Sundaram had 8 children, Soundaram, Rajam, Doraiswamy, Santhanam, Amu Amaal, Ranga Ammaa, Srinivasan, Krishna. Duraisamy died early. The 4 sons became an important part of the business and thus there are four main branches of the company. His daughter T S Soundaram participated in the Indian independence movement along with Mahatma Gandhi. She even has her own postal stamp.  They have started companies in fields like textile, electronics, automotive and in places like Chennai, Mumbai, Coimbatore, Spain, UK, and Iran.

3)Aditya Birla Group


Name of the founder: Seth Shiv Narayan Birla

Headquarter: Mumbai

Year of establishment:1857

It was Seth Shiv Narayan Birla started trading in cotton, laying the foundation for the House of Birla. The Aditya Birla Group was founded in the 1960s by Aditya Birla, who started building his business empire at the age of 24. By then, however, the Birla family had been one of India’s most prominent industrial and financial families for nearly a century. The origins of the Birla family fortunes lay in the second half of the 19th century when in 1870 Seth Shiv Narayan Birla launched a cotton- and jute-trading business in the town of Pilani, in Rajasthan, India. Despite the British occupation, and the attempt to establish monopolies by the British trading companies, he succeeded in building the family’s first fortune.

5) Kirloskar Group:

Name of the Founder: Laxmanrao Kirloskar

Headquarter: Pune

Year of establishment: 1911

Started by Laxmanrao Kirloskar and with the leadership of his son Shantanurao Laxmanrao Kirloskar the company grew to be the biggest producers of pumps and valves. It is known for exporting them to about 70 countries. Further, ventures were started in the production of oil engines, motors, electrical equipment etc. Toyota Kirloskar has  Kirloskar as a minority owner producing cars for the Indian market. The various business is handled by the extended family successfully in India and outside too.

6) Murugappa

Name of the Founder: A M Murugappa Chettiar

Headquarter: Chennai

Year of establishment: 1900

Priding itself with 28 businesses the founder had set up their first business of money lending and banking in Myanmar. They further stared their firms in steel tubes, insurance, cycles, sugar, etc. The company is held by the Murgappa family.

7) Godrej

Name of the Founders:  Ardeshir Godrej and Pirojsha Burjorji Godrej

Headquarter: Mumbai

Year of establishment: 1897

The fag end of the 19th century was a time of great political turmoil. The nationalistic movement had gained momentum and people from all walks of life were joining the struggle to free India from British rule. One such person was a young lawyer who went by the name Ardeshir Burjorji Godrej. No one could have imagined that an important part of India’s industrial history was being initiated when he chose to give up law. His mission was to develop a product that would displace the well-entrenched foreign brands and give them a worthy India-made competitor. In 1897 he decided to manufacture locks. The product he had in mind would be manufactured using modern techniques and machines. This was the only way, he believed, that his product could be equal to or be better than the available brands in the market.

The success of this launch led to the development of India’s first home-grown safe in 1902. It a satisfying moment in its history when the company was called upon to provide safes for the Queen of England when she and her entourage visited India in 1905.
In the next near-one hundred years, this fledgling company would go on to becoming India’s most complete security solutions organization, offering a comprehensive suite of security solutions for residential, industrial and business premises.

Today, the company also manufactures equipment for the banking industry including vaults as well as entrance doors and products for the marine and defense sectors.

8) Shapoorji Pallonji

Name of the Founder:  Pallonji Mistry

Headquarter: Mumbai

Year of establishment: 1865

Also known as SP Group and run within the founders family it has been part of many important constructions. It is also the producer of Mughal-e-Azam which had a budget of 1.5 crore rupees, the costliest movie in Bollywood at that time.  It has firms is textile, appliances, power etc.

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