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GODREJ Group (1897)

The 127-year-old business group’s official website states that it all started with India’s Swadeshi movement, which is the original “Make in India” movement. Rightfully so because the Godrej Group that started out with locks, made the first Indian safe in 1902 because of rising thefts. It then ventured into making vegetable oil and soaps, and in 1918 produced the first soap made without using animal fat in the world – it is now known as Cinthol. In 1923 it gave India its first cupboard or almirah. All those made it a household name. The most notable contribution to the nation’s history, however, was the making of ballot boxes for the first election of free India in 1951. Currently, the company is being run by the fourth generation of the Godrej family and has diversified into selling processed food, real estate, medical diagnostics, computer hardware, business process outsourcing and others.

Pre-independence era companies whose journeys are intricately linked with the nation's

Adapting to every social, economic and political change, these companies have found enduring success. Their journeys are intricately linked with that of the nation – they have managed to grow under the stifling “British raj” in the pre-independence era, the “license raj” in the pre-liberalisation era and flourished once the government adopted benign economic reforms in the 90s. So, it is but befitting to look back at their growth stories in the run-up-to the 72nd I-day.

Scroll through to find out more about them…