Category Big Business

Which is one of India’s largest tyre manufacturing companies began as a toy balloon manufacturing unit in Madras in 1946?

MRF (Madras Rubber Factory) is India’s No.1 tyre manufacturing company. It was started in the year 1946 by K M Mammen Mappillai as a small toy balloon unit. In 1964 MRF established an overseas office at Beirut, Lebanon to tap the export market. This was amongst India’s very first efforts on tyre exports. In 1989 the company collaborated with US–based Hasbro International, the world’s largest toy maker and launched Funskool India. In the same year it entered into a pact with Vapocure of Australia to manufacture polyurethane paint formulations and with Pirelli for Muscleflex conveyor and elevator belting.

Currently MRF exports tyres to over 65 countries including America, Europe, Middle East, Japan, and the Pacific region. It presently has overseas offices in Dubai, Vietnam and Australia.

It manufactures its Muscleflex brand of conveyor belting at one of the most advanced state–of–the–art facilities in India. Incorporating the latest manufacturing techniques in processes beginning with mixing, calendaring and the like to manufacturing of the finished products, all of which is in–house, Muscleflex –conveyor belting has gained rapid acceptance in markets worldwide.

It is the most advanced precured retreading system in India. MRF forayed into retreading as far back as 1970. Today, MRF has perfected the art of recured retreading with its extensive knowledge in tyres and rubber.


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A renowned product from Bengaluru’s Karnataka Soaps and Detergents, which 101-year-old soap brand received a Geographical Indication tag in 2006?

Mysore Sandal Soap is a brand of soap manufactured by the Karnataka Soaps and Detergents Limited (KSDL), a company owned by the government of Karnataka in India. This soap has been manufactured since 1916, when Krishna Raja Wadiyar IV, the king of Mysore, set up the Government Soap Factory in Bangalore. The main motivation for setting up the factory was the excessive sandalwood reserves that the Mysore Kingdom had, which could not be exported to Europe because of the First World War. In 1980, KSDL was incorporated as a company by merging the Government Soap Factory with the sandalwood oil factories at Shimoga and Mysore. Mysore Sandal Soap is the only soap in the world made from 100% pure sandalwood oil. KSDL owns a proprietary geographical indication tag on the soap, which gives it intellectual property rights to use the brand name, to ensure quality, and to prevent piracy and unauthorised use by other manufacturers. In 2006, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, the Indian cricketer was selected as the first brand ambassador of the Mysore Sandal Soap.

Recalls an old-time employee, MB Rao, “The company, after the glorious days of the Wadiyars, was on subsistence functioning till it got a Geographical Indicator or GI tag in 2006. From then on, the products, especially Mysore Sandalwood Soap, got a boost and revenues have been going up steadily.”

The makers of Mysore Sandal Soap launched on 4 November 2017, a new basket of soaps with brand name Mysoap in variants of Rose Milk Cream, Jasmine Milk Cream, Orange Lime, Cologne Lavender, and Fruity Floral. Each variety is exclusively packaged depicting ethnic Indian woman in traditional looks. The soap weighs 100 g.


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Founded in Kolkata as a stand-alone sweet shop by Nobin Chandra Das, which sweet brand has over 25 outlets in India?

For 47-year-old Dhiman Das, the past 26 years have been spent on protecting brand ‘K C Das’ and a short time in warding off an attempt by Odisha to usurp the legacy of Bengal’s culinary icon – the heavenly dessert Rasgulla, nee Rossogolla.

Both the Rasgulla and K C Das, the Kolkata firm that popularised the sweetmeat around the world by first selling it in cans, are the family heirlooms of Dhiman Das, who comes from the lineage of Nobin Chandra Das, the inventor of Rasgulla, and his son Krishna Chandra Das (K C Das), after whom the company is named.

Dhiman Das, who became a director of K C Das at a young age of 21 in 1993, recalls how he had to crack the whip to prevent the company from going to ruin.

N C Das, who had started the confectionary in Bagbazar in 1866, was a creative person who wanted to serve his customers something unique. It put him on an exploratory path that ended in the unique spongy sweet emerging out of his frying pan.


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Started in 1945 in Amalner, Maharashtra, and now headquartered in Bengaluru, which company is known for its business diversification?

Wipro is an integrated corporation that offers a diverse range of products, solutions and services in systems, software, consumer care, healthcare, lighting and infrastructure technology. We are driven by our passion for quality and our commitment to customers. This drive has catapulted us among the ten most admired companies in India. Through constant innovation and a people-first attitude, we strive to assume leadership positions in all our businesses in the new millennium.
In 1945, Muhammed Hashim Premji incorporated Western Indian Vegetable Products Ltd, based at Amalner, a small town in the Jalgaon district of Maharashtra. It used to manufacture cooking oil under the brand name Sunflower Vanaspati, and a laundry soap called 787, a byproduct of oil manufacture.

The company was a manufacturer of vegetable and refined oils under the name of Sunflower. Kisan and Camel were the other popular trade names in early days of Wipro. The company was then called Western Indian Vegetable Products.

MH Premji passed away in 1966, it was then Azim Premji was forced to return to India from the Stanford University. He took charge of the company and diversified its offerings. The company offered toiletries, soaps, lighting products and hydraulic cylinders then.


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Set up in Jamshedpur in 1907, which company is today one of the largest producers of steel in the world?

Tata Iron and Steel Company (TISCO) was founded by Jamshetji Tata and established by Dorabji Tata on 26 August 1907. The first steel ingot was manufactured on 16 February 1912. During the First World War (1914-1918), the company made rapid progress. By 1939, it operated the largest steel plant in the British Empire. The company launched a major modernization and expansion program in 1951. Later, in 1958, the program was upgraded to 2 million metric tonnes per annum (MTPA) project. By 1970, the company employed around 40,000 people at Jamshedpur, and a further 20,000 in the neighbouring coal mines. In 1971 and 1979, there were unsuccessful attempts to nationalise the company. In 1990, the company began to expand, and established its subsidiary, Tata Inc., in New York. The company changed its name from TISCO to Tata Steel Ltd. in 2005.

 Tata Steel operates in 26 countries with key operations in India, Netherlands and United Kingdom, and employs around 80,500 people. Its largest plant (10 MTPA capacity) is located in Jamshedpur, Jharkhand. In 2007, Tata Steel acquired the UK-based steel maker Corus. It was ranked 486th in the 2014 Fortune Global 500 ranking of the world’s biggest corporations. It was the seventh most valuable Indian brand of 2013 according to Brand Finance.


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Which cooperative dairy company, formed in 1956 in Anand, Gujarat, by Gandhian and social worker Tribhuvandas Patel?

Tribhuvandas Kishibhai Patel (22 October 1903 – 3 June 1994) was the founder of the Kaira District Co-operative Milk Producers’ Union in 1946, and later the Amul co-operative movement in Anand, Gujarat, India.

Honesty of purpose and sincerity of his efforts at social service earned him respect of the masses. Tribhuvandas Patel developed the institution which Sardar had made him responsible for. The basic approach adopted by Shri Tribhuvandas Patel was first to establish milk co-operatives in the villages. These co-operatives were literally the “base” of the entire venture.

He insisted that each village co-operative should be open to all milk producers in the village regardless of caste, creed or community. He placed equal emphasis on the principle of ‘one man one vote’ regardless of each member’s social and economic status. He never looked back since then and gave the dairy cooperative movement world recognition with the assistance of Dr. Verghese Kurien, better known as “Father of White Revolution” in India.


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Hailing from Rajasthan, businessperson Shree Krishna incorporated a group of companies – using his surname – in 1975 and became one of the which leading fan manufacturers?

Shree Krishna Khaitan made his surname the last name in fans. His vision, courage and innovative spirit made Khaitan a household name in India and even overseas.

Shree Krishna formed Khaitan Electricals Ltd. in 1981. The Company was driven by his belief that if you spoil your reputation, you lose everything. He had given everything to his fans, including his surname and would not allow anything to tarnish that – whether in India or in the export market, where Khaitan was fast becoming a name to reckon with

He was also the Founder Trustee of Seth Chiranjilal Khaitan Trust and Shree Krishna Foundation among others.

Shree Krishna can be rightfully called the father of branded fans in India. He passed away in November, 2012, leaving behind a vast business empire. But his legend endures through his surname which finds pride of place on every Khaitan product.


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Which Indian television media company was founded by journalists Radhika Roy and Prannoy Roy in 1988 and is headquartered in New Delhi?

New Delhi Television Limited (NDTV) is a company registered with the Ministry of Corporate Affairs, Government of India – the company that owns two prominent news channels – NDTV 24 x 7 in English and NDTV India in Hindi. It is India’s first independent news network, entering the field at a time when the government-run Doordarshan had a monopoly over television content. The company was founded by Dr. Prannoy Roy and his wife Radhika Roy in 1988.

The following year NDTV launched 3 more channels NDTV Prime (information and entertainment), NDTV Profit (business news channel) and NDTV Good times (lifestyle channel). In 2018 NDTV started a channel for smartphone users NDTV HOP in cooperation with Airtel, Indian telecom company. 

NDTV has a history of hiring Journalists, reporters, anchors with bureaucratic connections. Some of them are: Vikram Chandra is the son of Yogesh Chandra, a former director general of civil aviation, himself the son-in-law of Govind Narain, a former home and Defense Secretary and former Governor of Karnataka.


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When did Bajaj start making scooters?

           Bajaj started taking India on its wheels in the 1940s. This brand is more than 60 years old and the scooters and bikes that it gave Indians are remembered with nostalgia. When Jamnalal Bajaj started the company, it was known as Bachraj Trading Corporation Pvt. Ltd.

           Initially, Bajaj sold imported two- and three- wheelers. The company began making scooters of its own in the 1960s. Chetak, Bajaj’s first indigenous brand came out in the 70s. Designed much like Vespa, this scooter was low-priced and people loved it. Soon, the name Bajaj became synonymous with scooters. Bajaj started making motorcycles in the mid-80s. It now produces a range of motorcycles in almost all segments with distinct body designs like Platina, Discover, Pulsar, Avenger and Ninja. Bajaj is one of the world’s largest two-wheeler manufacturers now. The company also produces three-wheelers.

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Who took Tata forward after Jamsetji Tata?

           Dorab Tata, Jamsetji’s son took over from him after his demise. He experimented with new sectors and diversified the company and by the 1930s, Tata had its presence in several industries including steel, electricity, education, consumer goods and aviation.

          J R D Tata took over the Tata Group in the late 1930s. When he joined, Tata had 14 companies. When he stepped down, there were 95. His efforts gained global recognition for the Tata Group. He explored new sectors like chemicals, technology, cosmetics, and tea, marketing, engineering, manufacturing, and software services. He also started Tata Airlines that later became Air India. One of the company’s major subsidiaries, Tata Engineering and Locomotive Company (TELCO) that later became Tata Motors was formed in 1945.

          The 1990s were a period of rapid growth for the Tata Group. With Ratan Tata at the helm, the company focused on going international: it also acquired several foreign brands at the same time. The launch of Tata Nano was yet another milestone. Nano became the new ‘people’s car’ as it was an affordable, all-weather form of transport for millions of middle- and lower-income consumers.

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