108 Facts (Part 2)
General, November 3, 2020
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.
Budding Industries of the then independent India required a protective environment from multinational giants. Capital deficiency and resource crunch was evident when Indian industry took its first steps in the post independence era.
Inspite of many bottlenecks and hurdles; six decade long Indian industrial journey was a roller coaster ride towards aspired goals of self-reliance & Global competitiveness.
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. God bless their entrepreneurship.
The then sapling of Indian industry had grown into a mighty tree today-courtesy Indian public sector. One should not forget that Indian Public sector stood as strong hedge around the tender sapling, as it matured into a strong industrial tree. We built our own rail engines, railway coaches, aeroplanes, ships, telephones, iron & steel plants, mega pharma units, spinning mills, machine tools, oil and gas wells, power plants, mines etc in public sector and continued our winning stroll. For the grownup industrial tree, public sector protection is not required as it strong enough to handle itself.
Among the top 2000 companies of world today there are around 34 Indian Corporates according to recent ranking list released by the Forbes magazine for the year 2006-07. ONGC (239 rank), Reliance (258), SBI (326) are the best three Indian corporate according to the magazine.
Indian success stories stand tall to substantiate the above fact. The heroes of these success stories are industrial legends, whose vision and leadership had paved the way for such a splendid performance. Let us inspire ourselves by learning about a few of them.
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 and 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 soft ware company & today’s highly reputed TCS (Tataconsultancy services) 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 Britan’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 ‘Dawee motors’, one of biggest Korean car manufacturing company.
2005 – Tyco global network and a steel company were purchased.
2007 – Feb 1st-created history by purchasing British Iron & steel major – CORUS with this takeover Tata Iron & steel had become fifth largest steel producing company in the world.
After Jamshedji Tata, the Tata group was expanded and consolidated by its illustrious chairman late JRD TATA (1904-1993). He was instrumental in establishing Air India, BARC, Tata motors etc. JRD was awarded Bharat Ratna in the year 1992. He passed away in the year-1993- He also a reputed pilot.
Ratan Tata is the present chairman of Tata Group of companies. He had taken the chairmanship from JRD Tata in the year 1991. He had established a voluntary organization called Tata Foundation and had undertaken many service activities. Government of India had awarded him “Padma Bhushan” in the year 2002.
He has set his ambitions of producing an Indian made car for one Lakh rupees. He is on the board of many world-class reputed organizations.
GD 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.
In the year 1957, Indian Government had honoured him with Padma bhushan.
Birla group got divided into three family business groups. Among them Aditya Birla group and his son Kumar Mangalam Birla’s business establishments flourished. CKBirla was instrumental in establishing Hindustan Motors, country’s premier car manufacturing company. The famous Ambassador car was once, all pervading on Indian roads.
The Aditya Birla Group is one of India’s largest business houses. It owns companies like Hindalco, Grasim and Indian Rayon. The Group’s operations span 40 companies over 18 countries, which include – Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Egypt, Canada, Australia and China. Its revenues are in excess of US$ 6 billion.
The Aditya Birla Group is a dominant player in all its areas of operations:
Aluminum, Copper, Cement, Viscose Staple Fibre, Carbon Black, Viscose Filament Yarn, Fertillizers, Insulators, Sponge Iron, Chemicals, Branded Apparels, gas, palm oil, Insurance and Asset Management, Software and Telecom.
Birla have undertaken many philanthropic activities and have established famous temples in many parts of the country.
GD 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 “Yanam” at the age of sixteen in search of employment. 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 markets, logistics and many more.
All the credit of equity awareness among Indians goes to “Dhiru Bhai Ambani”. He became a cultfigure by establishing equity cult in India. Reliance is one among very few “fortune 500 companies”, listed from India.
He was in the midst of controversies. He faced tough competition. He innovated investments and established equity offbeat in India. He had kept many multinationals at bay. The only company that thrived during pre-license raj and post-license raj is Reliance.
Today reliance group is divided between his sons Mukesh Ambani and Anil Ambani who are continuing the tradition established by their father.
Ardhisher Godrej (1868-1936)
A very young person suddenly discontinued his study of Law and manufactured Locks, which stood for quality. At another instance he manufactured soaps using vegetable oil and world was struck with awe. From that day Godrej has become synonymous with quality. That young boy was Ardhisher Godrej and the institution that became an Industrial empire was “Godrej”. Then his brother Feroz Shah Godrej had shaped the business entity of Godrej. Godrej is the household name in India. Almost one hundred years had rolled by, yet Godrej remains to be the leader in the segments it operates. Among Soaps, shaving cream, almariahs, fridges, oils, cookers and locks, Godrej remains supreme. Today Adi Godrej, who is an MBA from MIT is holding the reins of the Godrej companies and making them stronger.
R. Narayana Murthy:
A technocrat, industrialist, software tycoon who established India’s number one software company is R. Narayana 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 billon (Rs. 5000 crores).
Indian government had honored him with Padmasri. He has been appointed as the official adviser, to many governments of the world, many independent organizations and institutions like RBI, business confederations etc. He had been ranked today as the eighth most respected industrialist of the world. His wife Mrs. Sudha Murthy is a highly revered philanthropist and had taken up many service activities on behalf of the organization.
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. He has given his way to his colleague “Nikhani” to head Inosys.
Ajim 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 Ajim Premji is the success story of “Wipro”, India’s biggest company in Information technology. Wipro remains to be one of the biggest foreign exchange earners of the Indian companies. Today Ajim Premji has been listed as one of the wealthiest citizens of the world. Indian Government has honored Premji in the year 2005 with “Padma Bhushan”.
“Ajim premji foundation”, a philanthropist trust was established in the year 2001 and could implement successfully many social welfares schemes in the area of education and health, especially among children. Wipro has many world-class tops rating to its credit; they are “IEE”, “PCMM-5”.
A reputed international magazine has included Ajim premji as one among Top twenty five industrialists in the world. In the year 2003, Forbes magazine had listed him among top 10 people, who can bring change in the world.
An ordinary person having graduated from Layola College, Vijayawada in Andhra Pradesh had established spinning mills, constructed buildings & townships and catapulted himself into the world league of top industrialists with his ever-zooming vehicle “Satyam Computers”. Today Satyam computers is among one of the top software companies of the world.
He has been given prestigious award “Asia business leader” in the year 2002. Forbes mazaine had listed him among one of the top 40 millionare Indians.
Dr. Kalam Anji Reddy, in the year 1984, has established a pharmaceutical company at Hyderabad called “Dr. Reddy’s Lab”. Today its turnover is around 1950 crores and is considered to be one of the top pharmaceutical companies of the world. With its strong research base and marketing strategies Dr. Reddy Labs has become a world-class organization and it is the first Indian company listed in Newyork Stock exchange. Dr. Reddy is also in the acquiring spree by purchasing many pharmaceutical giants in Europe and America.
Amul has become a household name, for milk and milk products. 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 Ananad, Gujarat under co-operative system and today it collects 10 million liters every morning from milk producers. He is instrumental in establishing National Diary Development Board.
He had been honoured with many awards like PadmaSri, Padmabhushan and the prestigious Ramanmagsay award.
India today has many such noble souls, who had brought glory and prosperity to the nation. Every industrial house had contributed immensely for India’s wealth creation. A few among them are,
Ranbaxy group, Kirloskar group, thaper group, Jindal group, Mahindra & Mahindra group, UB group, Goenka group, Bajaj group, Mallya group, Lakshmi mills, TVS group, Mrugappa group, Sundaram group, Nagarjuna group, Modi group, ZeeTV group, Ramoji group (ETV), Sun TV group, Hero group, Nirma, Sahara, Vediocon, Apollo and many more.
These above names are only an indicative list of great industrial houses and not a complete one. India is destined to be an eternal spring of adventurous entrepreneurship, who are children of Goddess Saraswati (talent) and Goddess Lakshmi (wealth).
59. Indian Multinational Companies
The year 1992, that was when India opened up its Economy and invited foreign investments. Many feared that, Indian companies would be taken over by foreign Multinationals, and would wipe out the budding Indian Entrepreneurial talent. It is fifteen years since, Indian economic reforms started rolling over; Indian industrial flag zoomed high and is fluttering with pride in the international skies; Today many business houses of India are in the acquiring spree of multinational companies world wide; Indian multinational companies are born. During the year 2005-06, FDI inflows in India was 10 billion US dollars, Indian Companies have invested 20 billion dollars outside India and the trend continues. In the year 2006-07, Indian companies had invested estimated amount of 35 billion dollars.
Indian car “Tata indica” is penetrating into European market, by establishing strategic marketing arrangement with Rover.
Tatas have purchased the Korean company “Daewoo motors” and is consolidating its position in Korea and China.
Tata Iron & steel has become 5th largest steel company of the world by acquiring the European major “Corus” for a premium prize.
Lakshmi Mittal, world’s fourth richest person and NRI had acquired a multinational steel gaint “Arcelor”, last year.
Ranbaxy Labs, India’s top pharmaceutical company, earns 76% of its revenues from outside India. It is rated the ninth biggest generic company of the world with manufacturing locations situated across the globe.
Ranbaxy labs had also purchased RPG-aventis, a pharma major in the international arena.
Vediocon, the TV manufacturing company of India, had bought the world famous TV Company Thompson in the countries of China, Italy, Poland, Mexico etc.
The Reddy Labs is the first Indian company to be listed in NYSE. (New York stock exchange)
Reddy Labs, Aurobindo pharma, Sun Pharma, and other pharmaceutical companies are acquiring many pharma units worldwide.
ONGC & IOC have purchased oil wells in the countries of Africa & Dubai.
Asian Paints have manufacturing plants in 24 countries. Asian Paints is considered as the leader in segment of selling paints.
Bharat Forge had purchased a German forging company Carl Dan Peddinghouse. With the purchase of this German company Bharat Forge has become the second largest producer of forgings in the world.
ESSEL Propack makes lamitubes-packing tubes for toothpastes and other consmetics. It has 17 factories in eleven countries and is the industry leader in that sector.
Many Indian software giants are opening software development centers across the globe and are acquiring stakes in many reputed companies worldwide. TCS, Wipro, Infosys, Satyam are pioneers in establishing businesses worldwide.
Many Industrialists of India today are moving ahead with broader vision and perspective and are able to take into their stride the competition and are making India feel proud by their achievements worldwide.
60. Massive Indian Railways
On April 16th 1853, at Mumbai (then Bombay), Indian Railways, began its humble journey with 14 coaches and 400 Guests. Today it has become the largest Railway network and one of the efficiently run railway systems of the world.
63,940 kilometers of railway line; one million railway passengers; 650 million tones of cargo; biggest employer in the world with 16 lakh employees on its rolls; around two crore people depending on Indian railways for their livehood; Indian railways shines brightly with grandeur and splendor;
As per 2005 statistics, Indian Railways has 2,16,717 wagons, 39,936 passenger boogies, 17,339 engines and 14,244 trains crisscross the country among them 8002 trains carry passengers;
India started building railway engines in the year 1895 and immediately built a Rail Engine for Uganda in the next year. India has been manufacturing all the required machinery and tools for its railways. The advanced technology and quality of goods used in Indian rail systems stands on par with most of the developed countries of the world.
In the year 1950, “Chittaranjan Locomotive Works” had been established to manufacture coal powered steam engines; today it has grown into world’s largest manufacturer of electric locomotives. The Diesel Engine manufacturing unit in Varanasi not only fabricates engines for Indian Railways alone, but it also exports engines to countries like Bangladesh, Srilanka, Vietnam and Tanzania etc. Integral coach factory situated at Perambur, exports railway coaches to many foreign countries after meeting the internal demand.
IRCON, another subsidiary of Indian Railways, constructs railway routes in many countries and undertakes many railway projects. It could complete ninety projects in 21 countries. A separate budget of Railways is always presented in the parliament every year. This indicates its size of operations and massiveness. Over a period of 150 years, Indian Railways had grown in strength, proved its efficiency and has become a force to reckon with.
61. Success Story of Indian Space Technology
The Indian space effort was started in the sixties with the establishment of Thumba Equatorial Rocket Launching Station near Thiruvananthapuram for the investigation of ionosphere using sounding rockets. Thanks to the efforts of visionary Vikram Sarabahai, Satish Dhavan, Abdul Kalam and other eminent scientists.
Today, India is among the top five countries, which have the capacity to build satellities, launch space vehicles, explore space and send unmanned missions to moon and other planets. The greatness of Indian scientists is that, they entered the race very late in sixties and within three decades they became world class and even became pioneers in certain areas of space research by developing self-reliant technologies for its ambitious space programmes.
The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), the institution responsible for India’s gigantic strides in space technology, was established in 1969 working under the Department of Atomic Energy. In June 1972, ISRO was also brought under Department of Space and Space Commission of Government of India.
India has achieved an enviable progress in the design, development and operation of space systems, as well as in the use of the systems for vital services like Telecommunication, Television broadcasting, Meteorology, Disaster warning and Natural resources survey and management.
Between 1963 and 1975, scientists acquired familiarity with elementary rocket-launching operations. Towards the mid-1970s, the space programme focused mainly on experimental projects that allowed scientists to gain experience in the construction and operation of satellites and launch vehicles like Satellite Instructional Television Experiment (STEP carried out in 1977) and APPLE Experiments.
The entire space research story can be broadly classified as
- Building of varieties of satellite series like Aryabhatta, Bhaskara, Rohini, INSAT, IRS etc.
- Building Launch vehicles that send the satellites into orbit like SLV series, ASLV Series, PSLV Series, GSLV Series etc.
Indian made Satellites:
|S.No.||Satellites||Types||Launch dates||Special features|
|1.||Aryabhatta||The first Indian satellites||April 19, 1975||Indian made Aryabhatta Laun ched from the erstwhile USSR through Inter cosmos rocket into a near – earth orbit.|
|2.||Bhaskara-I & II||Earth observation satellites||June 7, 1979 and November 20, 1981||Indian made Bhaskara I & II launched by the erstwhile USSR via Inter cosmos rocket|
|3.||Rohini Series||Scientific purposes||1979, 1980 onwards||These satellites were launched by SLV-3, ASLV-3 etc; (Indian made launch vehicles) famous experiments conducted like Gamma rays bursting|
|4.||INSAT Series||Communication Purpose||From 1980 Onwards||INSA T Series is being used for telecommunication, TV broadcasting and meteorological services.INSAT is one of the largest domestic communication satellite systems in the world with five satellites, INSAT-2C, INSAT-2DT, INSAT-2E, INSAT-3B and INSAT-3CSeven satellites are proposed in the INSAT-4 series|
|5.||IRS series||Remote sensing purpose||From 1988 onwards||We have surpassed many developed nations in putting into use the satellite based remote sensing dataThe data from IRS satellites is used for soil mapping, grassland mapping, forest survey, land use/land cover mapping, locating underground water resources, estimation of snow cover and snow melt/run-off, monitoring water level in reservoirs, environment monitoring, etc.|
Satellite Launch Vehicles (SLV)
- SLV series India’s capability in the Launch Vehicle Technology was first demonstrated through the successful launch of SLV-3 in July 1980, which placed a 40 kg Rohini satellite into a near-earth orbit. Two more launches of SLV-3 were conducted in May 1981 and April 1983 with the Rohini satellites The SLV-3 for instance, was modified to have a range of 2,000 km and one tone payload IRBM called Agni, the missiles for military purpose.
- ASLV series The Augmented Satellite Launch Vehicle (ASLV) was successfully launched twice from Sriharikota Range (SHAR) on May 20, 1992 and May 4, 1994, respectively. These were the third and fourth developmental launches (ASLV-D3 and ASLV-D4). They injected the SROSS-C an SROSS-C2 (stretched Rohini Satellite Series) satellite, respectively into a near-earth orbit
- PSLV series
- Polar satellite Launch Vehicle, PSLV, is capable of putting 1,000 kg class remote sensing satellite into 900 kg polar sun-synchronous orbit. The second launch of PSLV-D2 on October 15, 1994 was a total success.
- The PSLV could form the base of a more powerful IRBM Agni-2 with an extended range of 5,000 km.
- Successful launch of PSLV-C3 (October 22, 2001) placing three satellites India’s TES, Belgian PROBA and German BIRD, into Polar sun-synchronous orbit.
- GSLV series
- India’s Geo-Stationary Satellite Launch Vehicle enables it to launch heavy communications satellites at a height of 36,000 km above the earth and, at the same time, confers on India an Inter-Continental Ballistic Missile capability. Similarly, the Technology Experiment Satellite, besides being used for civilian purposes, provides India military reconnaissance (investigation) capability.
- Successful flight test of Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV), (April 18, 2001) with an experimental satellite GSAT-1 on board.
- Geo-Stationary Satellite Launch Vehicle, which was successfully used to place Edusat, India’s first dedicated educational satellite, into orbit in September 2004. Edusat is mainly intended to meet India’s domestic demand for an interactive satellite-based distance education system.
- India today is in the “satellite launching” business in a very big way, The Antrix Corporation established in the year 1992 could obtain orders for launching foreign satellites into orbits and successfully launched them.
- Remote sensing data collected through satellites is being sold to many countries.
- Could supply hardware and spares to various countries related to space technology.
- Assisting UN in various ways.
- Rakesh Sharma First Indian Astronomer was sent to space.
- Chandrayaan – unmanned space mission to the Moon is in the offing.
India’s latest achievement on 10th Jan 2007, is a remarkable milestone in its space odyssey; through its PSLV, India has not only placed a satellite (SRI-1) into orbit but got retrieved it back to Earth with ease, accuracy and precision making it fall in the Bay of Bengal on 22nd January 2007. With this India has joined the elite club of six countries of space research innovativeness and efficiency.
62. Largest Postal Network of the World
The Indian postal network is among the largest networks in the world in terms of area covered and population served, and it constitutes an important mechanism of communication.
As on March 31, 2004, there were 1,55,669 post offices or outlets, of which roughly 89 per cent were outside the cities. On an average, one Post Office serves an area of 21.13 square km, and a population of 6,602
With 5,66,000 employees, handling a mail traffic of 736 crore letters per annum with 1.25 lakh post offices located in rural areas and the network having 5.83 lakh post boxes, 460 railway mail services, India’s postal service is unique in the world.
The Indian Postal System currently provides 38 services, which can broadly be divided into four categories:
Communication services (Letters, Post Cards etc.)
Transportation services (Parcel)
Financial services (Savings Bank, Money Order, Postal Life Insurance) and
Premium Value Added Services (Like Speed Post, Business Post)
The post office saving bank is the largest bank in India in terms of network, accounts and annual deposits. (As on 31.03.2005 there are 14 crore account holders and deposits worth more than Rs. 1,00,000 crores.)
|Country||No. of Post Offices||Population Served per Post Office||Average Area Served Per Post Office|
|1.||India||155618||6602||21.13 sq km|
Fig pertain to 2003, drawn from dept of posts, UPU publication on statistics Dec 2003 website: http:/indiabudget.nic.in, Economic Survey 2004-2005
User charges in the postal system cover only 78.3 per cent costs. There is a significant subsidy element.
The advent of computers and communications has had profound implications for the postal system. In some countries, more letters are sent by e-mail than by post. The postal systems world over, including India Post, have been able to respond to these changes by redefining their roles. Presently, thre are 839 Head Post Offices and 1,448 other Departmental Sub Post Offices, which are computerized for both counter and back office works.
The Department of Posts has undertaken projects for computerizing Post Office Counters at General Post Offices in Bangladesh, Myanmar and Nepal with funds being provided by the Universal Postal Union.
A VAST network with 150 High Speed VSAT stations which are further connected to 1,327 Extended Satellite Money Order (ESMO) stations located in the Post Offices have been set up for quick transmission of money orders across the country. The Department is transmitting about 60,000 money orders every day through this VSAT network.
A strategic alliance with Western Union Financial Services has helped to strengthen the payment business by providing facilities for the processing of in-bound international money transfers. Indian Post commands 30 per cent of the market share of the international money transfers undertaken through Western Union Financial Services. In the year 2004-2005, it could bring 170 million US dollars as remittances.
The world’s first stamps were called the Penny Blacks. They were issued in Great Britain by Sir Rowland Hill in 1840. The first stamps of India issued just before 1854 came to be known as “Scinde Dawks”, as they were issued in the Province of Singh. “Scinde” was how the British spelt the province of Sindh and “Dawk” is the anglicized spelling of the Hindustani word “Dak” or Post. And so, to this day, India’s first stamps are referred to simply as The Scinde Dawks.
The year 2004 marked the 150th anniversary of the Indian Postal department. October 1854 saw the formation of a centralized control of the subcontinent’s post offices under the first Director General. That year also saw the establishment of a Railway Mail Service across India – with a skeletal network of 701 post offices across the subcontinent – and a new Sea Mail Service from India to Great Britain and China. In February 1911, a French pilot, named Henri Pequet, flew with 6,500 pieces of mail in a Biplane from Allahabad to Naini (a distance of six miles). This flight was the first official Air Mail in the world!
The Indian postal system also boasts of postal code area “172114” in Sikkim, which – at 15,500 feet (more than 4700 meters approx.) – is the highest post office in the world.
63. Rishis – Great Seers of India
One lamp lights another lamp.