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Lets witness roots of Modern Business Economy

Published: Jun 21, 2022

By Shweta Jain

WHEN we talk about the growth and development of the Indian business segment and entrepreneurship, it is crucial to learn about those people who have led the foundation of it and who have all contributed to the growth of Indian business segment. Every businessman, no matter how small he may be, is a risk-bearer and contributes to the GDP of India. Business generates employment and makes the country self-sufficient. Everyone has an inspiring story, but in this article, we will go back in time and try to learn about some great businessmen whose efforts, labour, intelligence, decision-making power, and hard work have been greatly appreciated and will continue to be appreciated in the future.

Firstly I will discuss about Indian pioneer industrialist who founded the Tata Group, Mr. Jamshedji Nusserwanji Tata. He is also addressed as the "Father of Indian Industry". Once, our first prime minister, Mr. Jawaharlal Nehru, referred to him as a "One-Man Planning Commission". He started his career as a merchant and joined his father's export-trading firm. Once he got a chance to travel around China, he began to realise that the cotton industry was booming and there was a chance of making a great profit. So he bought a bankrupt oil mill at Chinchpokli in 1869, converted it to a cotton mill, and sold the mill two years later for a profit. This is really inspiring because only a true businessman is a risk taker and with hard work, can convert any business into a profitable venture. He decided to go to the undeveloped city of Nagpur to start a new business and floated the Central India Spinning, Weaving, and Manufacturing Company. Due to the unconventional location, people were claiming that it was a bad move by Mr. Tata, but he proved everyone wrong again. Due to abundant farm produce and the cheap land, his venture was a success in leaps and bounds. With the growth of its industry, the city of Nagpur has also experienced development.

Tata industries also had their footprints in the city of Ahmedabad. Mr. Tata made an effort to integrate the mill within the city in order to provide economic growth to its community. Slowly, Tata advanced the textile and cotton industries in India. Mr. Tata was a strong supporter of Swadeshism. He even named his new cotton mill built in Bombay the "Swadeshi Mill". He always had an eye on the latest technology. Tata was the first to introduce the ring spindle into his mills. He wanted India to become a pioneer in the cotton industry. Tata's iron and steel plant was set up at Sakchi in Jharkhand. The village grew into a town named Tatanagar. His successors worked equally hard, and now Tata Steel is Asia's first and India's largest steel company.

Secondly, I would like to talk about  Mr.  Ghanshyam Das Birla.  He was an Indian businessman and a member of the  Birla family. He inherited the  family business  but decided to diversify into different areas. In 1918, he established Birla Jute Mills. He had to face a number of obstacles as the British and Scottish merchants tried to shut down his business through unethical and monopolistic methods, but through his great leadership qualities and positive outlook, he was able to persevere. In the 1940s, he entered into the business of selling cars and established  Hindustan Motors . After independence, Birla invested in tea and textiles through acquisitions of European companies. He kept on expanding his business and diversified into cement, chemicals, rayon and steel tubes. Through his futuristic vision, Birla conceived the idea of forming a commercial bank with Indian capital and management and the United Commercial Bank Limited (later known as UCO Bank) was incorporated. It is one of the oldest and major commercial banks in India. Birla founded the Birla Engineering College in Pilani and the Technological Institute of Textile and Sciences in Bhiwani, among other educational institutions. They all have evolved over the years to develop into one of India's best engineering schools and education centres. Birla was a very close friend and supporter of Mahatma Gandhi. His writing collection includes Rupaye Ki Kahani, 1948 and Paths to Prosperity, 1950.

It is said that "successful people are not gifted; they simply work hard and succeed on purpose." This phrase is meant for people like Mr. Kailash Chandra Mahindra. Mr. Mahindra was an Indian industrialist who co-founded Mahindra & Mahindra. He was born in Ludhiana, Punjab. After graduating, he joined Messrs. Martin & Company, where he edited the monthly magazine India and the Hindustan Review. He was appointed the Chairman of the Indian Coal Fields Committee by the Government of India. His contribution to developing strategic coal policies and applying the latest methods of coal mining in India helped shape the industry. His Coal Commission Report became a seminal document in the industry. Under his 13-year stewardship as chairman, Mahindra & Mahindra established itself as a major Indian industrial house in various sectors.

Focus on the positive things and always looking up are two things that we can learn from Mr. Shiv Nadar. He is an Indian billionaire industrialist. He has founded well known company  HCL Technologies Limited.  He founded HCL in the mid 1970s and transformed the IT hardware company into an IT enterprise over the years. He was awarded the Padma Bhushan for his efforts in the IT industry. He has also focused on developing the educational system of India through the Shiv Nadar Foundation.

This article cannot be completed without mentioning Mr Govindram Seksaria's name. He was a very famous businessman in pre-independence India. He started his career as an operator on the Bombay Cotton Exchange. Later, he became one of the original members of the East India Cotton Association. Mr Seksaria believed in diversification and entered into bullion and other commodity markets, including the Bombay Stock Exchange. He diversified into sugar, textiles, minerals, mining, banking, printing, and motion pictures. He used to believe in globalisation, which was a rare thing for an Indian in those days, and became a member of the New York Cotton Exchange.

Also Mr. Dhirubhai Ambani, Mr. Nagavara Ramarao Narayana Murthy, Mr. Lakshmi Niwas Mittal, Mr. Dilip Shanghvi, Mr. Azim Premji, Mr. Mukesh Jagtiani, and Ardeshir Godrej are precious pearls on the occasion of business. We can learn so much from their journey. All of them have common qualities of being reliable, risk-takers, and leaders with a positive outlook. They all had strong visions with determination and worked hard to achieve the same. They all have contributed to the growth of the country, contributed to GDP, generated employment and supplied goods and services not only to the country but worldwide. The shape of the modern Indian economy is based on the efforts of all these and many other successful businessmen.