The man behind the creation and the rise of the Birla Group in India, Ghanshyam Das Birla died 34 years ago on 11 June 1983.
A great leader, GD Birla was a reformer, an industrialist, and above all a nationalist.
Known for his entrepreneurial spirit and considered a doyen of Indian industry, he laid the foundation of the Birla empire. As a visionary businessman, GD Birla has gone down in Indian history as the creator of one of India's largest industrial conglomerates.
Today, the Birla group is a commodities empire with interests spanning cement, aluminium, telecom and financial services.
Born on 10 April 1894 in Pilani, Rajasthan, Birla entered the field of business during the time of World Word I.
In 1919, with an investment of Rs. 50 lakhs, the Birla Brothers Limited was formed and a mill was set up in Gwalior.
In the 1930s, G.D. Birla set up Sugar and Paper mills. In the 1940s, he ventured into the territory of cars and established Hindustan Motors.
After independence, Ghanshyam Das Birla invested in tea and textiles through a series of acquisitions of erstwhile European companies. He also expanded and diversified into cement, chemicals, rayon and steel tubes.
He played a critical role in India's freedom struggle as a confidant of Mahatma Gandhi.
Birla was bestowed upon India's second-highest civilian honour, the Padma Vibhushan by the Government of India in 1957.
(with sources inputs)