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The grandson of the legendary G.D. Birla, Aditya Vikram Birla was one of the most inspirational and outstanding industrialists that India has ever had. His innovative ideas and marvelous abilities helped India to expand trade to foreign countries, thereby leaving an indelible mark on the corporate landscape.
He was one of the first Indian industrialists to set up the largest multinational empire, thereby creating India’s first truly global corporation. Apart from carrying forward his grandfather’s legacy, he introduced the concept of “sustainable livelihood”, wherein he taught people to work and feed themselves and their families for lifetime rather than simply living on the food given. With this, he not only gained name and fame among the masses but also set an example for other businessmen to learn from him.
With his magnificent and phenomenal efforts to develop his business across India and overseas, he became the new face of Indian business – professional, modern, and forward looking.
After completing his degree course in chemical engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (USA), he returned to India and was handed over a part of Birla Company to run. Not to be satisfied with just that, he started his own textile business with Eastern Spinning Mills that became an instant hit in Kolkata. With this, he put the company’s sinking rayon and textile business back on track.
This was, however, just the beginning as he showed immense interest and paved the group towards success with every assignment handed over. Aditya’s next challenge was the expansion of the group’s oil sector which again was a victorious attempt. However, with Indira Gandhi’s socialist ideas of preventing foreign trade, importing world-class technology, and expansion of old plants, Aditya concentrated on Indian rayon with accepting bigger challenges of taking it worldwide.
Instead of moving towards the West, Aditya focused on the east and set up Indo-Thai Synthetics Company Ltd. in Thailand in 1969, thereby launching the group’s first overseas company. Over the next few years, Aditya launched several more companies and joint ventures throughout the Southeast. By the 1980s, Aditya had established 19 companies in South and Southeast Asia and the Middle East.
His efforts resulted to transforming the Birla Group into a blooming blue-chip company and one of India’s largest business conglomerates, while Aditya himself became one of India’s foremost businessmen. With immense profits from overseas joint industrial ventures, Birla Group became the largest multinational company set up by a resident Indian industrialist.
It was under the dynamic and influential leadership of Aditya Birla that the company was able to intensify and firm its presence in the core sectors. Even before the word globalization was included in India’s dictionary, Aditya set up a global business empire, thereby placing India on the world map in 1969.
Under his guidance, the companies were making immense profits in key sectors of textiles, cement, aluminum, chemicals, fertilizers, fiber, financial services, sponge iron, software, and petro-refinery. Aditya is said to be highly responsible for building and improving the country’s commodity business. With the marvelous success of his Grasim, Hindalco, Indian Rayon, and Indo Gulf Fertilizers, he helped several companies prosper.
Though his companies had over 70,000 employees, Aditya was actually generating indirect employment for more than 200,000 people – such was the contribution and prosperity brought to India that Aditya helped in earning respect for the “Made in India” quality stamp.
Besides giving name to one of the largest industrial empires in India, Aditya Birla served as the director of Reserve Bank of India, Air India, and The India Fund. He had been a member of the Economic and Trade Mission to Japan led by late L.K. Jha in 1985. Further, he even served as a member of the Trade Mission led by the Indian Finance Minister in 1992. He was appointed as a director on the boards of Industrial Credit and Industrial Corporation, Infrastructure Leasing and Financial Services Ltd., and Bajaj Auto among other organizations.
A US $40 billion corporation, the Aditya Birla Group is in the League of Fortune 500. It is anchored by an extraordinary force of over 120,000 employees belonging to 42 different nationalities. The Group has been ranked Number 4 in the global ‘Top Companies for Leaders’ survey and ranked Number 1 in Asia Pacific for 2011. ‘Top Companies for Leaders’ is the most comprehensive study of organisational leadership in the world conducted by Aon Hewitt, Fortune Magazine, and RBL (a strategic HR and Leadership Advisory firm). The Group has topped the Nielsen’s Corporate Image Monitor 2012-13 and emerged as the Number 1 corporate, the ‘Best in Class’
50 per cent of the Aditya Birla Group’s revenues flow from its overseas operations. The Group operates in 36 countries – Australia, Austria, Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, China, Egypt, France, Germany, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Italy, Ivory Coast, Japan, Korea, Laos, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Poland, Russia, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Switzerland, Tanzania, Thailand, Turkey, UAE, UK, USA, and Vietnam.
The Aditya Birla Group transcends the conventional barriers of business because we believe it is our duty to facilitate inclusive growth in all the sectors of the Industry.
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