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G.D. Birla | The success story of the Indian industrialist and businessman



G.D. Birla or Ghanshyam Das Birla was an Indian industrialist, businessman, and entrepreneur. He laid the foundation of the Birla Group and helped the group diversify into various sectors. During the British government in India, Birla faced several challenges as they tried to shut down his business. With his spirit of entrepreneurship and dedication, he managed to preserve his business and build an empire. Birla played a huge part in helping India rise as an economic superpower and put it on the map. Here’s G.D. Birla’s inspiring success story.

Early life and career

Ghanshyam Das Birla was born on 10th April 1894 in the town of Pilani located in the Indian state then known as Rajputana, now Rajasthan. After inheriting his family’s business, he wanted to diversity it into different areas. Birla wanted to turn the moneylending business into manufacturing. Therefore, he moved to Calcutta, the world’s largest jute-producing region, from Pilani. In Calcutta, he worked as an independent jute broker. In 1918, Birla built the Birla Jute Mills. During that time, several European and British merchants opposed the construction of the mill.

Birla faced several hurdles and challenges to save his business from the merchants. They tried to shut down his company by various wrong methods. In the end, Birla succeeded. After World War I, the British empire faced supply problems and Birla’s business soared. In 1919, he got an investment of Rs. 5 million and the Birla Brothers Limited was formed. Later, a mill was also set up in Gwalior. In addition to being a successful businessman, G.D. Birla was active in political matters. In 1926, he was elected to the Central Legislative Assembly of British India. Birla was also the founding president of Harijan Sevak Sangh, which was founded by Mahatma Gandhi. 

G.D. Birla’s contribution

In the 1940s, Birla entered the automobile industry and founded Hindustan Motors. Post the independence of India, he also entered the tea and textiles industries after acquiring European companies. Later, Birla expanded into chemicals, cement, steel tubes, rayon, and more. During the Quit India Movement in 1942, G.D Birls suggested the idea of creating a commercial bank with Indian money. Later, the formation of the United Commercial Bank occurred and it is one of the major and oldest commercial banks in the country.

To improve his hometown’s development, G.D Birla established the Birla Engineering College in 1943, now known as the Birla Institute of Science and Technology. Today, it is one of the top and most reputed engineering colleges in India. In addition, he also founded the Technological Institute of Textiles & Science in Bhiwani. He helped put Pilani on the map by building several educational institutions in the town. The government of India awarded G.D. Birla the Padma Vibhushan in 1957 for his contribution to India’s economy and development. K.M. Birla, the current chairman of the Birla Group, is his great-grandson. On 11 June 1983, G.D. Birla died at the age of 83. 

G.D Birla’s success story

G.D Birla’s success story is very inspiring. Firstly, he shaped the country with his passion for entrepreneurship, dedication, and hard work. Secondly, he also helped in shaping the educational sector of the country by building various institutions. Birla supported the independence of India and donated large amounts of money to several funds. G.D. Birla is an inspiration to many around the world. 

Also read: Nitin Godse | The inspirational success story of this Indian entrepreneur

When did G.D. Birla get elected to the Legislative Assembly?

In 1926.

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