Business Legend: Walchand Hirachand
In 1882, industrialist Walchand Hirachand started his empire-building from a small project for the railways
in 1920 when he successfully completed the Bhor Ghat tunnel for a railway route from Mumbai to Pune.
Walchand set up Hindustan Construction Company (HCC) in 1926, which went on to build some of India's
landmark construction projects.
Hailing from a trading community that migrated to Sholapur from Saurashtra in
the middle of the 19th century, Seth Walchand Hirachand was born at Sholapur,
Maharashtra in a Digambar Jain family engaged in trading and money lending.
Walchand's company was merged into Tata Construction Company in 1920. In
1929, he became the Managing Director of the company, and in 1935 Tatas sold
their stake in the firm to Walchand.
Walchand floated the Scindia Steam Navigation Company Limited (SSNCL) after
he acquired the ship–S.S. Loyalty– from Maharaja Madhavrao Scindia of
Gwalior. SS Loyalty made its maiden international voyage on 5 April 1919 by
sailing from Mumbai to London.
The founding day of SSNCL (April 5) is now celebrated as India's National Maritime Day.
Walchand's foresight led to the establishment of the first indigenous shipbuilding yard in the country in
Visakhapatnam, Scindia Shipyard, in 1941. The company, taken over by the Government of India in 1952
and re-christened as the Hindustan Shipyard Limited (HSL). Its first product, the ship 'Jalusha' was
launched soon after independence by Jawaharlal Nehru in 1948. However, the shipyard came under
government control a few months later and was fully nationalized in 1961.
Walchand also founded the Indian aircraft industry when he established Hindustan Aircraft Limited (HAL)
Disaster Resource Network (DRN): HCC is one of the founding companies of DRN Global, an initiative
of the World Economic Forum, to implement quick relief during natural disasters.
India's first all-concrete dam at Vaitarna, Maharashtra was completed in 1954 by HCC. It was also the
first dam built using fully mechanized construction methods with aerial cableways.
Walchand was interested in establishing a car factory in India. In 1945, he established Premier
Automobiles near Mumbai.
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Established in 1944, Premier was one of the first Indian companies to start making automobiles. In
collaboration with Chrysler Corporation, USA, India's first car rolled out of the Premier factory in 1947.
The JV assembled cars like Dodge, Desots and Plymouth.
In collaboration with Fiat SpA, Italy, Premier first started assembling the Fiat 500 in India. In 1954, came the
Fiat 1100, one of the most popular models ever produced.
In 1973, Premier commenced marketing of the cars under the brand name 'Premier', after the agreement
with Fiat expired
Apart from the most popular car in India, the Premier Padmini, Premier also manufactured the country's
widest range of commercial vehicles for a variety of road transport applications. Current products include
Roadstar Tipper, Sigma Lifeline ambulance & Sigma Express cargo carrier.
Among the other companies he pioneered were the Walchandnagar Industries Limited, located at
Walchandnagar, an industrial township near Pune and Ravalgaon Sugar.
Bharat Electronics Limited
Starting with the manufacture of communication equipment in 1956, BEL went on to produce Receiving
Valves in 1961, Germanium Semiconductors in 1962 and Radio Transmitters for AIR in 1964.
In 1966, BEL set up a Radar manufacturing facility for the Army and in-house R&D.
In 1970, manufacture of Black & White TV Picture Tube, X-ray Tube and Microwave Tubes started.
1972 saw BEL manufacturing TV Transmitters for Doordarshan.
1989 saw the manufacture of the first batch of 75,000 Electronic Voting Machines.
Axis Bank was the first of the new private banks to have begun operations in 1994, after the Government of
India allowed new private banks to be established. First branch of UTI Bank inaugurated at Ahmedabad in
In 2000, UTI Bank introduced iConnect Retail loans
In 2003, UTI Bank inaugurated its ATM at Thegu near the Nathula Pass in Sikkim. This ATM is at the
highest altitude in India.
In 2005, UTI Bank launched UTI Bank launches Smart Privilege–a special bank account designed for
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In 2005, UTI Bank and Visa International launched Mobile Refill facility–Anytime, Anywhere Pre-Paid
Mobile Refill for all Visa Cardholders in India.
In 2006, UTI Bank announces the scheme of issuance of 'Senior Citizen ID Card' in association with
In 2006, UTI Bank launched Priority Banking Lounge for its high net-worth customers
In 2007, UTI Bank launched 'Spice Rewards' on the bankcards–India's first-ever merchant-supported
In July 2007, UTI Bank was renamed Axis Bank
In 2007, Axis Bank launched project Sampark as a cross-selling initiative. During the year, the Bank
launched the Annuity Card (a co-branded pre-paid card) in association with LIC for disbursing the annuity &
the Meal Card–an electronic variant of meal vouchers.
In 2008, Axis Bank launched Platinum Credit Card, India's first EMV chip based card. EMV is a
standard for interoperation of IC cards for authenticating credit and debit card payments. The name EMV
comes from the initial letters of Europay, MasterCard and VISA, the three companies which originally
cooperated to develop the standard.
In Sept 2007, Axis Bank tied up with Banque Privée Edmond de Rothschild Europe for Wealth
History of Mars Inc
Mars, Inc. is a family owned company, with six industry leading business units – Chocolate, Petcare, Food,
Drinks, Symbioscience and now Wrigley Gum and Sugar. It owns famous brands such as M & M's candies,
Snickers candy bars, Uncle Ben's rice, and Pedigree dog food.
1911: Frank C. Mars and his second wife, Ethel V. Healey (1884-1945), start making and selling butter
cream candies from their home's kitchen in Tacoma, Washington, USA. This leads to their renting their first
candy factory, the Mars Candy Factory, Inc.
1920: Frank C. Mars moves to larger quarters in Minneapolis, Minnesota where again he starts in the basket
candies business. Called "The Nougat House", the candy produced during this period is named "Patricia
Chocolates" after Frank and Ethel V's daughter.
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1923: The Milky Way® bar is introduced and is an instant success. The first advertising is "A Chocolate
Malted Milk in a Candy Bar".
1930 The Snickers® bar is introduced and sold for five cents.
1940: Frank's son, Forrest Mars returned to the United States and founded M & M Limited in Newark, New
Jersey, to manufacture chocolate candies in a sugar shell. At that time, stores reduced their stock of
chocolate in the summer because of the lack of air conditioning, and Forrest hoped to capitalize on the
unique construction of M & M's to sell the candy year round. The name of the candy was derived from the
initials of Mars and an associate, Bruce Murrie. M & M's Peanut Chocolate Candies were introduced in
1954, the same year the famous slogan 'the milk chocolate melts in your mouth--not in your hand' was
1942 Hard covered rice, impervious to insects is developed in the U.S. by Converted Rice, Inc. for troops
in tropical conditions. Mars opens the first commercial rice parboiling plant in Houston, Texas, USA.
They began selling rice to the U.S. Army, which they continued to supply throughout World War II. The
company becomes known as Uncle Ben's® Incorporated in 1959. Uncle Ben's eventually became the
leading brand of rice worldwide
1960: The advertising slogan, "A Mars a day helps you work, rest and play" is first used in the UK.
1967: Forrest merged his business with the Mars Company owned by his father and took over operation of
the new company. He established a radically egalitarian system at the company in which workers were
called associates and everyone–from the president down–punched a time clock. Offices were eliminated
and desks were arranged in a wagon-wheel fashion, with the higher-ranking executives in the center, to
facilitate communication between individuals and functional areas.
1969: Mars Electronics International (MEI) began operating in 1969 and was responsible for the
introduction of electronics to the vending machine industry.
1982 Mars becomes the first candy in space when M&M'S® are chosen by the first space shuttle
astronauts to be included in their food supply
1983: The Flavia® fresh brew system is launched. It is an innovative system for the preparation of hot
drinks using fresh ground coffee and real leaf teas within a single portion pack.
1983: The first "Five Principles of Mars" booklet is published and distributed globally across Mars.
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1984: M&M'S® Plain and Peanut Chocolate Candies and Snickers® bar are announced "Official Snack
Foods of the Olympic games". Mars paid $5 million to have M & M's and Snickers named 'the official snack
foods of the 1984 Olympic Games.' Commercials featured athletes getting quick energy from sugary snacks.
2000: M&M'S® Chocolate Candies become "The Official Candy of the New Millennium". MM is the
Roman numeral for 2000.
By introducing Milky Way II, Mars became the first candy manufacturer to try to gain or retain calorie- and
In early 2000, Mars launched a web site, Cocoapro.com, dedicated to celebrating recent research claiming
health benefits for certain of chocolate's plant-derived components.
2004: Klix® Outlook vending machine is launched featuring a choice of color schemes and a greater
range of drink choices.
2008: Mars acquires the Wm. Wrigley, Jr. Company, whose product offerings include gum, mints, hard and
chewy candies, lollipops and chocolate. The transaction makes Mars one of the largest confectionery
companies in the world.
History of Western Union
In 1851, a group of New York businessmen started the New York & Mississippi Valley Printing Telegraph
In 1856, following the acquisition of a series of other telegraph systems, the company changed its name to
the Western Union Telegraph Company, symbolizing the "union" of eastern and western telegraph lines
into one system.
Western Union introduced the first money transfer service in 1871.
Western Union became known in 1877 as "The Nation's Timekeeper," when it first introduced its Time
Service — sending out electronic impulses that regulated clocks in government buildings, schools, and
banks, ensuring that they always displayed the correct time.
In 1884, Western Union became one of the original stocks listed on the Dow Average.
Western Union launched the Tele-Fax in 1935, the first public city-to-city fax service.
Western Union employee Thomas Edison later used the money transfer technology as the basis for
inventing an improved stock ticker.
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In 1974, Western Union launched Westar I, the first American commercial communications satellite,
and became the first company with five satellites in orbit.
History of Visa
The roots of the Visa brand go back to 1958, when Bank of America launched its blue, white, and gold
"revolving-credit" BankAmericard, which gave cardholders the option of paying their account balance in
In 1970, an alliance of U.S. banks banded together and created National BankAmericard, Inc., a
membership association that began overseeing the operation of the BankAmericard program in the US.
In 1977, National BankAmericard, Inc. launched Visa.
Visa introduced the first global ATM network
History of Campbell's soups
The Joseph A. Campbell Preserve Company was formed in 1869 by Joseph Campbell and an icebox
manufacturer named Abraham Anderson.
The original company produced canned tomatoes, vegetables, jellies, soups, condiments, and minced
In 1897, twenty-four-year-old Dr. John T. Dorrance made a discovery that would change the company's
focus — and fortune — forever. Dr. Dorrance invented condensed soup, which allows a high-quality
product to be produced and shipped relatively inexpensively
In 1899 Campbell became the first manufacturer to place advertising on New York City streetcars.
In 1922, the company's name was officially changed to Campbell Soup Company.
The Campbell Kids, illustrated by Grace Wiederseim, made their appearance on streetcars in Philadelphia
in 1904. They became hugely popular and have been included in Campbell's advertising the world round.
The famous "M'm! M'm! Good!" jingle was created in 1931 for a radio spot.
The genesis of the red and white color design on Campbell's condensed soup cans came after a company
executive attended a Cornell University football game. The executive was so taken by the team's new red
and white uniforms that he convinced Campbell to use the colors on its labels.
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History of Intel
Venture capitalist Arthur C Rock was the first Chairman of Intel. Founders Gordon Moore and Bob Noyce
had purchased rights to the name Intel from another company Intelco.
3101 Schottky bipolar random memory chip (RAM) was Intel's first product
In 1972, Intel entered into the digital watch market with the purchase of Microma, a Liquid Crystal Display
(LCD) watch maker
Bob Noyce received the National Medal of Science from President Jimmy Carter in 1979.
Intel's Classmate PC is based on the Atom processor
Intel's INSPIRE•EMPOWER Challenge awards seed funding of $100,000 to one winner in four areas of
global need – education, healthcare, economic development, and the environment.
In 2006, Intel announced the World Ahead Program, its $1 billion commitment to bring uncompromised
access to technology to everyone, everywhere. As part of the program, Intel carefully selected 5 villages
(including Baramati, India) on three continents to illustrate how accessibility, connectivity and education can
truly transform a community and the lives of its citizens.
• FedEx Corporation is a leading logistics services company, based in the United States. FedEx is a syllabic
abbreviation of the company's original name, Federal Express, used until 1994.
• The company was founded as Federal Express in 1971 by Frederick W. Smith in Little Rock, Arkansas.
• While attending Yale University, Fred Smith wrote a paper on the need for reliable overnight delivery in a
computerized information age. His professor found the premise improbable and, to the best of Smith's
recollection, he only received a grade of C for this effort, but the idea remained with him.
• After graduation, Smith enlisted in the Marine Corps and served two tours of duty in Vietnam.
• While in the military, the young lieutenant observed military procurement and delivery procedures
carefully, with an eye toward someday realizing his dream of a vast network dedicated to overnight
commercial delivery. Smith got his chance when he left the service and started his express transport
business in 1971.
• The name Federal Express was chosen to symbolize a national marketplace, and to help obtain government
• The company began operations with a network of Dassault Falcon 20s
• In 1984-86 the company operated a fax service known as Zapmail that turned out to be a commercial failure
• In 1989 the company acquired Flying Tigers, an international cargo airline
• The "Federal Express" name was eliminated entirely in 2000, when FDX Corporation changed its name to
FedEx Corporation and adopted the tagline "The World On Time"
• FedEx Kinko's: Dallas-based chain that provides copying/printing and business services
• In its advertising, the company made famous the line "Absolutely, positively" for their overnight service
• In 2003, FedEx partnered with the Department of Homeland Security and Northrop Grumman to develop
and flight test an anti-missile system, the Northrop Grumman Guardian that could be deployed on
commercial airliners, to protect them from terrorist attacks
• FedEx became the first air carrier to deploy the Guardian on a commercial flight in 2006
• FedEx in popular culture: In the 1999 film Runaway Bride, Julia Roberts's character flees her own wedding
by jumping aboard a FedEx truck. When someone asks where she's going, another character replies that he
doesn't know, but she'll get there by 10 am the next day.
• China Import Co (former name of Sinochem Corporation) was established in 1950 &
was the first state-owned import & export enterprise specializing in foreign trade .
• Panda medical latex gloves, Sining series of medicines and Goodspeed tyres
William Morrison Supermarkets
• 1899: It was in 1899 that egg and butter merchant William Morrison, father of Sir Ken Morrison, started a
stall in a Bradford market that lead the way in supermarket retailing.
• 1961: "Victoria", the company's first supermarket, is opened in Bradford in 1961.
• 2004: Morrisons completed the takeover of Safeway, creating the UK's fourth largest supermarket group