Sunday, May 2, 2010

Business GK


PPR is a French multinational holding company specializing in retail shops and luxury

brands. The company was created by the billionaire businessman François Pinault

and is now run by his son François-Henri Pinault.

It was originally called Pinault-Printemps-Redoute, but changed its name to simply


François Pinault's holding company Artemis S.A. also owns Converse sneakers, Samsonite luggage, the

Vail Ski Resort in Colorado, and Christie's auction house.

Artemis also owns Executive Life (now Aurora Life) in California, which was sued by policy holders when the

company failed.

PPR's brands include Gucci, Balenciaga and Stella McCartney.

PPR also owns more-affordable catalog brands Lerner and Chadwick's.

The second "P" of the group's name, "Printemps", was sold in 2006 to an investment group.

Pinault's personal art collection is now showcased in Venice in the Palazzo Grassi.


Wallace Carothers

Eleuthère Irénée du Pont (E.I.), in 1802, set up the company on Brandywine Creek that bears his name.

He had studied advanced explosives production techniques with the famous chemist Antoine Lavoisier.

The du Ponts' moderate political views proved a liability in revolutionary France. In 1797 a mob ransacked

their printing shop and they were briefly imprisoned. In late 1799 they fled to America.



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It began as a manufacturer of gunpowder, as du Pont had noticed that the industry in North America was

lagging behind Europe and saw a market for it. The company grew quickly, and by the mid nineteenth century

had become the largest supplier of gunpowder to the United States military, supplying as much as half of

the powder used by the Union Army during the American Civil War.

In 1999, CEO Chad Holliday switched the company's focus towards producing DuPont chemicals from living

plants rather than processing them from petroleum.

In the twentieth century, DuPont led the polymer revolution by developing many highly successful materials such


Nylon (first produced in 1935 by Wallace Carothers at DuPont)

Teflon (invented accidentally by Roy Plunkett of Kinetic Chemicals)

Kevlar (Developed at DuPont in 1965 by Stephanie Kwolek and Roberto Berendt. Kevlar is wellknown

as a component of some bulletproof vests)

Lycra or Spandex (invented in 1959 by DuPont chemist Joseph Shivers)

Vespel, Neoprene, Corian, Mylar, Nomex, Tyvek

DuPont has also been significantly involved in the refrigerant industry, developing and producing the

Freon (CFCs) series

In the paint and pigment industry, it has created synthetic pigments and paints, such as ChromaFlair.

Air France-KLM

Air France-KLM was created by the mutually-agreed merger between Air France and Netherlands-based

KLM in 2004

Private shareholders own 81.4% of the company while the French government owns the remaining

Both Air France and KLM continue to operate flights under their brand names as subsidiaries of Air France-


KLM was founded in 1919, making it the oldest carrier in the world still operating under its original name.

The first KLM flight was in 1920, from London Northolt to Amsterdam Schiphol Airport

Air France was formed in 1933 as a merger of Air Orient, Compagnie Générale Aéropostale, Société

Générale de Transport Aérien (SGTA) and Compagnie Internationale de Navigation Aérienne (CIDNA).

Norsk Hydro

Norsk Hydro is a Norwegian aluminium and renewable energy company, headquartered

in Oslo. The Norwegian state holds a 45% ownership interest in the company

The company had a significant presence in the oil and gas industry until 2007, when

these operations were merged with rival Statoil to form StatoilHydro.

Financed by the Swedish Wallenberg family and French banks, the company was

founded in 1905 as Norwegian Hydro-electric Nitrogen Ltd by Sam Eyde

The company used a novel technology for producing artificial fertilizers by fixing nitrogen from air. The

technology had been developed by the Norwegian scientist Kristian Birkeland.



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Alcoa is the world's third largest producer of aluminum, behind Rio Tinto and Rusal

Alcoa also markets consumer brands Reynolds Wrap foil and Baco household


History: In 1886, Charles Martin Hall discovered the process of smelting

aluminum, almost simultaneously with Paul Héroult in France. This discovery, now

called the Hall-Héroult process, is still the only process used to make aluminum worldwide.

Charles Martin Hall in 1888, with the help of Alfred E. Hunt, started the Pittsburgh Reduction Company.

"The Aluminum Company of America"– became the firm's new name in 1907.

The acronym "Alcoa" was coined in 1910 and in 1999 was adopted as the official corporate name.

Johnson Controls

Johnson Controls is a US company specializing in the design, manufacturing, and

installation of automotive systems and non-residential climate control systems.

Founded in 1885 by Warren S. Johnson, inventor of the first electric room thermostat.

BHP Billiton

BHP Billiton is the world's largest mining company.

Its origin is in the 2001 merger of Australia's Broken Hill Proprietary Company (BHP) and the UK's

Billiton, which has a South African background.

The Broken Hill Proprietary Company or BHP was incorporated in 1885, operating the silver and lead mine

at Broken Hill in New South Wales.

Billiton's origins stretch back to September 1860, when the articles of association were approved by a

meeting of shareholders in the Groot Keizerhof hotel in The Hague, Netherlands.

BHP Billiton Limited and BHP Billiton Plc continue to exist as separate companies, but operate on a

combined basis as BHP Billiton



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Marubeni Corporation is a Japanese trading company, one of the largest Sogo shosha in Japan.

The company's founder, Chubei Itoh, began travel peddling of Omi linen in 1858.

In 1872, Chubei stopped travel peddling and opened 'Benichu', a drapery shop, in Osaka.

In 1883, Chubei used the "Beni" mark as the store's logo. This was the beginning of the Company's name of


The next year in 1884, Benichu was renamed Itoh Main Store

In 1918, the limited partnership was divided into Itochu Shoten and C. Itoh & Co.

These two companies were the forerunners to Marubeni Corporation and Itochu Corporation, respectively.


DENSO Corporation, established in 1949 as Nippondenso, is a member of the Toyota Group companies.

In a way, Denso is to Toyota what Delphi is to General Motors, or, what Visteon is to Ford, or, what Keihin is

to Honda.

Originally, Denso was the electrical component manufacturing division of Toyota Motor Corporation,

segregated during post-WWII reconstruction


Commerzbank AG is the second-largest bank in Germany (after Deutsche

Bank) and headquartered in Frankfurt.

Commerzbank holds a leading market share in online banking–EuroHypo

is an integral part of Commerzbank.

Commerzbank was founded in 1870 by individual and merchant bankers in


The Commerzbank Tower (designed by British architect Norman Foster) was Europe's first ecological




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American Express

American Express is a diversified global financial services company best known for its credit card, charge

card and traveler's cheque businesses.

American Express was founded in 1850, in Buffalo, New York, as

a joint stock corporation that was a merger of the express mail

companies owned by Henry Wells (Wells & Company), William

Fargo (Livingston, Fargo & Company), and John Butterfield

(Butterfield, Wasson & Company), as an express business.

In 1890, J.C. Fargo took a trip to Europe and returned frustrated

and infuriated. Despite the fact that he was president of American Express and that he carried with him

traditional letters of credit, he found it difficult to obtain cash anywhere except in major cities. Fargo went to

Marcellus Flemming Berry and asked him to create a better solution than the traditional letter of credit.

Berry introduced the American Express Traveler's Cheque which was launched in 1891 in denominations

of $10, $20, $50, and $100.

Following WW II, American Express was engaged by the US govt to bring back luggage of US personnel

abroad. An especially memorable initiative was Operation Pooch that involved shipping more than 10,000

adopted dogs back to the US for reunion with their owners.

In the early 1990s, through a joint venture with Warner Communications, American express helped fund the

start-up of MTV.

American Express is known for a number of advertising campaigns that make use of celebrities. Some

notable examples include ad campaign with comedian Jerry Seinfeld, webisodes in a series entitled "The

Adventures of Seinfeld and Superman."

In late 2004, American Express launched the "My life. My card" brand campaign (also by Ogilvy & Mather)

featuring famous American Express card members talking about their life.

Many American Express credit card ads feature a sample American Express card with the name "C F Frost"

on the front. This is not a fabricated name, as Charles F. Frost was an advertising executive.

American Express was one of the earliest users of cause marketing, to great success. A 1983 promotion

advertised that for each purchase made with an American Express card, American Express would contribute

one penny to the renovation of the Statue of Liberty.



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The American Express later conducted a four-year Charge Against Hunger program, which generated

approximately $22 million for a charity addressing poverty and hunger relief.

In 2006, as part of Bono's Product Red, American Express launched the American Express Red Card with

campaign starred by Gisele Bündchen. The card, currently available only in the United Kingdom, makes a

donation to fight AIDS with every purchase made using the card.

In September 2007, Standard Chartered plc agreed to acquire American Express Bank Ltd, a commercial

bank, from American Express Co.

In 1975, David Ogilvy of Ogilvy & Mather developed the highly successful "Don't Leave Home Without It"

ad campaign for American Express Traveler's Cheques, featuring Oscar-award-winning actor Karl


In 1999, American Express introduced the Centurion Card which is often referred to as the "black card,"

catering to an even more affluent and elite customer segment

Eleven Tears is a memorial built by American Express to remember its 11 employees who perished in

September 11 attacks.

In Boston in 1991, a group of restaurateurs, upset about what they felt were American Express' unfairly high

rates, staged a revolt that came to be known as the Boston Fee Party.

Business Trivia

In 1990, Chicago-based Wrigley's became the first company to reward its workers for taking buses and

trains to work, instead of driving cars.

Thomas Bata, the Czech who started Bata International, set up a small shop in Konnagar in 1931 and

today it is a township called Batanagar. He returned to Czechoslovakia where Bata was founded after the

Velvet revolution, which saw the overthrow of the communist regime in 1989.

The Age of Turbulence by Alan Greenspan has author's dedication read as:

For my beloved Andrea.

Guardsmark claims to be the largest employer of former FBI agents in the


Hole in the Wall camps was founded by Paul Newman.



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Container Corporation of India Ltd. (CONCOR) was incorporated in 1988 under the

Companies Act, and commenced operation from 1989 taking over the existing network of

58 ICDs from the Indian Railways.

Though the first ISO marine container had been handled in India at Cochin as early as

1973, it was in 1981 that the first ISO container was moved inland by the Indian

Railways to India's first Inland Container Depot (ICD) at Bangalore, also managed by the Indian



1952: Nathan Swartz acquired Abington Shoe Company.

1965: The Swartz family introduces injection molding to the footwear industry and

the first truly waterproof Timberland® leather footwear is born.

1988: Men's and women's clothing lines are introduced. Timberland® specialty

stores open in Boston, New York and London.

1992: The Path of Service™ program is launched, and employees are offered 16 hours of paid leave to

perform service in their communities every year.

1992: Timberland joins Business for Social Responsibility, teaming up with other businesses to initiate

social change. Its 'Give Racism the Boot' campaign delivers messages of tolerance.

Coalition for Environmentally Responsible Economies (CERES)

CERES is a national network of investors, environmental organizations and other public interest groups

working with companies and investors to address sustainability challenges such as global climate change.

CERES launched the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), now the de-facto

international standard used by over 1200 companies for corporate reporting on

environmental, social and economic performance

Joined with Yale University and insurance firm, Marsh, to create the Sustainable

Governance Forum on Climate Risk

Nike became the first global apparel company to disclose the names and locations

of its 700-plus contract factories worldwide in 2005

CERES launched the Investor Network on Climate Risk (INCR), a group of more

than 70 leading institutional investors with collective assets of more than $7 trillion

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