Oldest Indian Businesses and Their Current Operations: Part II

Oldest Indian Businesses and Their Current Operations: Part II
Oldest Indian Businesses

We continue this foray to gain insight into the Indian businesses that have not only sustained through the years but have successfully stayed relevant in a continuously changing market scenario. This is a brief look at those Indian companies and the feeling of pride they instill in the citizens of this country.

Shapoorji Pallonji & Company Private Limited
Tata Group
Dabur Ltd.

Shapoorji Pallonji & Company Private Limited

Group Shapoorji Pallonji & Company Private Limited
Founder Pallonji Mistry
Founded 1865
Industry Conglomerate
Shapoorji Pallonji & Company Private Ltd
Shapoorji Pallonji & Company Private Ltd

Touted as one of India’s most valuable private enterprises, it was founded as a partnership firm by the name of Littlewood Pallonji in 1865. The firm’s first-ever project was to construct a pavement on Girgaum Chowpatty in the city of Mumbai. This was swiftly followed by being a part of reservoir construction on Malabar Hill. This reservoir has supplied water to the city of Mumbai for over a century. Over the years the company went on to build the famous Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai and the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Delhi as well as the Mumbai Central Railway Station. Shapoorji Pallonji has also built the Barakhamba Underground Station in Delhi and Providence Stadium in Guyana.

A company that began its business operations as a construction firm has now grown to include real estate, textiles, engineered goods, home appliances, shipping, publications, power, and biotechnology. It has expanded its footprint to more than 50 countries across Europe, America, and Australia. It also has a significant presence in the Middle East and Africa. It now delivers end-to-end solutions in Engineering and Construction, Infrastructure, Real Estate, Water, Energy, and Financial Services.

The Shapoorji Pallonji Group has two listed companies – Forbes & Company Ltd and Gokak Textiles. Apart from these, the Group also operates various other subsidiaries and companies under its umbrella.

Forbes & Company Ltd

Erstwhile Forbes Gokak Limited was established in 1767, and the management of the company eventually moved into the hands of the Shapoorji Pallonji Group. It is an engineering company and listed on the Bombay Stock Exchange since the year 1919.

Gokak Textiles  

Established in the year 1887, the company is a specialist manufacturer of grey yarn and one of India’s largest exporters. It also supplies bamboo textile towels including other products.

SP Engineering & Construction

The company’s business operations include end-to-end solutions in engineering and construction within India.

Shapoorji Pallonji Business Empire (150+ Years) | How big is Shapoorji Pallonji Group?

Eureka Forbes Limited

A well-known household name, the company is engaged in making water purification devices, vacuum cleaners, air purification systems, and home security products.

SP Investment Advisors

This company is a synergistic expansion to the group’s existing real estate development and contracting businesses. This business allows the group to offer services as a fully integrated real estate development and investment advisory platform.

SP Oil & Gas Pvt. Ltd.

The company is a designer, fabricator, owner, and operator of cutting-edge floating technologies within the country.

SP Real Estate

The company is a well-known and well-regarded business operator within the real estate sector of India. Its business operations include creating opulent skyscrapers, affordable housing, and functional workspaces.

Apart from these, the other subsidiary companies include Shapoorji Pallonji Ports Ltd, Afcons Infrastructure, Forvol International Services, Sterling & Wilson, SD Corporation, Oman Shapoorji Co., and NextGen Publishing.

Journey of Cyrus Mistry | Former Chairperson of the Tata Group
Cyrus Pallonji Mistry was an Indian-born Irish businessman. He was the sixth chairperson of the Tata Group, the Indian Conglomerate, for nearly five years.

Tata Group

Group Tata Group
Founder Jamsetji Tata
Founded 1868
Industry Conglomerate
Tata Group
Tata Group

Jamsetji Tata, sometimes referred to as the ‘Father of Indian Industry’ founded the Tata Group in 1868, headquartered in Mumbai. Its beginning was as a humble trading house. A few years later, in 1874, he established a textile mill in Nagpur, which was the turning point for him and the business. This was followed by Jamsetji building the famous Taj Mahal Hotel, Colaba in 1903, which became the first hotel with electricity in British India. Tata Steel, erstwhile TISCO, was established by Dorabji Tata in 1907.  The year 1932 also saw the founding of Tata Air Services which was later renamed as Tata Airlines.

Over the years, the company recognized the changing market and consumer scenario as well as advancing technology and re-invented its business operations to include and expand into newer ventures. It has slowly and steadily grown to become India’s largest conglomerate with products and services in more than 150 countries. The group’s business operations span 100 countries across 6 continents. With the group’s annual revenue recorded as USD 128 billion in FY 2021-22, each of the Tata Group companies functions individually under its board of directors and shareholders. The philanthropic trust, Tata Trust controls 66% of the holding company Tata Sons.

Tata Group: An Indian Multinational Conglomerate Company
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Of the Tata Group’s many and varied companies, 29 companies are publicly listed with a combined market capitalization of USD 311 billion as of March 2022. The affiliated companies of the Tata Group include –

Tata Advanced Systems

The company is engaged in the Aerospace and Defense sector

Tata International Group

This company’s business operations include leather products and global trading through various subsidiaries

Tata Consultancy Services

This is the information technology arm of the group

Tata Elxsi

Similar to TCS, this is also the information technology arm of the group

Tata Steel

The name of the company is self-explanatory as to the nature of the business

Tata Electronics

The business operations include Electrical and Electronics

Tata Power

This company too operates in the Electrical and Electronics sector

Tata Projects & Tata Consulting Engineers

Both these companies individually operate in the engineering space

Tata Housing, Tata Realty & Infrastructure, and Hemisphere Props  

The Real Estate arm of the Tata Group is handled by these three companies.

Tata Motors

The company is engaged and operates in the automotive sector

Tata Chemicals, Tata Consumer Products, Voltas, Trent & Titan Company Ltd.

These companies are big players in the consumer and retail markets.

Tata Capital, Tata Asset Management, Tata AIG, Tata AIA Life, and Tata Investment Corp

These companies work in the financial services sector.

Indian Hotel Company, Taj Air, Air Asia India, Air India Limited, and Vistara

These companies operate in the Travel and Tourism sector.

Tata Communications, Tata Teleservices, Tata Play –

The telecom and media sector is successfully traversed by these companies.

Tata International, Tata Industries Ltd., And Panatone Finvest

These are the companies that are engaged in the trading and investments business.

Tata Digital

It operates in the digital space.

Over the years, the Tata Group has also acquired many businesses within the group’s fold and has helped establish and finance several research, educational, and cultural institutes within the country. Some of these institutes are the Indian Institute of Science, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, National Center for Performing Arts, Tata Memorial Hospital, Tata Cancer Hospital, etc.

List of All the Companies Owned by Tata Group 2022
Tata Group of industries is an Indian multinational conglomerate founded by Jamshedji Tata. Here’s a list of all companies owned by Tata Group.

Dabur Ltd.

Group Dabur Ltd.
Founder S.K. Burman
Founded 1884
Industry Consumer Goods

Dr. S. K. Burman founded Dabur Ltd., in the year 1884. He was a qualified physician and an Ayurvedic practitioner who formulated Ayurvedic medicines for illnesses like cholera, constipation, and malaria. He went on to mass-produce his ayurvedic formulations and sell them under the brand name Dabur, a name he earned from his patients.

It was C. L. Burman who first set up the company’s Research and Development unit and his grandson G. C. Burman moved the company’s headquarters from erstwhile Calcutta to Delhi due to an unpleasant workers’ unrest. The company was among one of the first businesses in India that separated family ownership from management as they successfully handed over the management of the company to professionals in the year 1998. In the year 1997, the company set up a wholly-owned consumer goods subsidiary called Dabur Foods. Under Dabur Foods, the group launched the popular fruit juice brand Real. Dabur Ltd. also acquired a 51% stake in the Indian spices company Badshah Masala. In the year 2003, it also demerged its pharmaceutical business and established it as a separate company called Dabur Pharma Ltd.

The current chairman Dr. Anand Burman and the vice-chairman Amit Burman are the fifth generation of the family at the helm of the company. Dabur Ltd., is one of the largest FMCG companies in the country that records 60% of its revenues from the consumer care business, 11% from the food business, and the remaining from its international business unit. The Dabur Group operates three subsidiaries called Dabur Research Foundation, Aviva India, and H&B Stores Ltd and also drives its corporate social responsibility initiatives through Dabur’s Sustainable Development Society (Sundesh).

Success Story of Dabur: An Indian Born Multinational Company
Dabur is a multinational consumer goods manufacturing company that is well recognized for its Ayurvedic medicine and natural consumer products.

The Journey Continues….

Indian industrial history is as rich and deep as its culture and tradition. The country’s homegrown brands have traveled a long and winding road through the years and emerged successfully into a world that is driven by technology, information, and data. Part III of this article covers more indigenous brands and their journeys….


Who is the founder of Tata Group?

Jamsetji Tata, sometimes referred to as the ‘Father of Indian Industry’ founded the Tata Group in 1868.

Who are the current chairman and vice-chairman of Dabur Ltd.?

The current chairman Dr. Anand Burman and the vice-chairman Amit Burman are the fifth generation of the family at the helm of the company.

What is Gokak Textiles about?

Established in the year 1887, the company is a specialist manufacturer of grey yarn and one of India’s largest exporters. It also supplies bamboo textile towels including other products.

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