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How Naval Godrej Transformed Indian Manufacturing Industry

Indian Manufacturing Industry

Naval Pirojsha Godrej is widely considered as one of the most successful industrialists India has ever been able to produce. At the tender age of 17, he became involved with the family business; Godrej Group. This conglomerate of companies with stakes in varying fields, was founded by his uncle Ardeshir Godrej and his father, Pirojsha Burjorji Godrej in the latter part of the 19th century. It all began when his uncle decided to develop high quality locks after going through a newspaper article on the rising crime rates in Bombay in 1897. Thus was the famous Godrej Group of companies founded. Ardeshir Godrej died without any issue, and his brother’s sons Burjur, Sohrab and Navel went on to take over the reins of the fledging family business.

Indian Manufacturing Industry

Early years

Naval Pirojsha Godrej, like it has been earlier noted, joined Godrej & Boyce Ltd in 1933 when he was still a strapping youth of 17 years. He rapidly began to imbibe and develop entrepreneurship skills, first working in the firm’s shop floor, and proceeding upwards. He is always remembered for adopting a hands-on approach into business, and never expected others to execute what he himself could do. This young industrialist cherished a deep seated love for machines. This passion eventually led him to incept the universally acclaimed Godrej Tool Room. At the same time, he oversaw the founding of Godrej & Boyce’s lines of typewriters as well as refrigerators. Both of which went on to be well received within the Indian consumer market.

Most notable achievements

Naval Pirojsha Godrej is highly noted for being one of the founders of the Indian machine tool association. He is justly credited with efficiently guiding this all-important organization during its early years. In 1971, he was elected as its president for 3 consecutive years, ending in 1973. Additionally, he is credited with the establishment of the IMTEX international exhibition, which was incepted to showcase various innovative products from the machine tool industry on a global scale. This intrepid Indian entrepreneur was also the guiding force behind the Godrej Industrial Garden Township in Vikhroli. This particular venture is now regarded with respect as one of the country’s most eco-friendly campuses.

Godrej & Boyce Ltd 

Naval Pirojsha Godrej was able to steer Godrej & Boyce to an unprecedented level of success, while he was at its helm. In 1955, this Indian company became the very first to introduce the country’s first indigenous typewriter. In 1987, it was the first company in India to make use of polyurethane foam in its manufacturing process. As we speak, Godrej & Boyce is still continuing its pioneering trend. It was the very first company in India to produce a CFC, HCFC and HFC free line of refrigerators.

It focuses on offering a wide array of consumer and industrial products. Some of the most notable examples under the first category are household appliances like refrigerators, microwaves, washing machines, air conditioner units and DVD players. While some of its most prominent industrial products include automated warehousing solutions, material handling equipment, construction tools and materials, precision components and systems to name but a few. All of this would certainly have not been possible without the contribution of Naval Pirojsha Godrej, one of India’s most prolific industrialists.

Lyle V. Hensley

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