In the world around us, there are countless successful brands and companies. As a result, numerous people rule their respective markets, but very few of them are considered to be iconic brands. The Times Group, Tata Group, Bombay Dyeing Company, and Aditya Birla Group are the few most popular companies in India. These companies have attracted several generations of consumers worldwide and set a benchmark for brand loyalty. Moreover, such companies have adapted well to the changing world and have overcome the challenges that have been raised with time. Here are the top 12 oldest Indian companies that are still running and stand more vital than ever.
1. Tata Group
In India, the name Tata is considered a symbol of conviction, reliability, and authentic nationality. It has captivated Indians from all walks of life with over 150 years of history that helped to shape modern India. It is astonishing to see that the slogan “Tata Namak, Desh ka Namak” has been embedded in the minds of an entire generation of Indians.
Established in 1868, the Tata Group is widely spread across six continents. The founder of Tata Group, Jamsetji Tata, is also recognized as the father of the Indian industry, and his vision has genuinely inspired the steel and power industries in India. There are about 31 companies that fall under the Tata Group, which include Tata Consultancy Services, Tata Motors, Tata Steel, Air India, Voltas, and others.
2. Aditya Birla Group
An MNC with its headquarters in Maharashtra, India, is the Aditya Birla Group. Seth Shiv Narayan Birla was the founder of the organization in the year 1857, which is now spread over 36 nations. Earlier, the company concentrated on pinned fibers in viscose, metals, and cement, mainly in India, but currently operates in the telecommunications and financial services industries.
The Aditya Birla Group is owned by Kumar Mangalam Birla, an Indian billionaire industrialist and the chancellor of the Birla Institute of Technology and Science and the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad. A few very famous subsidiaries of the Aditya Birla Group are Vodafone Idea, Hindalco Industries, Aditya Birla Capital, and Aditya Birla Fashion and Retail.
3. Godrej Group
The Godrej Group is a global Indian company with its headquarters in Mumbai that is mainly owned and run by the Godrej family. It was founded by Pirojsha Burjorji Godrej and Ardeshir Godrej in 1897. The company deals in agricultural products, consumer goods, industrial engineering, and real estate. Godrej released the first lock-in in India with lever technology in 1897, and in 1955, it introduced the first actual typewriter in India.
Its significant subsidiaries and affiliated companies include Godrej Consumer Products, Godrej Agrovet, Godrej Properties, and Godrej Infotech. It also debuted FreeG, India’s first non-web-based mobile browsing experience, and launched Masterbrand 2.0—bigger and brighter in 2014.
4. Teesta Valley Tea Company
With its top tea estates in Assam, Darjeeling, and the Dooars in India, Teesta Valley Exports Limited, founded in 1841, is one of the major producers and exporters of the finest Indian teas. Four North Indian tea gardens make up the company, supplying consumers in Japan, Russia, Germany, Holland, France, the United Kingdom, the United States, Singapore, Hawaii, and other East European nations. After 180 years, the corporation is consistently increasing, both in terms of size and status, and is establishing itself in additional regions.
5. The Times Group
The Times Group is an Indian media conglomerate headquartered in Mumbai, Maharashtra. The Sahu Jain family owns the majority stake in the company. Bennett Coleman and Company Limited’s The Times Group, the largest and oldest media organization in India, first started its operations in 1838. With thriving businesses like The Times of India, the world’s top-selling English newspaper with over 5 million copies sold daily, it is one of the strongest and most well-known brands in the Indian market.
The famous subsidiaries of The Times Group are Times Internet, Bennett University, Times Music, Times Business Solutions Limited, Times Network, and a few others.
6. The Bombay Burmah Trading Corporation
The Wallace Brothers of Scotland established the Bombay Burmah Trading Company (BBTC) as a business in 1863. The second oldest publicly traded firm in India, BBTC, was founded to operate in the Burmese tea market by first assuming ownership of William Wallace’s Burmese holdings. At the time of Indian independence, the Wallace brothers sold the business to the Vissanji family, and later the Bombay-based Wadia company purchased BBTC.
It was first established as a public company to promote the teak industry by assuming William Wallace’s properties and interests in Burma. The oldest company is now involved in enterprises related to weighing items, auto electric components, healthcare, and tea and coffee plantations.
7. Parry & Co
With its headquarters in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, East India Distilleries Parry Limited, earlier known as Parry & Co., is an Indian public corporation operating for over 225 years. Its significant accomplishments include the first fertilizer manufacturing in the Indian subcontinent. Currently, the company is involved in producing and distributing sugar and bioproducts.
The company established its first sugar factory at Nellikuppam in Tamil Nadu in 1842, making it one of the world’s earliest sugar producers. The company is still ahead in its businesses today and operates nine sugar factories throughout southern India.
8. Shapoorji Pallonji Group
An Indian multinational corporation with its headquarters in Mumbai is known as the Shapoorji Pallonji Group. Construction, real estate, textiles, manufactured goods, home appliances, shipping, power, and biotechnology are among its industries. The company has clients in more than 60 countries and works in 6 key business sectors.
In addition to the Reserve Bank of India in Mumbai, Shapoorji Pallonji also designed and built many more notable landmarks like the Brabourne Stadium, the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Mumbai Central Railway Station, and others.
S.K. Burman founded the global Indian consumer goods corporation Dabur Ltd., which has its headquarters in Ghaziabad. One of India’s most extensive fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) firms, it produces Ayurvedic medicines and natural consumer goods. With 6.7 million retail outlets and excellent penetration in urban and rural markets in more than 120 countries, it operates in important consumer product categories like hair care, oral care, health care, skin care, home care, and food.
Dabur has successfully transitioned from a family-run business to a professionally managed company.
10. Shalimar Paints
Shalimar Paints is an Indian paint manufacturing company. The business produces and sells industrial coatings and decorative paints. Shalimar paints are still used to paint some of India’s structures, including the Howrah Bridge, Rashtrapati Bhawan, Salt Lake Stadium, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, and many others. After being purchased by UK-based Pinchin Johnson & Associates in 1928, the business changed its legal status to a public limited company in 1961.
11. Kamarhatty Company Limited
One of the first jute mills in the world, Kamarhatty Company Ltd., was founded in Kolkata in 1877 under the management of the British company Jardine Henderson Ltd. Even though many jute mills closed then, Kamarhatty continued to operate, which helped the company survive the 1980s when plastic’s increased acceptance in the packaging industry. The need for jute is gradually growing as more nations worldwide have entirely abandoned plastic.
12. Bombay Dyeing Company
The Wadia Group’s flagship company, Bombay Dyeing & Manufacturing Company Limited, specializes in the textile industry. One of India’s top manufacturers of textiles is Bombay Dyeing. Ratan Tata, the former chairman of the Tata Group, was on the board until 2013.
One of the six producers of Polyester Staple Fiber (PSF) in the nation, Bombay Dyeing, and Manufacturing Company, has a market share of roughly 15%. Yet, despite the competition, fierce pricing wars, and the advent of low-cost upcountry manufacturing hubs across the nation, the company has survived for more than 140 years.
Identifying these firms as the most patriotic ones in India is simple due to their motivational tales and attempts to succeed. It’s time for young and upcoming entrepreneurs to carve out a niche by learning from them and adopting new approaches and technologies. These are the oldest Indian companies that are still running.