Famous Companies in India running under founding families even after a century

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Did you know there are a lot of extremely successful family-run businesses in India? Lucky for you, we’ve put together information about some of the most successful family-run businesses in India. These businesses are not only famous for their names but also for lasting over a long period of time with various generations running and expanding the business.successful family-run businesses in india

The most successful family-run businesses in India – famous family business in India

India is a country with several companies that contribute to generate huge revenues, employment, culture, and so much more. It might sound surprising that some of these companies started even before Indian independence. These are the companies that are growing stronger each and every day. Today, these companies not only shine in India but also across the world.

Here is a list of companies that have successfully been running for years by famous Indian business families. The stories of these companies continue to inspire the youth that is creating a vision, taking chances, and risking all, along with all the hard work and efforts no matter what.

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The Tata Group
tata group

First on our list of the most famous family-run business in India is the Tata Group which is a multinational conglomerate holding company. Its headquarter is located in Mumbai, Maharashtra where the company was founded by Jamsetji Tata in 1868.

Jamsetji Nusserwanji Tata is from the Parsi Zoroastrian priest family. He was born in Gujarat and completed his education in Mumbai. In 1858, at the age of only 19 years, he joined his father’s trading firm. Ten years later, in 1868, he started the trading company called, Tata Sons. Jamsetji Tata then also wanted to start an iron and steel company, a hotel, a learning institution, and a hydro-electric plant, all of which he inaugurated one after the other. Meanwhile, he also got married to Hirabai Daboo and had two sons, Dorabji and Ratanji Tata.

The Tata Group – The most famous family business in India

This company gained its recognition by purchasing several global companies. The Tata Group is now owned by Tata Sons. Each Tata company operates independently under the guidance and supervision of its own BOD and shareholders. Some subsidiaries of the Tata Group include Tata Chemicals, Tata Communications, Tata Consultancy Services, Tata Consumer Products, Tata Elxsi, Tata Power, Tata Motors, Tata Steel, Tata Cliq, Voltas, Titan, Trent(Westside), Indian Hotels Company Limited, TajAir, Vistara Croma, Tata AutoComp Systems, and Indicash.

Dorabji Tata played an active role in making Tata Power a reality. India’s one of the leading insurance companies started under his care. He was married to Meherbai Tata whose brother’s son, scientist Homi J Bhabha is known as the father of the Indian nuclear program.

Ratanji Tata also actively participated in the growth of Tata Sons. He was an art collector, and his collection is displayed in the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sanghralaya (Prince of Wales Museum) along with his brother’s collection. He married Navajbai Sett and adopted Naval Tata. Naval Tata had three sons Ratan, Jimmy, and Noel. All of them have actively participated in the growth of the Tata Group.

Ratan Tata worked for 21 years and grew the company’s profit over 50 times. He is also actively investing in the current generation companies that are doing e-commerce such as Snapdeal, Ola, Paytm, and mobile company, Xiaomi. Currently, Natarajan Chandrasekaran is the Chairman of the Tata Group. The group acquired Tetley, after which it gained international recognition and from there on, it went on to acquire several other companies. From Titan, Tata Global Beverages, Tata Teleservices, Tanishq, Fasttrack, Croma, Tata Salt, Tata Starbucks, Voltas, Tata Sky, Tata Docomo, to Tata Steel, all companies are among the famous ventures of Tata. It also has its enterprises in defense, electric utility, finance, healthcare, IT Service, and Real estate. In 2019, the Revenue for Tata Group stood at US$ 11,300 crores.

Also Read: Luxury Private Jets Owned by Indian Businessmen

The most successful family-run businesses in India – famous family business in India

The TVS Group – A famous family business in India

Another most famous family-run business in India is the TVS Group which was founded by Thiruvengudi Sundram Iyengar in 1911. Its headquarter is located in Madurai, Tamil Nadu. TV Sundram Iyengar, before starting his own bus service in 1911, worked as a lawyer, in the Indian Railways, and then in a bank. TVS Sons was started in the same year. The TVS Gas Plant, Madras Auto Service Ltd, and Sundaram Motors were all started by him and gradually this business turned into an empire. The company still stands strong and is run by the family itself.

TV Sundaram had 8 children, namely; Soundaram, Rajam, Doraiswamy, Santhanam, Amu Amaal, Ranga Ammaa, Srinivasan, and Krishna. Tragically, Duraisamy died early but 4 of his sons became an important part of the business, forming the four main branches of the company. His daughter T S Soundaram participated in the Indian independence movement along with Mahatma Gandhi and has her own postal stamp. This conglomerate has entered fields like textile, electronics, and automotive and have bases in places like Chennai, Mumbai, Coimbatore, Spain, UK, and Iran. Today, Venu Srinivasan is the Chairman of the TVS Group and the company recorded a revenue of US$ 150 crores in 2019.

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The Aditya Birla Group – The famous family business in India

aditya birla group photo
Founded by Seth Shiv Narayan Birla in 1857, the Aditya Birla Group is one of the ancient and famous family-run business in India with its headquarters located in Mumbai, Maharashtra.

Shiv Narayan Birla started by trading cotton in Ahmedabad and further moved to trade opium to China, along with his adopted son Baldeo Das Birla. They started chartering cargo ships for which Shiv Narayan Birla moved to Mumbai. Baldeo Das Birla then began 2 new firms, one in Bombay (Mumbai now) and the other one in Calcutta (now called Kolkata). These 2 firms did business in grain, silver, cotton, and other commodities as well. Baldeo Das Birla had 4 sons, namely; Jugal Kishore, Rameshwar Das, Ghanshyam Das, and Braj Mohan. The first 3 actively contributed to the growth of business related to their father out of which Ghanshyam was the most successful.

Ghanshyam Das started Birla Jute, Hindustan Motors, BITS Pilani, Technological Institute of Textile & Sciences. He then also invested and bought the Hindustan Times and kept investing in steel tubes, rayons, chemicals, and cement. He had 3 children, Lakshmi Niwas, Krishna Kumar and, Birla Basant Kumar Birla, and left most of his business to Aditya Vikram Birla which is why today it is known as the Aditya Birla Group. This Group earned a revenue of US$ 4830 crores in 2019.

The Aditya Birla Group – A family business in India

Under the guidance of Aditya Birla, the company grew bigger and better. Now, his son Kumar Mangalam Birla is the current chairman of the company which has ventured into agribusiness, financial services, banking, mining, retail, telecommunication, wind power, and e-commerce among many others.

Now, Rameshwar Das Birla (son of Baldeo Das Birla) had 3 sons from which Yashovardhan Birla took over the Yash Birla Group which was founded by his grandfather. This Group is a 157-year-old conglomerate company which is currently facing financial and court cases. Braj Mohan’s grandson Chandrakant Birla started his own multi-business company, the CK Group, which is now 69 years old. Thus, the Birla Group, apart from being its own multi-business company, now also has its founder family members starting their own big successful companies.

The most successful family-run businesses in India – famous family business in India

The Kirloskar Group – Another famous family-run business in India
kirloskar group

Another Indian conglomerate, the Kirloskar Group, was founded by Laxmanrao Kirloskar in 1888. Its headquarter is located in Pune, Maharashtra. The company was started by Laxmanrao Kirloskar and with the leadership of his son, Shantanurao Laxmanrao Kirloskar, the company grew to become the biggest producer of pumps and valves. So much so that it is known for exporting them to over 70 countries. Further, the Kirloskar Group began ventures in the production of oil engines, motors, electrical equipment, etc.

The Toyota Kirloskar, which produces cars for the Indian market, has Kirloskar as a minority owner. The various businesses of the group are now handled by the extended family successfully in India and across the borders. The company’s current chairman is Sanjay Kirloskar and the company generated a revenue of US$ 350 crores in 2019.

The Khoday Group – Yet another famous business in India

khoday group
Founded by Khoday Eshwarsa in 1906, the Khoday Group, also known as the House of Khodays, is an Indian multi-service business group whose headquarter is located in Bangalore, Karnataka.

The company began with Khoday Eshwarsa manufacturing silk. His sons then inherited the company and began a distillery and stationery division. Gradually they also produced whiskey, rum, beer, and brandy. The Khoday Group companies now include Khoday Engineering, Khoday Contact Center, Ram Mohan Travels, Khoday Biotech, Khoday Agro, Khoday Technologies, Khoday Glass, Khodays Silks, and L K Power. The company’s current chairman is L Ramachandra Khoday and the company is run by the family.

Read more: Success stories of these 7 Indian entrepreneurs will motivate you to face any hurdles 

The most successful family-run businesses in India – famous family business in India

The Murugappa Group – The famous family business in India
murugappa group

Another one of the Indian conglomerates is the Murugappa Group which was founded by AM Murugappa Chettiar in 1900. This group has 28 businesses which include 9 listed companies traded in NSE and BSE. The company’s headquarter is situated in Chennai and some of its major companies include the Carborundum Universal, Cholamandalam Financial Holdings, Cholamandalam Investment, and Finance Company, Cholamandalam MS General Insurance Company, Coromandel International, Coromandel Engineering Company, EID Parry, Parry Agro Industries, Shanthi Gears, Tube Investments of India, Net Access India, and Wendt. After founding the 28 businesses, the founder began its first money lending and banking business in Myanmar. They further stared their companies in steel tubes, insurance, cycles, sugar, etc. The company is now held by the Murgappan family, under its current chairman MM Murugappan.

The Godrej Group – A famous family-run business in India
godrej group

Founded by Ardeshir Godrej and Pirojsha Burjorji Godrej in 1897, the Godrej Group is an Indian conglomerate company headquartered in Mumbai, Maharashtra. The company is mostly controlled and run by the Godrej family and operates in diverse sectors like real estate, consumer products, industrial engineering, appliances, furniture, security and agricultural products, etc.

The duo of Ardeshir and Pirojsha gave India many of its firsts. This includes India’s first lock and lever technology, soaps made with vegetable oil, the indigenous typewriter, and more. Today, Godrej is a famous household name as its furniture products, hair color, liquid detergents, etc are famous in almost every household. Some of the subsidiaries and affiliated companies of Godrej include Godrej Consumer Products, Godrej Agrovet, Godrej Properties, Godrej & Boyce, etc. Simultaneously, when it comes to social responsibility, trusts established by Godrej continue to invest in education, healthcare, and upliftment of the underprivileged.

The current chairman of the Godrej Group is Adi Godrej and the revenue that it generated in 2019 amounts to $4.7 billion. To check out the Godrej Family Tree, read: the brand journey of Godrej.

Must Read: The Brand journey of Godrej from 1897 till now

The most successful family-run businesses in India – famous family business in India

The Shapoorji Pallonji Group – A famous family business in India
shapoorji pallonji group

From construction and real estate to textiles, engineered goods, home appliances, shipping, publications, power, and biotechnology, the Shapoorji Pallonji Group has stepped its foot in almost all sectors and that is what makes it stand out as one of the leading business conglomerates in India. This group of companies, headquartered in Mumbai, was founded by Pallonji Mistry in 1865. Starting from a partnership firm called Littlewood Pallonji, in 1865 to its first project for the construction of pavement on the Girgaum Chowpatty, the company continued to be a part of several construction projects.

Today, this group of companies is also called the SP Group which is run within the founder families. The current chairman of the group is Pallonji Mistry (the grandson of the original Pallonji Mistry) and the revenue generated by the group stands at Rs 52,747 crores in 2019.

Apollo Hospitals – A famous chain of business in India

apollo hospitals
The Apollo Hospitals Enterprise, founded by Dr. Prathap C Reddy in 1983, is an Indian hospital chain headquartered in Chennai, India. In addition to providing hospitals, the Apollo group has also developed services in telemedicine, after starting a pilot project in 2000 at Aragonda. They also signed a ‘Memorandum of Understanding’ with Health Education England in April 2017 to provide a large number of doctors to fill vacancies in the English National Health Service. Aside from this, some of its subsidiaries include The Apollo Pharmacy, Apollo White Dental, Ask Apollo, Apollo Diagnostics, Apollo Fertility, Apollo Spectra Hospitals, Apollo Cradle and Children’s Hospital, and Apollo Clinics.

The current chairman of the Apollo Hospitals is Dr Prathap C Reddy and their revenue stands at Rs 9617 crores in 2019.

The Bajaj Group – The successful family-run businesses in India
bajaj group

The Bajaj Group is the last but not the least famous family-run business in India on our list. Founded by Jamnalal Bajaj in 1926, this group is headquartered in Mumbai, Maharashtra. Today, this group compromises of 34 companies out of which Bajaj Auto is ranked as the world’s 4th largest two and three-wheeler manufacturer. The companies of this group are run by the founding families and their current chairman is Rahul Bajaj (grandson of founder). The company also generated a revenue of Rs 42,554 crores in 2019.

Other subsidiaries of the group include Bajaj Finserv, Hercules Hoists, Bajaj Electricals, Mukand, Bajaj Hindusthan, and Bajaj Holding & Investment, etc. The group is involved in making automobiles, home appliances, lighting, iron and steel, insurance, travel, and finance.

Do read: Roshni Nadar Malhotra: India’s richest and first woman to lead a listed IT co.

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