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Indian companies That Reformed Pre-Independence – 100 Years Old but Still Young!

Updated on August 13, 2019

Indian companies That Reformed Pre-Independence – 100 Years Old but Still Young!

Two world wars, the Great Depression, the Indian Independence movement and a lot of changes in the Indian economic reforms and series of events: a handful of Indian industrialists have stood the test of time and flourished.

From India’s struggle for independence to economic liberalization and stock market scams, these Indian companies have seen it all and adapted along the way to proliferate. India roots around three dozen century-old conglomerates that reformed in the pre-independence era and are still going strong.

Here, in this blog, we take a plunge into the exciting journey of these more than 100 years old intrepid survivors.

Wadia Group

Undisputedly the oldest conglomerate that still exists, started in the year 1736 by Parsi Lovji Nusserwanjee Wadia and began with marine construction, building its first ship for British Navy. The company has scaled into varied industries and the group has taken up myriad of ventures in 250-years of history, out of that four of them are listed on the Indian stock exchanges; Bombay Dyeing, Bombay Burmah Trading Corporation, Britannia Industries and National Peroxide Limited.

In textiles, Wadia’s has left an indelible mark with Bombay Dyeing, which is celebrated as India’s largest producers of textiles.

Dabur India Ltd

Dabur is India’s one of the leading and largest Ayurvedic and consumer product manufacturer. Founded in 1884 by S.K. Burman, Dabur is still prospering with its massive portfolio of over 260 Ayurvedic product range for treating ailments from common cold to chronic paralysis.

Godrej Group

Incepted in 1897 by Ardeshir Godrej and headquartered in Mumbai, Godrej started with making locks, safes and security equipment. In 1918, they launched the first vegetable soap in the world. Currently, the Godrej group operates in diverse sectors such as real estate, consumer products, appliances, security systems, industrial engineering products and to name a few.

Kirloskar Group

Kirloskar group is 131 years old company which was incepted in 1888. The corporation is a pioneer in manufacturing systems for fluid management. The global giant in fluid management excels to offer solutions for huge infrastructure projects in the arena of power plants, defence, marine, irrigation, oil and gas.


India’s eldest pharmaceutical company, Cipla was founded by Dr. Khwaja Abdul Hamied in 1935 in Mumbai. Later, Cipla garnered global attention for challenging pharma biggies to offer generic AIDS medication and other pharmaceutical drugs. In 1970, it successfully lobbied to transform Indian patent laws. Currently, Cipla has its impression in over 100 countries across the globe.

Shalimar Paints

Shalimar paints are billed as one of the oldest paint conglomerates in the whole of South Asia. Incepted in 1902, the company is celebrated to paint monumental structures such as Howrah Bridge, Rashtrapati Bhawan, Salt Lake Stadium, AIIMS and many others. The oldest giant has made recent strides from moving to ubiquitous paints to the emulsion and other premium-grade products.

Though, these companies are rooted for over 100 years, but still going strong post-independence-new age era and have transformed into global conglomerates.


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