You are on page 1of 17

A BIOGRAPHY

BORN

y .
DIED

14 NOV. 1943 KOLKATA,WEST BENGAL,INDIA 1 OCT 1995 (aged 51) BALTIMORE,MARYLAND USA INDUSTRIALIST

OCCUPATION RELIGIOUS

HINDU SPOUSE RAJASHRI BIRLA CHILDREN KUMAR MANGALAM VASAVADATTA

Aditya Vikram Birla, was an INDIAN industrialist. Born into one of the largest business families of India, Birla oversaw the diversification of his group into textiles, petrochemicals and telecommunications. He was one of the first INDIAN industrialists to expand abroad, setting up plants in South East Asia, Philippines and Egypt, among other places. His unexpected death at the age of 52 left his young son in charge of his group of companies and also much doubt about whether it would survive him. These doubts however proved unfounded as his company has enjoyed good success and so has his legacy of philanthropic activities.

FOUNDATION OF BIRLA GROUPS


The roots of the Aditya Birla Group date back to the 19th century in the picturesque town of Pilani, set amidst the Rajasthan desert. It was here that Seth Shiv Narayan Birla started trading in cotton, laying the foundation for the House of Birlas. Through India's arduous times of the 1850s, the Birla business expanded rapidly. In the early part of the 20th century, our Group's founding father, Ghanshyamdas Birla, set up industries in critical sectors such as textiles and fibre, aluminium, cement and chemicals. As a close confidante of Mahatma Gandhi, he played an active role in the Indian freedom struggle. He represented India at the first and second roundtable conference in London, along with Gandhiji. It was at "Birla House" in Delhi that the luminaries of the Indian freedom struggle often met to plot the downfall of the British Raj. Ghanshyamdas Birla found no contradiction in pursuing business goals with the dedication of a saint, emerging as one of the foremost industrialists of pre-independence India. The principles by which he lived were soaked up by his grandson, Aditya Vikram Birla, our Group's legendary leader.

y LIFE. y CAREER y VISION y AWARDS y MOTIVATIONAL SPEECHES BY ADITYA BIRLA

Birla was born on 14 November 1943 in kolkata to industrialist Basant Kumar and Sarala Birla. His grandfather Ghanshyam Das Birla was an associate of Mahatma Gandhi and had built his fortune on aluminium prospecting and as the manufacturer of the Ambassador car. After college in Kolkata, Birla earned a degree in chemical engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.He was married to Rajashri and had a daughter Vasavadatta and a son Kumar Mangalam, who now heads the Aditya Birla Group. In 1993, Birla was diagnosed with prostate cancer. His wife and son took on many of the responsibilities of the group There were rumors that he suffered a slipped disc in 1995, but it wasn't true and he was admitted to the Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore for treatment for prostate cancer. After four months of struggle he died on October the 1st of October 1995.

Aditya Vikram Birla, the chairman of the $2.3billion Birla Group and an advocate of expanding Indian economic activity abroad, died Sunday at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore of complications arising from pneumonia, according to his business associates. Mr. Birla, who was 51 and widely regarded as one of India's most successful businessmen, was admitted to the hospital about four months ago for treatment of a slipped disc. His associates said he had contracted pneumonia in the hospital. Indian Prime Minister (then Finance Minister )Manmohan Singh called Mr. Birla "among the best and brightest citizens of India."

After returning to India in 1965, Birla struck out on his own in textiles. His Eastern Spinning Mills in Kolkata quickly became a success, putting the group's sinking rayon and textile business back on track. He was then placed in charge of the corporation's expansion into the oil sector. In 1969, Birla set up Indo-Thai Synthetics Company Ltd, the group's first overseas company. In 1973, he established P.T. Elegant Textiles to manufacture spun yarn. It marked the group's first venture in Indonesia. In 1974 Thai Rayon, the Group's Viscose Rayon Staple Fibre business was incorporated in Thailand. In 1975 The Indo Phil Group of companies, the first Indo-Filipino joint venture commenced production of spun yarn. In 1977 Pan Century Edible Oils was incorporated in Malaysia, going on to become the world's largest single-location palm oil refinery.

In 1978 Thai Carbon Black, the Group's first carbon black company was incorporated in Thailand. In 1982 P.T Indo Bharat Rayon was established, the first producer of Viscose Staple Fibre in Indonesia. All these ventures not only put the Birla group on world map but also carved a niche for corporate India. Under his leadership the companies became the largest producer of Viscose staple fibre and refiner of palm oil Ghanshyam Das Birla died in 1983, bequeathing most of his companies to his grandson Aditya. With Aditya Vikram Birla as the chairman, the Birla group of companies saw success in the expansion of Hindustan Gas and in the conversion of the sick company Indo-Gulf Fertilisers and Chemicals Ltd, which was suffering from a liquidity crisis and poor management, into a blue-chip company.

His innovative ideas and ability to bring them to fruition have left an indelible mark on the corporate landscape. At the height of the License Raj, he set up a joint venture in Thailand, which grew within a quarter-century to become the largest multinational empire set up by a resident Indian industrialist. At the time of his untimely death (at 51), he headed an enterprise with a global turnover of Rs.15,000 crore, cutting across a swathe of businesses -viscose staple fibre, cement and carbon black, to name just a few. Creating India's first truly global corporation. But, there was more to him, beyond business. While carrying forward his grandfather's legacy of caring for communities, he introduced the concept of "sustainable livelihood". He believed that corporate social responsibility must transcend cheque book philanthropy. He would say, "Give a hungry man fish and he will eat it, and the next day, he will be hungry again. Instead, if you teach him to fish, he will be able to feed himself and his family for a lifetime."

y OUTSTANDING YOUNG PERSON IN 1978 y OUTSTANDING CITIZEN AWARD IN 1984 y MAN OF THE YEAR AWARD IN 1985 y GIANT INTERNATIONAL S AWARD IN 1986 y BUSINESS LEADERSHIP AWARD IN1990 y BUSINESSMAN OF THE YEAR IN 1990 y MANAGEMENT MAN OF THE YEAR IN 1992 y RASHTRA BHUSHAN IN 1992 y PLATINUM JUBILEE ROTARY AWARD IN 1994 y LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT IN 1996 y

and many more

y Striving for excellence

The real race for excellence is the one where you sprint against yourself, Endeavour to outperform, raise the bar, time after time. Excellence is an ever moving target, averred Mr. Aditya Birla.
y

The challenge of change In the light of the dramatic transformation of the economic and business environment, Mr. Aditya Birla examines its impact on Indian industry and suggests ways in which companies can meet the challenge of change.

"Intense as he was at work, his work extended far beyond the confines of business. He was convinced that business had a duty to return to society a fair share of the wealth derived from it. The essence of his philanthropy was to make people stand on their own feet. He was also the benefactor, a patron of the arts. The Sangit Kala Kendra testifies the enthusiasm with which he pursued the finer things in life. At a personal level, he was like a beacon, always there to guide all of us. As the head of companies, as a father, as a husband or a friend, he would be by your side when you needed him most. This was 'Aditya Birla', much like a crystal with many faces."