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The Very Inspiring Success Story of Godrej- How a Newspaper Article led to the Formation of a Billion Dollar Conglomerate?

The logo of Godrej
The logo of Godrej (Picture credit: Wikimedia Commons
Welcome to Youth Motivator. I would like to the very inspiring success story of Godrej. 
This article is also the biography of Ardeshir Godrej.

You will be surprised to know that even a small idea, thought or thing can sometimes influence you to become great and achieve greater things in life.


Starting with struggles-

Let’s start with the life story of the founder of Godrej group- Ardeshir Godrej.
Ardeshir Godrej in his initial stages of life encountered numerous failures but his persistence and self-confidence made him very successful.

He failed as a lawyer, failed as a business man dealing in surgical equipments, and also failed as an employee in a pharmacy store.
His life story tells that you are not a failure, until you stop trying.

Ardeshir Godrej was born in 1868 in Mumbai.
He was born in a wealth Parsi-Zoroastrian family.
In the year 1871, their family name was changed from Gootherajee to Godrej, as Godrej name was easy to pronounce.

The great community-

The Parsi community has played a vital role in the development of India.
This community has gifted the world on behalf of India many great organisations like Tata, Godrej, etc.

These companies have served and are continuing to serve the nation and its people tirelessly for more than a hundred years and have won the hearts of billions of people across the world by providing products and services of exceptional quality.

The biggest loss in his life-

After just one year of his marriage, unfortunately he lost his wife Bachubai Godrej.
Ardeshir Godrej spent his whole life with her memories and never got re-married.

Even after losing his life partner, he did not lose hope and didn’t become depress.
Ardeshir Godrej continued his law study.

In 1894, after the completion of his studies, he got a lawyer job in East Africa in a good company.

When honesty is not the best policy -

Here, his honesty proved to be his biggest curse.
Once, Ardeshir Godrej found that his client was the wrong-doer and this finding made him to fight the case against his own client in the court.

He did this because he did not want the innocent at the other side to get punished.

After which he returned India, where he left the lawyer job as he realised that his honesty and straight-forwardness would not make him a successful lawyer.
Then, Ardeshir Godrej joined a pharmacy store, where his work was to assist a chemist. 

But he always longed to do something even great which has the potential to influence the lives of many people.
Ardeshir Godrej realised that to realise his dreams he should start his own business.
But he did not have sufficient funds, so he took a loan of 3000 rupees from Merwanjee Cama, his family’s friend.

Finally, starting his own business-

Then, Ardeshir Godrej started surgical equipments manufacturing business.
The surgical equipments manufactured by Ardeshir Godrej were of exceptional quality.

He printed “Made in India” words on all of his surgical equipments.
Soon, he decided to export his produce to England.

Very silly reason-

The British company which inspected his surgical products was very satisfied with the quality of items.
But that British company ordered Godrej not to print “Made in India” on his items, to which he refused, as he loved his motherland dearly.

That company argued that his products would not sell abroad as many will doubt the quality of his products, as his products were imprinted with Made in India words.

So, the exporters rejected his produce for a silly reason, by which Ardeshir Godrej was forced to shut down his surgical equipments manufacturing business.
Thus, Ardeshir Godrej sacrificed his business for his love towards his country.

The turning point of his life-

After facing so many failures in his life, one newspaper article changed his destiny forever.
He once read a newspaper article on the increase of felony in his city.
The unreliable locks during those times made the job of burglars very easy.

The homes and businesses were at risk from thieves, because they were secured by very inferior quality hand-made locks, which provided zero security to them.
After reading this article, Ardeshir Godrej decided to manufacture the best quality lock in the country.

So, he learnt everything about locks.
But he was worried about funds for his lock business; he was even unable to repay the loan he took for surgical business.
So, he reluctantly approached Merwanjee Cama for a new loan.

Godrej apologised Merwanjee Cama for his inability to repay his loan on time and requested him to grant a new loan for his lock business.
He explained his business model to Merwanjee Cama by which he was quite impressed.

Fortunately, Merwanjee comprehended the potential, honesty and hard-working nature of Godrej and readily granted a second loan, without inquiring about the previous loan.

Making the best product-

So, on 7th May 1897, Ardeshir Godrej at the age of 29, started making reliable locks, he branded his high-security locks by name Anchor.
This was started in a small shed in Central Mumbai.

He used to sell these locks along with a warranty document, which warrants that the Anchor lock is unbreakable.
Ardeshir Godrej toiled very hard and made a very good quality lock, for which he was even granted a patent.

Expanding exponentially-

And with the flow of time, he expanded his business.
After a few years, Godrej launched a new range of locks which included guardian locks.
Godrej soon entered into almirah (wardrobe) business.

The wardrobe manufactured by Godrej not only protected ones valuables from thieves but were also fire-proof.

Influenced by the nationalist movement-

Godrej was very much influenced by Bal Gangadhar Tilak, who in the year 1906 highlighted the importance of using the goods produced in India, as India was planning to boycott foreign made goods in favour of the nationalist movement.

Also, at that time, animal products were used in the manufacturing of toilet soaps; as a result these soaps hurt the sentiments of Hindus.
So, Godrej started to manufacture soaps based on vegetable oils.

In the year 1920, Godrej launched its range of soaps made from natural products.
These soaps were branded as Godrej No.1 and Godrej No.2.
The patriotic Godrej donated a huge sum of 3 lakhs rupees for the national fund.

According to Mahatma Gandhi, this was the biggest fund at that time.

The Glory of Godrej-

Now, the Godrej Group is of 122 years old. And employs more than 28,000 employees and its net worth is 280 crores.
Many people across the globe use at least one Godrej product in their daily lives.

Godrej Group is touching the lives of billions of people across different continents of the world.

Spreading its grace worldwide-

 In India-

Godrej is one of the India’s most popular and well-known brands.

24 September 2014 is a memorable day in the Indian history, on this day, Mangalyaan, the satellite made by India, successfully entered Mars orbit after travelling for 298 days.

Godrej jointly made the Vikas engine, a high thrust engine used in Mars Orbiter Mission.
Also, Godrej conjointly developed the launch vehicle used for India’s first lunar probe, Chandrayaan-1.

Here, Godrej is a market leader in many different products like hair dyes (Godrej Expert), GoodKnight, Hit (insect repellents), Godrej Interio (furniture), Godrej Storwel (steel almirahs and cabinets), palm oil developer, animal feed companies (Godrej Agrovet), Real estate company (Godrej Properties), etc.

And Godrej also successfully operates several other businesses like Soaps (Godrej No.1, Cinthol, etc.), batteries, bank vaults,  home appliances (Godrej Eon manufactures washing machines, air conditioners, microwave ovens, etc.), CCTVs, storage solutions, vending machines, chemicals, construction, dairy products (Jersey), lift trucks, airframes for missiles, photo studios (R.K Studios).

Also this group owns large parts of land in India and manages the real-estate in major cities of India. Godrej group holds more than 3500 acres of land.


Godrej acquired Strength of Nature, one of the leading hair care companies in USA in the year 2016.

Also, Godrej supplies components to major aerospace players like Boeing through the Godrej Aerospace.

In South America-

Here, in the year 2015 Godrej acquired Cosmetica Nacional SA.
In Chile, Godrej runs the popular hair care brand by name illicit, and also operates a manufacturing plant is Santiago, the capital of Chile.

The other big cosmetic brands run by Godrej in South America include Pamela Grant and Millefiori.

In Argentina-

In this country, Godrej operates Issue, the popular hair colour brand.
The other notable brands of Godrej in Argentina include Roby, Villeneuve Solaire, Issue Professional and 919.

In South Africa-

In the year 2006, Godrej acquired Rapidol, a hair care brand.
The Godrej products are very popular all over Africa.
Some of the popular Godrej brands in Africa include Inecto, Renew, Frika and Darling Group Holdings.

In Nigeria-

In this country, Godrej owns Tura, a personal care company which manufactures germicidal medicated soaps.
Godrej acquired Tura in 2010.

Godrej also manufactured one of the world’s tallest oil regeneration Continuous Catalytic Regeneration (CCR) Reactor for Dangote Oil Refinery in Nigeria.

In Asia-

Godrej is successfully operating in many Asian countries like Indonesia, India, Oman, etc.

In Oman-

In Oman, Godrej conjointly owns a furniture company by name Godrej and Khimji.
And also runs Sohar Industrial Estate, a very large manufacturing facility.

In Asia, Godrej is also a well-renowned insecticide brand.

In Indonesia-

Godrej acquired PT Megasari Makmur in the year 2010.
Godrej runs many popular brands like Hit, Cap Gajah, Stella, Carrera, Mitu, Proclin, NYU and Polytex.

In Bangladesh-

Here, Godrej is a part of ACI Godrej Agrovet Joint venture; this company runs one of the biggest cattle field companies in Bangladesh.
Godrej also operates a poultry farm, and many different brands like Good Knight.

Sri Lanka-

In Sri Lanka, Godrej owns many well-known brands like Abha, Shock and Aer pocket.

Godrej- the god of charities-

Around 23 per cent of the shares in Godrej group are held by a charity trust.
Godrej also contributes to the welfare of the society by contributing in various charity organisations like hospital (Godrej Memorial Hospital), school (Udayachal High School), etc.

Godrej group also contributes to the environmental protection by conserving Mangrove forests around Mumbai.

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