Which is one of India’s largest tyre manufacturing companies began as a toy balloon manufacturing unit in Madras in 1946?

MRF (Madras Rubber Factory) is India’s No.1 tyre manufacturing company. It was started in the year 1946 by K M Mammen Mappillai as a small toy balloon unit. In 1964 MRF established an overseas office at Beirut, Lebanon to tap the export market. This was amongst India’s very first efforts on tyre exports. In 1989 the company collaborated with US–based Hasbro International, the world’s largest toy maker and launched Funskool India. In the same year it entered into a pact with Vapocure of Australia to manufacture polyurethane paint formulations and with Pirelli for Muscleflex conveyor and elevator belting.

Currently MRF exports tyres to over 65 countries including America, Europe, Middle East, Japan, and the Pacific region. It presently has overseas offices in Dubai, Vietnam and Australia.

It manufactures its Muscleflex brand of conveyor belting at one of the most advanced state–of–the–art facilities in India. Incorporating the latest manufacturing techniques in processes beginning with mixing, calendaring and the like to manufacturing of the finished products, all of which is in–house, Muscleflex –conveyor belting has gained rapid acceptance in markets worldwide.

It is the most advanced precured retreading system in India. MRF forayed into retreading as far back as 1970. Today, MRF has perfected the art of recured retreading with its extensive knowledge in tyres and rubber.


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A renowned product from Bengaluru’s Karnataka Soaps and Detergents, which 101-year-old soap brand received a Geographical Indication tag in 2006?

Mysore Sandal Soap is a brand of soap manufactured by the Karnataka Soaps and Detergents Limited (KSDL), a company owned by the government of Karnataka in India. This soap has been manufactured since 1916, when Krishna Raja Wadiyar IV, the king of Mysore, set up the Government Soap Factory in Bangalore. The main motivation for setting up the factory was the excessive sandalwood reserves that the Mysore Kingdom had, which could not be exported to Europe because of the First World War. In 1980, KSDL was incorporated as a company by merging the Government Soap Factory with the sandalwood oil factories at Shimoga and Mysore. Mysore Sandal Soap is the only soap in the world made from 100% pure sandalwood oil. KSDL owns a proprietary geographical indication tag on the soap, which gives it intellectual property rights to use the brand name, to ensure quality, and to prevent piracy and unauthorised use by other manufacturers. In 2006, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, the Indian cricketer was selected as the first brand ambassador of the Mysore Sandal Soap.

Recalls an old-time employee, MB Rao, “The company, after the glorious days of the Wadiyars, was on subsistence functioning till it got a Geographical Indicator or GI tag in 2006. From then on, the products, especially Mysore Sandalwood Soap, got a boost and revenues have been going up steadily.”

The makers of Mysore Sandal Soap launched on 4 November 2017, a new basket of soaps with brand name Mysoap in variants of Rose Milk Cream, Jasmine Milk Cream, Orange Lime, Cologne Lavender, and Fruity Floral. Each variety is exclusively packaged depicting ethnic Indian woman in traditional looks. The soap weighs 100 g.


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Founded in Kolkata as a stand-alone sweet shop by Nobin Chandra Das, which sweet brand has over 25 outlets in India?

For 47-year-old Dhiman Das, the past 26 years have been spent on protecting brand ‘K C Das’ and a short time in warding off an attempt by Odisha to usurp the legacy of Bengal’s culinary icon – the heavenly dessert Rasgulla, nee Rossogolla.

Both the Rasgulla and K C Das, the Kolkata firm that popularised the sweetmeat around the world by first selling it in cans, are the family heirlooms of Dhiman Das, who comes from the lineage of Nobin Chandra Das, the inventor of Rasgulla, and his son Krishna Chandra Das (K C Das), after whom the company is named.

Dhiman Das, who became a director of K C Das at a young age of 21 in 1993, recalls how he had to crack the whip to prevent the company from going to ruin.

N C Das, who had started the confectionary in Bagbazar in 1866, was a creative person who wanted to serve his customers something unique. It put him on an exploratory path that ended in the unique spongy sweet emerging out of his frying pan.


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Started in 1945 in Amalner, Maharashtra, and now headquartered in Bengaluru, which company is known for its business diversification?

Wipro is an integrated corporation that offers a diverse range of products, solutions and services in systems, software, consumer care, healthcare, lighting and infrastructure technology. We are driven by our passion for quality and our commitment to customers. This drive has catapulted us among the ten most admired companies in India. Through constant innovation and a people-first attitude, we strive to assume leadership positions in all our businesses in the new millennium.

In 1945, Muhammed Hashim Premji incorporated Western Indian Vegetable Products Ltd, based at Amalner, a small town in the Jalgaon district of Maharashtra. It used to manufacture cooking oil under the brand name Sunflower Vanaspati, and a laundry soap called 787, a byproduct of oil manufacture.

The company was a manufacturer of vegetable and refined oils under the name of Sunflower. Kisan and Camel were the other popular trade names in early days of Wipro. The company was then called Western Indian Vegetable Products.


MH Premji passed away in 1966, it was then Azim Premji was forced to return to India from the Stanford University. He took charge of the company and diversified its offerings. The company offered toiletries, soaps, lighting products and hydraulic cylinders then.


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Set up in Jamshedpur in 1907, which company is today one of the largest producers of steel in the world?

Tata Iron and Steel Company (TISCO) was founded by Jamshetji Tata and established by Dorabji Tata on 26 August 1907. The first steel ingot was manufactured on 16 February 1912. During the First World War (1914-1918), the company made rapid progress. By 1939, it operated the largest steel plant in the British Empire. The company launched a major modernization and expansion program in 1951. Later, in 1958, the program was upgraded to 2 million metric tonnes per annum (MTPA) project. By 1970, the company employed around 40,000 people at Jamshedpur, and a further 20,000 in the neighbouring coal mines. In 1971 and 1979, there were unsuccessful attempts to nationalise the company. In 1990, the company began to expand, and established its subsidiary, Tata Inc., in New York. The company changed its name from TISCO to Tata Steel Ltd. in 2005.

 Tata Steel operates in 26 countries with key operations in India, Netherlands and United Kingdom, and employs around 80,500 people. Its largest plant (10 MTPA capacity) is located in Jamshedpur, Jharkhand. In 2007, Tata Steel acquired the UK-based steel maker Corus. It was ranked 486th in the 2014 Fortune Global 500 ranking of the world's biggest corporations. It was the seventh most valuable Indian brand of 2013 according to Brand Finance.


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Which cooperative dairy company, formed in 1956 in Anand, Gujarat, by Gandhian and social worker Tribhuvandas Patel?

Tribhuvandas Kishibhai Patel (22 October 1903 – 3 June 1994) was the founder of the Kaira District Co-operative Milk Producers' Union in 1946, and later the Amul co-operative movement in Anand, Gujarat, India.

Honesty of purpose and sincerity of his efforts at social service earned him respect of the masses. Tribhuvandas Patel developed the institution which Sardar had made him responsible for. The basic approach adopted by Shri Tribhuvandas Patel was first to establish milk co-operatives in the villages. These co-operatives were literally the “base” of the entire venture.

He insisted that each village co-operative should be open to all milk producers in the village regardless of caste, creed or community. He placed equal emphasis on the principle of ‘one man one vote’ regardless of each member’s social and economic status. He never looked back since then and gave the dairy cooperative movement world recognition with the assistance of Dr. Verghese Kurien, better known as “Father of White Revolution” in India.


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Hailing from Rajasthan, businessperson Shree Krishna incorporated a group of companies – using his surname – in 1975 and became one of the which leading fan manufacturers?

Shree Krishna Khaitan made his surname the last name in fans. His vision, courage and innovative spirit made Khaitan a household name in India and even overseas.

Shree Krishna formed Khaitan Electricals Ltd. in 1981. The Company was driven by his belief that if you spoil your reputation, you lose everything. He had given everything to his fans, including his surname and would not allow anything to tarnish that – whether in India or in the export market, where Khaitan was fast becoming a name to reckon with

He was also the Founder Trustee of Seth Chiranjilal Khaitan Trust and Shree Krishna Foundation among others.

Shree Krishna can be rightfully called the father of branded fans in India. He passed away in November, 2012, leaving behind a vast business empire. But his legend endures through his surname which finds pride of place on every Khaitan product.


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Which Indian television media company was founded by journalists Radhika Roy and Prannoy Roy in 1988 and is headquartered in New Delhi?

New Delhi Television Limited (NDTV) is a company registered with the Ministry of Corporate Affairs, Government of India – the company that owns two prominent news channels – NDTV 24 x 7 in English and NDTV India in Hindi. It is India’s first independent news network, entering the field at a time when the government-run Doordarshan had a monopoly over television content. The company was founded by Dr. Prannoy Roy and his wife Radhika Roy in 1988.

The following year NDTV launched 3 more channels NDTV Prime (information and entertainment), NDTV Profit (business news channel) and NDTV Good times (lifestyle channel). In 2018 NDTV started a channel for smartphone users NDTV HOP in cooperation with Airtel, Indian telecom company. 

NDTV has a history of hiring Journalists, reporters, anchors with bureaucratic connections. Some of them are: Vikram Chandra is the son of Yogesh Chandra, a former director general of civil aviation, himself the son-in-law of Govind Narain, a former home and Defense Secretary and former Governor of Karnataka.


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What innovations did Flipkart bring to the field of e-commerce?

           Flipkart is accredited for innovations that served as a model for other retailers that made online purchases simpler. Flipkart was the first to introduce the system of ‘Cash on Delivery’. This payment method allowed the customer to pay the bill when the shipment was delivered and was later adopted by many other e-retailers.

           Flipkart did understand the possibility of a customer not liking the product he purchased. So, they offered a 30-day return policy. This allowed the customer to return the purchase in case of damage or lack of satisfaction. Flipkart continued innovations with the delivery systems by introducing novelties like same day delivery and scheduled delivery.

           In 2012, Flipkart shook the markets with the introduction of its mobile shopping app. Within four years of introduction, it became the first Indian mobile app with more than 100 million registered users.

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Who is the master brain behind Baggit?

           Within twenty five years of its establishment, Baggit has become one of the most sought-after brands in women’s handbags. Though Baggit entered into the world of big business, none of it was planned. It all happened because Nina Lekhi, the woman behind Baggit failed in the first year University exam!

           A depressed Nina started taking a course in designing to keep herself occupied. Meanwhile, she also worked as a part-time sales assistant in Mumbai. During this period, she started designing canvas bags with colourful patterns. Nina herself had different bags for different purposes. Though it was tough convincing the shop owner to display her products, she made it happen eventually and her products began to gain popularity. Like one of her friends, Nina began exhibiting her bags for exhibitions.

           She was quick to realize the demand for trendy, yet functional bags and was not late to bring out her brand-Baggit. She retailed her bags to established stores before she opened an exclusive store. That’s when she faced her second grand failure; Nina’s first store was a flop and she lost all the money she invested. She started over again and now, her bags are sold in more than 90 cities.

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Who are the founders of Flipkart?

           When Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal met for the first time, little did they know that they would create one of the biggest Indian e-commerce platforms. Both were alumni of IIT Delhi and worked for Amazon. In 2007, Sachin and Binny quit their jobs to begin their start-up.

           Sitting in their tiny apartment in Bangalore, they launched Flipkart. It started as an online bookstore that promised to deliver books upon orders, much like Amazon. Days later, their first order was placed from Mahbubnagar.

           Twenty orders followed the first one, which put them in business. By 2009, Flipkart started gaining reputation. The company expanded, introducing innovations, hiring more employees, delivering more orders and expanding across India.

           Gradually, their shipping categories expanded to include cameras, computers, laptops, large appliances, health and personal care products, and stationery. Within twelve years of its establishment, Flipkart became one of the biggest companies in India. 77 per cent of its shares are now held by Walmart.

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Who started Infosys?

           Naraayana Murthy, Nandan Nilekani, N S Raghavan, S Gopalakrishnan, S D Shibulal, K Dinesh and Ashok Arora were all former employees of Patni Computer Systems. It was in 1981 that they decided to start a company of their own. The result was Infosys Consultants that started in the front room of Murthy’s house in Pune.

           Funding was a huge issue when Infosys began. Narayana Murthy borrowed money from his wife. From its humble beginning, Infosys grew to be the first Indian company to be listed on NASDAQ, an American Stock Exchange. Infosys worked to provide services that included software, business consulting, information technology and outsourcing.

           The client base grew and the headquarters was shifted to Bangalore in 1983 and by 1992, the company went public. By the mid-1990s, the company went global. They later developed software products for business operations, customer service, and commerce network domains. Today, Infosys is a very big name in Information Technology.

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How did Hatsun become a big name in the Indian dairy industry?

           Chandramohan, the chairman and managing director of Hatsun Agro Products started off his small ice cream business in Chennai. It was the 1970s. A 21-year old Chandramohan migrated to Chennai in the hope of making money. Along with two friends, he started making ice candies and sold it in pushcarts.

           When he started, he was one among 4000 such small-scale businessmen. But, Chandramohan was one among the lucky. He began making sound profit soon, thanks to his clever strategies. Arun Ice cream soon became popular among college students. Later, he introduced the brand in rural areas.

           With his success in ice creams, Chandramohan began to branch out to other dairy products like ghee and curd, and the result was Hatsun Agro Products that came into being in 1986. Over 4000 farmers are associated with it and the company shares Amul’s approach towards them. Today, Hatsun is the largest private sector dairy company in India.

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What inspired M. Manal to start the Himalaya Drug Company?

          Manal was once on a trip to Burma. During one of his rides, he saw a villager pacifying an excited elephant by feeding some roots. The roots were obtained from the plant, Rauwolfia serpentina. He was wondering about the calming power of the roots even when he returned to India. A restless Manal sought scientific explanation for the effect of the plant’s root.

          Once he understood the science behind the roots, he worked to commercialize it. But, funding was a huge problem. Manal’s supportive mother gave him her bangles to sell and thus, Himalaya was born. This happened in 1930. He began with a hand-operated, tablet-compressing machine.

          His hard work paid off; he came out with Serpina, the world’s first anti-hypertensive drug. Since then, Himalaya focused on producing Ayurveda-based, pharmaceutical-grade herbal medicine. They laid emphasis on research and the company now offers its products in over 90 countries including India, USA, South Africa and other countries in Europe, the Middle East, and Asia. Himalaya also produces health care products under the name Himalaya Herbal Healthcare.

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Who is responsible for the White Revolution in India?

          Amul prompted India’s White Revolution and the brain behind this was Dr. Varghese Kurien, the milkman of India. He organized a system in which the farmers were directly connected to the market and consumers. This was achieved by eliminating the middlemen who stayed in business linking the both ends. The middlemen who used to obtain much of the money, leaving the farmers poor.

          Kurien devised ‘Operation Flood’, one of the world’s biggest dairy development programme. It allowed the farmers to own their produce. It also ensured that the price of milk did not vary according to different seasons. The idea of farmers owning the brand created a sense of ownership and, in turn, responsibility for the product’s quality. Kurien’s efforts reaped success in Gujarat and his model was adopted across the country. Today, we have state federations running their own diary brands- Nandini in Karnataka, Verka in Punjab, Milma in Kerala, Saras in Rajasthan and Mahananda in Maharashtra.

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