13 July 2015

Ghanshyam Das "G.D." Birla 11.6.1984

Ghanshyam Das "G.D." Birla (10 April 1894 – 11 June 1983) was an Indian businessman and member of the Birla Family. Birla inherited the family business and moved to further diversify them into other areas. Of these, at least three contemporary family business groups existing in India today can trace their ancestry to Ghanshyam Das. Of these businesses, he wanted to turn the money-lending business into manufacturing. So he left for Calcutta in Bengal, the world's largest jute producing region. There he established a jute firm, much to the consternation of established European merchants, whom the biased policies of the British government favoured other than the local Bengali merchants. He had to scale a number of obstacles as the British and Scottish merchants tried to shut his business by unethical and monopolistic methods, but he was able to persevere.

When World War I resulted in supply problems throughout the British Empire, Birla's business skyrocketed.

Birla was a close associate and a steady supporter of Mahatma Gandhi, whom he met for the first time in 1916. Gandhi was staying at Birla's home in New Delhi when he was assassinated having lived there for the last four months of his life.

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