Ardeshir & Pirojsha Godrej – Pioneers of Success – Amar Chitra Katha
125 years ago, Ardeshir Godrej, a young man of 29 years, set up a small
factory in Lalbaug in Bombay to make locks – the first of its kind in India.
This was the humble origin, of what today has become a trusted household
name—‘Godrej’. The story of the Godrej family is a tale of courage, innovation
Ardeshir Burjorji Godrej dealt with personal tragedy and many
disappointments before finding his true calling – making complex mechanisms
for locks. He was an inventor, who looked up to nationalist leaders like
Dadabhai Naoroji, Gopal Krishna Gokhale, Lokmanya Tilak and Mahatma
Gandhi. Infuriated by India’s impoverishment at the hands of the British, the
call to action of the Swadeshi Movement resonated deeply with him. After
successfully launching businesses in locks, safes, and soaps; his agile mind
never ceased to look for new products to prove that ‘Made in India’ quality
could not only meet, but exceed world class standards.
Pirojsha Burjorji Godrej was Ardeshir’s younger brother, who had a
penchant for numbers, and shared the same nationalist ideals as his sibling.
He expanded the business into steel furniture, typewriters, refrigerators,
forklift trucks, trucks and machine tools. Meticulous about quality, customer
satisfaction and worker’s welfare, his most notable achievement was the
transformation of the tiny hamlet of Vikhroli (a suburb in Mumbai) into a
thriving industrial township, renamed Pirojshanagar after his death in 1972.