Braj Mohan Birla, popularly known as B M Birla was the youngest of four sons of Baldev Das Birla. As an industrialist, he championed private enterprise, free competition & encouragement to private foreign investment. Although, his advocacy of capitalism was based not on its benefits to the capitalist but on the ground that it would benefit the masses. He admired USA for being a great economic and political power and believed that similar policies would elicit India’s emergence as a rich & powerful nation. Hence, he advocated foreign inflow of capital to solve the problem of scarcity of capital and resources. He was left by GD Birla, his elder brother who was actively involved in political matters, the task of consolidation of commercial & industrial activities, which by now had put a strong foot forward in the industry. His achievements and contributions can be broadly categorized into the following three domains:-
Handed the task of consolidation of the Birla Empire; with his prudence and intelligence he was not only able to expand it but also made a name for the Birlas in the international arena. He settled in Calcutta in 1918 & made the city the headquarters of his operations. In 1926, at the age of 21, he was appointed as the MD of Birla Brothers Pvt Ltd. Owing to his interest in oil operations; he acquired for the company the sole distribution rights of Richfield Oil Company of California. He appointed 500 workers & 4 baniyas. Considerable exploration tasks were carried under his leadership at Ankleshwar, where subsequently a Public Sector Refinery was set up. He looked beyond jute & cotton industries which were already set up by GD. He launched new industrial & service lines in sugar, paper & insurance. First sugar mill was built by him at Sidhwala in Bihar & second was started at Seohara in UP. He established paper factory in Brajrajnagar, Orissa in 1939 which, in turn, established another factory in Madhya Pradesh – Orient paper mill, which is the largest paper factory in the country. Orient paper has also diversified its activities and has put up a cement factory in Andhra Pradesh. Subsidiaries of the company are also involved in manufacture of fans, electric motors, air conditioners, water coolers, industrial blowers etc. In 1942, on being persuaded by Dewan of Baroda, an automobile assembly plant was set up by BM Birla at Okha. This is how Hindustan Motors was registered in Baroda. In 1950, a factory for assembly of cars & trucks was setup at Uttarapara, near Calcutta. Soon, Hindustan motors entered into an agreement for building an Indian version of “Morris 10” & the process of indigenous car manufacture in India had started. In 1958, HM entered into an agreement with General Motors Corporation for the manufacture of Bedford commercial vehicles & grew rapidly at Uttarapara – over an area of 740 acres, providing employment to over 15000. The National Engineering Industries Ltd was promoted by B M Birla in 1946 in Jaipur for the manufacture of bearings for the first time in the country with the technical know-how from M/s. Hoffman from UK. Gradually, the company diversified into manufacture of spherical, cylindrical and taper roller bearings, axle boxes, steel foundry and rubber products. In the field of precision instrumentation, Taylor Instrument Company Ltd was established in 1964 which now occupies a significant market position in instrumentation. Owing to great efficiency and expertise of B M Birla, the Andhra Pradesh government entrusted him with the task of improving the state of those industrial units which were not running satisfactorily. He pursued his dreams in the automobile sector by setting up new plants for HM one of which produced heavy diesel engines of up to 1000 HP and another manufactured heavy earth moving equipment. SOCIAL:-
Owing to his upbringing in a rich and educated family with its very roots in village, he...