LOCK, STOCK AND BARREL
Through many of its businesses—from locks, soaps and animal feed to engines powering India’s space programmes—the group has played a big role in the evolution of various industries in the country. The group has its roots in India’s Independence and swadeshi movement. Founder Ardeshir Godrej failed in a few ventures before striking success with the locks business. Next came security equipment and steel furniture. From soaps, it moved to detergents
and personal/ household products. Since vegetable oil was used to make soap, the byproduct, oil cake, was marketed as animal feed. With a large landholding in Vikhroli near Mumbai, the group also forayed into real estate.
The Godrej group enjoys the patronage of 1.1 billion consumers globally and commands a revenue of over $4.1 billion. In 1918, the company launched Chavi, the first soap in the world without animal fat. Another soap, Godrej No. 2, was launched in 1919. Ardeshir’s explanation on the name: “If people find No. 2 so good, they’ll believe No. 1 to be even better!” The Godrej No. 1 soap was launched in 1922. Godrej