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The 5 Oldest Companies in India – Over 150 Years Old Businesses!!

List of Oldest Companies in India: India today is proud of the wildest out-of-the-box startups like Paytm, Ola, Zomato to name a few. But this entrepreneurial craze is not something that is recent. Every Indian has always levitated towards ‘Vyaapaar’ as a career choice. This has happened for millennials in India’s rich history.

In this article, we take a look at some of the oldest companies in India which operate to this day. You’re in for a surprise because they span centuries!

5 Oldest Companies in India that Still Makes Money

Here is the list of five of the oldest companies in India that are still in business and making tons of money:

1. Wadia Group (1736)

Wadia Group Logo | Oldest Companies in India

India’s oldest conglomerate, the Wadia group was founded in 1736 when Parsi businessman  Lovji Nusserwanjee Wadia secured contracts with the British East India Company to build ships and docks.

The company went on to build over 300 ships, some of them even used in wars like the HMS Minden and HMS Trincomalee which is still afloat and a historic relic today.

The Wadia group under the leadership of Lovji and his brother Sorabji also built the Bombay dry dock which was Asia’s first dry dock and the Surat Shipbreaking yard. They also can be credited for making Bombay a strategic port for the British in Asia.  

The company is also credited with starting the Bombay Dyeing Company in 1879 which today is a flagship company of their empire. The company was started in a small-scale operation where cotton yarn was spun and dyed by being dipped in red, green, and orange.

Currently, the company has an MCap of over Rs. 1,500 crores. Today the conglomerate functions in sectors like Aviation, healthcare, chemicals, FNCG, and even owns the IPL team Punjab Kings.

2. Eid-Parry Ltd (1788)

EID PARRYS Ltd Logo | Oldest Companies in India

Unlike several other companies, EID-PARRY LTD was set up by English Trader Thomas Parry as Parry & Co in 1788. It was formed as a trading company for sugar and spirits.

Over 6 decades the company had become the country’s largest trader of sugar. This prompted the company to separate its spirits and sugar business by forming East India Distilleries and Sugar Factories Ltd.

The company is also credited to be the first to manufacture fertilizers in the Indian Subcontinent. The companies once again merged to form EID Parry in 1962 and were acquired by the Murugappa group.

Today the company is still a giant in the sugar business with a capacity to crush 32,500 (TCD) Metric Tonnes of cane per day.

The conglomerate also operates in Industries like Distillery, Biofertilizers, Nutraceuticals among others. Last year the company successfully earned revenues of $2.4 billion.

3. State Bank of India – SBI (1806)

State Bank of India Logo | Oldest Companies in India

What catches many by surprise is that SBI is not only the oldest but also its purpose for being formed. Founded in 1806 as the Bank of Calcutta it was set up mainly to fund British General Wellesley’s war against the Marathas and ruler of Mysore Tipu Sultan!

The bank was renamed the Bank of Bengal in 1809. After mergers with other banks in the country and after being renamed to the Imperial Bank of India the Government of India in 1955. It was then that the bank was renamed the State Bank of India

There are very few banks in the country that can boast to have had esteemed customers like those of SBI. These included the likes of Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore, scientist and science fiction writer Sir Jagadish Chandra Bose who pioneered the investigation of radio and microwave optics, and also India’s first President Rajendra Prasad.

Today SBI is one of the biggest banks in the country with a market cap of Rs. 3.76 lakh crores. In 2020 SBI was ranked as the 43rd largest bank in the world and also as the 221st biggest corporation by Fortune 500.

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4. RPG Group (1820)

RPG Group Logo | Oldest Companies in India

Many today revere the Goenka billionaire family of India. But their roots can also be traced back to the 19th century when Ramdutt Goenka founded it in 1820.

The company however expanded under Keshav Prasad Goenka, Ramdutts nephew. He played an important role in acquiring Duncan Brothers and Octavious Steel among several other businesses making the company a conglomerate. His eldest son R. P. Goenka founded the RPG Group. 

Today the group is known for its flagship companies like CEAT Tyres, and pharmaceutical company RPG Life Sciences. The billion-dollar conglomerate also operates in infrastructure, technology, energy production among others.

5. Aditya Birla Group (1857)

Aditya Birla Group Logo | Oldest Companies in India

One of the biggest conglomerates in the country Aditya Birla Group was founded in 1857 by Shiv Narayan Birla. But it was Ghanshyamdas Birla who played a key role in catapulting the Birla companies to where they are today.

Setting up a trading business in jute the company grew thanks to the increased demand for gunny bags during World War I. Ghanshyamdas Birla was also a close confidante to Mahatma Gandhi and also played an important role in India’s freedom struggle.

The billion-dollar conglomerate today has come a long way from its humble roots. In  2019 the company bought in  US$48.3 billion.

The group operates in the Textile, Finance, Cement, Mining, Metal, Retail, and Telecommunication Industry among others. 

Quick Read

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List of Oldest Companies in India Year-Wise

Here is the list of the oldest companies in India (year-wise) including the top 5 mentioned above:

Company NameYear Established
Wadia Group1736
State Bank of India1806
RPG Group1820
Aditya Birla Group1857
Bombay Burmah Trading Corporation1863
Shapoorji Pallonji Group1865
Allahabad Bank1865
Nestlé India1866
Tata Group1868
Dabur India Ltd.1884
Kirloskar Group1888
Delhi Cloth & General Mills1889
Britannia Industries1892
Punjab National Bank1895
Century Textile and Industries1897
Godrej and Boyce1897
CESC Limited1899
Keshav Bhikaji Dhawale1900
Bengal Chemicals and Pharmaceuticals1901
Shalimar Paints1902
The Indian Hotels Company1903
City Union Bank1904
Phoenix Mill1905
Hamdard India1906
National Insurance Company1906
Canara Bank1906
Bank of India1906
Alembic Pharmaceuticals Ltd1907
Tata Steel1907
Bank of Baroda1908
Swan Racing1909
Apeejay Surrendra Group1910
Lakshmi Mills1910
ITC1910
TVS Group1911
Central Bank of India1911
The Bangalore Press1916
Birla Corporation1919
CSB Bank Limited1920
Kansai Nerolac Paints1920
Ingersoll Rand India1921
Berger Paints1923
SmithKine pharmaceuticals1924
Balmer Lawrie and Co.1924
Karnataka Bank1924
Raymond Ltd1925
Syndicate Bank1925
Bajaj group1926
Hindustan Construction Company1926
Lakshmi Vilas Bank1926
Dhanlaxmi Bank1927
Boroline1929
VST Industries1930
Arvind (company)1931
Bata Shoes1931
Bajaj Hindusthan1931
Travancore Federal Bank1931
Vijaya Bank1931
Dalda1931
Punchiri Boat Services Private Ltd1932
ISGEC1933
Eveready Industries India1934
Cipla1935
Godfrey Phillips India1936
Haldiram's1937
Colgate-Palmolive India1937
Crompton Parkinson1937
Tata Investment Corp1937
Indian Overseas Bank1937
Larsen & Toubro Limited1938
Bajaj Electricals1938
J. K. Organisation1938
Dena Bank1938
Jammu & Kashmir Bank1938
Tata Chemicals1939
Bijeram Dedraj Oil Mills Pvt ltd1940
Fairdeal corp ltd1940
Haldiram's1941
State Bank of Hyderabad1941
Blue Star Limited1943
BASF India1943
Tata Coffee1943
Oriental Bank of Commerce1943
United Commercial Bank1943
RBL Bank1943
Escorts Group1944
Bajaj Finance1944
Asian Paints Ltd1945
Mahindra & Mahindra1945
Tata Motors1945
Western India Vegetable Products Limited(Wipro)1945
Selvel publicity and consultancy1945

In Closing 

In this article, we covered a list of the oldest companies in India that are still in business today. Taking a look at the oldest companies and their past is a history lesson in itself. Moreover, these conglomerates are a testament to India’s entrepreneurial spirit.

Let us know what you think of the oldest companies in India list in the comments below. And which current Indian startup can last for the next two hundred years according to you. Happy Reading!

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