Adi Godrej Biography

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Adi Godrej Factsheet
Adi Godrej
NameAdi Godrej
Net WorthUS $4 billion
Date of Birth3rd April 1942
NationalityIndian
ResidenceMumbai
ReligionZoroastrianism
EducationManagement graduate from Massachusetts Institute of Technology
OccupationChairman of Godrej Group, Chairman of Indian School of Business
SpouseParmeshwar Godrej
Children3 children (Nisa Godrej, Pirojsha Godrej, Tanya Dubash)

About Adi Godrej

Adi Godrej was born on 3 April, 1942 in Mumbai. He is an Indian industrialist and the present Chairman of the Godrej Group, which includes many Indian companies. He is also the Chairman of 2 international companies; Keyline Brands, U.K and Rapidol, South Africa; as well as the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Dadabhai Naoroji Memorial Prize Fund.

In 2010, Forbes estimated his net worth to be US $5.2 making him one of the richest persons in India.

Adi Godrej's Personal Background

Adi Godrej hails from a business family. His father was Mr Burjorji Godrej who was a successful businessman and his mother was Mrs Jai Godrej who spent her life as a teacher at one of the Godrej schools.

He is married to Parmeshwar Godrej and the couple has 2 daughters and a Son.

His eldest daughter, Tanya, is the Executive Director and President, (Marketing) of the Godrej Industries Ltd. His second daughter, Nisa Godrej has joined the group after completing her studies from the Harvard Business School, USA.

His son, Pirojsha Godrej finished his management studies from abroad and has now joined Godrej Properties. Godrej always taught his children the value of money and ensured that they went through rigorous training, together with other managers in the company.

Education of Adi Godrej

At the age of 17, Adi Godrej left India and got enrolled at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the United States. Initially, he planned to study mechanical engineering but ended up studying management. He received his Bachelors and Masters degrees in management from the Sloan School, MIT in 1963.

Beginning of Adi Godrej's Career

After completing his graduation, Adi Godrej returned to India and joined the family business – The Godrej Group. The management had high expectations from him as he was the first business graduate to join the company.

The Godrej Group was started more than a century ago and since then it manufactured locks and vegetable based soaps which displaced many foreign brands.

The Godrej Group continued to function with an inflexible style of management which it followed under the controlled era of British rule, even after India's independence. Hence when Adi Godrej joined the group, he faced the challenge of modernizing the management structures and making them more flexible and systematic.

His efforts towards process improvements led to the progress and growth of the Godrej Group.

Adi started the group's movement away from family hegemony that inflicted many family businesses of that time in India. This was ensured by appointing CEOs from outside the Godrej family to head the various group companies.

Adi instilled new business processes at a time when companies perceived “change” to be disruptive and threatening. He created an emotional connect of both his personal and the group's brand image with people by maintaining traditional middle class core values have remained middle class. From the beginning, Adi as a businessman was very tech-savvy took special interest in technology adoption which benefited his business.

Under his leadership, the Godrej Group kept overhauling growth targets and reached great heights of success.

Achievements of Adi Godrej

Adi Godrej is considered to be one of the top business icons of the Indian Industry as the Chairman of Godrej Group. His other achievements are:
  • He is the Chairman of The Board of Trustees of the Dadabhai Naoroji Memorial Prize Fund.
  • He is a recipient of several awards including the prestigious Rajiv Gandhi Award 2002.
He has actively worked for the growth of a variety of industries by leading key trade and commerce organizations in the role of:
  • A former Chairman and President of the “Solvent Extractors’ Association of India”, the “Compound Livestock Feeds Manufacturers' Association”, the “Indo-American Society of the Indian Soap & Toiletries Makers’ Association”, the “Central Organization for Oil Industry and Trade”.
  • A member of the Governing Board of the “National Council of the Confederation of Indian Industry”.
He has also actively participated in imparting management education as:
  • A former Chairman of the Governing Council of the “Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies”.
  • A former member of the “Dean’s Advisory Council of the MIT Sloan School of Management” and the “Wharton Asian Executive Board”.
  • A member of “Tau Beta Pi” (The Engineering Honor Society).
  • A member of the Governing Board of the “Indian School of Business”.

Godrej Group - Company Profile

The group was established in 1897, and since then it has grown into one of India’s most trusted brands.
  • Its Chairman is Mr. Adi Godrej.
  • It is headquartered at Mumbai.
The Group is one of the largest conglomerates in India at present. Over the years it has diversified into various industries including:
  • security
  • materials handling and industrial storage solutions
  • construction
  • information technology
  • furniture
  • health care
  • interior solutions
  • office equipment,
  • appliances
  • precision equipment
  • machine tools
  • food-processing.
  • medical diagnostics
  • machine tools and process equipments
  • security systems and safes
  • typewriters and word processors
  • rocket launchers
  • engineering workstations
  • mosquito repellents
  • car perfumes
  • refrigerators and furniture
  • outsourcing services
  • cosmetics and detergents
  • chicken and agri-products
  • aerospace equipments
  • edible oils
The Godrej group is divided into two major companies which work independently:
  • Godrej Industries Ltd.
  • Godrej & Boyce Mfg. Co. Ltd.
The Group has many subsidiaries, some of them being:
  • Godrej Consumer Products Ltd. (GCPL)
  • Godrej HiCare
  • Godrej Global Solutions
  • Godrej Properties
  • Godrej Hershey Foods & Beverages Ltd.
Today, Godrej has a customer base of over 470 million Indians and its turnover crosses US $2.6.

It is present in more than 60 countries and 20% of its business is done overseas.

To extend and improve its connection with its three-and-a-half million retailers, the group has started using IT to integrate its supply and distribution chain.

Awards and Achievements of Godrej Group

The Godrej Group's achievements have made the Group, one of the leading and most envied corporate houses in India. Some of them being:
  • In 1897, Godrej Introduced the first lock with lever technology in India.
  • In 1902, Godrej made the first Indian safe.
  • In 1920, Godrej made soap using vegetable oil.
  • In 1955, Godrej produced India's first indigenous typewriter.
  • In 1989, Godrej became the first company to introduce PUF ( Polyurethane Foam)
  • Introduced India's first and only 100% CFC, HCFC, HFC free refrigerators.
Under the able leadership of Adi Godrej, the Godrej Group has been a recipient of many awards:
  • GCPL was ranked 14th in “The Best Companies to Work For” study conducted by Business Today.
  • GCPL ranked 6th in “ET-Hewitt Best Employers of India” survey.
  • The Group received “The Corporate Citizen of the Year” award given by Economic Times.
  • The Group's flagship brands; Goodnight, Cinthol and Ezee were selected Superbrands by the “Superbrands Council”.
  • GCPL was selected as a Business Superbrand by the “Super Brands Council”.
  • GCPL recorded the highest returns in Corporate India on Capital Employed and Net Worth ratios.
  • GCPL was given the “Best Managed Workforce” award given by Hewitt Associates and CNBC TV18.
  • Godrej Industries received the “Lifetime Achievement Award” from CHEMEX Council.
  • Godrej was ranked at 22nd position in “The Brand Trust Report” published by the Trust Research Advisory.

Social Activities of Godrej Group

The Godrej Group has been actively involved in many philanthropic and social activities.
  • It has built schools, dispensaries and a residential complex for their employees and their families.
  • It has also established many Trusts and Foundations which invest in education, health care and upliftment of the underprivileged.
  • It has built many green environs, nurseries and gardens which show its love for nature.
  • It is an active donor to the World Wildlife Fund in India and has also developed a green business campus in Vikhroli, Mumbai. The campus includes a 150 acre mangrove forest with flourishing wildlife and a school for its employees' children.
Adi Godrej has been a successful entrepreneur and his persistent efforts led to the to the restructuring of many company policies for meeting challenges of globalisation and liberalization.

In 2000, the Group successfully completed the 10 year long restructuring process and formed a stand - alone company for each of its businesses.

Last Updated on June 5, 2015