Vijitatma: founder-pioneer Ardeshir Godrej

By: Karanjia, B. K
Material type: TextTextPublisher: New Delhi Viking/Penguin Books India Ltd., 2004Description: xl, 218 p.ISBN: 9780670057627Subject(s): Godrej, Ardeshir - 1868 - 1930 | Lawyers - India - Biography | Nationalists - India - Biography | Industrialists - India - BiographyDDC classification: 926.58 Summary: The story of Ardeshir Burjorji Godrej, founder-pioneer of the Godrej enterprise, is rich and varied. Deeply influenced by the nationalist Dadabhai Naoroji, he believed—like Gandhi later—that the struggle for freedom was both political and economic. Swadeshi became the breath of Swaraj or self-rule for Ardeshir. But he realized that mere boycott of British goods wasn't good enough: they had to be substituted by Indian goods of equal if not superior quality. Self-respect through self-reliance became his motto. The successful patenting of locks and safes, surpassing in quality even imported goods, followed by soap manufacture were steps in fulfilling this mission. All of these would make Godrej a household name for nearly seven decades thereafter. Besides being a freedom fighter and successful industrialist, Ardeshir was a highly individualistic and exceptional man. Unwilling to twist the truth in a particular case as a lawyer in Zanzibar, he preferred to give up the profession, regardless of the consequences. As a flourishing industrialist, he switched over to farming, setting up an agricultural colony in Gwalior and a farm in Nasik. A humble human being, living a simple and unostentatious life, often taking public transport or walking to his destination, Ardeshir believed he was merely a patriot doing his duty by the country. Though he did not live to see a free India, he found a measure of fulfilment, inspiring four generations of the family to contribute to the country’s economic well-being.
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The story of Ardeshir Burjorji Godrej, founder-pioneer of the Godrej enterprise, is rich and varied. Deeply influenced by the nationalist Dadabhai Naoroji, he believed—like Gandhi later—that the struggle for freedom was both political and economic. Swadeshi became the breath of Swaraj or self-rule for Ardeshir. But he realized that mere boycott of British goods wasn't good enough: they had to be substituted by Indian goods of equal if not superior quality. Self-respect through self-reliance became his motto. The successful patenting of locks and safes, surpassing in quality even imported goods, followed by soap manufacture were steps in fulfilling this mission. All of these would make Godrej a household name for nearly seven decades thereafter. Besides being a freedom fighter and successful industrialist, Ardeshir was a highly individualistic and exceptional man. Unwilling to twist the truth in a particular case as a lawyer in Zanzibar, he preferred to give up the profession, regardless of the consequences. As a flourishing industrialist, he switched over to farming, setting up an agricultural colony in Gwalior and a farm in Nasik. A humble human being, living a simple and unostentatious life, often taking public transport or walking to his destination, Ardeshir believed he was merely a patriot doing his duty by the country. Though he did not live to see a free India, he found a measure of fulfilment, inspiring four generations of the family to contribute to the country’s economic well-being.

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