Gujarmal Modi

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'Sahib I do not drink alcohol at all' said Gujarmal in a quiet voice while declining the server's offer. 'It is not that I am not happy for your victory but I have been taught never to touch a drop of alcohol.'

The year was 1932 and a young man had just been banished from the state of Patiala. His crime? He had refused a glass of wine in the celebratory party at the Patiala Palace. It had not mattered to the maharaja that the man was a teetotaller.

The ban proved to be a boon as the thirty-year-old left Patiala and created one of the largest business empires in India. Looking for a new location to set up his factory Gujarmal zeroed in on a sleepy village Begumabad on the outskirts of Delhi. It is here that the seeds of the Modi Group were sown. Starting with a sugar mill he established a conglomerate with businesses including tyres textiles copy machines cigarettes pharmaceuticals oil and steel to name a few.

This is the story of a resolute ambitious young man who saw adversity as an opportunity and went on to create history. In the process he set up some of the finest factories created an industrial town that was way ahead of its time generated large-scale employment and gave Indian manufacturing new wings. Gujarmal's ten per cent allocation from earnings towards social responsibility long before it became a corporate buzzword and human resource initiatives became benchmarks in the history of Indian business.

A treasure trove of learnings for modern-day entrepreneurs this book celebrates the man and his vision grit determination and spirit of entrepreneurship.

Bhasin Sonu

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