Noted industrialist GP Birla died on Friday night in Kolkata after a brief period of illness. He was 87. His wife Nirmala, son CK Birla and daughter Lekha Poddar survive Birla.
GP Birla, part of the illustrious Birla clan, headed the GP-C.K. Birla Group with business interests spanning across sectors like automobiles, bearings, earthmoving and power transmission equipment, heavy machinery, information technology, paper, cement, building products, electrical fans, consumer durables, vegetable oils, soap and detergents, engineering and contracting for industrial and infrastructure projects and emerging areas like oil and gas, geomatics and environment.
The group has business interests across four continents.
Hindustan Motors, with units in West Bengal and Tamil Nadu, is the flagship company of the group with global revenues in excess of $1.2 billion.
The GP-CK Birla Group was established by late Braj Mohan Birla, after which GP Birla carried forward the glorious legacy. Birla House sources in Kolkata said that GP Birla was very active till only about a week back and used to come to his office regularly despite his old age. The mantle of the business empire has now passed on to GP Birla's son Chandrakant Birla.
Apart from Hindustan Motors, other prominent companies of the group include Hyderabad Industries Ltd, Orient Paper & Industries Ltd.AVTEC Ltd, National Engineering Industries Ltd, Birlasoft Ltd, Indian Smelting & Refining Co. Ltd, Nigeria Engineering Works Ltd, Nigeria, and Pan African Paper Mills (EA) Ltd, Kenya. In Kolkata, the group also manages two major healthcare facilities; BM Birla Heart Research Centre and Calcutta Medical Research Institute.
Birla's last rites would be performed in Kolkata on Saturday.