In case you didn’t know, Naval Godrej was a mechanical genius who pioneered the manufacture of a number of tools, equipment and machines in India. The self-taught industrialist was the nephew of Ardeshir Godrej (founder of Godrej Group) and the father of Jamshyd Godrej (chairman & managing director of Godrej & Boyce). The Godrej Group is a conglomerate that operates in a number of sectors, including industrial engineering, consumer products, agriculture, security, furniture, appliances and real estate.
While working at the Godrej manufacturing plant, the hardcore believer of Make-in-India came up with a number of initiatives that propelled the company into an industrial powerhouse. Driven by the dream of industrial self-reliance for his country, he achieved a lot at the company and for the society, and he even received the Padma Bhushan award for his exceptional work.
In 1940s, the industrialist developed the tool room and initiated the production of machine tools. When his company needed machines, he decided not to import them and instead started manufacturing the industrial equipment. He created a line of machines that is today associated with some of the top-quality tools in India. Some of the tools include power presses, metal forming machines and machine cutting tools.
Naval went on to produce the first all-Indian typewriter in 1955, causing big competition for these machines with foreign countries. The typewriter required highly specialized machines and top-notch workmanship to produce. He had to import raw materials from other countries, a process which was made difficult by movement restrictions and wars. The company manufactured several typewriter models before it produced one model that satisfied majority of people.
After seeing success with the typewriter, Naval went on to manufacture a refrigerator. He faced a lot of challenges in the refrigerator manufacture, but at the end he was able to present a 230 Volt Model 6 freezing machine with a capacity of 7.3 cu.ft. The company produced a number of similar models, before the developer manufactured a hermetically sealed compressor for other different models.
Naval also initiated the production of indigenous forklift trucks in India. He started with a 2.25-tonne capacity forklift trucks which were sold widely in the country. In the late 1970s, the manufacturing plant exported the first forklift truck to Russia with the industrialist signing the export agreement.
In addition, Naval launched the Godrej Aerospace which fabricated the Vikas Engines, Dummy Motor Casing and other equipment for the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO). He also offered expertise to the Process Equipment Division (PED) which was manufacturing satellite components.
Naval Godrej Initiatives at the Manufacturing Plant in a Summary Form
– Created the tool room and pioneered the production of machine tools.
– Developed the first all-Indian typewriter.
– Produced the first 230 Volts Models 9 refrigerator.
– Manufactured the first indigenous forklift trucks in India.
– Launched Godrej Aerospace for manufacturing space research equipment.
Other Naval’s Initiatives and Achievements
– Guided the Indian Machine Tools Manufacturing Association (IMTMA) in the early 1970s.
– Planned and executed International Machine Tool Exhibition (IMTEX).
– Initiated the Foundation for Research in Community Health (FRCH) and Mandwa Project featuring a Primary Health Care Center.
– Initiated the Foundation for Medical Research (FMR), a Disaster Center and a crematorium for pets.
– Was involved in the development of the Godrej Industrial Garden Township.
– With the Parsi Punchayat, he started the Godrej Baug to cater for the housing needs of the Parsi community.
In conclusion, the late mechanical genius is celebrated everywhere in India, and the company is in the process of celebrating his Birth Centenary. See the official website of Naval Godrej (www.naval100.com) to learn more about the self-taught industrialist.