The 5 Oldest Companies in India – Over 150 Years Old Businesses!!

List of Oldest Companies in India: India today is proud of the wildest out-of-the-box startups like Paytm, Ola, Zomato to name a few. But this entrepreneurial craze is not something that is recent. Every Indian has always levitated towards ‘Vyaapaar’ as a career choice. This has happened for millennials in India’s rich history.

In this article, we take a look at some of the oldest companies in India which operate to this day. You’re in for a surprise because they span centuries!

5 Oldest Companies in India that Still Makes Money

Here is the list of five of the oldest companies in India that are still in business and making tons of money:

Table of Contents

  1. 1. Wadia Group (1736)

  2. 2. Eid-Parry Ltd (1788)

  3. 3. State Bank of India – SBI (1806)

  4. 4. RPG Group (1820)

  5. 5. Aditya Birla Group (1857)

1. Wadia Group (1736)

Wadia Group Logo | Oldest Companies in India

India’s oldest conglomerate, the Wadia group was founded in 1736 when Parsi businessman  Lovji Nusserwanjee Wadia secured contracts with the British East India Company to build ships and docks.

The company went on to build over 300 ships, some of them even used in wars like the HMS Minden and HMS Trincomalee which is still afloat and a historic relic today.

The Wadia group under the leadership of Lovji and his brother Sorabji also built the Bombay dry dock which was Asia’s first dry dock and the Surat Shipbreaking yard. They also can be credited for making Bombay a strategic port for the British in Asia.  

The company is also credited with starting the Bombay Dyeing Company in 1879 which today is a flagship company of their empire. The company was started in a small-scale operation where cotton yarn was spun and dyed by being dipped in red, green, and orange.

Currently, the company has an MCap of over Rs. 1,500 crores. Today the conglomerate functions in sectors like Aviation, healthcare, chemicals, FNCG, and even owns the IPL team Punjab Kings.

2. Eid-Parry Ltd (1788)

EID PARRYS Ltd Logo | Oldest Companies in India

Unlike several other companies, EID-PARRY LTD was set up by English Trader Thomas Parry as Parry & Co in 1788. It was formed as a trading company for sugar and spirits.

Over 6 decades the company had become the country’s largest trader of sugar. This prompted the company to separate its spirits and sugar business by forming East India Distilleries and Sugar Factories Ltd.

The company is also credited to be the first to manufacture fertilizers in the Indian Subcontinent. The companies once again merged to form EID Parry in 1962 and were acquired by the Murugappa group.

Today the company is still a giant in the sugar business with a capacity to crush 32,500 (TCD) Metric Tonnes of cane per day.

The conglomerate also operates in Industries like Distillery, Biofertilizers, Nutraceuticals among others. Last year the company successfully earned revenues of $2.4 billion.

3. State Bank of India – SBI (1806)

State Bank of India Logo | Oldest Companies in India

What catches many by surprise is that SBI is not only the oldest but also its purpose for being formed. Founded in 1806 as the Bank of Calcutta it was set up mainly to fund British General Wellesley’s war against the Marathas and ruler of Mysore Tipu Sultan!

The bank was renamed the Bank of Bengal in 1809. After mergers with other banks in the country and after being renamed to the Imperial Bank of India the Government of India in 1955. It was then that the bank was renamed the State Bank of India

There are very few banks in the country that can boast to have had esteemed customers like those of SBI. These included the likes of Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore, scientist and science fiction writer Sir Jagadish Chandra Bose who pioneered the investigation of radio and microwave optics, and also India’s first President Rajendra Prasad.

Today SBI is one of the biggest banks in the country with a market cap of Rs. 3.76 lakh crores. In 2020 SBI was ranked as the 43rd largest bank in the world and also as the 221st biggest corporation by Fortune 500.


10 Indian Companies with Monopoly in Their Industry!

4. RPG Group (1820)

RPG Group Logo | Oldest Companies in India

Many today revere the Goenka billionaire family of India. But their roots can also be traced back to the 19th century when Ramdutt Goenka founded it in 1820.

The company however expanded under Keshav Prasad Goenka, Ramdutts nephew. He played an important role in acquiring Duncan Brothers and Octavious Steel among several other businesses making the company a conglomerate. His eldest son R. P. Goenka founded the RPG Group. 

Today the group is known for its flagship companies like CEAT Tyres, and pharmaceutical company RPG Life Sciences. The billion-dollar conglomerate also operates in infrastructure, technology, energy production among others.

5. Aditya Birla Group (1857)

Aditya Birla Group Logo | Oldest Companies in India

One of the biggest conglomerates in the country Aditya Birla Group was founded in 1857 by Shiv Narayan Birla. But it was Ghanshyamdas Birla who played a key role in catapulting the Birla companies to where they are today.

Setting up a trading business in jute the company grew thanks to the increased demand for gunny bags during World War I. Ghanshyamdas Birla was also a close confidante to Mahatma Gandhi and also played an important role in India’s freedom struggle.

The billion-dollar conglomerate today has come a long way from its humble roots. In  2019 the company bought in  US$48.3 billion.

The group operates in the Textile, Finance, Cement, Mining, Metal, Retail, and Telecommunication Industry among others. 

Quick Read

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List of Oldest Companies in India Year-Wise

Here is the list of the oldest companies in India (year-wise) including the top 5 mentioned above: Company NameYear Established Wadia Group1736 State Bank of India1806 RPG Group1820 Aditya Birla Group1857 Bombay Burmah Trading Corporation1863 Shapoorji Pallonji Group1865 Allahabad Bank1865 Nestlé India1866 Tata Group1868 Dabur India Ltd.1884 Kirloskar Group1888 Delhi Cloth & General Mills1889 Britannia Industries1892 Punjab National Bank1895 Century Textile and Industries1897 Godrej and Boyce1897 CESC Limited1899 Keshav Bhikaji Dhawale1900 Bengal Chemicals and Pharmaceuticals1901 Shalimar Paints1902 The Indian Hotels Company1903 City Union Bank1904 Phoenix Mill1905 Hamdard India1906 National Insurance Company1906 Canara Bank1906 Bank of India1906 Alembic Pharmaceuticals Ltd1907 Tata Steel1907 Bank of Baroda1908 Swan Racing1909 Apeejay Surrendra Group1910 Lakshmi Mills1910 ITC1910 TVS Group1911 Central Bank of India1911 The Bangalore Press1916 Birla Corporation1919 CSB Bank Limited1920 Kansai Nerolac Paints1920 Ingersoll Rand India1921 Berger Paints1923 SmithKine pharmaceuticals1924 Balmer Lawrie and Co.1924 Karnataka Bank1924 Raymond Ltd1925 Syndicate Bank1925 Bajaj group1926 Hindustan Construction Company1926 Lakshmi Vilas Bank1926 Dhanlaxmi Bank1927 Boroline1929 VST Industries1930 Arvind (company)1931 Bata Shoes1931 Bajaj Hindusthan1931 Travancore Federal Bank1931 Vijaya Bank1931 Dalda1931 Punchiri Boat Services Private Ltd1932 ISGEC1933 Eveready Industries India1934 Cipla1935 Godfrey Phillips India1936 Haldiram's1937 Colgate-Palmolive India1937 Crompton Parkinson1937 Tata Investment Corp1937 Indian Overseas Bank1937 Larsen & Toubro Limited1938 Bajaj Electricals1938 J. K. Organisation1938 Dena Bank1938 Jammu & Kashmir Bank1938 Tata Chemicals1939 Bijeram Dedraj Oil Mills Pvt ltd1940 Fairdeal corp ltd1940 Haldiram's1941 State Bank of Hyderabad1941 Blue Star Limited1943 BASF India1943 Tata Coffee1943 Oriental Bank of Commerce1943 United Commercial Bank1943 RBL Bank1943 Escorts Group1944 Bajaj Finance1944 Asian Paints Ltd1945 Mahindra & Mahindra1945 Tata Motors1945 Western India Vegetable Products Limited(Wipro)1945 Selvel publicity and consultancy1945

In Closing

In this article, we covered a list of the oldest companies in India that are still in business today. Taking a look at the oldest companies and their past is a history lesson in itself. Moreover, these conglomerates are a testament to India’s entrepreneurial spirit.

Let us know what you think of the oldest companies in India list in the comments below. And which current Indian startup can last for the next two hundred years according to you. Happy Reading!

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