Legacy - The Birla Group

Syt. B. K. Birla

Late Basant Kumar Birla
(12 January, 1921 - 3 July, 2019)

Late Basant Kumar Birla was the youngest son of late Syt. G.D. Birla. He was married in April 1942 to Late Sarala Biyani, daughter of late Syt. Brijlal Biyani, who was one of the most important political and social workers of Berar. Late Basant Kumar Birla had one son – Aditya Vikram who expired in 1995 and has two daughters – Jayashree Mohta and Manjushree Khaitan.

Business Activities:
 

Since the age of 15 years, Late Basant Kumar Birla had been actively associated with a large number of Companies under the management of Messrs. Birla Brothers Private Limited. Since 1936, he had been the Chairman of Messrs. Kesoram Industries & Cotton Mills Limited – one of the biggest industrial units in Bengal. Syt. Birla himself had started many new industries in various fields such as Cotton, Viscose, Polyester and Nylon Yarns, Refractory, Paper, Shipping, Tyrecord, Transparent Paper, Spunpipe, Cement, Tea, Coffee, Cardamom, Chemicals, Plywood, M.D.F. Board etc.

In 1959, Late Basant Kumar Birla established the Indo Ethiopian Textiles Share Company, which was the first major joint venture by any Indian industrialist in a foreign country. In response, the Emperor of Ethiopia, Haile Selassie I, awarded him the medal of the ‘Order of Menelik II’, the highest Ethiopian award of the then Emperor.

Late Basant Kumar Birla was an ardent lover of music, art, literature, sports and photography. Many of his photographs have been exhibited in several countries and some of them have been awarded medals and certificates of merit. His collection of Indian Art (including the collection of Birla Academy of Art & Culture) is amongst the best private collections in India.

Late Basant Kumar Birla shouldered heavy responsibilities of managing and guiding various organisations during his tenure. He was the Chairman of Swargashram Trust, Rishikesh. Apart from this, he had also been the Chairman of the following important Companies:

 

  • Jay Shree Tea & Industries
    Jay Shree Tea & Industries
  • Kesoram Industries Limited
    Kesoram Industries Limited
  • Century Enka Limited
    Century Enka Limited
  • Century Textiles & Industries Limited
    Century Textiles & Industries Limited

In addition to his industrial activities, Syt. Birla has made notable contributions through his social and institutional activities.

Late Basant Kumar Birla was associated as Governor or Trustee with the following Institutions and took active part in their working:

  • Birla Institute of Technology & Science, Pilani
  • Birla Education Trust, Pilani
  • BITS, Bhiwani
BIMTECH, Top B School in India

Following educational institutions had been established by Late Basant Kumar Birla and Late Sarala Birla in which they continued to take personal interest.

  • Birla Institute of Management Technology (BIMTECH), Greater Noida
  • Birla Vidya Vihar Trust, Calcutta
  • Birla Sanskriti Trust, Calcutta (3 schools)
  • Birla Vidya Mandir, Nainital
  • Birla Vidya Niketan, New Delhi
  • G.D. Birla Memorial School, Ranikhet
  • Ashok Hall, Ranikhet
  • Birla Technical Training Institute, Pilani

Medical Institutions:

  • TB and General Hospital in Ranchi
  • Several outdoor dispensaries
  • Birla Pediatric Clinic in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Miscellaneous

  • Mahadevi Birla Mangal Niketan – This is a home for the senior citizens – capacity 72 persons. The foundation and the inaugural ceremonies were very kindly performed by late Syt. Jyoti Basu.
  • Mahadevi Birla Kalyan Mandapam Civic Center in Calcutta – provides facilities for marriage functions, lectures, discourses, meetings and other social activities.
  • Dharamshalas and Guest Houses - About fifteen Guest Houses have been built for pilgrims at various holy places.
  • The Temple of Understanding, Calcutta - Late Basant Kumar Birla had been actively associated with this institution since its inception in 1960. The purpose of the Temple of Understanding is to foster education, communication and understanding among the world religions. Under his guidance the Temple of Understanding held a World Spiritual Summit Conference in Calcutta in October 1968 in which more than 120 religious and spiritual leaders from more than 20 countries participated. He was one of the sponsors of similar World Spiritual Summit Conference in Geneva (in 1970) and in New York (in 1971) in which a very large number of religious and spiritual leaders participated.
     

Institutions devoted to music, dancing, painting, other fine arts and literature:

  • Swar Sangam - Calcutta, Schools for dance, music, paintings etc.
  • Sangit Kala Mandir Trust - Calcutta, Owns two fully air-conditioned auditoriums having seating capacities of 1100 and 375.
  • Birla Academy of Art & Culture, Calcutta - Established in 1964 to promote visual arts, culture, literature and other fine arts. The Academy, in its ten-storied building, overlooking the famous “Rabindra Sarobar” in Calcutta, possesses a unique collection of ancient Indian sculptures, miniature paintings, bronzes, textiles, terracotta etc. There is also a gallery of International Modern Art. 30/35 programmes covering different fields of fine arts, literature, lectures, discourses on religious and spiritual subjects, etc. are being held by this institution every year.

Awards

Apart from the Ethiopian award, the following two awards have also been conferred upon Late Basant Kumar Birla:
  • “Officer in the Order of Organge Nassau” by the Netherlands Government.
  • “Officer in the order of the Crown” by the Belgian Government.

 

FOLLOW US