Naval Pirojsha Godrej, fondly known as Naoroji, was an instrumental force in the development of Godrej Group to an industrial powerhouse. Naval Pirojsha Godrej was Mr. Pirojsha Godrej’s son and Ardeshir Godrej’s nephew, who was the famous founder of Godrej Group.
Driven by the determination and dream of creating an independent industrial country, Naval Pirojsha Godrej was an ardent believer of the slogan “Make in India”. Additionally, he pioneered an all-Indian manufacture of numerous products including machine tools, refrigerators, forklift trucks, and typewriters. Naval’s lack of any formal education did not limit him from pursuing his curiosity. He possessed a keen observation and a desire for the machines. As a self-taught individual, Naval Pirojsha Godrej gained fame for his mechanical ingenuity, with his organic affinity for machinery, which led him to the development of Godrej Tool Room, in addition to the initiation of domestic products that were manufactured. The progression would go to make Godrej Group a trustworthy and reputable household name.
The Godrej Group was responsible for a number of diverse operations in India, ranging in various sectors such as consumer products, appliances, real estate, agricultural products, industrial engineering, and security. Godrej Group also owns various affiliate and subsidiary companies including Godrej Industries, with its subsidiaries, such as Godrej Agrovet, Godrej Consumer Products, and Godrej properties. The conglomerate also held Godrej & Boyce, a private holding company.
In 1940, Naval pioneered India’s industrialization, in a period before the country’s independence. He rose to the challenge machinery during a period when the India could not import equipment. The creator was responsible for the discovery of India’s first power press, which weighed 35 tons. He also led the manufacture of various machine metals tools, including metal-creating and machine cutters.
In 1995, Naval manufactured India’s first typewriter that required skilled artistry and highly specialized machinery. He had initially identified the requirements for its creation in 1846, but the war restricted him from obtaining raw material that could only be imported.
While steadily building a household name for Godrej Group, Naval was determined to aid Indian households to access all possible modern conveniences. In 1958, Godrej was able to produce a Model 9, 230-volt refrigerator, measuring to 7.3 cubic feet. Later on, in 1962, Godrej Group, which had been manufacturing its refrigerators using imported GEC compressors, began to manufacture hermetically sealed compressors.
For Naval, he viewed the 50s and 60s as a period of India’s transformation, manifested through not only the introduction of new locally manufactured products but also the tapping of global markets. Contributing to the Indian economy and Godrej Group, in 1961, Naval added the forklift truck to his portfolio, which weighed 2.25 tons. By 1963, the forklifts were ready to spread into the global market, with its breakthrough coming in 1977. In this year, Godrej secured its first export order, enabling it to trade its forklift trucks to Russia, owing to Naval’s ingenuity, as he signed the agreement.
Godrej also pioneered the group into performing various philanthropic activities in India such as building dispensaries, schools, and residential complexes for its employees. The trust generated by Godrej continued as the group further invested in various sectors of the Indian economy including healthcare, education, and the uplifting of the country’s underprivileged.