But it all began with an iron plough. India’s first iron plough, shaped by us. An iron plough that would go on to not only become an instrument of wealth for the entire nation, but to kick-start an industrial revolution. The plough was the first of many engineering innovations in India and the products that followed comprise of India's first centrifugal pump, first diesel engine, first lathe and so on.
“Dedication, hard work and effort are a reflection of the creation of wealth and resources. For their efficient distribution, they have to be first created.”
It all began with Laxmanrao Kashinath Kirloskar. In 1888, he set up a small bicycle repair shop at Belgaum on a road that was later named after him. What followed made history. From manufacturing India’s first iron plough to founding the township of Kirloskarwadi in a hitherto barren sect of land to advocating for the rights of untouchables, Laxmanrao Kirloskar was a remarkable man with a storied life. But at his core, he was an entrepreneur with a love for machines and a passion for making tools that made the lives of his fellow man easier. Today, that passion is still the bedrock of the Kirloskar legacy.
“I never wanted to be an industrialist. Our goal was to start a movement to make our country a strong, industrial nation.”
SLK, as he was popularly known, was one of the first Indians to graduate from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He built on his father’s foundations by taking what was until then a small company, and turning it into a giant of industry with branches across the world. Never to be swayed by anything made abroad, SLK had a unique and immense faith in the innate ability of Indians to produce world class products fit for all manner of applications. For his immense contributions to trade, industry and the Kirloskar legacy, he was awarded the Padma Bhushan in 1965.
A third-generation visionary, who carried forward the Kirloskar legacy of his grandfather and father, Chandrakant Kirloskar had large shoes to fill. He did so with aplomb. His belief that sustained growth was only possible through self-reliance proved to be an important cornerstone of Kirloskar as it grew to become an industrial conglomerate.
He always gave paramount importance to research and development activities which, according to him, were the backbone of all engineering. The processes and systems he set up were widely emulated across the globe. A fitting tribute to a true legend.
It’s been a long and wonderful journey and the main constants have been our integrity, our innovation and our wonderful customers.