Dalmia Group

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The Dalmia Group of Companies came into existence in India in the early 30s as the Dalmia-Jain Group. Founded by Ramkrishna Dalmia, with the assistance of his younger brother Jaidayal Dalmia and his son-in-law Sahu Shanti Prasad Jain, the group’s activities included banks and insurance companies, newspapers and publishing houses, aviation and railway companies, electric supply companies, collieries, a motor car company, biscuits, cement, chemicals, distilleries, dairy products, jute, paper, plywood, paints, refractories, sugar, textiles and others.

The Group’s greatest contribution to national development was in the emergence of the Indian cement industry. Entering this area in 1936 as a challenge to the monopoly of one powerful combine, the ACC Ltd., the Group set up several cement factories. Reflecting the geographic expansion of the group and its presence in each corner of the country, cement factories were set up in Dalmianagar (Bihar, North-East India), Dalmia Dadri (Haryana, North India), Dandot (West Punjab, now in Central Pakistan), Dalmiapuram (Tamil Nadu, South India), Karachi (Sind, now in South Pakistan), Rajgangpur (Orissa, East India) and Sawai Madhopur (Rajasthan, North-West India).

In 1943, the Group established the Bharat Bank Ltd., which on the basis of authorised capital, became the biggest bank of its time. Later it acquired controlling interests in the Punjab National Bank and in the Times of India group of publications. At the time, the Dalmia companies together ranked third among India’s major industrial groups after the Tatas and the Birlas. In the automotive sphere, one company of the Group, Allen Berry & Co. Limited, purchased the entire lot of American surplus disposal vehicles, numbering about 500,000, after World War II. This company ran vast workshops in various parts of India till the 1950s when it was disbanded.

The Dalmia (Rajasthani: डालमिया (Devanagari))) Family traces its roots to a town in Rajasthan, known as Chirawa. Traditionally, the Dalmias belong to the community loosely known as Marwaris, a term commonly used to denote businessmen hailing from the Shekhawati region of Rajasthan and neighbouring districts of Haryana. Though Marwar is a geographical region and former kingdom in Rajasthan, the term Marwaris gained coinage as a description of the business community from Shekhawati rather than an indication of geographical origin.

Dalmia as a surname originated from a place name in Haryana but the Dalmia people have now spread to many regions of India and abroad. No longer restricted to trading, they follow other professions as well in modern times. The Dalmia Family, or the Dalmia Group, usually refers to the blood-line and businesses of those who descended from Ramkrishna Dalmia and Jaidayal Dalmia - industrial pioneers and the first prominent businessmen to emerge on a global scale from the community.

Today, the family and its relatives have interests, among others, in media, industrial explosives, cement, magnesite, sugar, olive and other edible oils, leisure resorts and hotels, refractories, castings, cigarettes, soda ash, textiles, rigs and drilling equipment, non-conventional and renewable energy and services such as inbound tourism, business process outsourcing, software development and financial services.

Total turnover of these companies exceeds US$5 billion

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