Story Title: Poonawala Family

By Husein Chunawala
Word Count: 462

Dr. Cyrus Poonawala

The Poonawala family in Pune is well known for a number of reasons. For horse racing and the Turf Club on the one hand; fabulous cars, including stretch limousines (very long luxury cars with many windows) on the other hand; and the world of business as well. Headed by Dr. Cyrus Poonawala, this is one of Pune's most famous and most loved families.

Dr. Cyrus Poonawala is Chairman of the Poonawala Group. He and his brother Zavaray started the Serum Institute of India in 1966. The company manufactures serum, which is used to make vaccines. A vaccine is a type of medicine which prevents sickness.

Serum Institute specialises in pediatric vaccines (vaccines for children) and launched their first anti-tetanus serum within two years. (You may have to take an anti-tetanus injection if you cut yourself with a metallic object). In 1974, they introduced the DTP vaccine which protects children from a disease called diphtheria. During the Swine Flu epidemic of 2009, the government turned to the Serum Institute to produce a vaccine.

Located in Hadapsar, Serum Institute of India also exports a large amount of its production. By the year 2000, half of the children in the world were being vaccinated by Serum Institute's vaccines.

As a young man, Dr. Cyrus Poonawala was ambitious. At the age of 20, he realized that horse racing was not a career where he could meet his ambitions. So first he experimented with building sports cars. But soon he realised that he did not have enough money to open a car factory. And so he ventured into making vaccines.

The Poonawala family has strong ties with India's horse racing & breeding industry through the Poonawala Stud Farms. (A stud farm is a farm where horses are bred.) The Poonawala Stud Farms came up with the well-known horse race, the 'Poonawala Breeders Multi- Million'. Dr. Cyrus Poonawala has been Vice Chairman of The Asian racing Federation and has also been the Chairman of the Royal Western India Turf Club.

Today, Dr. Cyrus Poonawala is a rich man – he is considered to be the 10th richest person in India. He studied at The Bishops School, and went to BMCC (Brihan Maharashtra College of Commerce) in Pune. Dr. Poonawala belongs to the Parsi community and he is a Zoroastrian by religion.

Dr. Poonawala was awarded with Padma Shri award in 2005 by the Indian Government for his contribution to the field of medicine and was also awarded a Ph.D by the Pune University in 1988. He is a generous person, who gives a large part of his earnings to various charities. In fact, there is a school near Pune which is named after him. His son Adar now looks forward to stepping into his shoes.


Story Title: Kalyani Family

By Akshay Sharma
Word Count: 453

Baba Kalyani

Kalyani is one of the most prominent names of Pune, thanks to the Kalyani group which is one of the biggest companies based in Pune.

The Kalyani group is a privately owned group of companies in India. The main sectors (areas) in which this group is active are Engineering, Steel, Automotive and Non-Automotive Components, Renewable Energy & Infrastructure. Some of the bigger companies in this group are Bharat Forge, Kalyani Steel, Kalyani Carpenter, Kalyani Hayes Lemmerz, Kalyani Thermal, Hikal Chemicals and BF utilities etc.

The Kalyani Group was set up in the 1960s by Neelkanth Kalyani. His son Babasaheb Kalyani (fondly referred to as Baba Kalyani) is the current chairman of the group. The group currently has more than 10,000 employees. Their headquarters are located in Pune. The group also has a presence in countries such as Germany, Sweden and other nations as well.

The first company of the group was Bharat Forge, which Mr. Neelkanth Kalyani set up in 1961. This company is now the flagship company (main company) of the Kalyani Group and is the second largest ‘forgings’ company in the world. Bharat Forge has nine manufacturing plants in India, Germany, Sweden, USA, Scotland, China and United Kingdom. Baba Kalyani is one of the more famous personalities of Pune. He was born in 1949 in Pune. He studied at the Rashtriya Military School, Belgaum and BITS, Pilani. He then went to America and studied at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA.

He joined Bharat Forge in 1972, when it was still quite a small enterprise. He took over as the Chairman of the Kalyani Group in 1997.

Baba Kalyani received many awards including the Padma Bhushan in 2008. He has also won the Order of the Polar Star (which is one of the highest honors of Sweden). Other awards he has won include the Global Economy Prize for Business in 2009, German Businessman of the Year, 2006, and CEO of the year in 2004. He is also the founding chairman of the NGO Pratham, which works towards providing education to the underprivileged children. His son, Amit has joined the group and is currently serving as the Executive Director of the Kalyani group.

Amit Kalyani did his schooling in Pune and then earned a mechanical engineering degree from Bucknell in Pennsylvania in USA. Amit Kalyani joined the group in 1999 as its Chief Technology Officer.

The Kalyani family family is very proud of its Marathi roots. Neelkanth Kalyani passed away in 2013, but his wife, Sulochana; Baba Kalyani's wife, Sunita; and Amit Kalyani's wife, Deekahsa make up the family. Baba Kalyani is now ranked among the fifty richest Indians by the Forbes Magazine. The family's ancestral village is Kole, in Satara district.


Story Title: Kirloskars

By Alisha D'souza
Word Count: 468

The Kirloskars

Kirloskar is a name well established over the generations in the city of Pune. For that matter, anywhere in India, if you think Kirloskar, you will think engines and generators. The story began with Laxmanrao Kashinath Kirloskar, who was a businessman and the founder of the Kirloskar Group. He was born in 1869, in a small village near Belgaum in Karnataka. L. K. Kirloskar started his life as a school teacher, but at the age of 21, he set up his first venture - a small bicycle repair shop at Belgaum. The street on which he started the shop, is today named Kirloskar Road.

Laxmanrao Kirloskar read about industrial townships in Europe and America where the owners of industries had built communities for their employees. His dream was to build his own industry and community for his employees. He realized this dream with Kirloskarwadi, a place where he started the Kirloskar Brothers Limited factory in 1910.

Mr. Kirloskar was responsible of the manufacture of path-breaking industrial implements. One of the first was the iron plough, the first Kirloskar product. Originally intended as an essential aid to farming, the plough soon became a symbol of reform and revolution. He even banned untouchability in the township that he had established at Kirloskarvadi.

L.K. Kirloskar had 3 sons named Shantanurao Kirloskar (S.L. Kirloskar), Prabhakar Kirloskar and Ravi Kirloskar. S.L. Kirloskar travelled to Pune to initiate a new aspect of the group's activities – diesel engines. The patriarch (fatherly head) of the Pune businesses, his autobiography is called 'Cactus & Roses'.

The Kirloskars comprise more than 10 different group companies. The group even runs a management college. They specialise in engineering, but also have communication & software products. The group's two largest companies are Kirloskar Brothers Limited and Kirloskar Oil Engines Limited. The Vivanta by Taj hotel in Koregaon Park was owned and run by the Kirloskars for many years before it was bought by the Taj Group. It was called the Blue Diamond Hotel.

Kirloskar Brothers Limited created the world's largest irrigation project - the Sardar Sarovar Dam project for the Gujarat Government. The company is present in many countries including Egypt. Kirloskar Brothers is also one of the first pump companies to have a plant (where they make pumps) that is operated only by women, located in Coimbatore.

Kirloskar Oil Engines Limited (KOEL) was started in 1946. It the flagship company (main company) of the Kirloskar Group. The company has offices all over the world. They are a leader in the manufacture of diesel engines and generators.

The Kirloskar group does charity as well. They support education by conducting a Clean & Beautiful School competition. They support Akanksha, a school for under-privileged children. They also conduct an International Film Festival called Vasundhara, which is based on the environment, wildlife and nature.