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Indian firms' legacy through generations

India Dispatch: The lowdown on some of the biggest Indian businesses to have kept the family flag flying high.

The lowdown on some of the biggest Indian businesses to have kept the family flag flying high.

Reliance Industries

Reliance Industries was founded by Dhirubhai Ambani as a small textiles company. Annual revenues are in excess of US$66 billion (Dh242.42bn). The group's businesses span exploration and production of oil and gas and retail. Mukesh Ambani, the son of the founder, is the chairman and chief executive of Reliance Industries and is the largest shareholder.

Aditya Birla

The roots of the group date back to the 19th century in the Rajasthan desert, where Seth Shiv Narayan Birla started trading in cotton, laying the foundation for the group.

The group's founding father, Ghanshyamdas Birla, set up industries in sectors including textiles, fibre, aluminium, cement and chemicals in the early 20th century. His grandson, Aditya Vikram Birla, took the company global.

The Aditya Birla Group, now a $40bn corporation, is the world's largest aluminium rolling company and one of the top 10 cement producers globally and also has interests in the IT and financial services sector. The current chairman is Kumar Mangalam Birla, who took over the role in 1995 at the age of 28 following the death of his father, Aditya Birla.

Tata group

The foundations for the Tata group were laid by Jamsetji Tata as a private trading firm in 1868. It is now made up of more than 100 companies across seven sectors, with a turnover of more than $100bn. Each Tata company operates independently. Two-thirds of the equity of Tata Sons, the Tata holding company, is held by philanthropic trusts.

Essar Group

Founded in 1969 by the Ruia brothers Shashi and Ravi, the Essar Group began operations with the construction of an outer breakwater in Chennai port and over the years it expanded into the shipping, steelmaking, oil, and telecommunications sectors.