Grasim Industries Ltd, a flagship company of the Aditya Birla Group, ranks among India's largest private sector companies. The company has four segments: Fibre and Pulp, Chemicals, Cement and Textiles. Fibre and Pulp segment includes Viscose Staple Fibre and Rayon Grade Pulp. Chemicals include Caustic Soda and Allied Chemicals. In cement, Grasim through their subsidiary UltraTech Cement Ltd (UltraTech), has a capacity of 52 million tons per annum. The cement segment includes Grey cement, Ready-mix concrete and White cement. Textile segment includes yarn. Their textile subsidiary is Grasim Bhiwani Textiles Ltd. The company's other subsidiaries include Sun God Trading and Investments Ltd, Harish Cement Ltd and Dakshin Cements Ltd.
The company is India's pioneer in viscose staple fibre (VSF), a man-made, biodegradable fibre with characteristics akin to cotton. The company's VSF plants are located at Nagda in Madhya Pradesh, Kharach in Gujarat and Harihar in Karnataka, with an aggregate capacity of 333,975 tpa. The company is now a global leader in viscose staple fibre (VSF), the country's largest merchant producer of sponge iron and the second-largest caustic soda maker in India.
Grasim Industries Ltd was incorporated on August 25, 1947. In the year 1950, the company started production of fabrics at Gwalior with imported man-made rayon. In the year 1954, they commenced VSF production at Nagda in Madhya Pradesh. In the year 1962, they set up of Engineering Division for plant and machinery for VSF. In the year 1963, they started composite textile mill at Bhiwani in Haryana. In the year 1968, they commenced Rayon production at Mavoor, Kerala.
In the year 1972, the company commenced production of rayon grade caustic soda for VSF production at Nagada. In the year 1977, the company started production at their third rayon plant at Harihar in Karnataka. In the year 1985, Vikram Cement, the company's first cement plant went on stream at Jawad in Madhya Pradesh. In the year 1987, they commenced second production line of Vikram Cement. In the year 1991, they added the third production line of Vikram Cement.
In the year 1992, the company set up Birla International Marketing Corporation (BIMC), a merchant exporter. In the year 1993, they commissioned Vikram Ispat, India's third largest gas-based sponge iron plant. Also, they set up Birla Consultancy & Software Services to provide IT consulting services and for software development.
In the year 1995, the company commissioned two greenfield cement plants namely, Grasim Cement at Rawan in Chattisgarh and Aditya Cement at Shambhupura in Rajasthan. In the year 1996, they commissioned the fist phase of the company's fourth VSF plant at Kharach in Gujarat. In the year 1999, the company's viscose staple fibre (VSF) and rayon grade pulp units at Mavoor were closed down owing to lack of raw material.
In the year 1998, the cement business of Indian Rayon and Industries Ltd, a group company was demerged and transferred to the company. Also, the company in association with Timbec Inc set up a joint venture company namely, Atholville Pulp Mill at Canada. In the year 2000, the company set up the Lawson Competency Centre as a division of Birla Consultancy & Software Services, the software arm of Grasim, following a tie up with Lawson Software (USA).
In the year 2001, the company demerged the Consultancy and software service into a separate entity, namely Birla Technologies Ltd. They commissioned four Ready-Mix Concrete plants with an aggregate capacity of one million cubic meters. In October 2002, the company acquired 10% stake in L&T and increased their stake to 15.3%.
In the year 2002, the company divested Gwalior textiles unit and the textile operations were consolidated at Bhiwani to manufacture 'Grasim' and 'Graviera' brands. Also, Dharani Cements Ltd merged with the company. The company set up VSF Research & Application Centre at Kharach in Gujarat. In the year 2004, the company acquired the controlling stake in UltraTech CemCo Ltd (now UltraTech Cement Ltd). In the year 2005, the company acquired St. Anne Nackawic Pulp Mill, Canada with Tembec Inc.
In the year 2006, the company formed a joint venture company, Birla Jingwei Fibres Company Ltd. Also, they acquired VSF plant in China. In the year 2007, the company divested their share in Shree Digvijay Cement Company Ltd. They transferred textile units at Bhiwani to a subsidiary company, Grasim Bhiwani Textiles Ltd. Also, they commissioned eighteen ready-mix concrete plants. In the year 2008, the company commissioned brownfield expansion at Aditya Cement at Shambhupura (Rajasthan).
During the year 2009-10, the company completed their ongoing cement expansions and commissioned the 3.1 million TPA grinding capacity at Kotputli, Rajasthan. In May 22, 2009, the company hived off their sponge iron business by way of slump sale. As per the scheme of arrangement, the cement business of the company was demerged into Samruddhi Cement Ltd (Samruddhi), a subsidiary of the company with effect from October 1, 2009. Concurrently, Samruddhi Cement Ltd was amalgamated with UltraTech Cement Ltd with effect from July 1, 2010.
During theyear 2010-11, the company acquired 1/3rd stake in Aditya Holding AB, Sweden, a leading manufacturer of specialty pulp used in the manufacture of VSF, which acquired Domsjo Fabriker AB (Domsjo), Sweden, at an enterprise value of Swedish Kroner (SEK) 2.12 Billion (approx. Rs 1,570 crore).
In September 2010, UltraTech completed acquisition of ETA Star Cement Company LLC comprising of 2.3 million TPA clinker facility and grinding units of 2.1 million TPA in UAE, 0.4 million TPA in Bahrain and 0.5 million TPA in Bangladesh. With this acquisition, UltraTech gained direct access to the markets in the Middle East and neighbouring regions. Consequent to this acquisition, UltraTech's capacity stands augmented at 52 million TPA. In August 2011, the company acquired Aditya Birla Power Ventures Ltd and thus Aditya Birla Power Ventures Ltd became a subsidiary company.
The company is setting up a 120,000 TPA Greenfield VSF plant at Vilayat, Gujarat, at an investment of Rs 1,700 crore. In addition, the capacity at Harihar (Karnataka) will be raised by 36,500 TPA through a brownfield expansion at a cost of Rs 449 crore. In line with their strategy of resource de-risking critical inputs, the company will also establish a Caustic Soda plant at Vilayat with a capacity of 182,500 tons.