Prime Minister Narendra Modi has recalled the time when he was the chief minister of Gujarat and Basant Kumar Birla, the former chairman of the BK Birla group who died on July 3, encouraged him during the inauguration of a textile plant in 2009 in Bharuch.
Basant Kumar Birla, 98, died in Mumbai.
“Right in his younger days, B K Birla learned the lessons of simplicity, humility and modest living from his father. It is well-known that Basant Kumar Birla started his journey as a junior employee at Kesoram Industries so that he can learn the ropes of business from its very basics,” Modi wrote in a condolence message to B K Birla’s grandson Kumar Mangalam Birla.
“No wonder that despite scaling the heights of success, every time I met him, B K Birla always come across as rooted, unassuming and warm. I fondly remember the times I met him, especially one particular occasion, at the inauguration of a new textile mill at Bharuch in 2009. He had personally encouraged me with warm words which have always stayed with me,” Modi said. Modi was then Chief Minister of Gujarat and is credited with attracting investments from top Indian business houses as well as from the MNCs.
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Modi said B K Birla did an excellent job of consolidating the industries and that his family was always associated with. “However, his spirit of enterprise truly shone through in the way he expanded his footprint into new domains and new geographies. That is why, I am sure BK Birla must be an extremely happy about your children expressing their talents in different domains outside the world of business,” the Prime Minister said. “He was inspired by Mahatma Gandhi and his ideals. Although he had reached the pinnacle of success as an industrialist, it was not the comfort of financial success but the goal of serving society that BK Birla was devoted towards. He went a step ahead of pursuing business outcomes and involved himself in activities related to education and philanthropy. This showed his deep concern for the empowerment and well-being for all sections of the society,” he added.
Thanking the PM for the moving tribute, Kumar Mangalam Birla, Chairman of Aditya Birla group, said Modi’s tribute will always be treasured in the annals of Birla’s family history. “Your letter serves as a reminder that his rich legacy should be celebrated every day,” Kumar Mangalam Birla said.