Incorporated as a private limited company in Apr.'80, Banaras Beads (BBL) went public in Oct.'94. Promoted by Ajit Kumar Gupta and Raj Kumar Gupta, it commenced operations by manufacturing glass beads and imitation jewellery and later diversified into woollen products in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh. BBL also diversified into handicrafts, silk and silk fabrics, fashion accessories, garments, etc. It has modernised its computer facilities to set up a state-of-the-art computer-aided designing system. BBL has been in this line for over five decades and has been exporting for over two decades (since 1970) to 2000 clients in about fifty countries. BBL has received a number of awards for excellence in exports. In Aug.'94, it was recognised by the government as a Trading House. It is the largest exporter of glass beads in India, having a market share of over 80% of India's exports. The company came out with a public issue in Feb.'95 to finance the expansion of its facilities for glass beads, imitation jewellery and woollen products. It has also created manufacturing facilities for gold and silver studded jewellery. The project was completed in 1995 (cost : Rs 35.6 cr). The company has decided to enter into joint ventures in the US and Canada. It is setting up a manufacturing unit for glass related items as a part of diversification and expansion of its current manufacturing activities.