Jaipur: Renowned industrialist Basant Kumar Birla who breathed his last on Wednesday is being mourned in the Shekhawati region of Rajasthan where he hailed from by people who remember him as a man of words and values.
“B.K. Birla was a man of his words who left a strong business legacy and stories of inspiration. We have learnt a lot from his success stories of doing business which are still being shared by people of Pilani, Jhunjhunu, Sikar and Churu,” says Mahesh Choudhary, Chairman, Saraswatii Global Private Limited.
He recalled a phrase which is famous in the Shekhawati region and continues to echo among the walled ‘havelis’ of the region – “Durgo, Murlo and Taro, Baki Sab Garo” (where Durgo stands for renowned businessman Durgaprasad Roongta, Murlo stands for another industrialist Murlidhar Dalmia and Taro stands for business tycoon Tarachand Sahu).
All three of them were the ones whom 98-year-old Birla trusted the most when they were working with him and hence came the phrase in a local dialect which means these three are the best while the rest are just ordinary, recalls Choudhary, adding that he has grown up hearing this phrase in the Shekhawati region.
“This is one of the most famous phrases in our region which also symbolises the far-reaching vision of Birla. He announced three of them were the best and later all three grew by leaps and bounds in their respective business entities which they formed,” he added.
“My father, Sant Kumar Gadia had worked under B.K. Birla in Manju Shree Textiles in Ahmedabad (now closed) where he used to tell his employees that Shekhawati once had nothing but vast spread of sand all around,” says Naresh Gadia, a resident of Shekhawati region who heads a division in a private entity in Jaipur.
“Hence people there had to struggle hard to make gold out of sand (“Matti se sona banaya hai Shekhawati ne”). Had they not done it, there was nothing they could have done there, with only sand all around. Hard work can make one convert sand into gold, he often used to say.”
Major industrialists namely G.D. Birla, L.N. Mittal, Goenkas, Singhanias, Bajajs and several others belong to the Shekhawati region who later migrated to different parts of the world.
The Birla family hailed from Pilani in Jhunjhunu district. The son of renowned industrialist G.D. Birla, B.K. Birla established technical institutes like Birla Technical Training Institute (BTTI) and B.K. Birla Institute of Engineering and Technology, Pilani (BKBIET) in Pilani to ensure that students from rural backgrounds get connected to the technical world.