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December 26, 2012

Shalimar Paints - Prominent name in paint industry

India's oldest companies and their success stories- "Shalimar paints".

Guess what could be the similarity between the Parliament and Rashtrapati Bhawan in the Capital city of Delhi, the Howrah Bridge Link in Kolkata and the Royal palace of Nepal? Yes, all these landmarks have been painted using Shalimar Paints. Started in as early as 1902 by two British entrepreneurs A.N. Turner and A.C. Wright as Shalimar Paints Colour and Varnish Ltd., the history of the company truly outlines the history of evolution Paint industry in not just India, but in and around the entire belt of South East Asia. Shalimar Paints is one of the oldest paint companies in India.

Origin and History

Shalimar paints was incorporated in India, on December 16 1902 by A.N Turner and A.C. Wright, under the name of Shalimar Paints Colour and Varnish Co. Limited. Their prime objective was to expand the goodwill and assets of paints, colours and varnishes to Shalimar Works Limited in Shalimar and Goabaria districts of West Bengal. They succeeded in taking over the reins of the business. But, to begin with they did not have the basic raw materials to start manufacturing paints. So, they started importing their raw materials from the then “superpowers of the world”, USA and Europe. As a matter of fact, even when the World Wars had severely influenced the importing routes and routines of the company, it still managed to produce an upward treading graph for paints in the domestic market. For about a decade, Shalimar paints was the only company to own the legal rights of mining their own raw materials.

Seeing the upward trending graph, several other multinationals too had the urge to plant manufacturing units in India, particularly in cities in and around Kolkata. These companies included Elephant Oil Mills, Good lass Wall, British Paints and Jenson & Nicholson among several others. Soon, the spiking graph of Shalimar Paints attracted many wealthy business men and multinationals. They eyed Shalimar Paints are a golden opportunity for expanding and extending their business in India. Thus, many multinationals wooed Shalimar for buyouts. Finally in 1928, the change of ownership took place. Shalimar paints was now owned and run by a UK based multinational Company, Pinchin Johnson & Associates. They made it a part of their parent company, “Red Hand Composition Company”.  On April 1, 1954; the word “Private” was added to the company name as per Section 24, of the Companies’ Act of 1956. On May 27, 1961 the company became a public limited company .By now; Pinchin had governed the company for about thirty six years, till 1964 when Pinchin’s Red Hand composition was taken over by the International Paints Plc. Later, the name of the company was changed to Shalimar Paints limited on September 1, 1966.

So now, Shalimar was under two multinational companies, and by now had cast an eminent footprint in the paint industry. It became the first company to set up a large-scale unit for paint manufacturing in India. It gained access to high end technology which was mainly required for Industrial coating and brushing segment. This widened the horizons of Shalimar industry, exploring the newer fields of aviation, marine coating, and thermal power plants and many others. The range of products had broadened and the production had gone up like a shooting star.

In the year 1971, about 1 lakh shares were issued as a bonus, which increased to about seven times in the following year. Out of the 7 lakh and twenty thousand shares, about forty one thousand shares were reserved for cash subscriptions by Indian Employees, while more than three lakh seventy thousand shares were put at par for public subscriptions. In 1973, the problems surfaced with the FERA (Foreign Exchange Regulation Act) regulation as majority of the company was owned by foreigners, which eventually a switch to a change in ownership hands.

In 1989, the company was sold to the Hong-Kong based S.S. Jhunjhunwalas group, which was popular for its real estate and hospitality establishments and the O.P. Jindal Group who had steel as their major field of interest. They decided to jointly manage and rein over the company. By now, Shalimar Paints had done a great deal of research and development in the field of paints. With the advent of the colored computers in 1986, they became an important and indispensible part of the industry. In the following decade the company had set up a manufacturing plant at Igatpuri, near Nasik (Mahararashta).

It went through a great struggling and challenging time in the year of 1997, with trades falling down. From then on, they never looked back. From the year 2000, the demand went up with the increased boon in the fields of housing and infrastructure. In 2003, it established a new plant in Sikanderabad, near Delhi. Most recently, in April 2012, the Chennai plant came into operation.


On December 14, 2002; Mr. AV Lodha was appointed as the Director of the Company on the occasion of the 100th Annual General Meeting of the company, with Mr. S. Sarda, being the Vice President of Finance & Company Secretary.  With 2003 being a year of surprises, Mr. S. Sarda resigned from his designation and was appointed as the “President Corporate Affairs” and the “ Company Secretary” , effective from May 31,2003. Later, in 2005, Mr. Purjit Agarwal was appointed as the Additional Director of the company from July 25, 2008.  Presently, Mr. S. l Agarwal has been managing the reins of the company, as the Managing Director. Mr. Rattan Jindal is the promoter director, who represents the Jindal Group on the board. The Jhunjhunwala Group is represented by Mr. Girish Jhunjhunwala, who is also a promoter director on Board.

Future Vision

Currently Shalimar Paints has a base revenue of approximately Rs. 400 crores, which is not as big as the aim they are chasing. Asian Paints leads the market with base revenue of Rs.6000 crores. Many multinational organizations are still trying to woo Shalimar for a buyout. A change of hand of reins is certainly a big possibility, which cannot be eliminated.

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I have been writing for almost 3 years now for various clients