Naval Godrej Achievements
A fellow with a difference, Naval Pirojsha Godrej (1916-1990), fondly known as Naoroji, was born on 3 December 1916. He was just three years old when his mother passed away, with the death of his mother, he and his siblings were sent to Karachi to be taken care of by their grandmother. Naval studied at St. Patrick’s School, and St. Mary’s High School in Karachi, he was curious more about mechanical things which his Father Pirojsha saw and allowed him to visit the Factory during holidays.
He joined the business as soon as he graduated from high school, although he did not have any college education, he was a fellow who wanted to learn and has a keen sense of observation and also loves machines. He always worked hand in hand with other factory workers instead of sitting on his desk. From so doing he gained knowledge of engineering and manufacturing and also respect from workers and peers.
Naval’s interest and love for engineering and manufacturing, particularly when it comes to machines, led him to develop and introduce the following to the Godrej Manufacturing Group;
- The Tool Room and Machine Tools
This was the first machine that he built, the opportunity came during the time of war when the Godrej group could no longer import the machines needed as a result of the war. This challenged Naval Godrej to creating a path-breaking line of machines, amongst which was the first 35-tonne power press. He also played a key role in the making of metal forming & machine tools and cutting machines during the war.
- The First All-Indian Typewriter
There have been other typewriters manufactured before Naval’s, He was able to start his typewriter manufacturing in the early 1950s after the war. However, he was able to introduce the First All-Indian Typewriter in 1955. It also took several more efforts for Naval to be satisfied with the Keys of the typewriter. They were soft touch keys and this feature made the job of a typist easier. The Godrej typewriters were a success.
- The Refrigerator Manufacture
After Naval Godrej made the typewriters, he developed a more keen interest to give Indians convenience in their homes. He was able to manufacture the First India 230 Volt Model 9 refrigerator, which has a capacity of 7.3 cubic feet. Naval when further to manufacturing hermetically sealed compressors which he used for the refrigerators instead of the GEC compressor unit he had been importing.
- Manufacturing of Indigenous Forklift Trucks
Godrej also introduced Forklift trucks in India. In 1963, Forklift trucks of 2.225 capacity were completely produced and ready for market. The Forklift trucks were of good quality and were able to land Godrej a first export order for the forklift trucks from Russia.
- Partnering with Indian Space Research Organisation the Process Equipment Division (PED) used for fabricating equipment by process industries was formally established in 1976. With the expertise of the tool room and his support, they were able to consider venturing into space. They were able to get their first satellite manufacture order, in 1986. Godrej Aerospace began Fabrication and supply of Vikas Engines for space programmes
Naval Godrej was not a college graduate, though learned but he was able to create a name and success for himself and the people of India. One should have someone like him as a role model and be inspired by his story to make a difference.