History & Milestones

History

The name Berger or Lewis Berger is today synonymous with colour worldwide. But actually the origin of the name dates back to over two & a half centuries in England in 1760, when a young colour chemist named Lewis Berger, started manufacturing in Europe, 'Prussian blue' using a secret process that every designer and householder coveted. Mr. Berger perfected this process & art of the blue colour, which was the colour of most military uniforms of that time. Enriched by the imagination of Lewis Berger, the unending quest for creation and innovation in the world of colour & paints still continues.

The history of Berger Paints India Limited as a company started in 1923 as Hadfield's (India) Limited which was a small colonial venture producing ready-mixed stiff paints, varnishes and distempers setup on 2 acres of land in one of India's first industrial towns close to Kolkata in Howrah, Bengal. Subsequently in 1947, British Paints (Holdings) Limited, an international consortium of paint manufacturing companies bought over Hadfield's (India) Limited and thus the name changed to British Paints (India) Ltd. The gentleman who took over, as its first managing director was Mr. Alexender Vernon Niblet, an Englishman who was later on followed by Mr. Alfred Godwin in 1962.

Further in the year 1965, the share capital of British Paints (Holdings) Limited was acquired by Celanese Corporation, USA and the controlling interest of British Paints (India) Ltd was acquired by CELEURO NV, Holland, a Celanese subsidiary.

Subsequently in 1969, the Celanese Corporation sold its Indian interests to Berger, Jenson & Nicholson, U.K. Then onwards the company British Paints (India) Ltd became a member of the worldwide BERGER group having its operations across oceans in numerous geographies and this marked the beginning of Lewis Berger's legacy in India – which the company would later take forward to enviable heights. From 1973 the company entered into one of its dynamic phases of business with introduction of new generation products in the industrial, marine and decorative segments under the able leadership of its first Indian Managing Director Mr. Dongargaokar Madhukar.

Year 1976 was another turning point in the history of the company when the foreign holding in the company was diluted to below 40% by sale of a portion of the shares to the UB Group controlled by Mr. Vittal Mallya. The reins of the company were taken over by Mr. Biji K Kurien as its Chief Executive & Managing Director in the year 1980. Finally in the year 1983, the British Paints (India) Limited, changed its name to Berger Paints India Limited.

The entire 80's & 90's saw the launch of many new products from company's stable such as premium emulsions and high quality acrylic distempers. The COLOUR BANK tinting system was launched through which the consumer could select from a range of over 5000 shades.

Again the fortunes of the company changed hands in 1991 with UB Group's stake in the company bought over by the Delhi based Dhingra brothers, Mr. K.S.Dhingra & Mr. G.S.Dhingra and their associates of the UK Paints Group. Presently Dhingras' control a majority stake of almost 73% in Berger Paints India Limited, a professionally managed organization, headquartered in Kolkata, Mr. Subir Bose, a 10-year company veteran, took over as Managing Director on 1 July, 1994. Completing a challenging 18 year stint at the helm with immense success, Mr Bose retired on 30 June, 2012, handing over the reign of the company to Mr. Abhijit Roy. Today the stewardship rests with the current Managing Director Mr. Abhijit Roy.

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Milestones