A renowned industrialist, Ghanshyam Das Birla (1894-1983) - GD Birla as he is popularly called - was an intimate companion of Mahatma Gandhi
. His major contribution to the country is the founding of Birla Group of Industries which consists of businesses from petrochemicals to textiles. In the beginning, he had to face several obstacles from the British and Scottish companies. However, he emerged a winner at the end and went on to become a pioneer in the industrialization of the country. Apart from being an industrialist, Birla was a visionary and a freedom fighter. He is also credited with the establishment of several educational institutions such as Birla Engineering College and Central Electrical and Electronics Research Institute.