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Sir Basant Kumar Birla

Basant Kumar Birla - Kolkata 2009-05-02 0066.jpg
Born (1921-01-12)12 January 1921
Died 3 July 2019(2019-07-03) (aged 98)
Nationality British Indian (1921–1947)
Indian (1947-2019)
Citizenship Indian
Education University of Calcutta, (Bsc)
Years active 1942-2019
Agent Businessman, Educationist
Known for Industrialist
Height 1.88 m (6 ft 2 in)
Title Chairman of Birla Group
Predecessor Ghanshyam Das Birla
Successor Aditya Vikram Birla
Spouse(s) Sarla Birla (1942-2015)
Children Aditya Vikram Birla, Jayshree Mohta, Manjushree Khaitan
Parent(s) Ghanshyam Das Birla
Relatives Kumar Mangalam Birla (Grandson)
Ananya Birla (Great Grand Daughter)
KK Birla (Brother)
Awards Padma Bhushan
Order of the Holy Trinity
Order of Menelik II
B. K. Birla

Basant Kumar Birla (12 January 1921 – 3 July 2019) was an Indian businessman of the Birla family. He was chairman of the Krishnarpan Charity Trust, BK Birla Institute of Engineering & Technology (BKBIET) and various educational trusts and institutes.


Birla, the youngest son of philanthropist Ghanshyam Das Birla, was born on 12 January 1921. By fifteen years of age, he was already actively associated with a large number of companies and eventually became the chairman of Kesoram Industries. In this role, he concentrated on the industries of cotton, viscose, polyester and nylon yarns, refractory, paper, shipping, tyrecord, transparent paper, spun pipe, cement, tea, coffee, cardamom, chemicals, plywood, MDF Board, etc.

In 1959, he established the Indo Ethiopian Textiles Share Company, which was the first major joint venture by any Indian industrialist. In response, the Emperor of Ethiopia, Haile Selassie I, awarded him the medal of the Order of Menelik II, the highest Ethiopian award.

On 13 April 1942, he married Sarla, the daughter of activist and writer Brijlal Biyani, after having been introduced to each other by Jamnalal Bajaj and Mahatma Gandhi in 1941. They had a son, Aditya Vikram Birla and two daughters, Jayshree Birla and Manjushree Birla.

He was the chairman of the Krishnarpan Charity Trust, which runs an engineering college named BK Birla Institute of Engineering & Technology in Pilani, Rajasthan, the Swargashram Trust, which administers a Sanskrit school in Rishikesh. He also established Birla Public School in Qatar and the Birla College of Arts, Science & Commerce in Kalyan near Mumbai. He is the author of several books, including an autobiography entitled Svantah Sukhaya.

Birla died on 3 July 2019, at the age of 98.

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