These Are The Stocks That Went Public Before Independence

As India gears up to celebrate its Independence Day, it’s a time to reflect not only on the strides the nation has made politically and socially but also on the economic front. The journey of India’s growth is intertwined with the stories of some of its oldest companies, pillars of industry that have stood the test of time, weathered storms, and contributed to the nation’s development.

In this article, we take a look at five of the oldest listed stocks on Asia’s oldest exchange, the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), companies that were established during the British era and have continued to thrive in the modern age.

1. Bombay Dyeing Company

One of the oldest companies in India, Bombay Dyeing Company is also one of the earliest listed companies on the Bombay Stock Exchange. As per exchange data, the Wadia Group company was listed on the BSE in 1937. Established by Nowrosjee Wadia in 1879 as a small operation of Indian spun cotton yarn dip dyed by hand, today, with a market cap of over ₹2,000 crore Bombay Dyeing has grown to be one of the most respected and trusted brands in the country.

2. Britannia Industries

Everybody’s favourite biscuit brand, Britannia is also one of India’s first listed stocks. As per the BSE website, the stock was listed before 1900. Established in Kolkata in 1892, Britannia, another Wadia Group company. is a household name in India, and one of the country's leading food products companies. As per the company’s website, it started with an investment of ₹295. Today, with a market cap of over ₹1 lakh crore it is one of the country’s biggest FMCG (fast-moving consumer goods) companies.


Calcutta Electric Supply Corporation Limited is one of India’s first electricity distribution companies. The RP-Sanjiv Goenka Group company’s first thermal power plant was commissioned in 1899. The company also provided electricity to Viceroy Lord Curzon’s Government House in Calcutta (now Kolkata). As per the available data, CESC was also listed before 1900. Today, the company has a market cap of around ₹10,000 crore.

4. Century Textiles

Century Textiles & Industries was established in Mumbai in 1897. The Aditya Birla Group company was however also founded by Nowrosjee Wadia, it came under the Birla Group in 1951. The company had a turnover of ₹5 lakh in 1899. Today, the company with a market cap of over ₹11,000 crore, has hands in cotton textiles, Pulp and Paper and Real Estate.

5. Tata Group

One of the countries and the world’s most iconic business houses, the Tata Group has two iconic companies that were listed before India’s independence. Tata Steel and Tata Power were both listed before India got its independence. Today both these companies are market leaders, and together they have a market cap of over ₹2 lakh crore.

Editor’s Note: Artificial intelligence was used as a secondary aid in the writing of this story.

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Posted In: EquitiesEducationMarketsGeneralBombay Dyeing CompanyBritanniaCentury TextilesTata GroupTata PowerTata SteelWadia Group