Our History: Defines Us Today and for the Future

  • Gyanendra Nath "Gan" Banerjee was a passionate and progressive nationalist. He was raised by his mother who was far ahead of her time--in 19th century India, she was educated, literate in four languages, and a social activist. Gan Banerjee grew up with a fiercely independent soul. Bucking the traditional legal profession of his illustrious uncles, he sought a career in the sciences, first as an educator and subsequently, as a purveyor of the finest scientific instruments.

    Gan Banerjee always believed in being competitive against the best in the world with the best technology and knowledge. Before the dawn of large-scale manufacturing in India, he traveled to Europe and the U.S.A to seek out partnerships with illustrious companies like Carl Zeiss, Bausch and Lomb, and others. He was internationally renowned--along with Nobel Laureate Sir C.V. Raman, he was one of only two Indian members of the Optical Society of America in 1938. And he was friends with the great Indian scientists of the day--the great physicist Meghnad Saha always stayed with Mr. G.N. Banerjee in his small apartment whenever he visited Bombay.

    Seeking better opportunities, Gan Banerjee moved from his home town of Allahabad to Bombay in the 1930s. However, the British occupation of India stifled his dreams and aspirations through oppressive anti-competitive policies. Multiple entrepreneurial ventures were thwarted by the British for various—most often trivial--reasons. Yet he persevered. In 1941, he railed against the British policies as the Secretary of the All India Manufacturers conference. He rallied his compatriots, envisioning the day, not too far in the future, when India would be independent and would need the entrepreneurial spirit of its people to start and drive the economic engine of the new nation. Despite his advancing years and failing eyesight, the fire of passion continued to burn bright.

    At the age of 55 (an old man in the India of that time), Mr. Ganendra Nath Banerjee started Gansons on August 19, 1947--just four short days after independence--to initially manufacture and distribute laboratory and other equipment. Given his age and family obligations, people thought he was crazy, but they underestimated his will. With the help of his wife and young children, he started off manufacturing laboratory equipment.

    The first Indian-manufactured Bunsen burner was made by Gansons. As was the first laboratory gas plant, the first ampoule cutter, the first kitchen cooking burner. He wore fine suits to sell his products, but had no hesitation to put on shorts and pick up his tool box to service what he had sold. He knew his products would get better because he was committed to the pursuit of perfection. But the seeds of Gansons' commitment to the highest service and support standards were established early. "Don't leave until the client's problem is solved" was a key philosophy that Gan Banerjee implanted in his team through his actions.

    Gan Banerjee was joined in the early days by his oldest son Mr. Arun Banerjee and Mr. M.H. Joshi. Mr. Arun Banerjee supervised Gansons' first manufacturing facility established in the Lalbaug area of Bombay. Mr. Joshi was a key member of the team, rising from his entry as a low-level technician to the Works Director of Gansons before his retirement. In Gansons history "Joshi Kaka" as he was known by all was one of the "Gan" sons.

    Mr. Arun Banerjee pioneered the field of mineral processing equipment for Gansons in the 1950s. This business unit was later spun off as Mineral Process Equipment Pvt. Ltd. in 1966. Today, this company, MPE is headed by Mr. Dhruv Banerjee (the son of Mr. Arun Banerjee) and is still considered the leader in mineral processing equipment--when a client has a particularly difficult mineral processing problem and he needs a machine that will work, he calls MPE.

    In 1956, at the request of his father, Gan Banerjee's second son, N.N. "Nilu" Banerjee gave up his Ph.D. studies at Imperial College in London (shortly before completion) to join his father. With his background in Chemical Engineering, he steered Gansons towards the manufacturing of larger equipment to meet the needs of India's emerging process manufacturing industries. As India grew, so did Gansons--quickly establishing a reputation for the best Indian-made equipment for industries such as chemicals, fertilizers, food, beverages, personal care products, pharmaceuticals and others.

    But being the best Indian-made was never the goal for Gansons. We strove to benchmark ourselves against the best in the world and pushed the boundaries of what we did. We were the first to make dough mixers, and planetary mixers. We were the first to manufacture with stainless steel in India.

    In order to be the best, we had to pursue perfection. And for this we pursued knowledge of the core subjects--so we learned mixing, and processing, and other key areas, so we could perfect and improve our products. Our products had to perform in difficult working conditions in India, enduring various problems yet deliver great efficiencies and durability while at a price point that was a good value to our customers. It was this pursuit of perfection that gave us our reputation as the best in India.

    Mr. G.N. Banerjee passed away in 1971 at the age of 80 and was succeeded as the head of Gansons by N.N. Banerjee.

    N.N. Banerjee continued the development of Gansons. As his father did, he looked for new technologies and products to accelerate the development of the Indian industry. Being dissatisfied with the pace of indigenous technology development in India, in the 1970s, N.N. Banerjee sought out unique partnerships with international leaders to bring innovative technologies to the Indian market.

    In 1973, Gansons became one of only three global licensees of Nautamix B.V. of Holland. The Nauta processors, well known in international markets for their superior performance and application versatility--were now available in India. Today, the widest range of Nauta processors is still manufactured by Gansons (the license passed to Gansons) and Gansons is considered the go-to company for its knowledge and ability to solve complex processing problems.

    N.N. Banerjee pursued other partnerships as well--Gist Brocades (Holland), Gelman Sciences (U.S.A.), Ama Filter (Holland). Some of these partnerships were far ahead of their time for the needs of the Indian market. But, we continued to pursue the best when we thought it could benefit our customers.

    Mr. Ashis Banerjee, joined Gansons immediately after his college education. Starting his career as an apprentice, he worked his way up the organization learning each technology and each client--so even today he deals with each client with a thorough knowledge of their needs and offering the best value solution to address those needs.

    As N.N. Banerjee aged, Ashis Banerjee took on greater corporate responsibilities succeeding N.N. Banerjee as Managing Director.

    Under Ashis Banerjee's leadership, Gansons developed a strong position as the leading supplier of pharmaceutical solid dosage manufacturing equipment. Given the needs of the growing Indian pharmaceutical industry, Gansons focused on the high end of the market where clients seek products that will help them address a continually increasing set of challenges.

    Ashis Banerjee lead the development of The GansCoater, a world-class tablet coating line. He drove his team to push past existing standards to strive for product performance and durability at a value that established a new paradigm. Today, Gansons is the leading brand of choice in tablet coating equipment for clients who target the most critical markets and products. Simply put, they perform--delivering the highest ROI over their lifecycle of ownership.

    N.N. Banerjee passed away in 2013 at the age of 88.

    Upon his passing, Ashis Banerjee took on the additional role of Chairman of the Gansons Group. Not being satisfied with being the leader in coating technology, Ashis Banerjee has pursued a strategy of providing a portfolio of products that are the best-in-class for the current and the future. Gansons has developed new products from our knowledge of core unit operations and in other areas, we have formed partnerships with partners globally known for their innovative thought leadership.

    Products like the Gansons HSMG, Integrated Granulation Suite are class-leading solutions that are competitive advantages for our clients. Companies like Quadro (particle size reduction), Klenzaids (containment solutions), Innojet (fluid-bed processing), and Resodyn (acoustic resonance mixing) are the latest companies that continue the heritage of partnerships with innovative leaders.

    Gansons has responded to our clients’ continually growing new challenges with a continuous innovation program that covers all aspects of the Gansons business. The goal is to always deliver the best customer experience at each and every step.

    At Gansons, we are a family-driven business. But the family includes the entire team—some of whom have been with us for over 25 years—that is committed to delivering to the goals set by old Gan Banerjee. We hope that he looks down at this generation of his sons and is proud of what we are doing.

    No other Indian company can claim our long record of successful and sustained achievements. But most importantly, our history is relevant only as it shapes our behavior as a team and as individuals. Sifting through the sands of time, we find those timeless elements that fuel our energy for seventy years and beyond:

    Passion. Perseverance. Perfection. Pride.