Over six decades back two young men set out on a journey together armed with little beyond intelligence, business acumen and determination and dreams aplenty. They believed that India could only achieve total freedom with a breakthrough in the field of agriculture and mechanization would have to rule the fields. Their youthful enthusiasm had kindled the hope that one day they would make a mark of their own. They were in fact writing the first chapter of what has come to be widely recognised as one of the greatest success stories in Indian industry.
Escorts came into being with a vision. A vision that eschewed easy paths to profitability, and sought instead for ways to make a contribution. A vision that led two young brothers, Yudi and Hari Nanda, to branch out of their family's prospering transport business and institute ventures that were to become the foundations of Escorts Limited. On 17th October 1944, Escorts Agents Limited was born at Lahore (now in Pakistan) with Mr. Yudi Nanda as Managing Director and Mr. Hari Nanda as Chairman. It was a trend¬setting marketing house driven by the same business philosophy, which had given their family enterprise an unrivalled reputation: customer concern. Not long afterwards, this driving ambition to go beyond the expected led Hari Nanda to the first of his many successful business insights - the discovery of the great business potential that lay in India's villages. This led to the launch, in 1948, of Escorts (Agriculture and Machines) Ltd., with Yudi Nanda as Director. Though separate business entities then, both companies had two great strengths in common: the dynamic Nanda brothers and the unifying force of the name they gave their companies; Escorts, literally 'escorting' their products and services to the customer while most other businessmen were just selling.
Tragically, Mr. Yudi Nanda died in an accident in 1952 - but his spirit remained embedded in the foundations of the company. Mr. H P Nanda then took on the mantle to realise the dreams which he had always seen with his brother.
Escorts (Agents) Ltd., and Escorts (Agriculture and Machines) Ltd. merged in 1953 to create a single entity -Escorts Agents Pvt Ltd. Having initially started with a franchise for Westinghouse domestic appliances, by this time the Company had already expanded its marketing and service operations, representing internationally known German and American organisations such as MAN, AEG, Haniel & Leug, Knorr Bremse, MIAG and BMA for sophisticated electrical and mechanical engineering equipment and Minneapolis Moline and Wisconsin for agricultural tractors, implements and engines. Escorts made a major thrust into the agricultural arena by taking on the marketing and service franchise for Massey Ferguson tractors in Northern India, which soon comprised 75% of MF's all-India sales - a signal tribute to Escorts' inherent strengths. Its first industrial venture came up in 1954, in partnership with Goetzewerke of Germany for the manufacture of piston rings and cylinder liners - followed by production of pistons in collaboration with MAHLE, also of Germany, in 1960. The company's incorporation in its present name, Escorts Limited, was effected on 18th January, 1960. Escorts' next major industrial activity was the assembly of tractors in 1961 in technical cooperation with URSUS of Poland. Subsequently this led to the manufacture of the country's first indigenous tractors under Escorts' own brand name, which were to play a pivotal role in the Green Revolution. This went on to lay the foundations that even today are the Company's core strengths -relevant, world-standard technology through strategic international alliances; a broadbased marketing and service network yet unrivalled; powerful symbiotic relationships with suppliers and dealers; and above all, the crusade to make a difference.
Beyond the growth of the organisation, these principles have ensured that Mr. H. P. Nanda's contribution to the cause of industry and the consumer will endure. He pioneered the revolutionary concept of 'interdependence' between ancillary and large industries, institutionalising vendor development and in the process building Faridabad and the entire belt of townships in the region. He introduced the discipline of service going before marketing, reassuring the customer that Escorts would stay with them, that they were here for the long run. He built lasting alliances with an array of the world's most respected names in tractors, industrial equipment, two-wheelers, construction equipment and telecommunications. Going further, he created institutions devoted to value engineering and training, not only as investments in the company's future but also as catalysts for the enhancement of Indian industry as a whole ¬Knowledge Management Centre and the unique Escorts Training and Development Centre (ETDC). His concern extended to the society in which he worked, and he manifested it by establishing the Escorts Medical Centre at Faridabad, Escorts Heart Institute and Research Centre at New Delhi, as well as numerous village development programmes. And above all, he imbued the corporation with his own pioneering, entrepreneurial spirit, instilling both a conscience and a vision of leadership.
Escorts is testimony to the valour, vision and values of its Founder Mr. H P Nanda. He remains the inspiration for our courage, spirit of adventure and ability to ‘Think Big’. These qualities are his enduring legacy and have inspired and encouraged us down the decades and will continue doing so in all our endeavors