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Meet man, born in Pakistan, moved to India and founded Rs 33000 crore firm, his father wanted just Re 1…

After working at several jobs in the US, Onkar came back to India in 1964 and joined his family business. After a few years, the family decided to expand to business and venture into tyre manufacturing.

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Onkar Kanwar
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Onkar Kanwar is a well known name in the Indian tyre market. He is co-founder of one of India’s most popular tyre brands Apollo Tyres which currently has a market cap of over Rs 33000 crore. While many know Onkar Kanwar as a successful chairman of Apollo Tyres, not many know about the hard work that he put in to scale the business to new heights. Onkar Kanwar is the eldest son of Apollo Tyres’ co-founder Raunaq Singh. Onkar was born in Sialkot which is now in Pakistan. His family moved to India during the partition of India and Pakistan. Onkar Kanwar moved to the US for his education and his father was running a successful pipe business in India. After working at several jobs in the US, Onkar came back to India in 1964 and joined his family business. After a few years, the family decided to expand to business and venture into tyre manufacturing.

Initially, Apollo Tyres was doing fine but it went into crisis when emergency was imposed. At that time, Onkar Kanwar’s father wanted to sell the company at just Re 1. That’s when Onkar took the charge and steered the company out of crisis and fought against steep competition, labour unrest and government policies to make Apollo Tyres a Rs 33000 crore company.

Onkar Kanwar has grown Apollo Tyres from a small single plant Indian company into a multinational with seven plants worldwide. Apart from Apollo Tyres, Kanwar also owns specialty hospitals under the Artemis brand in northern India. Kanwar was the president of Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry for 2004-05. He was also chairman of the BRICS Business Council, India which was established during the Fifth BRICS Summit held in March 2013 in Durban, South Africa.

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