1940- the seed of our institutional business group sewn by our visionary founder Lt Shri K.L. Gupta as Banaras Bead Mnf. Co. (Varanasi – Banaras – The Holy City).
He partnered the company cordially with his younger brother Lt Shri. Banarsi Das Gupta until 1962
Rewinding to 1938 – Despite being from an affluent textile trading business family, son of Shri Ram Ghulam Gupta and grandson of Shri Sawai Seth, a prominent landlord & financial advisor to the princely Dholpur state of Rajasthan, he still had that urge & fire to do something different, something that could generate a lot of jobs, to create something that he could showcase to the world, learn something that was untouched during that period.
He was heared, Mr. and Mrs. Heinrich from the Czech Republic were invited in 1938 by the state of Varanasi in India to come and teach local people to make lampwork beads. This lead to the development of a glass beadmaking program at the Benaras Hindu University that lasted from 1938 to 1962.
He was taught to make lampwork beads at the age of seventeen, and started his company quickly after that without any any financial help from his family. The very passion made him travel to the remote interiors of the region trying to convince the poorest of the poor to make their life better by learning bead making and working with his Company. He constructed glass furnaces for raw material, bought lamp machines for final bead making, kept teaching people the Art.
At first, most beads were made for the local market. The beads were often sold at temples and foreign tourist spots. The Europeans travellers used to get mesmerised seeing how their age old legacy of bead making was being carried forward in this part of the world. Quality & craftsmanship kept getting better volumes kept increasing and there was no looking back.
He was on his own, he was one of those early students who would later on grow to develop one of the largest production companies of glass beads in the world as Banaras Bead Mnf. Co. (1940) & to be known as the father of beads manufacturing in India.
1962 – Later on, the company expanded their range and their market to pan india and kept growing organically
1970 – Sold beads to domestic merchant exporters, while his three sons learned this business the hard way from ground zero making sales for the company by being on foot across length & breadth of India.
1971- They (Ashok Kumar Gupta, Ajit Kumar Gupta & Raj Kumar Gupta) formally joined the business full time
1973 – Made first export to UK & Germany through Indo German Chamber of Commerce. Now, the world was the playing field for these highly motivated & hard-working brothers. They started travelling extensively across the globe. The environment was new and very tough but nothing deterred them. They generated so much international business in four years that the company ranked highest in Handicraft exports.
1975 – the company was incorporated as Banaras Beads Pvt. Ltd. with three brothers as Directors & our founder as Chairman.
1977 – received highest export award from our the then honourable President Shri B.D. Jatti on 16th July 1977.
1977-1990 – Business multiplied organically with shear hard work, determination, innovation & extensive travelling across the world. During this period Ajit Kumar Gupta went on to establish the second largest seed bead factory in Asia incorporating Japanese technology while the other two brothers Ashok Kumar Gupta & Raj Kumar Gupta took the company to a new tangent by manufacturing & exporting hand made beads, components and other handicraft products from India fetching & honouring the company with over 32 National Awards by the Government of India in addition to another highest export award in 1983 by the then honourable president of India Shri Gyani Zail Singh.
1991 – the company went public as Banaras Beads ltd. Apart from current business the family got involved in philanthropy and social work through Ram Ghulam Kanhaiya Lal Charitable Trust, constructed women’s colleges, hospitals, bhawans to help and support the people of certain section of the society.
1995 – Got listed on National Stock Exchange.
2001 Onwards – diversified into their own fields of expertise independently keeping the institution still united. We have had our triumphs & disappointments, more agreements than disagreements just like any other family business but we stand as phratry to carry forward the legacy.
Currently the group’s businesses are being steered into new dimensions adapting new technologies & innovation by the third generation with the fourth learning the ropes & getting geared up for new challenges and goals.
Every aspect of the organisation has been very dynamic all these decades with one constant – “Soulful Handcraft” Made in India
We have had arguably the largest selection of beads (over 500,000 designs) in the world and over 70,000 in fashion jewelry & accessories
Today, we sell all kind and materials of beads, components & fashion jewelry around the world across all related sectors of the industry. Our types of beads include lampwork beads, handpainted beads, seed beads, molded beads, wooden beads, bone beads, faceted beads, copper, horn etc. The group has been a major driving force in the development of new techniques, and the adaptation of (mostly) European techniques to methods suitable for Indian beadmakers. Apart from the lampwork beads and the chevron beads, methods for making molded glass beads from thick glass rods, the production of seed beads and several other ways to make glass beads have found their way to India through explorations of three generations of the GUPTA family. At the height of the group’s success, the beads, handicrafts & fashion jewelry business provides work and socio-economic empowerment to over ten thousand people and artisans in the northern belt of India.