The Godrej Story starts with Ardeshir Burjorji Godrej (1868 �?1936). Born in Broach, he completed his schooling in Bombay at the J J Fort Boys' High School. Unwilling to twist the truth in a particular case as lawyer in Zanzibar (now in Tanzania) in 1894, he preferred to give up the profession, regardless of the consequences. Soon, Ardeshir found his calling in manufacturing. Deeply influenced by the nationalist Dadabhai Naoroji, he believed that the struggle for freedom was both political and economic. In the year 1897, Ardeshir plunged headlong into the production of ace quality locks soon to be followed by manufacture of safes and then soaps, thus laying the foundation of making Godrej a household name.
The Ardeshir Godrej Papers contain among other things a note in his own hand describing in detail how to make safes; the first newspaper interview given by a reticent Ardeshir to a correspondent of The Indian National Herald; a portrait of Ardeshir; handwritten note describing how to make soaps from vegetable oils and newspaper articles and clipping presumably maintained by him. The draft of his last Will and Testament holds a prized position in the collection.
As a flourishing industrialist he switched over to farming, setting up an agricultural colony and a farm in Nasik in Maharashtra. An entire file detailing Ardeshir's ambitious plan to develop the Nasik Farm is indicative of his genius.