Godrej was the first Asian company who produced their first manual typewriter machine (godrej prima typewriter).The company was owned by the Godrej family (Ardeshir Godrej and Pirojsha Burjorji Godrej) and it was founded in 1897. The production started in the 1950s, back then in India the typewriter was considered a symbol of industrialization and the people that worked on the machine were only Indians engineers. But for India, the typewriter was something more than just a machines, for them it was a sign that something is changing in good, a sign of education or professional achievement. The beauty of the typewriter was the fact that opened the door in labor market for women, that started to be independent and slowly entering as a new force work.
Their first machine was made in 1950, had 1,800 components and it the production had incredible complexity because the M-9 model (the first one) had so many pieces. It was very hard to start a business when American Remington typewriter had the complete monopoly of the market. Even though the start was very difficult, somehow by the end of the year 1980, Godrej succeeded on selling 50 typewriters a year and that represented their golden age sales. Their influence was so big that they even sold their typewriter machines in Indonesia, the Philippines, Morocco and they managed to manufacture typewriters that were capable of writing in 40 languages.
But in this century a typewriters machines can’t match a laptop/PC speed and utility, so the company had to stop the production of these typewriters machines in 2011. Even though the computers started dominating the market from early 200, Godrej somehow managed to produce almost 12,000 machines per year. They were the last company in the world that resisted that much and that were manufacturing typewriters.
They still have around 200 machines left in the stock. If you want to collect them, to write at one, or maybe just to touch a living history object, you can still buy godrej prima typewriter if you contact them, but be careful because almost all of the machines are Arabic language models and only a few in English. You can find this kind of machine at Rs 300 to Rs 7,000 and is something it is broken the replacement pieces can be found easily. Various sites sell these machines today and if you will want to buy online, it’s better to take protection measurements not to buy a false one.
Godrej work did not stop at typewriters and it was a surprise to all. He used his influence and money to build schools, dispensaries, and even homes for his employees and their families because he likes to take care of his employees and he respected them. He still continues to invest in education, medical system, and healthcare and he had even developed a school and a business campus in Vikhroli township of Mumbai that was specially made for the children of his employees.
Godrej prima typewriter was a symbol for India, a symbol that helped the country to grow. Even though the production of these machines was cut off, we are sure that no one will ever forget about them. They are a part of history now, the living proof that a big change comes from little things.