Walchand PeopleFirst Ltd (formerly, Walchand Capital Ltd) was founded by Seth Walchand Hirachand in 1920 and is listed on the Bombay Stock Exchange. Its history spanning over 8 decades, has witnessed many exciting developments in its attempt to continually adapt to and exploit the changing business exigencies. In it's early phase of growth, the company expanded it's investments in the sectors of civil construction, pre-fabricated concrete manufacturing, heavy engineering, light engineering, automobiles, sugar and confectionery, by holding the controlling interests in these ventures. As a Group of Companies, the Walchand Group had been considered among the top business houses in India.
In order to expand its activities from a Group holding company and to take advantage of the new financial trends, the company also commenced its own leasing and financing operations in the 80's.
With changing business circumstances on account of the liberalisation and globalisation in the early 90's, the Group decided to restructure its various businesses in separate undertakings in order to insulate businesses from each other. In 1994, the first phase of restructuring took effect when the company divested its holdings in the automobile and heavy engineering companies. This enabled the company to substantially expand its Balance sheet and to strengthen it further by clearing all its long-term liabilities.
The company, since 1994, was engaged in short-term corporate financing. It is a registered NBFC, enjoying a rating for adequate safety, and had successfully launched its fixed deposit schemes and retail finance operations. However, the new Reserve Bank of India guidelines had a restrictive impact on the prospect of growth in these operations and the company took a strategic decision to withdraw from its fund-based activities. The company had also received certification from SEBI as Category 1 Merchant Banker. The Company had also subsidiarised its securities trading operations wherein it holds the Pune Stock Exchange card and the OTCEI broker card. During the recessionary phase since 2001 the company strategically reduced its exposure in the financial services industry.