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How Big Names Started

When the founders of the German sports shoe business 'Dassler Brothers' went their separate ways in 1949, no one would have guessed that they would start two of the biggest global brands of the century. Rudolph founded Puma, while Adolph started Adidas -- a combination of his nickname, Adi, & the start of his last name. The famous three stripes were introduced to the shoes in 1949.

Bata was established on August 24, 1894 in Zlin, Czechoslovakia by Tomas Bata. The company first established itself in India in 1931 & commenced manufacturing shoes in Batanagar in 1936. The Batanagar factory is the first Indian shoe manufacturing unit to receive the ISO 9001 certification in 1993.

In 1931, Ferdinand Porsche founded the Porsche Engineering Office in Stuttgart. Porsche's production operations are housed in a collection of established buildings on a mixed industrial estate in Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen. The Carrera GT & the Cayenne models are produced at the Porsche factory in Leipzig. In 1944, the engineering arm was moved from Stuttgart.

Bill Bowerman, the legendary University of Oregon track & field coach, & Phil Knight, a University of Oregon business student & middle-distance runner under Bowerman, founded Nike. Nike, when it came into being in 1962, was known as Blue Ribbon Sports. Its first-year sales totaled $8,000. In 1972, BRS changed its name to Nike, named for the Greek winged goddess of victory.

In the 1890s, Joseph William Foster made some of the first known running shoes with spikes in them. By 1895, he was in business making shoes by hand for top runners; & before long his fledgling company, J.W. Foster & Sons, developed an international clientele of distinguished athletes. The family-owned business made the running shoes worn in the 1924 Summer Games by the athletes celebrated in the film Chariots of Fire. In 1958, two of the founder's grandsons started a companion company that came to be known as Reebok, named after an African gazelle.

Sun Microsystems
The correct answer is Stanford University Network. In 1981, Bavarian-born Andreas Bechtolsheim was licensing rights to a computer he designed. Named Sun for Stanford University Network & using off-the-shelf parts, it was an affordable workstation for engineers & scientists. In that year, he met Vinod Khosla, who convinced him to form a company & expand. Khosla, Bechtolsheim & Scott McNeally, all Stanford MBAs, founded Sun in 1982.

Nipper the dog was born in Bristol in Gloucester, England in 1884 & was so named because of his tendency to nip at visitors' legs. When his first master Mark Barraud died in Bristol in 1887, Nipper was taken to Liverpool in Lancashire, England by Mark's younger brother Francis, a painter. In Liverpool Nipper discovered the Phonograph, a cylinder recording & playing machine & Francis Barraud 'often noticed how puzzled he was to make out where the voice came from.' Three years after Nipper died Francis committed that memory to canvas.

General Motors Corp the world's largest vehicle manufacturer, employs about 325,000 people globally. Founded in 1908, GM has been the global automotive sales leader since 1931. GM today has manufacturing operations in 32 countries & its vehicles are sold in 192 countries. In 2003, GM sold nearly 8.6 million cars & trucks, about 15 percent of the global vehicle market. GM's global headquarters are at the GM Renaissance Center in Detroit. The GM Group of global partners includes Fiat Auto SpA of Italy, Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd., Isuzu Motors Ltd. & Suzuki Motor Corp. of Japan, which are involved in various product, powertrain & purchasing collaborations. In addition, GM is the largest shareholder in GM Daewoo Auto & Technology Co. of South Korea. GM also has technology collaborations with BMW AG of Germany.

TCS was founded in 1968 as an internal arm of the Tata conglomerate. The company -- which has locations in 32 countries -- employed some 30,000 workers at the end of 2003. Fakir Chand Kohli, former deputy chairman of Tata Consultancy Services, is universally regarded as the father of the Indian software industry. He has been instrumental in scripting the success story of company. Kohli has been awarded the Padma Bhushan, one of India's highest civilian honours, for his contribution to the Indian software industry. Kohli currently serves on the TCS' executive committee.

Mont Blanc
Mont Blanc has been known for generations as the maker of the best writing instruments the world has known. The German company, over the last couple of years, has expanded its range to include writing accessories, luxury leather goods & belts, jewellery items & even eye wear & watches. In India, the company is represented by Entrack, owned by former Test cricketer Dilip Doshi. Entrack is the sole distributor of Mont Blanc pens & has exclusive outlets in top five cities in India. The correct answer is Simplo FillerPen Company. The company was originally called Simplo FillerPen Company. The company expanded its presence to Paris, London, & Barcelona three years after it was founded & was present in most of the fashionable capitals of Europe. In 1934, the company's name was changed to Mont Blanc Simplo GmbH, after the tallest peak in Europe. Three Germans founded the company in 1906 -- Hamburg-based stationer Claus-Johannes Voss, Hamburg banker Christian Lausen & a Berlin engineer Wilhelm Dziambor. The company's international headquarter is in Hamburg.

The story of Duracell begins in the early 1920's with an inventive scientist named Samuel Ruben & an eager manufacturer of tungsten filament wire named Philip Rogers Mallory. Duracell is the world's leading manufacturer & marketer of high-performance alkaline batteries. Duracell also markets primary lithium & zinc air batteries as well as rechargeable nickel-metal hydride batteries.

Air Deccan
Bangalore-based Air Deccan has struck a deal with RK Laxman, India's most famous cartoonist, to use his legendary 'Common Man' character as the airline's mascot. The mascot exemplifies the fact that air fares are so low now that air travel is no longer the privilege of the elite few but is very much within the reach of the 'common people

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