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Amazing history of world's top companies

Last updated on: September 4, 2012 08:56 IST

Image: A shopping mall food court in Huancayo city in Peru's central Andes.
Photographs: Stringer/Reuters

Some of the world's biggest and most well-known companies started out in very unusual ways.

Let's take a look at the origin of these famous brands.

Source: CNBC


Tags: CNBC

Amazing history of world's top companies

Image: Visitors walk by a Tiffany and Company Store at Santa Monica Place in Santa Monica, California.
Photographs: Phil McCarten/Reuters

Tiffany & Co

Origin: Started out as a stationery store

Present: Tiffany & Co is a luxury American multinational jewellery and silverware corporation, with headquarters in New York City. Tiffany sells jewellery, sterling silver, china, crystal, stationery, fragrances, personal accessories, as well as some leather goods.

Tiffany is renowned for its luxury goods, especially for its diamonds: diamond jewelry, and especially its diamond engagement rings.


Amazing history of world's top companies

Image: Luvs Diapers, a Procter and Gamble product, are displayed on a shelf in a store in Alexandria, United States.
Photographs: Molly Riley/Reuters

Procter & Gamble

Origin: It started out as candle and soap maker

Present: Procter & Gamble is an American multinational consumer goods company headquartered in downtown Cincinnati, Ohio, US. Its products include foods, beverages, cleaning agents and personal care products. In 2011, P&G recorded $82.6 billion in sales.

Fortune magazine ranked P&G at fifth place of the 'World's Most Admired Companies' list, which was up from sixth place in 2010.


Amazing history of world's top companies

Image: Nokia employees arrive for a personnel briefing in Oulu, Finland.
Photographs: Lehtikuva Lehtikuva/Reuters


Origin: Paper mill

Present: Nokia is a Finnish multinational communications and information technology corporation headquartered in Keilaniemi, Espoo, Finland. Its principal products are mobile telephones and portable IT devices.

It also offers Internet services including applications, games, music, maps, media and messaging through its Ovi platform, and free-of-charge digital map information and navigation services through its wholly owned subsidiary Navteq.


Amazing history of world's top companies

Image: One of Raytheon's Integrated Defence buildings is seen in San Diego, United States.
Photographs: Mike Blake/Reuters


Origin: Refrigerator maker

Present: Raytheon Company is a major American defence contractor and industrial corporation with core manufacturing concentrations in weapons and military and commercial electronics.

It was previously involved in corporate and special-mission aircraft until early 2007. Raytheon is the world's largest producer of guided missiles.


Amazing history of world's top companies

Image: A view of the Dupont logo on a sign at the Dupont Chestnut Run Plaza facility near Wilmington, Delaware, United States.
Photographs: Tim Shaffer/Reuters


Origin: It started out as an explosives company

Present: EI du Pont de Nemours and Company, commonly referred to as DuPont, is an American chemical company that was founded in July 1802 as a gunpowder mill by Eleuthere Irenee du Pont.

DuPont was the world's third-largest chemical company based on market capitalisation and ninth based on revenue in 2009.


Amazing history of world's top companies

Image: Avon products are seen at a Grameen America open house at St John's University in New York.
Photographs: Eric Thayer/Reuters


Origin: Bookseller

Present: Avon is a US-based, personal care manufacturer and seller company in over 140 countries across the world. Avon had annual sales of $10.8 billion worldwide as of 2010.

It is the fifth-largest beauty company and largest direct selling enterprise in the world, with 6.4 million representatives.


Tags: , US

Amazing history of world's top companies

Image: Cases of Coca-Cola, which will be delivered to stores, are seen in a warehouse at the Swire Coca-Cola facility in Draper, Utah, United States.
Photographs: George Frey/Reuters


Origin: It was a fragrant, caramel-coloured liquid and carbonated water was added to it later

Present: Coca-Cola is a carbonated soft drink sold in stores, restaurants, and vending machines in more than 200 countries.

Originally intended as a patent medicine when it was invented in the late 19th century by John Pemberton, Coca-Cola was bought out by businessman Asa Griggs Candler, whose marketing tactics led Coke to its dominance of the world soft-drink market throughout the 20th century.


Amazing history of world's top companies

Image: A man views silverware at the Savoy Hotel in central London. Photo is for representation purpose only.
Photographs: Toby Melville/Reuters

Oneida Silverware

Origin: It was born out of a religion/cult in Oneida, New York

Present: Oneida is one of the world's largest marketers of stainless steel flatware, and offers a complete range of tabletop products. Its operations in the United States, Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom and Australia market stainless, silverplated, and sterling flatware products, china dinnerware, and crystal and glassware items.

The company originated in a utopian community established in the mid-nineteenth century, and has had a strong reputation for quality since that time.