Founded by two Scotsmen, George Stephen Balmer and Alexander Lawrie, in 1867 in Kolkata, India, Balmer Lawrie & Co. Ltd. (BL) started as a Partnership Firm on 1 February 1867. Today Balmer Lawrie is a Mini-Ratna I Public Sector Enterprise under the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, Government of India, with a turnover of ₹2895 crores and a profit of ₹234 crores as of March 31, 2016. It became a Private limited company in 1924 with a Paid up share capital of ₹40 lakhs, a Public limited company in 1936 and then a Government of India Enterprise in 1972.
Along with its six joint ventures in India and abroad, today it is a conglomerate with a presence in both manufacturing and service sectors. BL products include steel barrels, industrial greases, specialty lubricants, corporate travel and logistics services. It has a presence in performance chemicals and logistics infrastructure.
It is the largest manufacturer of steel barrels in India. The company is headquartered in Kolkata, and has offices throughout India and in Bedford in the UK.