An inside view of India’s pencil business and the four families that control it

An inside view of India’s pencil business and the four families that control it

The humble pencil was the simple solution that Three Idiots’ Rancho gave for the complex riddle of how to write in zero gravity. For about six centuries, the pencil has left its indelible mark as an all-weather writing instrument, after the accidental discovery of hard graphite at a nondescript Lake District village in England led to the commercial production of what would become the least inexpensive — yet must-have — item on modern desktops. Perhaps the instrument’s continuity as a stationery item was never in doubt. But when the mobile…

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