Google, Amazon, Facebook, Tesla, Apple… When we think of the most successful companies in the world, we usually think of the tech companies that dominate half the world today. But there are also other companies that have been successful for more than 100 years and have been able to adapt to the markets of completely different times.
These companies, more than a century old, survived at least the Second World War, several deep crises, dictatorships, technological changes that threatened their activity … and in the case of the Spaniards, a civil war that led to a period of many difficulties .
6 companies with more than 100 years of success
Danone (1919). Isaac Carasso started selling his first fermented yoghurts in Barcelona in 1919 as a solution to many children’s digestive problems. Initially, the factory was located in the Raval district. Danone only lasted 10 years in Spain. In 1929, Carasso founded the Parisian Yogurt Society and decided to move his factory to the French capital. Although it had to change its name due to several mergers, it regained the original Danone in 1994, which it retains today.
Letipharma (1919). In the same year as Danone – and in the same city – Dr. Pedro Domingo Sanjuan the Experimental Laboratory of Immunogenic Therapeutics (leti). The laboratory was the first in continental Europe to introduce penicillin in 1946 and was also authorized by the WHO to produce a flu vaccine in 1960. Today, its headquarters are still in Barcelona and it has laboratories and factories in Madrid, as well as offices in Germany and Portugal.
General Electric (1878). Outside of Spain, General Electric is one of the oldest companies in the world. Founded in 1878 in the United States by Thomas Alva Edison, it is one of the 12 companies that began trading on the Dow Jones Index in 1896. At this time, General Electric has more than 300,000 employees in 17 countries around the world.
Coca-Cola (1892). Asa G. Candler paid $100 in 1892 for the rights to the recipe for the world’s most famous soft drink. In its 128-year history, the company had to overcome great difficulties. In addition to the world wars, Coca-Cola had to endure repeated legal battles related to copies of its formula. The group currently has 450 brands in 200 countries.
UPS (1907). Before Amazon had an idea, UPS started delivering its packages to homes across the United States. The company achieved very rapid growth, although the wars seriously affected its activity. In recent years, the company has been able to adapt to technological changes and enter the e-commerce sector, where it has package tracking systems that make a difference in its sector.
Nikon (1917). But not all century-old companies are American or Spanish. On the Asian continent, in Japan, Nikon saw the light of day in 1917 as a merger of three optics manufacturers. Only four years later he produced his first binoculars and a microscope. But his real fame came from World War II when his cameras became popular around the world.