In India, as in many other erstwhile colonies of Great Britain, Exide batteries were imported for many years before the Chloride Electrical Storage Company (CESCO) was finally set up in 1916. It started only as an assembling and manufacturing facility and the first manufacturing unit was set up in Shamnagar in 1947. This marks the momentous entry of Associated Battery Makers Eastern Limited (ABMEL) in the Indian industrial scenario.
For road vehicles, ABMEL's principle brands were Exide and Dagenite (used by Rolls Royce) but the Company was changing its course on other tracks too. Exide "Iron Clad" batteries powered the Railways and in 1963, following the Chinese aggression, the company doubled its production of special defence batteries. The same year saw the manufacture of large stationery batteries for railway track electrification.
The rapid rate of expansion is seen with the establishment of a second factory in 1969 at Chinchwad, Maharashtra to cater to the growing demand for automobile batteries and was strategically established near automobile Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs).