Mr. Henry Gannon and Mr. J.H. Dunkerley who were in business in India from 1895, joined together in 1918 to form Gannon Dunkerley & Co., In 1924, it was incorporated as a Private Limited Company and the change in management to Indian hands took place in 1946.
Originally, the Company's activities were mainly in trading. Gradually Gannon’s diversified into Civil Engineering in the early thirties. Several bridges in South India including R.C.C. Bowstring girder bridges with own in-house design were constructed by this Company, as also aqueducts, civil engineering works for irrigation and hydro-electric projects, water works and factory buildings. The first ghat road to Tirupathi Hill was also constructed by this Company.
During the Second World War, the Company built several air fields and runways on emergency basis completing all in a very short period. The Company pioneered in pre-cast R.C.C. construction in the early 1940’s. When the concept of pre-stressed concrete came into vogue, Gannon Dunkerley was one of the earliest in India to adopt and translate this into practice. In the mid 1950’s, the Company designed and constructed several pre-stressed concrete bridges, including the first in the Western Railway and Central Railway zones.
From 1950 onwards, Civil Engineering constructions became the main thrust in the business of the Company. During this period, it constructed several prestigious buildings and completed other projects. From seventies, the main thrust went to industrial projects. Gannon started its Mechanical and Electrical Engineering Works in the mid-fifties to undertake fabrication, erection of structural steel work, piping, as also erection of equipment for various industrial projects and successfully executed a number of such projects.
Going forward, the Company diversified into Water & Sewage Treatment in mid-seventies. Considering modernization of Indian Railways, it established a Pre-stressed Concrete Sleeper Plant in 1990 at Rayagada (Orissa). At the beginning of 21st century, the Company re-entered the Infrastructure Sector, taking up a number of projects for construction of Highways, Railways, Bridges and Flyovers