Thursday, May 26, 2011

A Trip to Globe on Push Cart

Bhavarlalji Jain

“Woh phool sar chadha jo chaman se juda hua: Izzat use milee jo watan se nikal gaya” (A flower, when plucked from the flora, is respected. So also a person, who leaves his homeland for a cause earns respect) someone had said these lines a little ago. After these couplets, do we still need anything more to describe the virtues of a migrant?

Like many other people in Jalgaon, here is a migrant once again. However, what distinguishes this migrant from others is that, his forefathers faced the rigorousness of migration twice, first from Rajasthan to Wakod and then from Wakod to Jalgaon. However by doing so, the person became destiny’s favorite and when the reward came, fortunately for the him, it too came in twosome and it came, not only in the form of the means and money, but also in the form of the vision and wisdom.

Under such circumstances, can anybody challenge a person, having not only the means and money, but also the vision and wisdom in plenty? Really a tough task and of course, it is the vision and the wisdom, not the means and money, of Bhavarlalji Jain, 70-year old Founder-Chairman of Jain Irrigation Systems Ltd. followed by destiny’s favor, which has helped him to take his establishment, a MNC, yes an Indian Multi National Company to such a height that it has become invincible, not only in the country but in the whole world.

Reaching to such a status requires a different kind of determination, hard-work and commitment but an inside look at Bhavarlalji’s life clearly reveals that he did more. Bhavarlalji himself recalls, “I had a meager 7000 rupees, a saving of three generations, in my hands when I started selling kerosene in Jalgaon on pushcart in 1963.”

Kerosene? “Yes”, he replied and said, “I had a keen interest for agriculture products and rural life. Can you dissociate kerosene from such life?” he asked and then elaborated further recalling his mother’s advice, “She had said to me, you can also feed your belly easily, like anyone else in this world, but there is nothing great in this. You try to do something that would also take care of someone else’s belly”, he paused for a moment and then continued, “Her advice remained stuck into my mind for ever. I kept thinking on her advice and decided to do something, which not only would take care of many others’ belly but would take care of many more bellies, the birds, the cattle and many other non-human beings. Hence I opted for the agriculture industry, the only industry which is capable of doing so.”

And then, on pushcart, his journey towards conquering the globe began in 1963. Since he did not have enough money to fulfill his dreams, he spent fifteen years of his life first selling kerosene and then marketing agro-products right from tractors and PVC pipes to sprinkles and seeds and worked as a dealer with various manufacturers. Eventually, he became a reputable, trustworthy and prestigious name in the market. This background helped him for an entry into industrial ventures.

In April 1978, Bhavarlalji took over a sick unit in Jalgaon and started producing purified Papain from Papaya latex and soon became top-most supplier of highest purity refined Papain in the world. Papain put Bhavarlalji on international map and then there was no looking back. Jus two years after this landmark achievement, Bhavarlalji started manufacturing PVC pipes in 1980, Micro-Irrigation Systems in 1989 and then Food Processing in 1994. During this period, he kept himself engaged also in R&D that resulted in introducing hi-tech concepts to Indian agriculture industry such as Integrated System Approach, One-Stop-Shop for Farmers, Infrastructure Status to Micro Irrigation and manufacturing Micro & Sprinkler Irrigation, Agricultural Inputs, Agro-Processed Products and Plastic Pipes & Sheets. In between, the strong dealer-distributor network in the rural areas helped him become the largest producer of PVC pipes in the country by 1997.

As if the chain of factories all over the globe was not enough to satisfy his success run, Bhavarlalji took a historic decision on October 10, 2006 for launching a Residential International School. He started the construction on the same day, very determined as ever, devoted his whole time from 05:30 in the morning till 07:30 in the evening, for everyone’s surprise, completed the construction work in record timing, simultaneously monitored the whole admission process, chose a unique learning methodology as “Experiential-Learning”, gave a name “Anubhuti” befitting to his life and the teaching methodology and commenced the academic year of the school from July 7, 2007.

The way 70-year old Bhavarlalji has completed his school project in nine months, shows how young is he to face any kind of challenge even at this age. Today, people regard him as a very successful businessman, who head a 2000 Crore Indian Multi National Company with a 150 Crore net profit. However, a meeting with him fails to find a businessman in Bhavarlalji. Instead, one can easily find in Bhavarlalji, a reformer, a man with rare vision for the future and a caring, father-like persona for the nation.

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