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CONSTRUCTIVE ENDEAVOUR

State shows little interest in it, as it is not a heavy industry that fetches mega bucks. Hence, ferro-alloys has stayed a domain of private players. Venturing into this totally unfamiliar ground and making to the top in it, the courageous brothers, Mr.P.Rajan Babu and Mr.P.Ashok, founders of Sarojini Engineering Works Pvt Ltd., have also sent out a few strong messages. One- anyone can enter the field of his choice and make it to the top if he has a burning passion, even without any prior experience and two- it is the indepth understanding coming from hands on experience, not the formal educa -tion that leads an entrepreneur to success.

The brothers learnt alphabets of trade in the lap of their father Mr.Xavier, who was a contractor and was a past master in building sugar fact -ories. But Rajan and Ashok followed their own inclinations and stepped into building ferro alloys plants, a highly specialsed line and took up turnkey projects with various companies. Eventually, they floated their own company Sarojini Engineering Works Pvt. Limited as a proprietary concern. It is now applauded as one of the leading private sector organizations in India. The firm is now run by two generations, with Rajan’s son Santosh joining it. Rajan recalls how it all started and flourished.

EXCERPTS
The beginning
I stepped into my father’s business along with my brother in 1985. But not satisfied with it, I started looking for greener pastures. It was Mr.CVSSRR. Raju, who directed me into this field of building furnaces for ferro alloys and under his able guidance, we started our journey. Our first project was Andhra Ferro Alloys. I am a quick learner and gained expertise. Then there was no looking back.

Meeting deadlines
Generally, it takes one year to build a plant. But we built our first one within 9 months to the delight of Mr.Raju. We worked day and night and fortunately, Mr. Raghunath Raju, MD of the firm was equally motivated helped us accomplish our goal. We could win Mr.Raju’s trust. Since then we have become part of all his projects.

Progression
Without compromising on standards & adopting high entrepreneurial skills and innovative strategies, we have a significant presence in the core area of Engineering, Procurement & Construction contracts. We have built 45 Ferro Alloy Plants comprising 100 furnaces and 6 Sponge iron plants of capacity 100 TPD comprising 11 kilns in India and aboard. We have a potential to fabricate around 1200 M.T of steel structures per month. We could build a package of 22.5 MVA X 8 plants for Asia's largest Ferro Alloy Plant M/s Abhijeet Group of Industr-ies. The project was completed in ies. The project was completed in record time.

Team
We have a core team of 15 and hire local workforce of 100 to 500, depending on the size of the project. We have a profess- ional, committed, dedicated and dynamic work force.

Competition
At individual level we have no competition. People choose us because of our high quality construction & our commitment to deadlines. That was why we could consolidate our position right from the first project.

Smooth sail
By God’s grace, it has been a smooth sailing all through and we never faced any hitches or glitches. Our expertise stands us in good stead. Even Hud-hud cyclone could not damage our structures. It is no surprise that we, starting with zero investment, grew to a company with Rs.250 cr turnover.



Success mantra
I am blessed with tremendous memory and never forget the technicalities I learnt. I never run after projects, they are offered to me. One more reason for our success is we don’t wash our hands off even after handing over the facility. We continue to take interest in its operations. We spend lavishly and give fair deal to all the people involved in the project. I thoroughly study a project before I take it up.

Unforgettable incident
When I went to Gabon to study a project, I met with an nasty accident. Our car fell in a huge gorge and fortunately, we could get help in time and were airlifted to a hospital. I am thoroughly impressed with the speed with which they rushed medical aid and the efficacy of their healthcare service.

Native talent
Indians are good at their task and are second to none. For example, a structure built by our people in Jordon some 30 years ago stands as a tourist attraction even now. However, at home our talents don’t come to fruition because of problems inherent in our system.

CSR activities
Education is our priority and we instituted a scholarship in the name of our nephew Sam who passed away at a young age.

Advice to budding entrepreneurs
Don’t be greedy and go for fast bucks. Strive to earn 10 rupees in ten projects rather than earn10 rupees in one project. Slow and steady wins the race, as we all know.

Beyond work
My life revolves around my work. We need to be on the spot and site, giving personal attention and guidance to the workers, without which we can never succeed. So I have no time for other activities.

Personal note
We hail from Pulapalle village, in Palakollu. My father got a project in Vizag steel plant in1981. I came here to assist him and eventually settled in Pendurthy. I got married to Lakshmi in 1990. My parents went for an inter-caste love marriage whereas my alliance was arranged. We celebrate all Hindu and Christian festivals. I am blessed with two sons Santosh and Sunny.

Services
We have an impressive array of services to offer. They are
• Basic and detailed design engineering
• Inspection and testing
• Plant construction fabrication and erection
• Plant commissioning with testing
• Furnace rebuilds
• Furnace upgrades
• Supply of plant and equipment
• Plant and furnace control systems
• EPC contracts in ferro alloys

IN FATHER'S FOOTSTEPS
Stepping into the trade world was a natural course for the young Santosh as that was the air and environs in which he was born and brought up. He only had to follow his father’s footsteps to reach where he is now. But fortunately for him, his own inclinations too led him to the same path. After earning BBM and MBA degrees, he joined Sarojini Industries to share his father’s responsibilities. Very soon, he also entered the hospitality industry. Here he talks of his happy efforts.

The concept
Vizag is turning into a tourism hub and there is a growing need for hospitality facilities. We have big companies like Brandix, Abhijeet Ferro Alloys running in the ITSEZ area. There are a lot of people who come here for work and need boarding and lodging facilities. This made me concept-ualize Sarojini Villa. My objective is to provide luxury rooms for ‘a feel good’ stay and A/C convention hall to hold meetings.

Ours is the only villa that extends hospitality in and around Anakapalli, Atchutapuram and Elamanchali. It was designed by a young architect Joshi Raj. The Rs.10 crore-project took one full year to start functioning.

Staff and set up
I put together a good team taking people with 4 years experience. The number of guests we host varies depending on the events. We get to host a lot of parties. We also offer attractive discounts for corporate companies.

Unique features
The villa has a private pool, mini home theatre & a lavish place to perform big events. One can fulfill the dream of a beautiful destination wedding at the Villa.

Role in Ferro Alloys trade
I am actively engaged in the group's expansion programme and intend to give it a fresh look. I motivate employees to deliver their best. We are India's leading Ferro alloy contractors Lessons from father The strong bond between my father and uncle is the key to our success. Money is transitory but it is the family that stands by you always. One important lesson I learnt from them, is never to take decisions in a bad mood.

Generation gap
No, I don't feel the gap either with my father or with uncle because I know that I don’t have the experience and knowledge they posses. I believe two generations with their individual strengths can work seamlessly towards a goal.

Favourite trade
Whatever trade I work in, it is my favorite because I think thrice even before I start on any new business. I put in a lot of hard work & of course, I enjoy doing it.

Take on Vizag
Vizag is now emerging as a hub in the trade and technological fields, besides turning into a travel and leisure destination. It has attracted huge investments. Thanks to the improved connect-ivity and infrastructure during the past five years.

SANTOSH WITH AREA 51
Many don’t know about the original Area 51 as it operates in a remote location in Nevada, USA. Similarly, our cafe is situated in between the hills far away from the city. Area 51 suits the people who want to have a break from the daily humdrum. This idea was floated by three of us- Sai Kiran, Rajesh and me and was started it on 9th Oct 2018. There is an overwhelming response to it. Located on the hill view conventions, IT Sez, Hill No.2 Plot-F, on the way to Mouri tech, it serves continental, Mexican and Chinese cuisine. We plan to tweak the menu often enough to attract foodies. With a gaming zone in place, people can enjoy a game of snooker and Play station.

Future plans
We are planning to host a party on the New-Year Eve, with an exciting food menu and discounts. We also plan to expand by 2019 either on franchise mode or by opening more outlets.

 
 
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