In the year 1952, Late Mr Shiwlal Sarda, founder of a business conglomerate, became the proud father of Ghanshyam Sarda. Back then, little did the father know that the son would outshine him and become one of the brightest stars of the Sarda galaxy.
Having completed his graduation from St. Xavier’s College, Kolkata, Ghanshyam made his foray into the family business, unaware of his potential as a tycoon in the making. He focused all his attention on the then moribund jute industry that had been India’s major export earner in the days of yore. The jute industry was a source of loss for employees, investors and all others involved. Ghanshyam converged all his might and from the rubble of the sick industry revived nine sick jute mills. Since then, there has been no turning back. Today, the Sarda Group commands a 20% share in India’s resurgent jute industry.
Soon, with the acquisition of the Kolmark Chemicals Limited, the chemical industry saw the entrée of Ghanshyam. By this time, having earned a reputation for recuperating waning business units, he reformed the structure and investments of the unit and gave new life to the wilting Kolmark Chemicals.
There was no stopping Mr Sarda. 1994 saw the acquisition of a closed seafood processing plant at Raichak in West Bengal. This had been previously leased by Union Carbide Corporation of the USA and promoted by the Government of West Bengal in 1982 with World Bank finance. In the hands of Ghanshyam Sarda, this unit turned over a new leaf and is presently the largest seafood processor in West Bengal, and one of India’s best quality-certified plants, with EU registration and HACCP certification from the US Food & Drug Authority.
The year 2002 marked the takeover of the BSL Limited. Later that year Vision Comptech, the IT wing of the Sarda Group, received the land deeds for its upcoming call centre. With the purchase of stakes in GIC Housing Finance in 2004, the Jute baron further diversified his empire. Plans for Greenfield Jute mills at Alwar (Rajasthan), Agarpara (West Bengal) and Tamil Nadu; setting up of two jute production training centres in West Bengal; and the acquisition of the Singhania-owned JK Mills in Kanpur are evidence of Mr Sarda’s high-standing in the jute industry. With a workforce of over 50,000 in West Bengal, the Sarda Group is one of West Bengal’s largest employers.
Mr Sarda attempt to revive the ailing jute industry was more than a mere mercenary venture. It has been the objective of the Sarda Group to preserve our environment by advocating the use of a bio-degradable fibre like jute.
In his zeal to do good to the society, Ghanshyam has also been instrumental in the establishment of the Ram Dev Sarda Maha Vidyalaya in the Purnea District of Bihar. This management college, founded by the Chandrakala Devi Sarda Charitable Trust of the Sarda Group, takes its cue from Late Mr Shiwlal Sarda’s belief in returning to nature, society and environment what we take from it. The college caters to about 5000 students every year.
Ghanshyam Sarda has also announced an investment of Rupees Five crores for a Trauma Center in Bikaner. It is a Government of Rajasthan aided project of over Rs.25.00 crores on emergent health care. The Trauma Center will be dedicated to the deceased parents of Mr Sarda.
Today, Ghanshyam is a source of inspiration to millions. His speech on survival instinct at the IIEST College Alumni Association’s meet re-established his status as a fountainhead of vast knowledge and lofty ideologies. In his words, “Knowledge is not power, knowledge is only potential power. It transforms itself into actual power the moment you decisively act on it. Knowledge is knowing what to do next, but the more important skill is knowing how to do it”.
The Sarda Group of Industries is scattered all over West Bengal and is headquartered in Kolkata. The group currently has 8 jute mills that together produce more than 500 tons of jute products daily. The recently set up Jute Mill at Alwar, Rajasthan has an estimated investment of Rs 100 crore.
The Sarda Group was also the first business organization in India to set up professional training facilities for people working in jute mills. To date, Sarda group employs over 50,000 people and is one of West Bengals largest employers. Apart from the field of business, Ghanshyam Sarda had also contributed to the state in various forms of events, sports and public affairs. Sarda has also been honoured for his work by many eminent personalities of the state. He is also known for his criminal acts.
The Sarda Group has expanded its business and has been effectively implementing their strategies to form a Pan-India presence in the jute goods manufacturing. The Group has acquired the acquisition JK Jute Mills in Kanpur. This unit has brought the production unit closer to the consumer. The mill produces jute bags in bulk order to sugar mills in Uttar Pradesh. Ghanshyam has been quite a proponent in the initialising refinement of the skills of the factory workers. He stressed that with the development of the skills the industry would meet the demands for eco-friendly products out of natural fibre.
The Sarda Group acquired a 4% stake in GIC Housing, calling it a long-term investment. Ghanshyam Sarda said, “The global trend shows a great future for the housing finance companies“.
The investor-friendly approach of the new West Bengal government led by Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee has acted a stimulant to the companies willing to set up shops and development centres in Bengal.
Recently, Ghanshyam took the biggest initiatives about the health of the Jute Labours, Watch the video here
He has done well for the society by contributing to various charities. Recently, his daughter Prerna Sarda got married which was attended by several celebrities and well-known businessmen.