THE RELIANCE AWARD GOES TO…
…THE YOUNG AND THE TALENTED. THE FIRST YEAR’S PRIZE WENT TO SUNIL PADWAL AND KARL ANTAO.
The genius of the famous names exhibiting at the Harmony show was inarguable. But it was still the brilliance of the new, emerging talents which stole the show.
The evening of the inauguration day belonged to two young artists. These maestros were the winning duo of Harmony Excellence Award for Emerging Artist of The Year — Sunil Padwal and Karl Antao.
“My works are a result of a thorough research and understanding rather than imagery,” says Karl Antao about his creations. A gifted sculptor from Ahmedabad, Antao trained in Graphics from J. J. School of Arts. After having a stint with Lintas, he later shifted to his hometown Ahmedabad joining the Kamania Art Centre.
Antao boasts of numerous feathers in his cap, which include Bendre-Hussain Scholarship, Navdeep Pratishtan Award, and Mumbai Art Society Award. Also into stage lighting, he has worked with dancer Mrinalini Sarabhai in the recent past.
Antao’s prize-winning sculpture “The Confused Unoriginal Sin”, priced at a staggering Rs 1,25,000, depicted womanhood. “Women carry so much power within, which is laid to rest as they get carried into a wave of house-keeping,” says the artist. The presence of a crow overhead is also symbolic. “As a crow can fly for hours at a stretch, a woman too does the same in her life,” he explains.
Mumbai-based Sunil Padwal, the other winner, trained in Applied Arts, from the same college as Antao. Having worked as a designer in major periodicals and leading advertising agencies like The Times of India, The Sunday Observer, Trikaya Grey, Nucleus, and Ambience, he has had a wide exposure in the visualization and illustration business.
Sunil’s first show —’Face to Face’ — was a solo, upon the initiation of Harsh Goenka. He has also won the Communication Artists’ Guild Award The jury’s verdict for 1990.
Sunil’s award winning ‘Untitled-I’ was priced at Rs 24,000. Acrylics on paper, it was combined effectively with typography. The set of six faces sometimes had a youthful and sometimes an aggressive look while staring back intently at the viewers. “These faceless human beings from the glamor world” donned black robes which hung over their shoulders loosely. The colors were darker than average, arousing a serene effect. But paradoxically the dark, brooding figures radiated optimism. What further made the heads turn was the inventive iron frame, deftly formed from the junk parts of a sewing machine.
This year, Harmony happened to be the first major show for Sunil. Asking him about his response to getting the award, the artist flashed a big smile. “Having exhibited in all the three exhibitions, I feel myself to be a part of Harmony. This year especially, this award has greatly compensated my hard labor,” says the artist.
SPIRIT OF RELIANCE
In the rarified club of oil explorers, Dr Ravi Bastia is becoming one of the more prominent names. His papers on oil field exploration and exploitation have made him one of the more popular speakers in oil conventions and congresses worldwide.
Recently, Dr Bastia was asked to deliver a keynote address at a geological congress held by the Oil Ministry of the Government of Iraq. And his paper on the “Hydrocarbon Potential of Sedimentary Basins in India” excited much attention among other geologists present. It had focussed on a new technique of oil exploration in sedimentary basins. Some time before that, he was invited by the “American Association of Petroleum Geologists” to speak at their Vienna seminar. There he presented the paper – “Petroleum Potential of the Kutch Basin”.
Dr Bastia is a key member of the Oil and Gas Division of Reliance. With over 19 years of experience in oil exploration, he is a brilliant scholar holding a Doctorate in Geology from IIT Kharagpur. And he has picked up awards galore in his career, like the ‘Young Scientist Award’ from the Indian National Science Association, 1990; the ‘Young Executive Award’ of ONGC in 1992 (where he worked before joining Reliance); and the Chairman’s and Director’s Award of ONGC. He is rather modest when queried about his achievements. “I believe in accepting whatever challenges come my way,” he says. “Most of the time, I guess I’ve been plain lucky than anything else.”
During the workday, Pritam Reddy is a quiet and unflappable switchboard operator at the Reliance textile complex in Naroda. You would hardly suspect that the man is an ace boxer who specialises in knocking down his opponents every time he enters the ring.
In fact, despite holding down a full-time job, he has managed to keep his boxing interests alive. And he has picked up medals and prizes galore for his efforts.
He picked up his first medal a decade ago, when in 1989 he participated in the Gujarat state competition and picked up the gold in the Bantamweight class. In 1990, he competed in the featherweight and won again. In 1991, in lightweight with similar results. Since then, it has become fairly predictable with Reddy picking up the gold in the light welterweight class in 1992, in the welterweight class in 1994, and in the middle weight class in both 1996 and 1997. This year, he picked up his eighth gold medal – this time in the light heavyweight class.
The rate at which he is going, it will not be surprising if he picks up a gold in the heavyweight class as well. That could make him one of the few boxers to have competed in practically all weight classes and emerged champion in each.
Reliance’s Sudeep Mitra has been awarded the second prize at the fifth academic conference of the Association for Management Development Institutions of South Asia (AMDISA) at Thimpu, Bhutan.
Sudeep has bagged the award for his case study ‘Rashtryiya Ispat Nigam Limited’, focusing on organisational transformation and the role of a transformational leader in an uncertain economic environment.
The award was chosen out of 12 entries from the seven member countries, and was conferred jointly upon Sudeep and Mohan Agrawal, Professor, XLRI, Jamshedpur. The first prize went to J. Ramachandran, Professor, IIM, Bangalore.
“My case was a teaching note,” says Sudeep. “It dealt with how it would be discussed in a classroom”.
Working as a Consultant at the Management Development and Consultancy (MDC) Division, Sudeep’s focus areas are business strategy and organizational development. He has consulted extensively with the private sector, public sector and banks, including Crompton Greaves, National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) and Steel Authority of India Ltd. (SAIL).
Having written over 10 papers, articles, reviews and case studies, but naturally Sudeep’s hobbies are “reading and reading”. Mostly into management books, he considers his fondness for reading fiction, a time consuming luxury which he can’t afford. “But whenever I can, it is welcome.”
WHY I LIKE WORKING FOR RELIANCE
TWENTY-TWO YEARS AGO, WHEN ‘JESSIE’ COELHO JOINED RELIANCE, IT WAS A SMALL FAMILY. THOUGH IT HAS BECOME MUCH BIGGER IT STILL REMAINS A FAMILY, SHE SAYS.
Suddenly, a short, energetic, woman in mid-forties comes in and slides into the next chair. “Sorry to have made you wait,” she smiles. “Let me introduce myself. I’m Jessie — the woman you have come to meet.”
Of course, Jessie is not her full name. On office records, she is Josephine Martha Coelho. But it is by the name Jessie that she is known as, universally. “Once a friend of mine asked for Mrs. Coelho,” she bursts into a laugh, “and nobody knew who she was asking for.”
Jessie has been with Reliance for 22 years. She joined as a steno in November 1975, attached to Ratibhai J Muchala, Export Manager of the Textiles Department. “Reliance was like a small family, ” she recalls. “Once a colleague of mine was transferred and I found myself entrusted with export documentation and shipment of fabrics, which involved interaction with clearing agents. As I knew nothing about it, I used to be very unsure of myself,” she says.
“But Ratibhai and Mr. K Narayan (the present president of the textile business) used to place so much confidence in me, that felt eventually I ashamed of myself not giving it a try”.
Over the years, the family has grown a lot bigger, and Jessie too has been promoted several times and is now an executive assistant to Mr. K Narayan.
Since Mr. Narayan is away at Naroda quite a lot, she has also become a part and parcel of the normal work at the exports department, chasing quotas and making sure that the earnest money for the applications is sent correctly.
Her work description may have changed but her workplace atmosphere hasn’t changed much. “The textiles department remains like a family even now,” says Jessie. “At lunchtime, we all make sure that we have our food together. That’s the only time we get to know about others.”
Was Reliance the first company she joined? Not really. Her first job was with T Maneklal Manufacturing Ltd in 1969, when she had just come to Bombay. She was all of 18 then, and just out of college. After a seven-year stint with that firm, she joined Reliance, where she has stayed since then.
So, how did she start working at such an early age? “I just wanted to work,” she chuckles. “Just for the feel of it. I was always fascinated by people going to an office with a bag in their hands. So, I left my hometown Mangalore to work in Bombay.”
Wasn’t there any opposition from her family? “Yes, there was,” she replies smilingly. “I had a hard time convincing my folks that I was capable of taking care of myself in that big city of Bombay.”
Where are her parents? Are they still in Mangalore? There is a momentary silence, as Jessie struggles for the right words. ill have no one, half of my family was lost in an accident.” With tears welling up in her eyes, she continues, “My mother, her sister, and my eldest brother, along with some relatives, had gone for a picnic. There, while boat-sailing, they got drowned in the sea.”
Her grandmother died soon after, unable to bear the shock. Away in Kuwait, her father retired after a while and came back.
“But the scene was not as rosy as it used to be,” she says quietly. “The income had stopped and the family destroyed.” The situation got even worse with her father’s death in the year 1977. Without warning, the responsibility to look after five siblings fell over Jessie.
“Though I was not earning much, I managed to save a part of it. I brought them one by one to Bombay, and gradually things began falling in place when all of my sisters got married off,” she says with the smile returning to her face.
Now, the family is happily settled. Jessie too got married to the man of her choice, and is now a proud mother of three children.
The next question follows naturally. What kept her going in those dark years of life? “The faith in God,” she announces. “When you have problems, God gives you the strength to face it”.
THE COLORS OF HARMONY
THE ARTISTS AND THEIR WORKS, THE CONNOISSEURS AND THE GLITTERATI — THEY ALL MADE THE THIRD HARMONY SHOW AN EVENT TO REMEMBER.
April 3rd, 1998. It was a hot evening as you strolled past the lush green lawns of Nehru Centre in Mumbai. The main entrance had the huge glass doors flung open to the view of a small, green logo — announcing the opening of the third Harmony show.
Harmony is certainly one of the biggest art events in Mumbai. For one, it brings together the works of the largest number of artists under one roof. For another, the opening day sees a veritable crowd of who’s who from both the art world as well as business and movie worlds. Finally, it announces a new series of theme designs from Reliance’s Harmony range of textiles, the host of the show.
This year, the show was even more grandiose than the past two years. 125 artists had displayed 250 works at the 30,000-sq. ft. gallery, with no less than 70 new, unknown artists making up the bulk.
“Harmony is meant to contribute to the Indian heritage by roofing together the works of artists across the country — established, as well as rank newcomers — under a common umbrella,” said Mrs. Tina Anil Ambani, under whose aegis, the week-long annual event had marked its entry in the Indian art calendar.
The idea germinated on one of her fortnightly trips to the Textile Division at Ahmedabad. “The focus is on providing a tremendous exposure to the upcoming talents, by juxtaposing their creations alongside famous names,” explained Mrs. Ambani.
Every year, the commitment calls for a good eight to nine months of hard labor, inviting participants, shortlisting, and working on an apt display. This year, the names were chosen from a list of 175. The curator remained Vickram Sethi, Director, The Arts Trust, who had curated the earlier two shows too.
Upon entry, hushed whispers of the onlookers greeted one. The buzzing accompanied curious gazes sliding and stopping at something exceptionally interesting found — which was only natural.
At one end of the wide spectrum, while there were artists like Anjolie Ela Menon, Bikash Bhattacharjee; at another, there were comparatively younger artists like Sadhana Raddi, Jitendra Singh Baoni; together with new entrants such as Ajinkya Chaulkar, Biswapati Maiti, and Riaz Samadhan, among others.
The glitterati had celebrities from all walks of life. Among those spotted was Harsh Goenka of RPG Group, Parmeshwar Godrej, socialite, with daughter Tanya, Marketing Director, Godrej Soaps, Anuradha Mahindra of Mahindra Group, and industrialist Jai Mehta. Also, there were Hema Malini, Jaya Bachchan, Subhash Ghai along with journalist Malavika Sanghavi.
The style of the works ranged from frescoes to murals, figurative to abstract, and from impressionistic to surrealistic. The mediums included canvas, textiles, wood, metal, ceramics, and glass. An impressed Subhash Ghai was moved enough to comment, “Harmony is a tribute to art, culture, and to Indian heritage as a whole.”
All the exhibits were on sale, the prices ranging from Rs 6,000 to 4,50,000. With people moving in the hope of stealing a bargain for their living rooms, 90 paintings were sold within two days. “It is pleasant to find works of artists who are both innovative and affordable,” exclaimed one of the figurative artists Kahini Arte Merchant, whose works were on display. “Otherwise not all of us can afford such paintings, howsoever we might appreciate them.”
This year, as another step in the promotion of art, two awards were instituted, decided on by a jury. The first, Harmony Excellence Award for the Emerging Artist of the year, was chosen from the show itself. Carrying a prize money of Rs 1, 01,000, it was conferred jointly to artists Karl Antao and Sunil Padwal. The second, Harmony Heritage Award for Lifetime Contribution in Literature, Art & Culture, is of Rs 2,01,000. Reserved for the most sincere and sufficient contribution by an artist, it will be decided by October 1998.
A LONG TERM PLAYER
A MEETING WITH VINODBHAI PATIL, ONE OF THE OLDEST DEALERS OF RELIANCE IN THE TEXTILE BUSINESS.
The Mulji Jetha market, at the heart of South Mumbai, is a world of its own. The 115-years old wholesale bazaar is considered by some to be the largest and oldest textile market in the world. A maze of roads, crossroads and bylanes are flanked on each side by the showrooms of dealers trading in cloth of every hue. In this complex of 1,000-odd shops, you could find every fabric worth its name.
The market also houses the firm of Jasmin Kalyanji, one of the biggest textile dealers of Reliance in Mumbai. By the standards of the Mulji Jetha market, Jasmine Kalyanji is a newcomer – being only about 18 years old. But in just 18 years, it has managed to make itself one of the most prominent occupants of the market.
The man running the show at Jasmine Kalyanji is Vinodbhai Patil, a man who prefers to stay in the background and let his work speak for himself.
The 44-year-old Vinodbhai hates talking of anything other than work. And from his passion for his work, you can make out how he became one of the biggest textile dealers for Reliance. Associated with the company for the last eighteen years, he has been quite a long-term player in the terrywool worsted suitings. Last year, his firm placed the highest purchase order – Rs 5.16 crore – of terrywool worsted suitings throughout the entire country.
Success is said to be a matter of hanging on long after the others have left. Vinodbhai’s case is no different. The youngest of three brothers, he has the textile business running in the family. As the family business dealt mainly in cut-pieces, Vinodbhai decided to try his luck in worsted suitings.
Starting the business with some friends as sleeping partners, he continued on even after they lost interest and went their own ways. The labour has clearly paid off. Moving rapidly up the ladder, the firm now is one of the biggest dealers in the western region.
Ask him the secret of his success, and he will tell you that it is his concentration on finance. “In every profession, having access to finance is a must.”
Apart from that, it is his attention to the retailer’s needs and his relationship with them that distinguishes him. To maintain the relations with his retailers in Mumbai, Vinodbhai himself goes around. As the timings are often odd, he keeps himself free from all social involvements.
Having achieved already what he set out to become, what are his future plans? “Not very sure,” he says. “I love my work but I miss the calm and peace of my village in Rajkot, where I spent my childhood.”
LENDING A HELPING HAND TO JAMNAGAR VILLAGERS
RELIANCE IS UPGRADING LIFE IN JAMNAGAR VILLAGES BY PROVIDING THE VILLAGERS WITH BOTH FACILITIES AS WELL AS NEW MEANS OF LIVELIHOOD.
Meghpar village is three kilometres away from the refinery site of Jamnagar. Jeluba, the sarpanch of the village, welcomes people from Reliance with open arms. He has many reasons to be happy. In his village Reliance has built a temple, a big community centre and a gaushala. It has also arranged for a mobile health van to visit the village twice a week. Quite frequently eye check-up camps and free medicine distributions are also done. Another temple of ‘Khodiar Mata’ is also being built.
Meghhpar is not an exception. About two and a half years ago, even before the first excavators and bulldozers arrived at the site, Reliance has started the work of community development in the neighbouring villages. Seven villages, Motikhavdi, Nanikhavdi, Meghpar, Sikka, Padana, Gagava and Pipdi were identified and development activities started. Reliance is doing these not just to compensated for the lands which these villagers lost. It is doing it because it believes that the villagers can be given a better quality of life. That is best brought about by the fact that it is also developing the Nanalakhia village, which did not sell any land to Reliance.
Reliance is helping the villagers, particularly the young people, to stand on their own feet and lead better lives. In almost all the villages one can see signs of newfound prosperity. The village people have started supplying construction materials and leasing out construction equipments like trucks and dumpers to Reliance. And the money earned has been reinvested to buy more equipments. In most of village homes there are plenty of examples of such success stories. Most of the youths in the villages now are having sources of income which have been provided by Reliance. Some are supplying construction materials, some are working in the canteens, some are supplying vegetables or have opened shops – it is as if a whole new world of opportunities has opened up. In all the villages, the people are leading a better life than before. According to an elderly villager, before Reliance came in here the young people had very little to do. There were poverty and squalor all around and drinking and gambling was rampant. Now all these have stopped and the youth have focused their energies in earning.
Reliance is upgrading the health, hygiene and educational facilities in all the villages. In Motikhavdi a medical centre has been opened which gives free medicines and services round-the-clock to everyone. There is also an ambulance service and a mobile dispensary. All the villages are covered by mobile health ans and quite frequent eye check-up. ENT, dental and free medical camps are organized in the villages.
To ensure better water supply, overhead tanks are also being built in many of the villages. Already such tanks are in place in villages like Padana and Motikhavdi. There are also plans to upgrade the educational facilities by building high schools in the villages.
As the lands have been taken in for the site, the villagers were supposed to be in difficulties to arrange for cow fodder. But not really. In villages like Padana, Sikka, Nanikhavdi, Motikhavdi and Meghpar, gaushalas have been built by Reliance where the cows are provided free fodder. In consideration of the number of cows in the villages, the sizes of the gaushalas and the amount of fodder have been fixed.
To spread a feeling of goodwill Reliance helps all the villages to celebrate festivals like Navratri, Dassera, Holi and national days like the Independence and Republic days. On these days sweets and gifts are distributed among the villagers. All these reflect Reliance’s willingness to be a friend of the community.
AN EVENT TO REMEMBER
LUMINARIES FROM EVERY FIELD GATHERED TO FELICITATE DHIRUBHAI AT THE WHARTON DEAN’S MEDAL AWARDING CEREMONY.
Never before had so many eminent people from so many professions and interests gathered under a single roof. They were all achievers who had reached the highest pinnacles in their chosen fields. And they had all gathered to pay tribute to a man whom they all regarded as an inspiring genius.
The elegant Regal Room at Bombay’s Oberoi Towers was packed that July evening. From some of the most eminent men of letters to the some of the biggest businessmen in India, and from the most powerful and famous politicians to the famous names from arts and movies, everyone had gathered at the Dean’s Medal awarding ceremony.
The business fraternity, of which Dhirubhai was the biggest star was present in full strength. Kumarmangalam Birla, leader of the AV Birla group, Adi Godrej from the House of Godrej; Harsh Goenka of the RPG group; Anand Mahindra and Anuradha Mahindra of Mahindra & Mahindra… there was hardly anyone from the business community who was missing that evening.
And yet their numbers were easily matched by the representatives of the people. Everywhere one looked, one could see a former Prime Minister or a current Cabinet Minister or a pillar of the Opposition. H. D. Deve Gowda, former Prime Minister was there. And so were Dr. Murli Manohar Joshi, Union Minister for Human Resource Development; Sharad Pawar, Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha, Manohar Joshi, Chief Minister, Maharashtra; Digvijay Singh, Chief Minister, Madhya Pradesh; and P. Chidambaram, Former Finance Minister.
The fourth estate was fully represented as well — by Aveek Sarkar, Group Editor and Publisher, Ananda Bazar Patrika Ltd., Ashok Advani, Printer, and Publisher, Business India, Joydeep Bose, Editor, The Economic Times, Mumbai, Pritish Nandy, Proprietor, Pritish Nandy Communications, Malavika Sanghvi, Editor, Bombay Times. Movie stars were not be outdone either. Veteran thespian Dilip Kumar graced the occasion, along with Amitabh and Jaya Bachchan, Subhash Ghai and film star-turned MPs Raj Babbar, Sunil Dutt and Vinod Khanna.
As the evening progressed, several of these eminent men ascended the dais to sing paeans to Dhirubhai. Others preferred to felicitate him quietly by walking up to where he was sitting.
The celebration of the Wharton’s Dean’s Medal to Dhirubhai will go down as one of the grandest events in the Indian corporate world. And, surely the advent of such a powerful gathering here to participate in the function will also be remembered as an event in itself.
Spirit of reliance
The Life Saver
In today’s self-centered world, most people tend to walk away quickly on seeing an accident so that they don’t get involved in needless complicities. One employee of Reliance prefers to act in exactly the opposite way. Atul Salvi, at PFY Maintenance Department in Patalganga, is fast becoming known as the Good Samaritan of the Bombay-Pune highway which passes near his home.
At last count, the 27-year old Salvi had saved 40 lives because of his quick action and presence of mind in the notorious highway stretch, which sees at least 2-3 accidents every week.
Take just one example. On the evening of November 14, 1997, in a collision between a state transport bus and car, five employees of Reliance were severely injured. They were taken to the nearest village Khalapur which had only a first aid center. Salvi, whose house is opposite the first aid center, got into the act then. He gave them first-aid and kept talking to the injured not to let them go in the state of coma. After making arrangements for an ambulance to take them to the nearest hospital at Sion in Bombay, he informed the relatives of the employees.
The same evening, Salvi helped save 65 tribals, suffering from poisonous liquor with his quick action. What makes him so aware of his duties? “I want to utilize my human birth by serving people,” says Salvi. “We never know when we pass through this world again”
R B Nair
Master of Arts
You only need to take one look at the cut of his beard and shape of his hair to realize that he is a man of artistic interests. But Rambhadran Nair — RB to friends and colleagues — is no run-of-the-mill artist. He excels in several entirely different areas.
During the day, he holds down the job of a senior designer in the Design and Development (Jacquard Department) at the textiles division in Naroda. He is a Reliance veteran of 14 years. Off-hours, he is an award-winning painter, a talented flutist, a composer of classical Garba dances and an enthusiastic badminton player.
Nair has been the recipient of the Kerala Lalit Kala Academy’s reputed certificate for the years 1976 and 1978. Some of his paintings have occupied prestigious places at the Kerala State Lalit Kala Academy and at the Kerala State Government Award.
He has been selected twice for the State Lalit Kala Academy Artist’s Camp. His paintings have adorned the State Assembly halls as well.
He is a much-in-demand flutist in his home state Kerala. His solo performances usually make him the center of attraction at musical parties. In addition, Nair’s musical talent finds expression in classical Garba dances, the music for which he often composes.
Dr. Ashok Laddha
The Young Achiever
Reliance’s Dr. Ashok Laddha presented a paper at the 30th Maharashtra State, Annual State Level Conference of Indian Medical Association, on November 9, 1997, in Mumbai.
One of the youngest doctors to make the presentation, Dr. Laddha works at the Occupational Health Centre at Patalganga. The paper ‘Prevention through education — an industrial experience’ focused on the safety and health awareness program at Patalganga. It was prepared under the guidance of Dr. S. R. Pingle, General Manager, Occupational Health Centre.
“He is like the youngest brother who receives the most praises, as well as the flak,” says Dr. Laddha’s senior Dr. Pingle admiringly. Dr. Laddha has had a passion for the medical profession right from his childhood. “When I was a little boy, a uniformed medical officer used to pass by our small village,” he says. “I used to be very fascinated by seeing people getting up and paying their respects to him. That early memory remained as I grew up to be a doctor myself.”
The fascination didn’t end there. Dr. Laddha brought a doctor at his home too. His wife is the medical officer-in-charge at the Lodhivali township of Reliance.
Asking about his future goals, Dr. Laddha smilingly quotes author Stefen Covey that 95% of the people are at a loss in knowing their aims. “But I can say that I want to be a good physician in the industrial sector.”
Reliance launches recron fibrefill
Taking apart and refilling cotton pillows and mattresses, which have turned lumpy, is a hard fact of life in most households. Now people have an alternative to that tedious task after the launch of Recron fibrefill, a world-class polyester product.
The new product seeks to substitute cotton as the filling material in pillows, quilts, mattresses, cushions, bolsters etc. Most of the cotton comes as discarded produce from the textile mills and hospitals, whereas Recron fibrefill is produced from the laboratories. It is tested first before coming to the market, for which Product Application Centre (PAC) is especially designed at Thane.
It is used in various household items like furniture cushioning, toy-stuffing, garment insulators etc. It can also be used in the industrial sector as non-woven filter fabrics and automobile side panels.
Recron fibrefill is claimed to be a superior alternative to cotton. “It is made of polyester, which has an inherent tendency to bounce back. So apart from requiring 30-35% less material, it retains its shape after use. This difference also makes the fibrefill at-par with the market price of cotton,” says S G Mukherji, General Manager, Fibre Marketing.
Cotton has cellulose in it which, after several years, starts breaking up and forming particles of dust. So, the products have to be reopened and refilled, proving highly uneconomical and time-consuming. As it gets infested easily with germs, it also starts smelling after several years of use.
“Recron fibrefill, on the contrary, has a special “hollow fibre” structure which offers greater loft and bulk, providing improved air circulation in the comfort products. This ensures no heat build-up and better comfort,” says Mukherji. That’s why the articles made with the fibrefill are softer. the fibrefill is moisture and mildew resistant, avoiding infestation. Even after years of use, it doesn’t smell. It can also be easily washed. Being non allergic and soft, it is safe for infants.
The fibrefill is being made at Hazira, which will produce 30,000 tonnes per year. The technology is provided by Du Pont, USA.
PVC business group hits 1 million tonnes
A record of sorts was created when Reliance Industries’ poly vinyl chloride (PVC) plant at Hazira churned out the 1 millionth tonne of the material, and the sales team shipped it out. So, on November 29, 1997, a function was held at the Crystal Room, Taj Mahal hotel, Mumbai, to mark the occasion.
“The function was organized essentially to felicitate the PVC customers of Reliance across the country, whose patronage made achievement of this landmark possible. The various consignment agents, who lent active support, were also invited for this occasion,” says P K Das, Vice President (Marketing), PVC business.
The PVC plant commenced in December, 1991. Then, the capacity was 100,000 tonnes, which was taken up to 180,000 tonnes per annum. In 1997, Reliance produced 200,000 tonnes and presently, the production is 270,000 tonnes per annum.
The evening started with the opening remarks by PVC Business Head K Ramamurthy. Mukesh Ambani, Vice Chairman and Managing Director of RIL, spoke about Reliance’s philosophy and future plans. Thanking the customer and agents, alongwith soliciting support from them, he urged the company personnel to help complete the 2 millions in half the time taken. Nikhil Meswani and Hital Meswani, Executive Directors, too graced the occasion. Nikhil Meswani gave away the mementoes, which were silver platters with inscriptions.
The first memento was given to the customer who purchased the first tonne of PVC – Dutron Ltd., Ahmedabad. It was followed by the customer who lifted the 1 millionth tonne – SCJ Master Batches, New Delhi. The top two customers and top agent in each of the five regions, were also felicitated.
Many senior managers of Reliance and people from other businesses and plants were present at the occasion.