What It Took To Revive The Dying Jute Industry Of Kolkata

What It Took To Revive The Dying Jute Industry Of Kolkata
What It Took To Revive The Dying Jute Industry Of Kolkata

Historical Antecedents

The growth of the Jute industry was in 1850 when international trade started to flourish. It was mainly used for commercial purposes. Jute was only cultivated in eastern and northern Bengal during colonial times. As the industry was flourishing, it secured livelihood to several workers. The industry flushed money into Kolkata and ensured a large stake in the city’s economy.

Gradually, with the introduction and popularity of plastic in the mid-1960s, the jute industry began to see a decline in demand. As a consequence, jute bags, which were cheap, lost their price advantage to plastic. In addition, the Partition of India gave birth to industrial complexes in Dhaka. The advanced technology used by these complexes outstripped the Indian industry in competition.

What It Took To Revive The Dying Jute Industry Of Kolkata
What It Took To Revive The Dying Jute Industry Of Kolkata

Post-independence, between 1967 and 1969, labor unrest in Bengal reached its peak. Though the wages of permanent workers were increased, the condition of the daily employees was not improved. This situation made the industry weaker. Till then, many efforts have been made to boost the jute industry.

 Efforts to improve the industry

The government had introduced many policies to revive the jute industry, but it would not have been possible without the joint efforts of renowned industrialists like Ghanshyam Sarda. 

Mr. Ghanshyam Sarda is a Calcutta-based businessman and founder of the Sarda Group of Industries. He exceptionally contributed to the revival of the Jute industry with his immense dedication. He focused mainly on the jute industry as this industry had the potential to make a great contribution to the economy. Although it was a source of loss for employees, investors, and all the others involved yet, he intended to revive it as this was a major export industry during colonial times. With his efforts, the industry is again gaining popularity. Many environmentalists also favor the use of jute as it is environmentally friendly.

Mr. Ghanshyam Sarda managed to revive nine sick jute mills. Since then, he has continuously worked day and night to ensure the growth of this industry. Today, the Sarda Group commands a 20% share in India’s resurgent jute industry. From the very beginning, the Sarda group intended to preserve our environment by advocating the use of a biodegradable fiber like jute.

Investment in the jute industry

Currently, the Sarda group owns jute mills, producing more than 500 tons of jute products daily.  Recently, a Jute Mill with an estimated investment of Rs 100 crore has been set up at Alwar Rajasthan.

With the efforts of Mr. Ghanshyam Sarda, the Sarda Group was able to set up the first professional training facility for people working in jute mills in India with an aim to help workers hone their skills.

Providing training for the workers

Till now, the Sarda group is home to 50,000 workers and is one of West Bengal’s largest employers.  Mr. Ghanshyam Sarda has mentioned in one of his press releases that earlier, there was a vast shortage of skilled workers. In addition, due to the lack of a certified coaching center to provide the required quality education to professionals across the jute trade, the industry was not able to show a speedy recovery.

Due to this sole reason, the Sarda group stepped ahead with an innovative idea of providing training to all unskilled workers of the jute industry. This, in return, helped raise the production level of the jute products. As workers became skilled, they were able to finish the production work quickly to meet the demands.

Range of jute products

Nowadays, various range of jute products is being manufactured in India, like, Hessian Cloth, Sacking Cloth, Jute Yarn and Twines, D.W.Tarpaulin, Canvas, Bags, Hydrocarbon Free Jute Cloth, Geotextiles. Recently, the Indian Jute Industries Research Association (IJIRA) at Kolkata has developed low-cost jute-based sanitary napkins, which will soon be manufactured commercially.

Efforts by Mr. Neetish Sarda

Mr. Neetish Sarda is a prominent entrepreneur known for contributing to India’s managed office spaces industry, primarily focusing on the country’s economic and social development. According to Mr. Neetish Sarda, it is essential to have a conducive working environment in order to increase the productivity level in the company. He came up with the idea to ensure the attractive ambiance of the workspaces. Smartworks aims to ensure beautiful workplaces with cutting-edge infrastructure.

With the same combination of determination and honest effort as his father, Mr. Ghanshyam Sarda, he is an excellent entrepreneur at such a young age. He is making his notable contribution and is taking the entrepreneurial legacy forward.