Friday, February 13, 2009: 10:54:34 AM

TFPJ Personality of the Fortnight

Perfection to the ‘T’

Hemendra Prasad Barooah MD & Chairman, B&A Limited

B&A Limited was incepted as a small tea trading firm in 1915. Today, it has grown to become one of the foremost tea producing companies in the country. The credit for this remarkable growth goes to Hemendra Prasad Barooah, Chairman and MD, B&A Limited.
Legacy business
Mr Barooah took over the reins of B&A Limited from his father Shivprasad Barooah who had, in turn, inherited the business from his father Bishnuram Barooah. Having obtained an MBA degree from Harvard Business School, he joined the family’s tea plantation business in 1950.
After his father’s death, Mr Barooah took charge of the company and bought a few small tea estates from a famous tea company. The venture required him to borrow funds from financial institutions. However, his hard work and perseverance paid off, and his enterprise became a resounding success. Shortly after that, he acquired four more gardens and expanded his operations.
Conquering the competition
Mr Barooah feels, “Not much competition exists in the tea business as such. The challenge is lies in producing quality tea.” To ensure that their tea is of the best quality, he has personally employed skilled and experienced tea-pickers who have the biggest responsibility — picking tea at its flush. There is also an R&D team working round-the-clock to come up with new innovations and ideas for manufacturing superior quality teas. Mr Barooah constantly coordinates with his team and encourages them in their endeavours.
Apart from that, he has invested in state-of-the-art machinery for superior breaking, grinding, drying, withering, rolling and packing. It is his keen awareness of the industry and his adaptive skills that have helped Mr Barooah change with the times and invest in the latest machinery. He confidently proclaims, “Our tea gardens are among the top 10 tea gardens in India. We are most likely in the third position.”
Expansion plans
Mr Barooah owns seven tea estates, namely, Salkathoni, Mokrung, Samaguri, Gatoonga, Barasali, Kuhum and Sangsua. The company also has three factories situated at Gatoonga, Mokrung and Salkathoni tea estates. It is in these factories that the fragrant and strong B&A teas are manufactured and packed for distribution.
Mr Barooah is, however, not resting on his laurels and feels that there is more work left to be done. He believes that his team of highly skilled managers and loyal tea-workers have great potential, and is confident that they can help his company grow to be one of the foremost tea companies in the world.
Not only that, he sees a purple patch for the tea industry as a whole and is keen to explore the untapped prospects that can yield profits for his company. According to him, “The Indian tea industry is looking up after eight lean years. We are hopeful that in 2009 our position in the market will become stronger. If things turn out as desired, we may look at buying more tea gardens.”
Future of Tea
Mr Barooah believes that, “There is a great scope for small and medium tea companies to grow. In fact, there are quite a few young entrepreneurs who own small tea estates. If they have a positive frame of mind, are willing to take risks and have the capability to take prompt decision, then even these small ventures could turn out to be profitable.”

Rate me....
Mail this article Mail this article Print this article Print this article

Contribute/ Share your Opinion



Magazine Issues


logo Other Times Group Sites: