The man­ag­ing di­rec­tor of Pat­ton In­ter­na­tional Lim­ited, a leader in the field of plas­tic tanks and con­tain­ers, PVC pipes, steel stamp­ings and EMT fit­ting prod­ucts, San­jay Bud­hia has achieved a lot, both in the board­room and be­yond to make for a larg­erthan-

Marwar - - Contents - Text Pooja Mu­jum­dar

The man­ag­ing di­rec­tor of Pat­ton In­ter­na­tional Lim­ited, a leader in the field of plas­tic tanks and con­tain­ers, PVC pipes, steel stamp­ings and EMT fit­ting prod­ucts, San­jay Bud­hia has achieved a lot, both in the board­room and be­yond to make for a larger-than-life suc­cess story.

FOR SAN­JAY BUD­HIA, MAK­ING sure that there are no mis­takes at work and the vi­sion that he cher­ishes for him­self and his team at Pat­ton In­ter­na­tional Lim­ited is what keeps him in­vig­o­rated as an en­tre­pre­neur. As its man­ag­ing di­rec­tor, Bud­hia looks to ‘ex­pand into newer ter­ri­to­ries and ge­ogra­phies and to keep adding prod­ucts to the com­pany’s port­fo­lio, in both the en­gi­neer­ing and plas­tic di­vi­sions’.

From Tin­sukia to Kolkata

Born and bred in Tin­sukia, As­sam, Bud­hia stud­ied in a Hindi medium school and was al­ways a top­per in class, win­ning schol­ar­ships along the way. While still in school, he de­vel­oped a flair for writ­ing and be­gan con­tribut­ing to school pe­ri­od­i­cals and na­tional mag­a­zines such as Mukta and Sarita, pub­lished by Delhi Press. Hav­ing also topped in San­skrit in the Class 10 board ex­ams, he set out to trans­late a school text­book from San­skrit to Hindi. Dub­bing this ef­fort as his first en­tre­pre­neur­ial ven­ture, Bud­hia re­mem­bers how the first print run of his trans­lated work got sold within a week!

Com­ing to enterprise, the Bud­hias orig­i­nally be­gan with an en­gi­neer­ing firm called ‘As­sam Me­tals’ in Tin­sukia that catered to large clients in­clud­ing Oil and Nat­u­ral Gas Cor­po­ra­tion Lim­ited, In­dian Oil Cor­po­ra­tion Ltd and Oil In­dia Lim­ited. In the late 70s, the fam­ily moved from Tin­sukia to Kolkata, where San­jay Bud­hia’s fa­ther, H P Bud­hia, ac­quired a small, sick elec­tri­cal com­po­nents unit in 1979. With that, the fa­ther-son duo opened an of­fice un­der the name ‘Elec­trometal In­dia Lim­ited’, at Chat­ter­jee In­ter­na­tional Cen­tre.

Learn­ing the ropes

In Kolkata, Bud­hia went on to study com­merce from St Xavier's Col­lege, which, ac­cord­ing to him was a turn­ing point in his life, as it not only helped him aca­dem­i­cally but also in­stilled in him the val­ues of dis­ci­pline and punc­tu­al­ity which he still lives by. Af­ter col­lege, he would rush to of­fice to com­plete the day’s work, and this, he says, was a great learn­ing ex­pe­ri­ence: “It was the per­fect op­por­tu­nity for me to en­gage in a prac­ti­cal ap­pli­ca­tion of ev­ery­thing that I was learn­ing in col­lege. The hands-on ex­pe­ri­ence com­ple­mented my the­ory lessons,” he rem­i­nisces.

The turn­ing point

A few years down, a ma­jor de­vel­op­ment proved to be a wa­ter­shed in the his­tory of the Bud­hias’ business. It hap­pened when USA is­sued an­tidump­ing and coun­ter­vail­ing duty of 33 per cent on all im­ports, rais­ing the price of these goods, which sub­se­quently caused se­ri­ous set­backs for all ma­jor ex­port­ing firms, in­clud­ing the Bud­hias’. Cou­pled with the fact that their elec­tri­cal com­po­nents unit had been fac­ing prob­lems, the business took a nose­dive. But the never-say-die spirit in Bud­hia would not suc­cumb to the on­slaught.

He started all over again, this time by re­launch­ing a prod­uct called ‘pressed steel tank’, which they had ear­lier man­u­fac­tured in their As­sam unit. And thus Elec­trometal Tanks Lim­ited was born, the only com­pany in the pri­vate sec­tor to start man­u­fac­tur­ing the prod­uct and also the first to ob­tain ISI cer­ti­fi­ca­tion. Si­mul­ta­ne­ously, he se­cured the first ma­jor deal of his ca­reer: a `50 lakh or­der for his prod­uct from the Pub­lic Health En­gi­neer­ing de­part­ment of the Jammu and Kash­mir govern­ment.

Up the rungs of suc­cess

The vi­sion­ary in him soon sensed the de­mand for wa­ter stor­age tanks (of up to 10,000 litres ca­pac­ity) for smaller es­tab­lish­ments like homes and of­fices in east­ern In­dia, con­sid­er­ing that there was no other man­u­fac­turer in the re­gion. Con­se­quently, the Bud­hias pur­chased a unit that had been ly­ing shut and con­verted it into a plas­tic man­u­fac­tur­ing unit. They called the plas­tic wa­ter tanks that were man­u­fac­tured ‘Pat­ton Tanks’ to highlight their tough­ness and steadi­ness (af­ter Ge­orge S Pat­ton, the bril­liant US Army gen­eral from World War II).

Build­ing a brand Bud­hia re­veals that their plas­tic wa­ter

tanks were im­mensely suc­cess­ful, so much so that peo­ple be­gan as­so­ci­at­ing the tanks with the com­pany. This in turn prompted the Bud­hias to rechris­ten their com­pany Pat­ton Tanks Lim­ited. A few years of nat­u­ral evo­lu­tion and di­ver­si­fi­ca­tion later, all the group com­pa­nies were brought un­der a new name, Pat­ton In­ter­na­tional Lim­ited. To­day, the prod­uct port­fo­lio of Bud­hias’ plas­tic di­vi­sion in­cludes an en­tire gamut of of­fer­ings, like plas­tic tanks, rigid PVC pipes, chem­i­cal stor­age tanks, ma­te­rial han­dling con­tain­ers, drums, in­dus­trial pal­lets and jer­rycans. “We use 100 per cent vir­gin, food-grade raw ma­te­rial in our wa­ter stor­age tanks and food preser­va­tion con­tain­ers,” says Bud­hia.

That apart, Pat­ton has re­cently de­vel­oped a unique plas­tic tank, in col­lab­o­ra­tion with Jute Cor­po­ra­tion of In­dia and In­dian Jute In­dus­tries Re­search As­so­ci­a­tion which will be help­ful for hy­gienic and sci­en­tific ret­ting of jute (a process of wash­ing raw jute to get the fi­bre). The com­pany has also made head­way in im­ple­ment­ing

sus­tain­able wa­ter con­ser­va­tion in the re­gion by means of rain­wa­ter har­vest­ing, ground­wa­ter recharge sys­tems and by de­vel­op­ing mov­able roller wa­ter stor­age tanks for hilly ter­rains. Ex­cel­lence is key Over the years, Pat­ton’s en­gi­neer­ing di­vi­sion has flour­ished, mak­ing it a govern­ment-recog­nised ex­port house and a star ex­porter of steel stamp­ings and EMT fit­ting prod­ucts to For­tune 500 com­pa­nies. It has earned the com­pany sev­eral na­tional awards for ex­cel­lence in ex­ports and pro­duc­tiv­ity, in the process. As of now, it has six plants in West Ben­gal cater­ing to the needs of elec­tri­cal trade. “We have not lost a sin­gle man-hour on ac­count of strikes or lock­outs since in­cep­tion,” says Bud­hia. And this has kept him forg­ing ahead, even in­creas­ing the com­pany’s of­fer­ings by way of a di­verse range of prod­ucts to cater to elec­tri­cal markets in USA, Canada, Mex­ico, Columbia and MENA coun­tries. “Our prod­ucts have re­ceived ap­proval from world-class in­sti­tu­tions like Cana­dian Stan­dards As­so­ci­a­tion (CSA), In­tertek UK, RWTÜV of Ger­many and Un­der­writ­ers Lab­o­ra­to­ries Inc of USA,” says Bud­hia with ap­par­ent pride. Un­der­ly­ing strengths A size­able por­tion of Pat­ton’s rev­enues come from over­seas markets and this has been a big learn­ing curve for the com­pany. The big­gest task has been to de­liver qual­ity prod­ucts, at com­pet­i­tive costs and on time. Bud­hia says, “Nowa­days, it is not about cus­tomers’ ex­pec­ta­tions but mere re­quire­ments of the business that one can­not sup­ply two days be­fore or three days later than the spec­i­fied date of de­liv­ery. There is no room for ex­cuses.” Re­call­ing the floods of Odisha a cou­ple of years ago, he says, “At that time, we could not have de­layed the de­liv­er­ies, so we shipped our prod­ucts by air, at a cost that ex­ceeded the cost of the prod­ucts them­selves; but the move surely earned us trust.”

To en­sure timely de­liv­ery of goods, Pat­ton has its own back-up sup­ply chain lo­gis­tics sys­tem in place. The com­pany has set up ware­houses in Jones­boro, Arkansas, and Nor­folk, Vir­ginia that are lo­cated strate­gi­cally close to cus­tomers. The in­ven­tory man­age­ment is car­ried out by an ex­pert ‘Alert Team’, and stock lev­els are mon­i­tored 24/7 and re­plen­ished on a real-time ba­sis to keep the in­ven­tory up to date as per pre­scribed vol­umes. Weekly con­fer­ence calls with rep­re­sen­ta­tives from the same or­gan­i­sa­tion based in dif­fer­ent coun­tries are con­ducted to en­sure align­ment with com­mit­ments that are de­void of any am­bi­gu­ity. “We have also pro­vided cus­tomers with an on­line por­tal that is in­te­grated with our ware­hous­ing fa­cil­i­ties,” says Bud­hia. “This gives them the flex­i­bil­ity to cre­ate their own prod­uct req­ui­si­tions, as per their re­quire­ment and con­ve­nience, thereby sav­ing a lot of time and cost.”

What has also con­trib­uted to mak­ing Pat­ton a mega suc­cess story is its 2,500+ sat­is­fied em­ploy­ees. For Bud­hia, it is all about treat­ing em­ploy­ees as fam­ily and play­ers of ‘Team Pat­ton’.

Our prod­ucts have re­ceived ap­proval from world­class in­sti­tu­tions like Cana­dian Stan­dards As­so­ci­a­tion ( CSA), In­tertek UK ...

Sur­viv­ing against all odds The fi­nan­cial cri­sis of 2008 hit the world like a bolt from the blue and the eco­nomic down­turn that fol­lowed im­pacted Pat­ton too. “Or­ders were dry­ing up, but as the say­ing goes, when the go­ing gets tough, the tough gets go­ing,” says Bud­hia. Since a ma­jor part of their ex­port deal­ings were with USA, to­gether with a col­league, he vis­ited the coun­try to meet cus­tomers and test wa­ters, man­ag­ing to get size­able or­ders. This brought back the smiles for not just his fam­ily, but Team Pat­ton also. Bud­hia con­sid­ers the trip to be a re­mark­able ex­am­ple of the in­domitable will and in­de­fati­ga­ble spirit of Mar­waris like him. Be­yond the of­fice Bud­hia’s sec­ond pas­sion, af­ter business, is health and fit­ness, which takes him on reg­u­lar walks, swims and to the gym. In the evenings, he at­tends so­cial events. He also makes sure that he spends enough time with his fam­ily, com­pris­ing his par­ents, wife Minu, and two daugh­ters. Be­yond that, he likes to bal­ance his life by ded­i­cat­ing time to the in­sti­tu­tions and or­gan­i­sa­tions that he is as­so­ci­ated with. Bud­hia is cur­rently the chair­man of CII Na­tional Com­mit­tee on Ex­ports and Im­ports. He also is a Na­tional Coun­cil Mem­ber of All In­dia Man­age­ment As­so­ci­a­tion (AIMA) and Hon­orary Con­sul of Malaysia in Kolkata. Fur­ther, he is a mem­ber of the ad­vi­sory board of St Xavier's Univer­sity (Kolkata), a Sam­sad (Court) mem­ber of Visva-Bharati Univer­sity, a mem­ber of the man­ag­ing com­mit­tee of La Mar­tiniere SEOMP So­ci­ety, a board mem­ber of Young Pres­i­dents' Or­gan­i­sa­tion, Gold - Kolkata and a pa­tron of Dover Lane Mu­sic Con­fer­ence. Phil­an­thropic lean­ings The Bud­hias have con­trib­uted to­wards the es­tab­lish­ment and run­ning of two higher sec­ondary schools (one for girls and one for boys) at their na­tive place in Ra­jasthan, and is set­ting up a co-ed­u­ca­tional in­ter­na­tional school in Kolkata for stu­dents from kin­der­garten to Class 12. They have also built the first and the only hos­pi­tal for car­diac pa­tients on fam­ily land in Tin­sukia. Pat­ton has also cre­ated a role model school built by the pri­vate sec­tor con­sist­ing of a G+4 build­ing in Ra­jasthan. “Any­body trav­el­ling on the na­tional high­way con­nect­ing Ajmer and Jaipur can see this school which im­parts education to 1,100 stu­dents,” con­veys Bud­hia.

San­jay Bud­hia is cre­at­ing value, build­ing a strong em­pire and liv­ing with a pas­sion that be­comes a true Mar­wari en­tre­pre­neur. Age is just a num­ber for him. “God will­ing, I do not want to get tired or re­tired from work,” he says.

We hope he never is.

Clock­wise fom top: A Pat­ton plant at Be­hala, Kolkata; San­jay Bud­hia at a Pat­ton ware­house in Mem­phis, USA; A Pat­ton plant at Falta, West Ben­gal

Top left (l-r): Chan­dra Shekhar Ghosh, CMD, Band­han Bank, S K Roy, MD, Peer­less Group and San­jay Bud­hia re­ceiv­ing CMA Man­age­ment Ex­cel­lence Award in 2016; San­jay Bud­hia re­ceiv­ing Ex­port Ex­cel­lence Award from Amit Mi­tra, Hon'ble Min­is­ter, Govern­ment of West Ben­gal, at the Fed­er­a­tion of In­dian Ex­port Or­gan­i­sa­tions (FIEO) award func­tion

Top: San­jay Bud­hia with fam­ily (l-r) San­jay Bud­hia, H P Bud­hia (fa­ther), Prachi (daugh­ter), Preeyam (daugh­ter), Uma Devi Bud­hia (mother) and Minu (wife) Bot­tom: San­jay Bud­hia at­tend­ing an event at the Con­sulate of Malaysia of­fice in Kolkata

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