Bhalotia Group is headed by Shri Chandu Lal Bhalotia. He joined his grandfather’s grocery shop when he was just a young boy. But he handled the customers, the cash register and the stocks with elan.
After his schooling at R.P. Patel High School, he obtained a degree in commerce from the Cooperative College, Jamshedpur. On the face of it, he was like any other man you would meet on your way back from office when you stop at the local grocery store.
This young man that set him apart from youths of his age. This guy was different as he secretly believed that the world was his to conquer. Meet Chandu Lal Bhalotia the man who believes in writing his own destiny.
“When Indira Gandhi declared the Emergency, it seemed like the beginning of an end for traders. No self-respecting individual could have continued with their business.We had to close down our family business,”said the second of the six Bhalotia brothers.
“Around the same time, Indira Gandhi had announced mini-bus allotments for unemployed graduates. Contractors and skilled workers from Utkal Motors, a firm that was monopolising in manufacturing buses, approached me,”said Chandu Lal.
The rest as they say was history. In 1975, Bhalotia Engineering Works was founded in Gamharia by three brothers, the eldest Chimanlal Bhalotia, second in line Chandulal and Gajanan Bhalotia.
The venture kicked off on a modest note with a basic investment in plant and manual machinery. But that was the beginning of a success story.
Noor and Ashwini, the first two mini-buses that were bought by Bhalotia Works were put on sale for a price of Rs 23,000.
“That was a sell-out”, says Chandu Lal with a twinkle in eyes.
“Our competitors were offering the same quality product for almost double the price. We had a winner in our hands,”he added.
The two buses started a revolution of sorts in the city. Armed with loans from the government, unemployed engineers, began approaching Chandu Lal with orders for buses.
For the next two years, the race continued unabated, seemingly endless.
“I plunged into the business headlong”, says Chandulal. “There was so much to learn. We worked from 6 am to 11 pm and still the hours seemed short. We had so much to do and so little time. ”
From Tata Motors, Ashok Leyland and Eicher Motors to cross-border clients in Nepal, Bhutan and Bangladesh. From DTC buses in Delhi to tenders from the state transport corporations across the country, this winner from the Bhalotia house has run miles and worked wonders. But not one to be satisfied another idea crossed Chandu Lal’s mind.
“We were placing orders with other companies for passenger seats when it struck me that it would make more sense to start a rubber foam industry of our own.”
The Bhalotias set up Bharat Foam in Adityapur. Another unit, Bharat Engineering and Body Building was also established.
However, the dream run was interrupted in 1984, when the Bhalotia brothers went their separate ways. Both Bharat Engineering and Body Building and Bharat Foam went to Chandu Lal’s brothers.
Only Bhalotia Works remained with Chandu Lal. But this self-assured gentleman was not the kind to look back and regret.
In 1996, Chandu Lal established Bhalotia Auto Products Limited, a foundry unit that manufactured brake drums for Tata Motors and Eicher Motors Limited.
“Its all about recognising the market demand and using its potential to the fullest. We now manufacture approximately 3,000 brake drums every month,”says the man who makes everything look so easy. Meanwhile, Bravo Sponge Iron Limited that was opened last year is looking all set for a long run too.
Away from work, this 65-year-old businessman, who is also the president of Rajasthan Seva Sadan and the Tatanagar Goushala, still retains his crisp spirit.
“I still love to read like in my earlier days. I mostly read books on religion, especially those written by Premchand, Maithilisharan Gupt and Sumitranandan Pant.”
Unending pursuits, both professionally and personally, have failed to tired this man. Family still tops his list of priorities.
“Even today on Diwali, my younger brothers come over with their family members to my house. They touch my feet and take my blessings. I am a firm believer in traditional values. Touch wood my family members are still rooted to their culture,” said a beaming Chandu Lal.
His own family comprises three daughters and three sons. “My daughters are all married and my three sons Ashok, Ramesh and Ajay have joined the family business.”
Chandu Lal is proud that his children have stuck to the age-old family values and traditions.
“In many ways, my family has retained the traditional spirit. Sometimes I feel, the relation that I share with my children has grown stronger over the years because of the values instilled in them.”
Kaumudi, Muneshwari Bhawan, Contractors Area, Road No. 2, P.O. Bistupur, Jamshedpur- 831001