A scholar from a small village once dreamt of running a business in Bhubaneswar. Braving all odds, he became a successful entrepreneur who is now playing a crucial role in generating new business talent in the state. To get a glimpse of his journey so far and to understand his future plans, Orissa POST sat down with Jayadurga Home Care Products Pvt Ltd managing director Baburam Swain.

How was the journey from studying chemical engineering to running a chemical products business?

Generally, youths prefer to get a good government job that will offer them modest income and job security when they complete higher education. But when I finished my engineering course, I wanted to start my own business. And, because I was a student of chemical engineering, I had a weakness towards chemical products manufacturing. So, initially I started sourcing different types of raw materials from Kolkata and then in 1999 I started Smile Plus brand to formally run a chemicals business. 

Can you tell us about the current state of chemicals manufacturing market?

Minor chemical products business has existed before and it will continue to exist in future too. But there is a lot of importance given to the business environment and processes as well as the consumer demand as the market is large and sustainable in long run. And specifically in Odisha, the demand is always higher because these chemical products are used everywhere, from households to laboratories and from industries to social sector. Similarly, market leaders in this sector always enjoy the lion’s share of profit. So, to survive in the industry, you have to prioritise good customer relationship.

What changes do you see in the demand for minor chemical products before and after Covid?

Before Covid in Odisha, approximately 40 per cent of the population used different chemical products manufactured for household use. But after Covid, it has increased to 75 to 80 per cent because of the panic created by the pandemic. People have started spending more on phenyls, bleaching and hand washes. Similarly, though the demand for minor chemical products is high, rise in import cost and raw material cost have pushed the price up.

What are your plans for expanding the business in future?

We have plans to survive in the current competitive environment but none to expand the business. But we are constantly taking steps to change our business strategy to come closer to the customers. Smile Plus brand is now selling many minor chemical products while Jayadurga Chemicals, Jayadurga Pet Industry and Smile Gold are running other businesses.

Tell us the secret behind the popularity gained by the company’s brands.

Altogether four brands are doing business under Jayadurga Home Care Products Private Limited. Though the company has focused on chemicals and chemical-based products, steps have been taken to bring other businesses to limelight. I believe by not compromising with the quality of products and services, and by ensuring good post-sales service, the business and brand can gain wider popularity. Since we are prioritising capacity development programmes, hundreds of youths are being imparted skills training and are becoming successful entrepreneurs. Through these initiatives, the company and the brand have gained wider publicity and reach.


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