Monday, 14 March 2016

Padma Shri Dr. Bhavarlal H Jain, Founder of Jain Group, Jalgaon, passes away

Padma Shri Dr. Bhavarlal H Jain, Founder of Jain Group, Jalgaon, passes away
With immense grief, we inform you of the passing away of our beloved founder Chairman Shri Bhavarlal Hiralal Jain (Age 79) on 25th Feb 2016 after a brief illness, at a hospital in Mumbai.   A man of small ideas which created big revolutions, he practiced what he preached and built his entire business on a foundation of inclusiveness and sustainability over the last five decades.   He believed every small farmer is an entrepreneur and must earn a higher income with dignity. He toiled hard to ensure this to over five million farmers. He was a visionary and karmayogi. The company takes a pledge to walk on the path envisaged by him forever. The state funeral and cremation ceremony took place at Jain Hills, Jalgaon at 3 pm on Saturday, the 27th February 2016.  

The small town entrepreneur who established a billion dollar rural multinational corporation. A spirited champion of the small farmer whom he saw toiling nobly in the face of all adversity. A committed environmentalist and compassionate social worker – is no more!   How can mere words describe this multifaceted man? A son of the soil, who by sheer dint of hard work, bravely facing penury, rose to head the world’s second largest drip irrigation company. Whose pioneering work in the farming sector is unparalleled by any single individual in this country’s history. Who brought the latest and most relevant technology to the small and marginal farmers and always ensured that all his business were done ethically and with a conscience.

That whatever technology was brought, could be adapted for small farm holdings. Further, he constantly innovated with these technologies to make them affordable and within their reach.   A man who never shied away from work, a man who genuinely believed that there was nothing better than work. Not doing anything was anathema to him. If it was not work in the JISL factory, or the R&D farm, then it was social work. Education was very close to his heart. He believed in nurturing the young with good education and sound values. Values that have stood the test of time, but are slowly and surely being eroded by the influence of Western culture on our youth.  

The residential school, Anubhuti that he established in Jalgaon, follows modern teaching methods, curriculum and offers an international quality of education, but retains many Indian customs & values seen in our Gurukuls.   He firmly believed that economic conditions should not prevent deserving children from getting a good education. This prompted him to start another school for children whose parents live below the poverty line. Today hundreds of bright youngsters, provided with free education, books, wholesome meals and all other necessities, bear witness to the faith he reposed in them and are blooming into bright young citizens of tomorrow.  

His diminutive stature belied the immense reserves of strength that he had. Seven heart attacks, two bye-pass surgeries, an angioplasty and cerebral stroke, did not deter him from working an eight or ten hour day. Be it building and running of the Anubhuti School or the mammoth Gandhi Research Foundation. The latter he set up, not just because he personally believed in the Mahatma’s teachings, but to ensure that the younger generation never forgets him or the timeless message of his life’s work.  

A much sought after public speaker, he would hold his audience spellbound with his knowledge & eloquence on various subjects – be they work related, political or social. Without as much as a scrap of paper as an aide memoire, his prodigious memory could recall data, events or recount anecdotes and stories to enthrall, entertain or captivate his audiences.   Speaking extempore with such erudition and passion on agriculture for nearly an hour at the Harvard Business School during his last visit to the US, prompted Prof. Ray A. Goldberg, (George M. Moffett Professor of agriculture and business, Emeritus) calling him his brother! The professor later visited Jain Irrigation, Jalgaon with a delegation that included other professors and the Dean of Harvard Business School.

The HBS today uses Jain as a case study for their graduate program.   There were so many subjects that he was committed to that he has written several books on them. His book on the ills of the social structure written 20 years ago, is as relevant today as it was then.   His book on his experiments and learnings with watershed management could well be used as a textbook by students and by the general public, as the subject is so pertinent and his observations so simple to understand. His unique style of management, has a thriving sustainable corporation, employing 10,000 associates, seamlessly working across five continents. This is reflected in his books – “An Entrepreneur Deciphered” & “The Enlightened Entrepreneur”. Read more....


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