‘This [Nano urea] is a part of our various efforts to bring a long-term difference in the lives of our farmers.’
—Prime Minister Narendra Modi
The phenomenal successes and achievements of IFFCO, the world’s largest farm and fertilizer cooperative, are attributable to two factors—one, its ability to stay way ahead of both its competitors as well as the market, and two, its managing director Udai Shanker Awasthi.
Conceived in 1967 to streamline the fertilizer industry, IFFCO’s cooperative movement has empowered Indian farmers and made the country self-reliant in food grain production. From establishing state-ofthe- art fertilizer plants to creating numerous revolutionary nano-technology-based products, IFFCO has constantly nurtured India’s farm sector. Its recent nano innovations are bound to not only change the face of agriculture throughout the world but also mitigate climate changes and soil damage.
IFFCO’s nano products were the brainchild of Awasthi, who has led IFFCO for three decades. It is this continuity that has helped him plan ahead and ensure the company’s rapid growth and diversification. Turning every crisis into a joyous experience has been his motto throughout his professional life. Even though he served under nine different prime ministers and thirty-six ministers—much of this over a period when IFFCO was, for all practical purposes, a governmentowned organization—he never allowed the cross-currents of India’s politics to dent his abiding love for the nation, unwavering loyalty to Indian farmers and unwavering loyalty to IFFCO and the men and women who are associated with it.
Awasthi’s ability to put the needs of the organization before everything else has enabled IFFCO to realize PM Modi’s dream of Atmanirbhar Bharat, while also enhancing India’s position as a knowledge superpower, a vishwaguru.
About the Author
An alumnus of Columbia Business School, Aarnab Mitra did his schooling and college at St Xavier’s, Kolkata. He has been the National Editor and National Business Editor of Hindustan Times, Deputy Editor of Business Today and Joint News Editor of The Economic Times. He has also worked for The Telegraph and The Asian Age in Kolkata. Mitra also served in Norwegian multinational Statkraft as Director, Government Affairs. He has written books on leading corporate personalities and organizations.