In 1996-97, “Satyam Steel Alloys Private Ltd” was established in Byrnihat. Subsequently, another unit named, “Shivam” was started, but this was not up to his liking, therefore, he thought it to be the wish of God Shiva and  decided to confine his efforts within his enterprise “Satyam” only. Now Satyam is a leading  brand name  in the steel industry of NE and it makes Mr. Sharma the steel  king of the NE. Remembering the incident when he approached Mr. Sunny Deol and requested him to give his consent to be a Brand Ambassador of his product, Mr. Deol frankly told him that it was not the money but the quality of the product of ‘Satyam’ which prompted him to give his consent.

Born to Late Mr. Satyanarayan Sharma and Mrs. Sita Devi of Daudsar Village of Ratangarh Tehsil in Rajasthan, Ratan Sharma, in his childhood was working not only as a herdsman but also worked in agricultural farms. He did his studies in the  farmland under candlelight and appeared for Matriculation examination. Like any member of a Brahmin family, he did everything right from horoscope preparation to reading of marital compatibility in the horoscopes of couples. There was no significant change in his life for a long time after he came to Guwahati with his father. Residing in a small rented room with his father and cooking himself, always an obedient son and respecting his father’s words, Mr. Sharma still remembers those old  days. Recollecting the days of hisearly life, he says, “Because of all these reasons, I can never think of terminating the services of my employees. All my employees are members of my family and, therefore, this is the reason for which, I consider it my duty to look after them”. Considering this principle of oneness and unity as the cause of his success, Mr. Sharma believes in leading his life together not only with his elder brother Shri Pawan Sharma, younger brothers Sri  Suresh Sharma, Sri Kamal Sharma, and the only sister Smti Urmila Joshi, but also all his distant relatives.

Mr. Sharma is an affluent man of vision, a by-product of genius. Ask him which contemporary business story appeals to him the most, and he replies, “Lakshmi Niwas Mittal.” Ask him why, and he explains, “It is not the wealth but the creation of something unique that has inspired me.” Breaking boundaries is his signature too.

Wires, plates, sheets, bars, pipes, slabs, steel of every kind is what lives are built on. It is a lifestyle earned by a man whose nose is always crinkling with the smell of opportunity, whose mind is always alive with invention. As a leading Hindi Daily of the North East “Dainik Purvoday” recently wrote, “His secret is a combination of technological vision and managerial acumen.”

In the next five years, his target is to increase his production two-fold, - from 1.50 lakhs M.T. to 3.00 lakh M.T. per annum. Shri Sharma said that he is not going to compete with the local manufacturers, but all his concerted efforts and endeavours would be directed to put up a tough competition with the national steel producers, like TISCON, SAIL, etc.

After establishing himself firmly in the Steel Sector, Mr. Sharma is now thinking of diversification of his industrial activities. He visualizes that there is   tremendous potential in the Power, Cement and Hospitality Sectors of the region. He is contemplating seriously to embark upon a new enterprise in those sectors. Speaking openly about North East and its people he said, the North East is a nice place and her people are very good natured, friendly, generous and hospitable. But due to some obvious reasons, a feeling of uncertainty about their very existence is haunting them. But, I think, finally they will be able to come out of this situation successfully by dint of their boldness and courage. He also said, ‘I came to Assam from my birthplace in Rajasthan with all the sincerity and good intention of settling down permanently here. I never consider myself as a outsider. I am proud that I am a part of the  greater Assamese society’. While expressing this feeling, he was really very emotional. When he started his venture first in Byrnihat, he was alone because others were very hesitant to run the risk of setting up a new industry there. He is the pioneer in this field. Now, there are more than 150 industries set up in the Byrnihat area.

Touching the burning problem of insurgency of the region, he opined that unemployment, lack of proper planning for industrialization, deterred economic growth are the factors primarily responsible for giving rise to this problem. According to him, the Govt. would do well if the huge amount of money spent on tackling this insurgency problem is directed towards industrialization of the region. This will create employment avenues for those strayed youth, and thereby they can be brought back to the mainstream.

Speaking on the slow pace of industrialisation of the North East region, he says that the region is endowed with abundant resources, but there is lack of entrepreneurship.  He said that  banks and other financial institutions are not willing to provide the same to the prospective entrepreneurs. The reason is that firstly, they are not cooperative and secondly, for any such decisions for sanctions, they are to depend on their higher authorities, which are usually located outside the region. But IDBI and NEDFI have been doing their best in this regard, however, within their limitations. Poor financing facilities are mainly responsible for deterred development in the Industrial sector of the region.

Utpal Kanta