This sugar company traces its journey back to 1985 and to a land that held its secrets buried deep. Theni, a district in Tamil Nadu, was dry, arid territory. Agriculture existed, but so did issues. Times were tough and market conditions were rather unfavourable. Even the presence of the Vagai Dam just 7 kilometres away, did not seem to help mu.
The land waited, knowing its potential- all it needed was a fresh pair of eyes and a mind to help, to unearth its treasures.
In 1985, that’s exactly what happened. Erstwhile Chief Minister, Mr.M.G. Ramachandran won with a thumping majority, from the Andipatti constituency in Theni. He decided that an agro-based industry would usher in development and progress. But it wasn’t as easy as it sounds. This was a huge task and required a person with a large heart and a forward-thinking mind. There was just one man who could bring this ambitious plan to fruition.
When Mr.Varadaraj met the Chief Minister in Madras(now Chennai), he was informed that he had been given a sugar license and was asked to build a factory in Andipatti. Mr. M. G. Ramachandran believed that Mr.Varadaraj’sphilanthropy would usher in an era of prosperity for the people.
This was Ms.RajshreePathy’s first foray into the world of business- she volunteered to help her father in the process of setting up the factory. They had help- The PSG family has always valued land and understood its importance. He chose Myladumparai to be the site for the factory. But this too wasn’t as easy as it sounds. More land was needed and a Gujarati businessman agreed to sell his land. In keeping with the Government regulation of not building an industry within a 2.5 km radius of a river bed, land was bought in a sylvan location with the Kodai Hills on one side and the Vaigai Dam on the other. This was where the factory was finallyconstructed.
Rajshree Sugars and Chemicals Limited was created on 13thDecember 1985. Work began in right earnest in mid- 1987 and well-qualified staff quickly set off to work. The team worked on creating a high-quality seed from improved cane varieties. These seeds would be given to farmers who’d have time to cultivate their crops before the company began operations.
But the responsibility didn’t end there- the company took its job seriously and along with The Madurai Institute of Social Work, spoke to close to 18,000 farmers to understand their issues and expectations. Mr.Varadarajwas very much a part of village visits and spent time explaining to and reassuring farmers. It is this ease of interaction and the fact that he was upfront with themthat set the farmers’ minds at ease.
The foundation stone of the factory was laid on 24thAugust,1987. Even then, RSCL was well ahead of the times- the factory was the first in the country to have cutting–edge boilers with 600 pci capacity. On 5thJuly, 1990, the factory was inaugurated by Chief Minister Dr. M. Karunanidhi.
While all seemed to be going well, a cataclysmic event occurred- Mr Varadaraj’s demise in 1990, shook everyone to the core and left his family grappling to make sense of life. It was then that Ms.RajshreePathy showed the world that she was her father’s daughter. She had been made the Managing Director of the company in 1989. She now took charge and became the Chairman and Managing Director of the company. Despite the odds and enormous pressure from various quarters, she pressed on, determined to continue the legacy of her father. And she has done just that, with dignity, grace and vision.