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Men who matter


V.S. Prasad

Seeing his ability to make sick units turn the corner, especially marine product units, he was invited by a high level committee headed by P. Murari to give a presentation before Union Ministers and bankers on how he could manage the turnaround and make the companies debt-free when others failed.

Meet V.S. Prasad, the managing director of Alufluoride Limited.

Hailing from West Godavari district, he left for the US at the age of 23 for completing his MBA (Finance), after his graduation from Loyola College in Chennai.

"My formative years were in the US. After completing my PG I joined one of the top department store chains called 'SAKS Fifth Avenue' as a finance professional and later shifted to the multi-national, Union Carbide," he recalls.

After an 18-year stint in Union Carbide in various positions and at different locations, he settled in Visakhapatnam with entrepreneurial ambitions. It was here that he used his rich experiences in reshaping quite a few sick units. After having done so, he finally settled down in building something of his own and floated Alufluoride Limited, "an eco-friendly company".

On Aluflouride, he says, "This is basically an ancillary unit for aluminium smelter plants. Aluminium fluoride that is produced by my plant is used as a flux by smelters. The use of this chemical reduces power consumption in aluminium plants, and as power is a major raw material for smelters, the chemical is always on demand."

According to him, in India only four plants are manufacturing this chemical and his is the only one in AP. "My factory and the one run by SPIC in Chennai use the modern technology while the other two still continue with the old methodology."

Why Visakhapatanam?

"Coromandel Fertilisers generates hydrofluosilicic acid at its phosphoric fertiliser complex and it was being pumped out as waste into the effluent treatment plant. And it is a known chemical phenomenon that if hydrofluosilicic acid could be treated with aluminium hydroxide, the result would be the generation of aluminium fluoride. So I approached the CFL people and for allowing me to set up a plant near their establishment and use the waste acid to manufacture aluminium fluoride."

Today Alufluoride Limited not only employs over 100 persons but also has the distinction of obtaining ISO 9000, ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001. The plant produces over 6,000 tonnes for domestic consumption and over 1,000 tonnes for export.

Alufluoride Limited is one among the companies that had gone for public issue during the famous 'IPO Rush'. "Our issue was oversubscribed by 25 times and it continues to be traded. We can proudly proclaim that we are not one among those loot-and-scoop companies that had gone public a few years ago."

Future plans

"We would like to diversify into aluminium related chemicals in future. But personally my goal is to make this company totally debt-free within the next couple of years and pay dividend to shareholders," he says.

Apart from being an industrialist, Mr. Prasad has floated a trust in his name to serve the disabled and the blind.

S.B.

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