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IFFCO CEO Awasthi mourns I K Gujral\\\'s death
Last Updated : 02 Dec 2012 11:04:31 PM IST
U S Awashti and Gujral
File photo of IFFCO CEO U S. Awasthi behind along with former Prime Minister of India Dr I. K Gujral also seen in picture former Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh Mayawati.

The Managing Director of Indian Farmers Fertiliser Cooperation Limited (IFFCO), Dr. U S. Awasthi expressed a enormous grief after hearing a news of sudden death of former Prime Minister of India Dr I. K. Gujral.

Dr.Awasthi in a brief interaction with recalled his first meeting with the then PM Shri IK Gujral when he visited IFFCO's Urea-Ammonia plant in Uttar Pradesh’s Bareilly district to inaugurate and dedicate the Aonla-2 fertiliser unit to the nation on 29th May, 1997.

He said that it is hard to forget the moments spent with the former Prime Minister Gujral since he found him to be an extremely gentle and down to earth person.

"I thought that Mr Gujral will speak to me in English, but I was pleasantly surprised when he started communicating in a  very simple language using a combination of Hindi and Urdu words" remarked Dr.Awasthi.

Dr. Awasthi further added "I also found him to be a great intellectual and observer who grasped things pretty quickly. He was very keen on understanding the functioning of the entire plant and the technology behind it".

More about Chief Executive Officer:

The Chief Executive Officer of IFFCO, designated as Managing Director, is vested with the overall responsibility of the affairs of IFFCO's day to day activities. Dr. Udai Shanker Awasthi is Managing Director of IFFCO since 1993.

Dr. Awasthi is an internationally renowned chemical engineer and has about four decades of experience which is completely dedicated to the fertiliser industry. Dr. Awasthi enjoys the unique distinction of serving private, public and cooperative sectors of the industry in India. He is acclaimed as a manager par excellence in India, particularly, in the area of project management. He has played crucial role in setting up a number of Ammonia-Urea, SSP and NPK/DAP projects in the country.

Ever since taking over as the Managing Director of IFFCO in February 1993, Dr. Awasthi has instilled new dynamism into IFFCO. He was the architect of "VISION 2000", a strategic road map for IFFCO, to make it a global leader in fertiliser production. The organisation has made rapid strides on all fronts under the aegis of this plan. New records and milestones were created in projects, production, energy conservation, environmental protection and sales.

Four major expansion projects were completed and new projects in India and abroad are initiated. With the completion of Kandla-II on Aug 5, 1999, all the major projects of Vision 2000 have been achieved. A testimony of Dr. Awasthi’s project management skills are evident from the fact that these projects were completed without time and cost overruns.

A hallmark of Dr. Awasthi’s tenure at the helm of IFFCO are the high levels of growth & and excellent financial results which are unsurpassed in the history of IFFCO. He was also instrumental in diversification forays of IFFCO such as IFFCO-Tokio General Insurance Company Limited (ITGI), power project in Chattisgarh titled IFFCO Chattisgarh Power Limited (ICPL). Similar objectives have contributed towards joint venture agreement with Jordan Phosphates Mines Company (JPMC) for setting up Phosphoric acid plant in Jordan. This initiative facilitate in steady supply of phosphoric acid to IFFCO's plants in India.

His vision of extending the benefits of emerging technologies for the welfare of the farmers is evident from IFFCO's forays into NCDEX & NCMSL. Dr Awasthi’s modernisation plans of IFFCO include aggressive penetration of Information Technology at all levels of the organisation. In order to meet the challenge of communication requirements of villages of India and to provide them with most appropriate information to equip them to take right decisions, a unique joint venture "IFFCO Kisan Sanchar Limited (IKSL) was launched. Dr Awasthi is the inspiration and leading force in all these unique ventures of IFFCO.

I remember my first meeting with former Prime Minister of India Dr I. K. Gujral: Dr Awasthi

Dr. Awasthi's deep rooted concern for Indian agriculture is evident from some of the special agriculture projects he has visualised in the areas of drip  irrigation, bio-pesticides, bio-fertilisers, use of plastic in agriculture, agricultural mechanisation, farm forestry etc. He has also galvanised the farmers’ education programmes to make them more effective. Every year, a large number of farmers from all over India benefit from the agricultural extension activities of IFFCO. He initiated IFFCO's ICT Initiatives for farmers and cooperatives to extend the benefits of computers and communications to rural India.

He takes keen interest in evolving appropriate content for farmers & cooperatives as well as effective delivery mechanism through a well conceived farmers kiosk network. He is an enthusiastic and active cooperator and takes keen interest in the growth of cooperative movement in India. He was also instrumental in promoting "IFFCO Foundation" to strengthen cooperative movement in the country.

Dr. Awasthi has held several positions in various bodies. He was elected president of International Fertiliser Industry Association (IFA), during 1997-99, which is an organisation of 457 member companies from 80 countries. He was the first Asian to occupy the coveted position of IFA. He was the Chairman of Fertiliser Association of India (FAI) during 1994-96.

He is on the Boards of several Indian as well as international companies:Chairman, Industries Chimiques du Senegal (ICS), Senegal Deputy Chairman, Jordan India Fertiliser Company, Amman, Jordan.

Director on the Boards of IFFCO:

IFFCO-Tokio General Insurance Company Limited (ITGI)
IFFCO Chattisgarh Power Limited (ICPL)
IFFCO Kisan Sanchar Limited, (IKSL)
IFFCO Kisan SEZ Limited
Fertiliser Association of India (FAI)
Indian Potash Limited (IPL)
Oman India Fertiliser Company (OMIFCO), Oman, Muscat
Kisan International trading (KIT), Dubai
Agricultural Cooperative Development International (ACDI), USA
Legend International Holdings Inc, Australia

Dr Awasthi had the honour of having represented the Industry Point of View at High Level Segment in the 6th Session of United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development and delivered a speech at ECOSOC Chamber, United Nations Headquarters, New York on Wednesday 29 April, 1998.

Prior to joining IFFCO, Dr. Awasthi was the Chairman and Managing Director of Pyrites, Phosphates and Chemicals Ltd. (PPCL). During this tenure, he had managed to bring stability and viability to PPCL.

He also headed Rashtriya Chemicals and Fertilisers Ltd. (RCF) for one year. Prior to this, he held important positions in several prominent fertiliser companies and was a key person in execution of Aonla and Hazira Projects. Dr Awasthi had been dedicated to Indian fertiliser industry since 1967 after completing his graduation in Chemical Engineering from Banaras Hindu University.

Dr Awasthi is a recipient of several honours and awards for his outstanding contributions and achievements in the fertiliser industry and Indian agriculture. Dr Awasthi was conferred Honorary Doctorate during the 20th Convocation of University of Agricultural Sciences, Dharwad held on Apr 25, 2006.

He was also conferred the Doctor of Science (D.Sc.) by Vikram University, Ujjain, Madhya Pradesh, on March 2, 2008 at Ujjain. Other eminent awards include, Uttar Pradesh Gaurav Award by the Society of Environment & Agricultural Advancement, Distinguished Alumnus Award by Banaras Hindu University and Eminent Chemical Engineer Award by Indian Institute of Chemical Engineers.

He was conferred with Honorary Fellowship of Indian Institute of Chemical Engineers (I.I.Ch.E) during the Indian Chemical Engineering Congress (Chemcon - 2001) held at Chennai. Dr Awasthi is a honorary visiting Professor in Department of Chemical Engineering, Institute of Technology, BHU, Varanasi. . He was decorated with Golden Jubilee Award by Indian Institute of Chemical Engineers for his distinction in leadership and contribution to Chemical Industry.

Dr. Awasthi has been awarded the prestigious "CEPM-Dr. Davidson Frame Award” on 11th December, 2000. The Award recognises international leaders in the discipline of project management. He is the recipient of “Best Chief Executive of the Year 2002” from Minister for Shipping, Government of India during the Global Corporate Convention-2002 held in September 2002. Dr. Awasthi is a Member of Center for Management in Agriculture, IIM, Ahmedabad and Fellow, Indian National Academy of Engineering (INAE), New Delhi.

The National Cooperative Union of India (NCUI) honoured him in November, 1997 for his distinguished services to the cooperative sector. Dr Awasthi was conferred Alumni Award of Excellence 2007-08 by BHU for achievements in Projects Management and developments in fertiliser sector of India. He was awarded IBC Leading Engineers of the World - 2007 by International Biographical Centre, Cambridge, England.

Widely travelled, Dr. Awasthi has more than 25 papers to his credit and has co-authored a book 'Fertiliser Industry in India'. In addition to professional interests, Dr. Awasthi is an avid follower of fine arts with special taste for paintings.

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