Sreeman Seth Durgaprasadji Saraf
Born on 25th September, 1911, Shri Durgaprasadji was adopted by Raibahadur Seth Sreeramji Saraf, a prominent businessman of manganese trade in Tumsar.
His self determination, resilient mind, fortitude and a careful guidance from his father matured him into a fine human being and an astute businessman.
By pooling his resources and inviting investments from relatives and friends, he established a ferro alloys plant in Garividi, in Andhra Pradesh – the first plant in the FACOR Group of Companies which went into production in 1958. Today, FACOR group enjoys a prime position in the industrial scenario of the country, being one of the largest manufacturer and exporter of ferro alloys.
The light of education can only change the economic, physical and social atmosphere of every human being – this was the dream of Sreeman Durgaprasadji Saraf, who set up various Institution, Schools, Colleges to bring education to the door step of even remote villages. The Shreeram Vidyapeeth at Shreeramnagar, Andhra Pradesh and D.P. Nagar, Orissa stand testimony to this fact.
For the welfare of Women and Children, he launched noteworthy welfare projects such as the Welfare Centre for the upliftment of women, Shabdam – a school for the deaf, Manovikas – a school for the mentally challenged children, Drushti – a school for the blind, Balvihar – a home for the homeless children, a home for the aged and Nari Niketan – a home for the destitute women in the colonies which he developed around his factories.
He also setup the O.E.U. Eye Hospital, the Smt. Godavari Devi Saraf Maternity Home in the memory of his late wife and the Shreeram Hospital for one and all in Shreeramnagar. Today countless men, women and children are being looked after by expert doctors in these hospitals.
He also built a Shreeram Dharamshala in Nagpur which houses 115 rooms and is meant for providing stay facilities for the relatives of persons who have been hospitalized in the local hospital. The said Dharamshala was inaugurated in 1956 by then Hon’ble President of India Dr. Rajendra Prasad and continues to serve the society till date.
He left for heavenly abode on 25th July, 1988 as a true Karmayogi .
Shri Umashankarji Agrawal
Mr. Umashankar Agrawal, the eldest son of Late Shri Durgaprasadji Saraf and one of the founder members of the FACOR Group joined the business of manganese ore mining at a tender age of 18 years. His vision for a better tomorrow laid the foundation of the FACOR Group with the establishment of facility for manufacture of Ferro Manganese and other Alloys in Shreeramnagar in Andhra Pradesh, which later also witnessed the addition of other ferro alloys to its product line.
Under his able stewardship, the operations of the Group grew with the establishment of a large mining complex for mining of chrome ore for captive consumption at Bhadrak in the State of Orissa in 1972 followed by group's foray in steel sector in 1978 with the establishment of a mini steel plant at Nagpur, which is now known as Facor Steels Limited. Further, the year 1981 also witnessed the establishment of a 100% Export Oriented Charge Chrome Plant at Randia in the State of Orissa.
With a growth of such astounding proportion, the group quickly gained the status of largest producer of ferro alloys in India. The group consistently bagged Outstanding Export Performance awards by achieving export targets on National level for decades. He took keen interest in industry affairs and was closely associated with various national and international industry forums.
He was the founder member and President of Federation of Indian Mineral Industries and Chairman of Indian Ferro Alloys Producers' Association. He was also the President of the International Chromium Development Association, Paris. Widely respected by one and all in the industry, for his contribution to the development of the ferro alloys industry he was awareded "Life Time Achievement Award" in August, 2004 in a national conference by Maharashtra Elektrosmelt Ltd., a subsidiary of SAIL.
Besides looking after business he did a lot of social welfare activities which, to cite a few, include setting up of Housing Complexes, Schools, Colleges, hospitals, homes for the aged, schools for the physically challenged children as also the Women Welfare Centre. He breathed his last on Friday, the 2nd February, 2007 and left behind him a success story extremely difficult to emulate. The FACOR family dedicates itself to his ideals and values and continues to draw inspiration from his life and accomplishments.