Power Rice Farmer to Chemical Engineer

~ Author : Sunita Bansdawala ~

Rice Farmer to Chemical Engineer Video
An inspiring true story of a rice farmer becoming a  winning chemical engineer, following a Success Mantra. 
9 February 2020

The Journey Begins from a Rice Farmer to becoming an Apprentice Engineer

A world with different careers and different opportunities, comes a remarkable story of a chemical engineer. A story of hardwork and determination. He, who defines his path with valuable lessons of being in the corporate industry for 25 years, is Mr. Rajiv Madhukar Ballal – The Winning Engineer.

Rice Farming Harvest

Rajiv hails from a family background of Kolum-rice farming, based in Raipur, Chattisgarh, India. His father, Mr. Madhukar Ballal taught Rajiv, all of the various ways to farm. However, as Mr. Madhukar was a principal of a government school, he recognised that Rajiv was becoming a rice farmer. Moreover, he was distancing himself from his academics of a corporate career. 

Hence, when Rajiv was in the ninth grade, Mr. Madhukar denied Rajiv to further practice any farming methods. Though he recognized that Rajiv was upset, Mr. Madhukar motivated him to become an engineer. It was the beginning of a story of hardwork and determination.

Rajiv’s father shared a valuable lesson, by saying, “Rajiv, the farm will always be your second income. However, you have unique intelligence to become an engineer.”

From that day onwards, Rajiv changed his focus completely to his academics. After he completed his 12thgrade secondary exams, Rajiv followed his father’s career advice. 

That is the period of when, Mr. Madhukar allowed Rajiv to move to another city to complete his Chemical Engineering graduation in Nagpur, India.

Wise Words of Guidance

While interviewing Rajiv Ballal, he spoke highly of his parents. He often feels that he and his siblings are at strong points in their lives, because they were lead by leaders – their  parents, Mr. Madhukar and Mrs. Vanita Ballal. 

Rajiv noted saying, “My parents always ensured that we were given a profound education”. 

Rajiv’s mother, Vanita Ballal (currently, age 75 years old) academically encouraged her children. She said, “While studying, become strong that when someone asks you to solve any problem, even in the middle of the night, you should know the answer by heart.” Another wise proverb that Mrs. Vanita Ballal always reminded her children was, “Don’t be a Jack of All Trades, rather be a Master of One!” 

Today, Rajiv’s parents are proud to commend their five children in ensuring that they became graduates. More so, being employed at reputable organizations, earning a worthy income. Their five children are:

  • Eldest daughter – Madhuri Shingekar – homemaker.
  • Second son – Prashant Ballal – Loan Manager at State Bank of India.
  • Third & Fourth Twin Sons :
    • Rajiv Ballal – Chemical Engineer – Mirash Industries Pvt. Ltd.
    • Sanjeev Ballal – Headmaster at Chattisgarh Government High School 
  • Fifth daughter – Megha Kusare – Teacher at a High School 

Strong Pillars of Moral Support

Rajiv Ballal fondly smiles and reminisces the lessons taught by his father, Mr. Madhukar Ballal.

With a warm smile, Rajiv says, “My father was and will always be my inspiration. He transformed me from being a timid young lad to a confident public speaker. Especially, encouraging me to narrate my speeches in front of the mirror. Within days, I gained confidence.”

Today, Rajiv feels extremely dismayed that one of his inspiration – his father passed away in 1996. Rajiv’s father started the story of hardwork and determination.

In a matter of time, one of the family members had to keep the Ballal Family strong. Hence, Rajiv’s eldest brother held the fort of the Ballal family. Prashant Ballal ensured that his siblings persued their careers and managed their finances. Prashant became the father-figure for all the siblings, by enthrusting the responsibility of a leader on his own shoulders. Prashant has trusted his siblings for making the best choices for their life, whether it be marriage, career, ambitions. He has been a true father figure for all the siblings, in their times of financial crisis. Prashant honours and respects his family, as they do the same for him. 

Through the years, whenever Rajiv was in a state of perplex or distraught with his employment, Prashant would always morally support him. Rajiv also remembers his mother’s wise words of trouble-shooting problems in academics, which has now helped him in his career. 

The moral support of family, has helped Rajiv to build several positive traits. Mostly, as a problem-solver amongst his team and colleagues in his employment, as a Chemical Engineer.

Therefore, Rajiv continues to follow his father’s legacy – hard work pays the bills, in his story of hardwork and determination.

As for hard work, dedication and tremendous, Rajiv considers himself fortunate as his wife, Mrs. Divya Ballal is his back-bone. There are many aspects, of why Divya is an empowered woman. For instance, she is the key person to ensure that their twin sons excel in their academics, especially since she graduated as Masters in Science – majoring in Chemistry. Another proud feather in her hat, is her recognition of being the 3rdMerit Holder in Nagpur University. Divya’s strength has ensured that their sons Karthik and Kamesh, along with Rajiv, have always grown in their respectives lives. Currently, she has managed to master the skill of work and family life balance, with strong willpower. To conclude, Divya has always honoured her husband’s hard work, as he does the same for her.

Another strong pillar in Rajiv’s life is his twin brother, Sanjeev Ballal. Rajiv and Sanjeev were-are-and will continue to have a strong bond – the bond of brotherhood. The relationship has bonded for Rajiv as his brother is notably a true-friend, guide and poet. More so, Sanjeev has a soft-corner for his twin brother, such that he will leave all his official or personal work and rush to support Rajiv. Rajiv and Sanjeev have always attended several workshops, even when either of them are not keen – yet, just to be together. In a nutshell, Rajiv and Sanjeev are two individual human beings. Yet, both brothers, know that their hearts beat simultaneously. Especially, as they can feel each other’s presence, to the level that their lives are entwined for eternity.

Challenges of a Fresher as a Chemical Engineer

A new dawn beamed upon Rajiv Ballal, after he completed his graduation as a Chemical Engineer. Rajiv was tremendously excited when he was offered a job in his visionary company – The Dharamshi Morarji Ltd, based in Raipur, Chattisghar, India.

Even though the job had a designation of ‘Apprenticeship’, with a mere salary of Rs.800, Rajiv was enthusiastic to gain experience from this pioneering industrial company. 

Since Rajiv was always a hard working student and learner, his persistence to excel was noticed by the Plant In-Charge – Mr. Chatturvedi at Dharamshi Morarji Ltd. During Rajiv’s six month’s apprenticeship, Mr. Chatturvedi challenged Rajiv with various tasks, testing his skill and knowledge. 

Soon Rajiv was facing difficulties in trouble-shooting some of the plant problems. He was keen to solve them, but how?

So, Mr. Chatturvedi encouraged Rajiv to associate himself with the supervisors and managers. Rajiv, the managers and the supervisors became a conscious problem-solving team, within a few meetings.

Along the journey of challenges, Rajiv ensured that he would definitely solve the problems, with all his knowledge and skills. He will leave no stone unturned during his testing period. 

During the three-month testing period, Mr. Chatturvedi recognised that the skills learnt by Rajiv were equivalent to a manager, who became a strong problem-solver. 

A Sudden Promotion

On a hectic business day, Rajiv Ballal was called into Mr. Chatturvedi’s office. 

Mr. Chatturvedi said, “I’m assigning you with a temporary designation from Apprenticeship to Assistant Plant In-Charge. You will manage the responsibility for one month, while I’m solving another problem at a different plant, out of Chattisgarh”.

Rajiv was truly afraid of this giant responsibility, since he was still a fresher. He did not believe that he had enough capabilities or training, to handle this mammoth task. Although it was a part of his story of hardwork and determination.

Yet, Mr. Chatturvedi had tremendous faith in Rajiv’s working statistics and knowledge, and that was the day, when Rajiv Ballal – the leader was born.

Becoming a Chemical Engineer Leader

After Rajiv Ballal’s 10 year tenure was over at The Dharamshi Morarji Ltd, he built his skills as a leader at various organizations in India. His story of hardwork and determination continued. Some of the companies listed below are proud to be on the Indian Stock Market.

  • Mardia Chemicals Pvt Ltd – Shift Officer (Project and Plant) – 3 Years 
  • Transpek Industries – Executive (Operation & Engineering Services) – 2 Years (stock market listing)
  • Shree Sulphurics Pvt Ltd – Manager (Production) – 3 Years
  • Navin Flourine International Ltd – Deputy Manager (Production) – 7 Years (stock market listing) 
  • Mirash Industries Pvt Ltd – Current Employment – Joined as Head Production in December 2018, thereafter promoted in three months as Head Operation in March 2019. 

The milestone achieved at Mirash Industries Pvt Ltd, was trouble-shooting major issues.

Appointed as one of the of
Directors on Board at
Mirash Industries Ltd

This garnered Rajiv’s growth and being appointed as one of the ‘Director’s on Board’ in September 2019 at Mirash Industries Ltd.

Leader’s Greatest Challenge: Restoring a Collapsing Sulphuric Plant

Amongst all the organizations that Rajiv Ballal was employed at, Navin Flourine International Ltd, was the most difficult in his career. One of the most brilliant plant’s was turning to be an expensive sulphuric plant for the company, with several problems. It was another story of hardwork and determination.

The unfortunate mishap was caused by not properly maintaining the plant. The Sulphuric Plant was required to produce refrigerant gases for air conditioners, refrigerators, and several others. Unfortunately, it was not performing to its best ability. Hence the company was suffering huge losses. 

Rajiv evaluated the entire plant, and discovered that he could truly restore the Sulphuric Plant. Other employees discouraged Rajiv and said to not waste valuable time on the Plant. Yet, Rajiv ignored the negative comments, and began to knock on the doors of the Senior Management. 

At beginning to tackle the situation, the Head-of-Department, Mr. Gyanchand Jain, was engaged with other work, for several days. Nevertheless, as Rajiv was a persistant leader, he set a number of appointments to meet the HOD. Unfortunately, he was unavailable to meet him, as he was still occupied with other pressing matters. Yet, Rajiv did not give up hope. He attempted to meet Mr. Jain, seven times between three to four days! 

The next day without an appointment, Rajiv found the HOD in his office, during the lunch break. He confidently walked up to Mr. Gyanchand Jain and requested to speak to him, “Sir, please listen to my explanation of the Sulphuric Plant. There is scope in the project. Also, I will not eat my lunch, until you listen to me, for just ten minutes!”

Reluctantly, Mr. Gyanchand Jain heard Rajiv’s elaborate explanation. After the explanation, he smiled. A moment of faith, was heard in Mr. Jain’s voice, as he approved the restoration by saying, “Go ahead Rajiv, I am with you!” 

Finally, the sanction of Rs. one crore was granted to restore the Sulphuric Plant.

Thereafter to convince the second Director (Technical), Mr. Vivek Mhatre was relatively less complicated. 

After tremendous work and long hours, soon the Sulphuric Plant was restored in six months! This was a historic moment for the company. A great story of hardwork and determination.

After the plant was restored, it achieved the highest production, minimum breakdown, and became an eco-friendly plant. The major achievement, was that it saved utility costs for the company. 

Managing Corporate Politics

During Rajiv Ballal’s career, he had faced several negative remarks from his senior management. The comments reflected him as being an arrogant manager. Some of Rajiv’s superiors always pulled him down and never supported him, as a growing leader. 

Always Rajiv remembered his father and mother, in his trying times. So, he overcame the challenges by building a strong team of seventy members. Even though some people continued to believe him to be cavalier.

Leading the Strong Team of Engineers

Soon, the respective projects ended. Fortunately, the members who were against Rajiv‘s fundamental methods of completing tasks before the deadlines, thanked Rajiv for his persistence. Rajiv always drilled a notion into their minds, by saying, “Work comes First, rest can be done later.”

Today, Rajiv and his colleagues, have now evolved to become true friends.  They have also helped him in his Success Mantra.

Tools for Rajiv Ballal’s Success Mantra

Rajiv Ballal has experienced various challenges in his corporate life. Yet his tools for success, liberated his mind, along with working strategies for himself and teams. His story of hardwork and determination, were followed by his team.

  • Success Mantra : Focus on the Objective– then Do– then Check– then Act
  • Time Management Tools : Priortize based on the urgency level. 
  • Team Management : Manage your Team with guidance, diligence and delegation.
  • Leadership skills : Teach with Objectives of Focus – Time Management – Sincerity – Troubleshooter 
  • Inspire to be : Mukund Chaudhary – CEO of MOIL
  • Rajiv Ballal’s Youtube Channel : Learn about the Chemical Industry : 

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCqcdl7JAH1gLHfLBYOMbxIw

These are skills to be a true leader along with goals and visions for success.

Goals & Visions to continue the Road of Success

Rajiv Ballal has set a vision for himself for the new century:

Personal Goal :

Purchase Tata Harrier 4×4 SUV in Jan 2020 (GOAL ACHIEVED ON 26 JANUARY, 2020)

Tata Harrier 4×4 SUV in Jan 2020 (GOAL ACHIEVED ON 26 JANUARY, 2020)

Current Professional Goals in 2020 :

  • Mentor organizations as a Private Engineering Consultant for Sulphuric Acid Plants.
  • Liberate People with Tools for Problem-Solving.
  • Assist companies in Growth with their Manufacturing Plants.

Business Aspirations of Rajiv’s Visions :

  • Ballal Consultancy – in 2022 
  • Ballal Chemical Ltd – in 2024

Rajiv Ballal’s Heartfelt Gratitude

Rajiv Ballal has always kept the following strong people, close to his heart. They have supported him in his most difficult times.

  • Father – Mr. Madhukar Ballal
  • Mother – Mrs. Vanita Ballal
  • Eldest Brother – Prashant Ballal
  • Twin Brother – Sanjeev Ballal
  • Wife – Mrs. Divya Ballal 
  • Twin Sons – Karthik & Kamesh Ballal
  • Entire Ballal family
  • Best friend – Mr. Ashok Sinha
  • Career Leaders – Mr. Gyanchand Jain, H C Pandey, S V Sachdev, Pujari Sir, and Sasidharan Sir.
  • Career Mentors – Pandit Sir, Sharad Nigam, Mahatre Sir, Kenkare Sir, Chauhan Sir, and Indraneel Mukherjee. 

Rajiv Ballal’s Art of Poetry

Rajiv Ballal has an array of innumerable hobbies. Yet, the most unique is, his art of writing poetry. A poem based on “The Secret of Sweet Success” has been written by Rajiv Ballal :

 The Secret of Sweet Success
I am conquering the sky,
for that my moral is high.
Challenges I solve with persistance,
and I avoid resistance.
Tough conditions,
build my connections.
Gratitude to my guides,
who I honour in pride.
For hard work, dedication, and progress,
is the secret of sweet success.

A Message from Rajiv Madhukar Ballal – The Winning Engineer

Aspiring Businesses & Entrepreneurs : Focus on your objective, plan your objective, refer constantly to your objectives.

Contact Rajiv Madhukar Ballal for troubleshooting your chemical related issues.

Rajiv Ballal : Phone: 9979767931 | Email: rajivballal@gmail.com

Thank You for Reading

“Rice Farmer to becoming Winning Chemical Engineer”

Written By: Sunita Bansdawala

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