A view of today’s Â United Phosphorus Ltd (UPL) bears little resemblance to its modest beginnings in 1969 as a small scale unit in the sleepy town of Vapi in South Gujarat. Often, a business is started to fill in a need. UPL started from scratch when it sought to solve the problems of manufacturing Red Phosphorus for the first time in India as several multinational giants scoffed the idea. Making it was not only difficult, but also dangerous, as Red Phosphorus is inflammable and was a difficult import substitute in those days. However, not only did UPL succeed in its maiden mission, but also the company made its presence felt across the globe as a generic crop protection company. All along, UPL has kept itself busy by making agrochemicals which increase crop yields as well as work for people, the environment and society.
In appreciation of the success in manufacturing Red Phosphorus, UPL bagged the Presidentâ€™s Gold Shield for developing indigenous technology.
There has been no looking back for UPL since it started manufacturing new chemicals and pesticides based on Phosphorus.Â Today it has come of age with a portfolio comprising wide range of agrochemicals such as insecticides, weedicides, fungicides and rodenticides, including strategic diversification into hybrid seeds and post-harvest grain fumigants and protectants.
UPL takes extra care regarding health and safety of its workers and surrounding areas of plants across the globe with ISO 9000, ISO 14000 and ISO 17000 Quality Management Systems in place.Â Not only does it take good care of environment pollution around its plants, but has also built an Effluent Treatment Plant at Ankleshwar in Gujarat, which is one of the most scientifically built solid waste landfill site. UPL houses a hazardous waste disposal plant with a state-of-the-art incinerator.
Since its inception as a small scale industry when there was no infrastructure in and around Vapi, an endeavour for social concern has been ongoing for UPL. Over the last four decades, its outlook has widened to other areas and into many diverse fields as well.
UPL has viewed good corporate citizenship as an extension to its core values of Corporate Social Responsibility. The company is all about making socially responsible agrochemical products at all its plants spanning across the globe, along with engaging in socially responsible employee relationships and commitment to the community around which it operates.
Edited excerpt of an interview with UPL Chairman and Managing Director RD Shroff
UPL has a portfolio comprising wide range of agrochemicals such as insecticides, weedicides, fungicides and rodenticides, including strategic diversification into hybrid seeds and post-harvest grain fumigants and protectants.
What are the health and safety practices of United Phosphorus?
Being a manufacturer of pesticides, UPL takes extra care in the health and safety of its workers and the surrounding areas.Â The company has got ISO 9000, ISO 14000 and ISO 17000.Â Not only does the company look after its plants, but also it looks after the general small scale industry. UPL has also built an Effluent Treatment Plant in Ankleshwar, one of the most scientifically built, solid waste landfill site and also a hazardous waste disposal in a state-of-art Incinerator.
What are the CSR activities of the company in Gujarat?
When UPL went to Gujarat more than forty years ago, there was no infrastructure. Some of the initiatives UPL has taken in Gujarat are:
- It has started a small clinic which is now a 200-bed RotaryHospital.
- The company has started facilities for providing nutritious food to workers.
- UPL has opened one of the best schools in Gujarat â€“Â Sandra Shroff Gyandham School
- The company has opened a Management College, Pharmacy College and Nursing College run under Rofel Trust where the Chairman and MD is the acting Chairman.