Alladi Jayasri

Chairman and Managing Director Jija Harisingh has created for it a new profile

In the last financial year, the MML registered a provisional profit of Rs. 90 crore The company now aggressively markets its products It has cultivated loyal clientele, both in the country and abroad The MML complies with environmental norms

BANGALORE: Mysore Minerals Ltd. (MML), a mining undertaking of the State Government, which was slated for closure as a loss-making unit in 2004, has now come out of the red and started posting profits.

The 40-year-old company has 45 mines of iron ore, chromite, limestone dolomite, magnesite, china clay, and quartz, apart from major coloured granites, such as Ilkal Red, Mudgal, multicolour and Juprana from Kanakapura, and black granite from Chamarajnagar and Kanakapura. The 45 mining leases cover 5,440 hectares of land and 27 quarry leases of 781.38 hectares.

`A challenge'

MML Chairman and Managing Director Jija Madhavan Harisingh, a senior IPS officer, who is largely responsibly for this turnaround and for the company's new corporate profile, says: "It was a challenge. First of all, there is this unwritten rule among mine workers that women do not go down mine shafts. If the staff thought I would be a boss in name only, I soon showed them otherwise."

The real challenge, of course, was when it came to setting the house in order. The employees in most of the mines and quarries believed that their job ended with production of ore and granite. "We are the highest in production, Madam," was a refrain she heard when she began going round the mines under her charge.

The MML has increased its turnover from Rs. 59 crore in 2003-04 to Rs. 111 crore in 2004-05, with a profit of Rs. 46 crore. In January 2006, the company had already crossed the turnover target of Rs. 150 crore for the 2005-06 financial year and registered a provisional profit of Rs. 90 crore.

Ms. Harisingh began the arduous task of changing mindsets, linking production and market, downsizing and right-sizing.

31-year career

This is not the first assignment she has held in a male bastion. In her 31-year career as a police officer, Ms. Harisingh's major assignments have included Commissioner of Security, Civil Aviation. She was responsible for security and safety in 125 civilian airports in the country.

It was during this time that the Central Industrial Security Force was inducted to take over security of airports.

The much-decorated police officer has served in different capacities and handled law and order, crime and security assignments in the State, and is well versed in the art of policing huge metros and towns. Her name figured alongside those of 12 other police officers who were in the reckoning for the post of Bangalore Police Commissioner.

Mechanisation

The "MML family" of about 2,000 employees revels in the newfound corporate identity, as mechanisation of many operations has brought relief. For the women of Chamarajanagar, ROQWARE is a new initiative started in collaboration with non-governmental organisations. It focusses on recycling quarry waste, creating artefacts and decorative items, and generating jobs for over 1,000 persons.

Competition

Ms. Harisingh has ensured that the MML does not buckle under competition. The company, which now aggressively markets its products, has cultivated a new breed of loyal clientele, both in the country and abroad. A stickler to compliance with environmental norms, she has ensured that mining is restricted only to broken up areas and taken measures to protect the environment.

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