Managing Director: Berg+Schmidt Malaysia Sdn. Bhd.
Director: Berg+Schmidt India, GIIAVA India, GIIAVA Singapore & Hightech Energy India
Mr. Harshawardhan established his name globally in functional lipid group, with major focus on food & animal feed industry. Established ‘functional lipids’ manufacturing facilities and two business groups.
Mr. Harshawardhan Bhave is a chemical engineer turned into an entrepreneur who established two business groups with manufacturing plants in India, Singapore and Malaysia. The key to his success is his love of functional lipids & his enterprise.
Mr. Harshawardhan Bhave hails from Aurangabad. He comes from a middle class family where education & sincerity were considered paramount values. His father, Shri Waman Bhave was a mechanical engineer who started an electrical business after doing a job for a few years. Mr. Harshawardhan says he learnt early lessons of business from his father. Harshawardhan has an elder sister Rajashree who is staying in Pune after her marriage. His younger brother Shriwardhan is an electrical engineer and now works as managing partner in Mr. Harshawardhan’s business.He contributed substantially to Indian part of business.
Shri Waman Bhave shifted to Dombivli from Satara when the three children were very young. Harshu (as he is fondly called) did his primary schooling at Saraswati Bhuvan, Aurangabad. From grade 5th to 11th, Harshawardhan attended the S. V. Joshi High School in Dombivli. In Dombivli, other children in the school used to make fun of him because he had an accent that he had picked from Aurangabad. Initial few years Harshwardhan suffered from inferiority complex because of his village accent. He says, two teachers from his school, Mr. Godbole and Mr. R.B. Kulkarni really helped him and supported him. Godbole sir instilled some confidence in him by telling him, “your accent is not bad or inferior. It is just different. Don’t pay attention to others’ teasing and concentrate on your studies.” Slowly and steadily Harshawardhan’s grades improved and he started shining with his original brilliant qualities. He shed his accent and started speaking like everyone else and earned his place at the top.
Harshawardhan attended Ruia College, Matunga and did so well that he secured admission in University Department of Chemical technology (UDCT) in the faculty of Chemical Engineering as he wanted to. UDCT was then and even today is a prestigious educational institute to get into, and doing chemical technology there paved the career of Mr. Harshawardhan.
After completing his graduation from UDCT in 1980, Mr. Harshawardhan joined Bombay Dyeing as a management trainee. That time there was a state –wide textile strike being called by a union headed by Datta Samant. Mr. Harshawardhan narrated a terrible incidence that took place towards the end of 1980. He as a management person (although he was just a trainee) was beaten up twice by union members and the second time he had to run for his life for six kilometers until he reached the highway. From there, he returned home never to report again on his Bombay Dyeing job. He quit that job because he felt his life was at risk.
He still wanted to do management. He joined the management institute of Symbiosis at Pune. Another reason that helped him take this decision was the offer he got from Mr. Dhamankar, owner of Hico Products, to do an optimization project for him at Khopoli as his project for the management training. That was a perfect opportunity for Harshawardhan because Optimization was his elective for M.B.A. course. The Optimization elective was offered only by Pune University and Symbiosis being affiliated to Pune University, all the pieces fell together, and things worked out very well. He was also paid for that project and that enabled him to have a comfortable life even if he was MBA student. The Optimization project Mr. Harshawardhan carried out was in functional lipids. So it turned out as a breakthrough for him. It was the foundation of his career. While considering what the applications of the Optimization Products were, he realized that marketing functional lipids would be equally enjoyable as manufacturing them.
After Mr. Harshawardhan completed his MBA in 1983, he joined Sandoz a branch of which was dealing in functional lipids that had applications to Leather, Textiles, and Paper Ind. & Oil field drilling. His boss at Sandoz, Mr. Rastogi, Managing Director, was also ex-student of UDCT. He supported Mr. Harshawardhan. Harshawardhan worked at Sandoz until 1989 and rose from being a management trainee to the post of Marketing Manager.
Mr. Harshawardhan’s wife, Manjusha (Married on 31st December 1983) is also his business partner. She is B E Mechanical from Walchand College & M B A from University Hulls, UK. She is from his relation. Both the families knew each other well. He knew her since childhood but the financial status of the two families was vastly different. Manjusha was from a better off family. Mr. Harshawardhan expressed his love to her when he was doing MBA. He proposed to her & she accepted. They were married in 1983.
In 1990, he got an offer for a job in Pan Century Malaysia which was a Birla undertaking. It was an expatriate senior job with much higher salary & benefits. The job offered him a salary of $5000 every month which was a huge sum then. From 1990 to 1996, he worked in Pan Century Malaysia. There he had the great opportunity of working with Mr. Aditya Birla. Mr. Harshawardhan says he is greatly inspired by the great industrialist Aditya Birla and something Aditya Birla used to say is deeply embedded in his mind. Mr. Aditya Birla used to say, “A businessman is like a musician. His enjoyment, his career, as well as his income comes from his business.” Mr. Harshawardhan got to observe Aditya Birla and he realized that these big and successful businessmen cherish their business and enjoy the work-related challenges. In Pan Century, he rose from Marketing manager to Vice President, global head, functional Lipid Division.
After Aditya Birla’s sad and premature demise, his son Kumar Mangalam Birla decided to divest some of their business in Malaysia. A small branch of their business producing the functional lipids was taken over by Mr. Harshawardhan in June 1996. He needed funds for that. Mr Volkmar Wywiol, a German, believed in the ability of Mr. Harshawardhan & decided to invest 6 million dollars in Functional Lipid Business. From 1997, Mr. Harshawardhan became ‘sweat share holder’ of the company & runs the functional lipid food & animal feed business along with German Shareholders. Mr. Harshawardhan also feels grateful towards Tan Sri T Y Lim, Malaysia, who believed in his ability & decided to invest in functional Lipid manufacturing facility along with Mr Volkmar Wywiol. ‘Tan Sri’ is the highest federal honorary title in Malaysia.
Mr. Harshawardhan concentrated on establishing his new business in Malaysia for three years, and thereafter he started business and manufacturing plants in India. That is how GIIAVA India, Hightech Energy / Berg+Schmidt India started with 5 plants located across India with major focus on animal feed & food industry. GIIAVA is one of the largest manufacturer and exporter of Soya Lecithin powder and liquid, with their de-oiling plants in Singapore and India. In India, Mr. Harshwardhan has manufacturing plant at Wai, Maharashtra. Production of de-oiled Lecithin was proprietary process & there were very few players in the market then like Cargill, Solae, ADM or Degussa. There were several process development hurdles & Mrs Manjusha Bhave then (2005) came to the rescue with her knowledge & experience of chemical processing plants. She contributed to the establishment of correct process.
G – Green, I – Innovation, I – Improvements, V – Value Addition, A – Quality assurance with rigid standards.
GIIAVA is one of the largest manufacturer and exporter of Soya Lecithin powder and liquid, with their de-oiling plants in Singapore and India. Company has plants dedicated for manufacturing Soya GM (Genetically Modified), Soya Non GM and Sunflower Lecithin. GIIAVA offers a wide range of Soya and Sunflower Lecithin powders and liquids for every application in food, feed and nutrition industry.
GIIAVA currently exports to more than 25 countries in Europe, South East Asia and Middle East. They develop new processes in their research facilities in India and in Singapore. Additionally, through their sister companies, they are also involved in producing animal feed ingredients.