Entrepreneur Dr Bansidhar Panda
As I told previously in these 21 days of lockdown I'll share 21 blogs about some great personalities of Odisha.
So here is the eighteenth day of lockdown and I'm sharing my eighteenth writeup on Bansidhar Panda. 
Dr Bansidhar Panda was born on november 26, 1931 in Madhuban,Baranga. He was married to Ila Panda. 
Dr. Panda had received Degrees from Banaras Hindu University, Harvard University and Michigan Technological University.

Dr Bansidhar Panda, a renowned research scientist was close to former chief minister Biju Patnaik. He was working as a researcher in NASA. Be it in the USA or in Odisha, his idea throughout was to transform lives of people through science and technology. He was the founder of Indian Metal and Ferro Alloys (IMFA), one of India’s biggest ferro-alloy companies.

When BijuBabu became the chief minister of Odisha. He influenced Dr. Bansidhar Panda to leave his career in metallurgical research in the US and start his own business in the 1960s. He decided to become an entrepreneur and returned from the United States and chose Therubali, a remote outpost in the Rayagada district, to set up his dream project IMFA in 1961. 

After buying properties of Biju Patnaik’s ailing Kalinga Tubes, he set up his second IMFA ferroalloys and power complex at Choudwar in mid-1980s. This deal strengthened the relationship between Dr Bansidhar Panda and Biju Patnaik.

In the early 1990s, Dr Bansidhar Panda was successful in bagging chromite mining rights after a tough legal competition with Tata Steel, who, till then, had acquired the sole mining rights.

IMFA was the second largest industry after Kalinga Tubes made on own technology.

Dr. Panda had been a board member of Air India and Hindustan Aeronautics Limited. He was also former chairman of the Board of Governors of NIT, Rourkela and governing board members of IIT-Kharagpur and IIM-Kolkata.

He was known for his philanthropic activities. In his later years he would dedicate much of his time to philanthropic causes and literature. He founded "Bansidhar and Ila Panda Foundation" in 2011. He even instituted the prestigious Sarala Award in 1980 for literature and Ekalabya Puruskar in 1993 for sports.

Dr Bansidhar Panda became entrepreneur when entrepreneurship is not a fancy word. His dream to make odisha poverty free started with an aim to build a Vibrant Odisha. 

References :
  • Odisha.in
  • OdishaTv