In the sixties of nineteenth century, the nearest industrial -metropolis of Kolkata was witnessing stiff competition amongst manufactures, enormous Union turmoil and interposes of leftist etc. That probably conceived in the minds of some of the entrepreneurs and traders of Kolkata, the idea of migrating to other suitable places in the country. Balasore being in the close proximity and with anticipated industrial infrastructural prospective, some entrepreneurs from Kolkata came forward and shouldered the risk, which became today’s history.

One such person Late S.R. Agarwal with sound business background set up the first ever-plastic industry in Balasore Town itself now called the Plastic City of Orissa, in the year 1965. The enterprise started operating in micro sector to manufacture Plastic conduit pipe for electrical house wiring. During that period, there were no industrial policies of the Govt. for industrial growth. The technology adopted was not of global standards. The quality of the product was not so good to fetch national and international market. The enterprise, under such circumstances, strived for quite some years.

The State Govt. formulated industrial Policy Resolutions in the late seventies and early eighties for promotion of industrial units in MSME Sector. Simultaneously global plastic revolution was coming up. These factors agglomerated with advent of swift social structural development programmes of Govt. imparted moral boost to the entrepreneurs to come forward for setting up more and more industries. Some big corporate houses also set up their enterprises on the out skirt of the district headquarters requiring huge plastic products for sanitation and industrial use.

In the mean time, Mr. S.R. Agarwal’s enterprise started to flourish like anything after witnessing many ups and downs. Modernization, diversification, quality management and all that was possible have been undertaken and it has now been given a new shape and identity in the domestic as well as global market. It has come a long way to become a limited company in the name and style of M/s Oriplast Ltd. and source of bread and butter for about 450 families.

Observing the success of M/s Oriplast Ltd., another enterprise in the name & style of M/s Jaiswal Plastic Tubes Ltd was set up in the year 1983 at Ganeswarpur Industrial Estate near the city. Not withstanding to the fact that the district has no scope for raw material infrastructure, it has become a hob of plastic industries in the state as well as in the country itself within a span of 35 years. It has been possible due to the following factors.

Infrastructural Facilities:

  • IDCO, Orissa identified six industrial estates in quick succession within a span of 25 years, thus providing immense opportunity for availability of industrial land & shed.
  • Surface transport system is in its excellence with 4-lined N.H.-5, NH-60 and Indian Railways passing through the town and providing service round the clock.
  • Availability of electricity to meet the requirement of the enterprises.
  • Easy access to business development services & expandability of the product market.
  • Ability to deliver in diversified business product/segment.
  • Coming up of Financial Institutions like OSFC, Commercial & Co-operative Banks with an intention to make heavy investments in industry sector.
  • Easy availability of technical work force due the existence of technical Institutions like CIPET, Engineering Collages & IT Is etc.

Extension of IPR incentives:

Both State & Central Govt. formulated industrial Policy Resolutions (IPR) from time to time providing financial and marketing assistance to attract industrial entrepreneurs.

Cheap Labour:

Orissa was then a backward state, both educationally and economically. Most of the rural people were unaware of the outside world except the agricultural activities. Beyond cultivation period, they were sitting idle and were prepared to work at a very nominal wage in comparison to that was provided in the neighboring states like West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh & Bihar. This influenced the entrepreneurs of other states to migrate and set up their enterprise here.

Usurpation of big Corporate Houses in to the State:

In the eighties, Orissa witnessed the inflow of big corporate houses like NALCO, NTPC, JK Group of Industries, ICCL, FACOR, Tata Group of Industries, Birla Tyres, Emami Paper Mills Ltd. & L & T Cement etc. on to its soil. Number of Rice Mills, Sugar Mills and Flour Mills in small and medium sector also amplified radically those days thus necessitating huge amount of plastic products for their use. Sensing their requirements, new generation entrepreneurs preferred plastic sector to others due to its versatility.

Sensitiveness of the entrepreneurs:

The entrepreneurs were very much sensitive to the ongoing events round the globe. New era was quickly becoming accustomed to a tough and shining product called Plastics. The entrepreneurs sensed the future prospect of the product and went for the same.

Nearness of Metropolis of Kolkata:

The metropolis of Kolkata is situated at a distance of merely four hours journey by train from Balasore. The city is also well connected by road through N.H.-5. The main raw materials & machinery were available and still continuing to be so in this City of Joy. Most of the entrepreneurs migrated from this city and settled at Balasore.

Over the years, the product range has been diversified. Even some enterprises manufacture the entire assembly line products. Observing the huge plastic waste generated in the state that is transported to Kolkata and other places for granulation and again supplied to the core firms, two enterprises have come up to make granules to check the out flow of economy. Similarly, three enterprises have been established to provide pipe-threading service to all the pipe-manufacturing enterprises in the cluster. The upshot of plastic industries encouraged many entrepreneurs to set up engineering fabrication workshops in and around the cluster to provide repair & maintenance services to the core firms.

The plastic industries of the cluster have influenced the environment in such a manner that the entire plastic city has become one of the busiest commercial centers for the people from all occupations. Hotel Industries & Technical Institutions have been increased significantly thereby providing various means of bread & butter for the people of Balasore. The hobnobbing economy of the city in the seventies has exalted to an unimaginable comfort zone today that carries sole attribution to the plastic industries of the cluster.