The Racing Roots of Struggle
Raghuvir Kothari, Founder of Vadodara based Rhino Machines Private Limited is an inspirational icon for many in the industry. He stands tall among many other luminaries in the world of Indian manufacturing for his contributions and achievements. His professional acumen and unflinching personality make him a great machine maker and a truly inspirational for all of us. Established in 1983 as a project consultancy firm, Rhino evolved in 1991 into a fully fledged manufacturing firm that produces conventional Green Sand, Pouring and Centrifugal Casting Products. It has truly come a long way since its inception. Today, they are Gujarat’s leading foundry machine production, equipment marketing, engineering, and Consultancy Company. They have evolved as a truly global player providing an exhaustive range of cutting-edge foundry equipment and world-class technology from global industry leaders like Fondarc (France) and Found Equip (Italy).
If we visualize ourselves to think the instances of black yet humming dreams as though are living instead of existing––the first time this experience occurred and the dream never touched the soul of the imagined Dream Machine room. But now when we leave here those flapping untouched dreams and open our eyes again around the center of Constance, that unfulfilled dream will be included in our memories of the day we first imagined. We could spend a lifetime recreating this moment by enacting. Time seems to move differently inside of our memories and so thus, some people not only do leave the flap into the door of visualization but also commence the step, the step of humanity towards himself and associated, towards dedication, towards his hunger for change and love for work and to make that happen, the journey of the road not taken, the journey of the road less travelled, the journey of something that seems to be in the lap of impossibility and the bed full of Thrones, who not only have had created milestones in life but have lived and invented its form, the unsung story of Mr. R C Kothari.
RC Kothari who embedded his academic pursuit in B Tech Metallurgical Engineering from the milestone IIT Kharagpur envisioned the vision which was foggy to others then. In 1960, he commenced his professional pursuit with Bhartia Electric Steel Company Limited, Kolkata as a steel melter and heat treatment engineer. Soon he was promoted for his recognized distinct effort to become a key member of the core team for development of center buffer couplers state of art product as deputy to the American specialist from AAR.
In 1961, he joined the prestigious IIT Bombay and did M.Tech in Ferrous Production Metallurgy. The journey has its own stations and change with time is inevitable, migration to something big and bold led him to join Hindustan Motors Limited where he served as the foundry Manager in the position of British Steel Foundry Technical Advisor as Foundry Metallurgist- Rejection analysis& (unbelievable reduced rejection of Cylinder Blocks. Cylinder Heads & Brake Drums), yielding to the grapevine assessment, he was then promoted to the head setting up new steel foundry project which was reviewed by world bank expert from American Steel Foundry Society, following to the prism of vision in the blackhole, he was stepped to become the production head at a stooping young age of 27. Progressing his zeal for more hard work, he followed with Works Manager CIMMCO, Pioneer Equipment Company, commenced as Senior Sales Engineer and thus was also promoted to VP Marketing for the homegrown as well as world-renowned Foundry Plant & Equipment from Germany, Baroda. Egged by a couple of foundry owners who were also his well-wishers, he ventured into his own business with no capital and no family business background foundry segment. Initially, he started as a consultant from his growing residence and slowly started his own company- ‘Fondequip’ as project consultancy & marketing company followed by Rhino Machines, manufacturing and marketing foundry equipment and plants (own designs & outsourced manufacturing).
In 1995, he set up Rhino Machines Pvt. Ltd with own assembly and manufacturing shop with strong vendor base in V V Nagar. The initial support came from Shree Bhanubhai Patel who is the Chairman of Elecon Engineering Company and had joined hands with Fondarc, France (Founded By Mr. Renzo Cappelletto- coming from similar background as Mr. Kothari himself- first generation entrepreneur with hands-on experience in Foundry Production) for manufacture of state of art high pressure Moulding Plants, Sand Mixers, Sand Plants and On-Line Sand Controllers.
The fire in him to be second to none (common drive with Mr. Cappelletto) in technology has been a great driving force. To build a building, it requires a lot of melioristic materials and he received good financial support from CharotarNagrik Sahakari Bank. With inherent marketing skills, zeal and stamina, he has become successful in establishing a very robust, vibrant, and sound company.
Today, Rhino machines Pvt Ltd is successfully marching ahead to greater heights and fulfilling the aspirations of the founder under his son Mr. Manish Kothari’s able guidance and leadership. The initial grooming of him - he was taught to be second to none and to partake in unknown domains to overcome the uncertainties of life - by his parents paved the way for his unyielding personality and venturing into insecurity rather than enjoying the coziness of security. Besides, he found a true life partner and a lifelong support in his wife Pramila Kothari whose strong belief put in words – “you are born to command and not be commanded” – got him going whenever the going got tough.
Leadership was deeply ingrained in him as his once colleagues even from Germany regard him to be the person who would not knock at the door of his higher hierarchy propounding “yes Sir” but he could stand on his own in the venture of his dreams. In one such instance, he took a bold call for himself which his President would not even dare to think about. This was an unnatural call but the end of his fear; this event included his visiting to the police station in West Bengal during the gherao time on a whooping unsafe two-wheeler when his life was threatened by a dagger which could have taken his viability any moment.
He drove through the Marxist, foggy population and maintained the loyalty of the company and was instrumental in gherao being lifted when his own precious gem, his family was in red sign. Similarly, on the other end of the shore of marketing, if he would have waited for the concluding orders of his MD’s, the present would have just been an imagination.
At the end of January 1983, Mr. R C Kothari gave up his bread and butter of the regular job with extremely good terms with his employers & colleagues; he commenced with ‘Fondequip’ India as a foundry project consultant and hired a draftsman to work from home. Goodwill remains when viability ends but goodwill grows when viability is added with honesty, he received ample of assignments with the good relationship he had maintained as a man of customer service relationship with clients and offered them the highest attention possible. He patiently handled all the complaints and spare supply and service selflessly. This became a backbone of Foundry fraternity’s love/ affection & respect with great credibility - the core of his business to bloom. He started to create his own designs and never espionage drawings and blueprints that belong to the creativity of another person other than him. His proposals and his user-friendly client relationship became his USP which could not be matched by any other creative designers. With the commencement of this phase, Rhino Machines which was a proprietary concern from late 84-85 was then converted into private limited in the year 1995.
He handled his startup in marketing in 1970 -project of a very large magnitude which included 2300 MT of plant and machines, 79 control panels, 42 km of power and control cables, 20 project execution team ( techno-commercial ) and 250 mechanical contractor’s workforce and 125 electrical contractors workforce which he duly executed in 10 months span.
The complete foundry exposure as a technical director in the PorwalAuto has been the most helpful journey in his rest experience of life. Apart of serving as an Managing Director of the Rhino Machines, he was also the technical director for more than six years with complete exposure to castings and marketing, development and cost of production and man management etc.
In the year 2012, he decided to set up support to the foundry machines and started manufacturing of mixer wear parts whose marketing and support was received from his French PRINCIPALS 9 Technogenia) and technical guidance. This he set up set up as WEAR FIGHTER division of Mangalam Steel Cast Pvt Ltd which is recognized as one of the great service to the industry (Makers of Mixers are in competition, but users are benefited by his Experience of RHINO available to all makes of Mixer Machine Manufacturers & users) and his contacts created through goodwill has been rapidly increasing with about 120 active members and counting, rapidly growing.
His decision and hard work fetched him laurels and he received international exposure by visiting several modern foundries in Germany, UK, France, followed by GIFA, highlighted as the World’s Best Foundry Equipment, Technologies and Materials exhibitions in 1979, 1984, 1989, 1994, 1999, and 2003 held at Dusseldorf, Germany. He has also attended and presented technical papers in many other international conferences and was also the organizing head of seminars and conferences at IIF Baroda Chapter in the regional and national level.
The laurels that added to the recognition speaks more about his journey and that could be more than loyalty that he served throughout.
Indian Achievers forum awarded UDYOG BHARATI AWARD 2006
Listed in Asian Admirable Achievers book published in 2007
IIF Life Time Achievement Award 2018 presented to him during the 66th Indian Foundry Congress for the appreciation in contributing his major life in Foundry Industry
DFG Award 2018 - Senior Member of Dynamic Foundry Group
Founding Member Pakistan Foundry Association - Traveled many times to Pakistan and is amongst the founder Members of Pakistan Foundry association which was founded in year 2003/04. He delivered lectures/ held workshops and was also felicitated by Chambers of Commerce Lahore/Faisalabad for his contribution to the Pakistan Foundry.
As a first generation entrepreneur and an icon he has immense faith in the potential of new entrepreneurs. He suggests strong conviction, courage and a never-say-die commitment to the young entrepreneurs to be successful in their ventures.
R C Kothari is a great living example of this and his journey is more than an inspiration to all of us. We are privileged to share the wisdoms engraving his part of the journey.