Special

Jeevan Saldanha: Meet Mangala's Man of Multi-apps Maha-Machines

November 21, 2017


Many people dream about being an entrepreneur, starting their own business, working for themselves, and living the good life. Very few, however, will actually take the plunge and put everything they've got into being their own boss.- Fabrizio Moreira,(b1982) Ecuador-origin, USA-settled Public Relations professional/businessman.

One such is Jeevan Saldanha, the founder and owner of Mangaluru-based Spectrum Industries, pioneer in the manufacture of high-end colour-sorters in India since 1993, with manufacturing facilities spread over two industrial estates. He prefers to be low-profile; but his recently concluded one-year as President of the 77-year-old Kanara Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) has inevitably thrown him into public focus in Dakshina Kannada district and beyond. His is a story of dogged perseverance in his entrepreneurship quest and his highly creditable achievements make Indians proud. But, we must start at the beginning.

Jeevan, born on March 26, 1967, is the fifth and last child of John and Irene Saldanha. His father was a pioneer and partner in the firm by the name Saldanha Brothers, which is said to be one of the first licensee in Mangalore for Custom House agency & Shipping clearing and forwarding agency at the dawn of New Mangalore Port. Jeevan passed out of St. Aloysius College in 1984 after finishing his pre-university. He joined the four-year Mechanical Engineering course at Shree Jayachamarajendra College of Engineering, Mysuru, earning his BE degree in 1988. Then he worked at Mazgaon Docks for Western India Engineering which was building oil production jackets and oil rigs, as trainee engineer for one year. Then he worked as design engineer for St. Joseph’s Industrial Workshop at Jeppu, which was then reputed as the mother of all workshops on the western coast of India, south of Bombay. But, Jeevan was restless to do something on his own at the age of 26 and thus was born Spectrum Industries in 1993.

Spectrum Industries, then pioneer, and is now leader in a range of optical sorting machines. He had seen one imported machine working and decided to locally manufacture such machines. He headed for Raman Research Institute and Indian Institute of Science, both in Bangalore, and with their help and mentoring developed the first colour-sorting machine in India in 1993. These prestigious organisations were in the forefront of high-end, advanced optics. Jeevan recalls approaching Dr Udayashankar, Head of Raman Research, who, being told about his ambition to make colour optic separation machines, shot back: “Who stops you? Go ahead and make it. You are always right till you are proved wrong.” That earthy wisdom put to rest Jeevan’s doubts: “Am I on the right track?”

Beyond off-the-cuff encouragement, Indian Institute of Science helped Jeevan with electronics back-up to develop the first machine in his rambling heritage ancestral house in Bendore, Mangalore. He assembled it in a side room of this family bungalow.

Jeevan secured a work-shed in Yeyyadi Industrial Estate, on the city-airport road, in 1993. The first machine he manufactured there was sold to a coffee curing works in Kushalnagar, after being first kept there for demo – the first buyer being AC Rai, husband of noted gynaecologist , Dr. Asha Devi Rai and uncle of famous actress Aishwarya Rai. Though a new product then, he sold it for Rs 3.5 lakhs, a king’s ransom then and a vote of confidence for Jeevan. Then orders came from many coffee curing works to separate black and brown beans. Then there was no stopping or looking back.

Now there are machines for more than 50 applications which were initially analog photo detector-based machines, then micro-processor based machines and subsequently CCD (charge coupled device) camera-based colour sorters ranging in capacities of one tonne per hour and multiples thereof. The cameras were initially imported, but now Spectrum makes far more sophisticated colour Trichromatic red, green and blue, full-colour CCD cameras, which are completely designed and manufactured in-house.

Spectrum started manufacturing grading machines for grain processing in 1998 and also complete coffee processing plants as well as complete seed and grain processing plants. It started exporting these machines in 2000 and Jeevan now counts satisfied customers, with many repeat orders, in 25 countries, including sophisticated markets like USA and Australia. Spectrum received Business Excellence Award from Kanara Chamber of Commerce and Industry in 2006.

All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. Jeevan’s day starts with playing badminton at Eden Club, Nanthoor. He has been actively associated with KCCI for many years and his one-year Presidentship of the Chamber, which ended on September 28, 2017, was marked by many initiatives for the betterment of Dakshina Kannada district – much beyond his basic constituency of commerce and industry.

Jeevan married Nelofer D’Souza in December 1999 and they have two children, Sophia and Andrew, who are studying in St. Theresa High School. His first call is to his closely-knit family and beyond that his passion is Spectrum with its colours brightly shining in India and beyond. He has visited over 25 countries to promote business, attend conferences and participate in exhibitions in order to showcase Spectrum’s product range.

To conclude, Jeevan confirms Peter Drucker (1909-2005), American management educator and author’s description: “The entreprenuer always searches for change, responds to it, and exploits it as an opportunity”.


From Human Eye to High-end Camera

Time was when, and even now, plantation products were graded and impurities separated by the focussed eyes and deft fingers of plantation labourers, especially women. Labour was cheap and available. According to old planters, during off season, coffee beans were deliberately mixed with impurities and labourers were asked to do the grading and separation to keep their skills alive - eyes alert and fingers deft - for work in the season. Benign planters might also have thought about keeping the pots of labourers boiling.

The individual output was in terms of kilos per day. Today’s camera-based separators and sorters, like the ones manufactured by Spectrum Industries, count the output in tonnes per hour and extend to a variety of grains which were not covered earlier in an era of manual handling.


A Record of Qualitative Growth

Since the first machine manufacture of an electronic colour sorter in 1993, Spectrum Industries has gone places in terms of variety and sophistication. Today, its product portfolio includes stand-alone machines such as pre-cleaners, de-stoners, gravity separators, hullers, graders and electronic colour sorting machinery as well as complete turnkey solutions for processing a wide variety of seeds, nuts and all types of food-grains and cereals ranging in capacities from one to ten tonnes per hour.

With nearly quarter century of designing, developing and manufacturing experience in colour-sorting and with over 1,400 installations, Spectrum’s Monochromatic as well as Trichnomatic full-colour RCB CCD camera-based colour-sorting machines of the chute-feed type as well as belt-feed type are incorporated with cutting edge technology making them the best available sorters in the world today.

Spectrum has four manufacturing units in Baikampady and Yeyyadi industrial areas having a total built-up area of 53,000 square feet. It has an exclusive research and development centre located in Bhavnagar in Gujarat. Starting with a handful of employees, Spectrum today has a staff strength of 150 people, that include Post-Graduate and Graduate Engineers as well as Diploma and ITI certificate holders. Finally, Spectrum is an ISO 9000 company and has been certified for the design, manufacture and supply of electronic colour sorters by the British Standards Institute.


About the Author: Veteran journalist and author, John B Monteiro (b. 1938) has written three books – Corruption - Control of Maladministration (1966), Some Current Issues for Debate (2001) and Corruption - India’s Painful Crawl to Lokpal (2013). He has written, and is writing, extensively for websites, newspapers and magazines. More recently, he has editorially architectured and produced the illustrated autobiography of a veteran advocate, History and Centenary Souvenir of Catholic Association of South Kanara and Platinum Jubilee Souvenir of Kanara Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Presently he is working on a GPS-based tourist guide book on Dakshina Kannada under commission from Karnataka Government.

 

By John B Monteiro

Comment on this article

  • Stanley DCruz, Mangalore, Sydney,

    Mon, Dec 4 2017

    Wonderful ambassador for Mangalorean entrepreneurship
    Great achievement and best wishes for a great future

    Agree [1]

  • Adrian, Mangalore/ Muscat

    Sun, Dec 3 2017

    Dear Jeevan,
    Very happy to read and learn about your success. May your hard work and intellect bring you further success in your future. Congratulations once again and God Bless.

    Agree [1]

  • Jason Saldanha & fly, Mangalore/ Sharjah, UAE

    Fri, Dec 1 2017

    Congratulations Jeevan. It is a well deserved Article about your hard work and success. We are very happy to read this article. We wish you and your fly. all the best and continuous growth in your future.

    Agree [2]

  • John B. Monteiro, Bondel Mangalore

    Wed, Nov 29 2017

    What amazes me from the couple of dozen responses is that they are invariably positive. I believe that this could also be due to the high standards of business practices and ethics followed by Jeevan/Spectrum.
    Because of time/deadline constraints I could not explore this aspect and I feel I should have done this.

    Agree [2]

  • R.Bhandarkar, Mangaluru

    Wed, Nov 29 2017

    What stands out and make you like him much more is that he is 'Down to Earth' .

    Agree [1]

  • THERESA LOBO, Mukamar,Sharjah - U.A.E.

    Wed, Nov 29 2017

    CONGRATULATIONS Jeevan and your Beautiful family.
    God bless all of you Always.

    Agree [1]

  • Dr. Henry Fernandes, Rosario,Mangalore / KSA.

    Mon, Nov 27 2017

    Congratulations, Jeevan, and family.

    I was delighted to read your success story of Spectrum Industries in Mangalore. This should really
    inspire our future budding entrepreneurs around us , with limited resources at hand .

    Your hard work ,Zeal , enthusiasm and dedication ,in achieving success in producing high class
    Spectrum Electronic Color Separators which have been acclaimed not only in India but also abroad
    especially in Japan ,Germany ,USA
    I am happy to be associated with your dad and mom seeing you growing up and today as a succefull
    entrepreneur, Achiever.
    I and my family wish You and your family all the best and let your Spectrum Industries shine all over
    with many more innovative , advanced products in the future.

    Agree [5]

  • Austin Saldanha, MUMBAI - Kiream Aikala

    Mon, Nov 27 2017

    Congratulations Jeevan Saldanha Very nice article about you Hats up to you for your vision and hard work well deserved wish you all the best for the future keep up the good work

    Agree [3]

  • Arun Prabha Rao, Mangalore

    Mon, Nov 27 2017

    Superb article on a very passionate entrepreneur. Came in contact with Jeevan at a National Seminar held in Mangalore and was elated to find that Jeevan was also from SJCE, Mysore. A no nonsense person, has made a big impression in the arena .

    All the best, Jeevan

    Agree [3]

  • James Saldanha, Mangalore/Dubai

    Sat, Nov 25 2017

    Congratulations Jeevan and All the best.

    Agree [3]

  • John B. Monteiro, Bondel Mangaluru

    Fri, Nov 24 2017

    Dr. Anand and Geeta Pereira subtly imply the Biblical saying that a prophet is nor honoured in his own country. It took me a long time, and much hanging around, to persuade Mr. Jeevan Saldanha to agree to an interview. Also, according to the Bible, you don’t put a lighted candle under the bushel. In business, it is all the more important to crow from the housetop if you have something to crow about. As Anand and Geeta, and many others, have testified, Jeevan has much to crow about. As HS Britt (author of Consumer Behaviour and the Behavioural Science, 1966) has aptly said: “Doing business without advertising (Public Relations is a subtle form of advertising at near zero cost) is like winking at a girl in the dark. You know what you are doing, but nobody else”. I hope Jeevan doesn’t continue to keep his lighted candle under the bushel and he stops winking in the dark.

    Agree [7]

  • Dr.Anand and Geeta N Pereira, Sakleshpur/Mangalore

    Fri, Nov 24 2017

    Jeevan and Spectrum Industries are synonymous with quality of the highest class. We have installed some of Jeevan's high tech machinery (Coffee Dryer-5 Ton Capacity) in our ecofriendly Plantation .
    We have over the years , systematically and scientifically, mechanized our farm, not with any Chinese or any other cheap technology but technology from various Countries,which has a stamp of quality. Spectrum Industries is one such firm which we are proud to be associated with.
    Without battling a eyelid, we are proud to state that Jeevan is a technocrat and a visit to his company will tell you that he works with Cutting edge technology from the U.S., Israel, Europe and other techno savy Countries. There is absolutely no compromise in quality and we firmly believe that good quality comes at a price and we should be happy to pay for quality.
    Jeevan, we wish you the very best and your colour sorters in the food Industry are a benchmark for all others to follow. We understand that your machinery has been installed in many parts of the world. This is a testimony of your drive and hunger to settle for nothing but the best. Happy to be associated with a youngIndustrialist like you . Wishing you the very best.

    Agree [7]

  • Percy Dias, Mangalore / Oman

    Fri, Nov 24 2017

    A Super write up....Congrats Jeevan.....Keep up the good work...Ur the Man :)

    Agree [7]

  • Balnath, Mangalore/USA

    Fri, Nov 24 2017

    Proud of you Jeeven.
    Wishing you and your family the best and continued success!!

    Agree [6]

  • Santhosh.B.N, Sakleshpur

    Thu, Nov 23 2017

    Very happy to read this article.Jeevan,is a go getter who thinks out of the box,He is forever redefining ideas and machinery.He has a wonderful rapport with customers and acquaintances.Overall a wonderful human being.congratulations jeevan.
    Santhosh.B.N.

    Agree [4]

  • Santhosh.B.N, Sakleshpur

    Thu, Nov 23 2017

    Very happy to read this article.Jeevan,is a go getter who thinks out of the box,He is forever redefining ideas and machinery.He has a wonderful rapport with customers and acquaintances.Overall a wonderful human being.congratulations jeevan.
    Santhosh.B.N.

    Agree [5]

  • Callen D'souza, Floratravels Bendurwell, Mangalore

    Wed, Nov 22 2017

    Congratualtions Mr. Jeevan Saldanha. We Bendurians are very proud of you.

    Agree [7]

  • Ronald Rodrigues, Mangalore/Doha Qatar

    Wed, Nov 22 2017

    The success story of Jeevan is really inspiring. Instead of working for others one should start his own business and come up. I am proud of his great achievements. His hard work, dedication and determination has helped him to reach his goal. Congratulations Jeevan and wish you all the best.

    Agree [7]

  • Ivan Fernandez, Brampton, Canada

    Wed, Nov 22 2017

    Good to see you and your family shine. Your hard work and hours of dedication have been rewarded. Your term as President of the chamber of commerce has made a difference for Mangalore. May you continue to grow and help your community.

    Agree [7]

  • Flavian dsouza, chik/bengaluru

    Wed, Nov 22 2017

    heard from many people that they are world class and can compete with any german machines both on cost and quality ...perfect example of real entrepruenship and innovation in engineering

    Agree [11]

  • Narinder Kochhar, Mumbai

    Wed, Nov 22 2017

    Knowing Jeevan for well over a decade, this Success is not unexpected. He has developed such a high performance product based out of a location with limited resources.
    The Hallmark of a successful machine builder is the manner in which his customers receive him. Having travelled with Jeevan to several customers and the warmth and respect with which he was received speak volumes of his customer commitment delivered through an excellent product and very good service.
    This is a man on a mission and we wish him every success.
    His loving family is also a very strong support to him and I wish them the best too.
    Congratulations, Jeevan! Way to go!

    Agree [9]

  • Norbert, Mangaluru

    Wed, Nov 22 2017

    Congratulations Mr Jeevan. Nice to read about you, your passion, your journey and above all your success . You are a role model to the aspiring young entrepreneurs. May you reach higher and higher and achieve many new and great things in your business and personal life

    Agree [8]

  • CA Chandrakanth Rao, Mangalore

    Wed, Nov 22 2017

    'Make in India' success story much before our Government started promoting the mantra. Kudos to the entrepreneurial grit of Mr Saldanha, and compliments to the author for the interesting narrative. A must read to all the engineering and management students of our land.

    Agree [10]

  • cletus braggs, mumbai

    Wed, Nov 22 2017

    Dear mr. Jeevan , it is very nice to read your story. I am from technical field, very much impressed about your live story.
    "Hat off" to all your achievements.
    God bless you.

    Agree [9]

  • cletus braggs, mumbai

    Wed, Nov 22 2017

    Dear mr. Jeevan , it is very nice to read your story. I am from technical field, very much impressed about your live story.
    "Hat off" to all your achievements.
    God bless you.

    Agree [6]

  • venkateswaran venkataraman, chennai grow

    Wed, Nov 22 2017

    I am proud of seeing this message. I pray God to grow more as Design and Developed in India by Indian.Great to associated with you

    Venkynir

    Agree [9]

  • William Pais, Mangalore

    Tue, Nov 21 2017

    Congratulations Jeevan. It so good to know that Jeevan is an excellent Entrepreneurs and human being par excellence. No wonder he attained success in his enterprise. May many more laurels come his way we need more entrepreneurs like him.

    Agree [15]

  • Conrad Nazareth, Mangalore

    Tue, Nov 21 2017

    A good article about Jeevan the Achiever. Once he has set his goal he will achieve it.
    Conrad N.

    Agree [14]

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Title : Jeevan Saldanha: Meet Mangala's Man of Multi-apps Maha-Machines


 
 
 
 

 
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