Celebrating the life and legacy of our founder, Onkarnath Manaktala
13.3.1921 - 7.8.2002
Our founder, Onkarnath Manaktala went into business with his uncle at the young age of 18, only to have everything he built cruelly snatched away in the aftermath of India’s struggle for independence. In the partition that separated families and destroyed livelihoods, he lost everything but the clothes on his back.
He followed his livelihood to Bombay and restarted his business from scratch, manufacturing equipment for a few of his customers who were based here. From the ashes of loss and heartache, he painstakingly rebuilt Kumar Metal Industries and his life again, holding on to his integrity through it all.
He was a kind, benevolent man of few words and invariably the calmest person in the room. He treated everyone he encountered with love and respect, and his affection was always reciprocated a hundredfold.
He never gave up, even when times were tough. For him, there were no shortcuts, just hard work, dedication and integrity. He never let his hardships define him; instead, he used them as motivation to make a difference in the world. He established charities to empower marginalised communities with educational opportunities and livelihoods, starting a tradition that his children and grandchildren have carried on. He spent his whole adult life seamlessly navigating his work and philanthropic activities and was involved in several causes, from education to skilling for rural women.
Our future is built on the legacy he created for the Kumar family. We are committed to growing what he started into a global powerhouse offering innovations and process engineering solutions for the oils and fats industry. We have only greater heights to get to in his name.
Causes and communities we support through every sale
Our founder, Onkarnath Manaktala, lived every moment of his life trying to make the world a better place. In the year leading up to his birth centenary on March 13 2021, we pledged to donate a portion of our annual revenues every year to non-profit grassroots social organisations that embody his legacy. These are the causes we're supporting.
Sri Onkarnath Manaktala Mahila Silai Prashikshan Kendra, Tankara
Women’s Tailoring Training Centre
This charity set up to honour our founder’s contributions continues to provide women in the region with a livelihood by teaching them essential machine sewing skills. Over the years, this charity has trained hundreds of women empowering them to earn an independent livelihood and will continue to do so.
Cauvery Calling & Rally for Rivers
The Cauvery Calling project is the revitalisation of the river Cauvery, the lifeline of over 84 million people. It aims to plant over 40 million trees to improve organic soil content, revive river and groundwater levels and augment farmer income through agroforestry. We’ve also included Rally for Rivers to in our program so we can do our bit towards saving India’s lifeline.
Despite the disruption caused by the pandemic, over the last year we planted close to 2500 trees thanks to projects from 36 of our customers from 17 countries. Every customer gets a certificate for their special tree!
Jeevan Prabhat, Gandhidham
In the year 2001, the great Gujarat quake destroyed nearly 400,000 homes, killing over 20,000 and injuring hundreds of thousands. Jeevan Prabhat was launched in the immediate aftermath to house the children orphaned by the catastrophe. In March 2021, we laid the foundation for the Onkarnath Manaktala DAV school in Tankara and expect the school to resume operations by 2022.