Indian Metals & Ferro Alloys Limited (IMFA)

Indian Metals & Ferro Alloys Limited (IMFA)

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IMFA & Bansidhar & Ila Panda Foundation (BIPF)

Lots done for Odisha, potential to do more

Indian Metals & Ferro Alloys Limited (IMFA), the commonly known corporate entity of Odisha, which may safely be called the “TATA of Odisha”. Being inspired by its founder Dr. Bansidhar Panda, it has been doing developmental activities around its area of operation much before CSR became mandatory. To formalize its developmental CSR activities, The Bansidhar & Ila Panda Foundation (BIPF) was set up which is active in almost all developmental domains in Odisha including Education, Health, Women Empowerment, Skill Development etc.

Indian Metals & Ferro Alloys Limited (IMFA), founded in 1961 is India’s leading, fully integrated producer of value-added ferro chrome, accounting for more than 20% of the country’s output. Using state of the art technology and straddling the value chain from mining to smelting, IMFA’s operations are benchmarked to global standards through an ‘Integrated Management System’ comprising of quality, environment and occupational health & safety certification.

IMFA produced ferro alloys with 187 MVA installed furnace capacity backed up by 258 MW captive power generation and extensive chrome ore mining tracts. They are unique from the quality perspective due to comprehensive ISO 9001 Quality Management certification besides ISO 14001 Environment Management and ISO 18001 Occupational Health & Safety certification.

IMFA is recognized globally as a reliable and cost-competitive producer with a particular focus on customer satisfaction. Over the years, they have developed long standing relationships with multi-nationals like POSCO of South Korea, Marubeni Corporation and Nisshin Steel of Japan and leading stainless steel producers in China and Taiwan. Within India, Jindal Stainless and Shah Alloys are IMFA’s leading customers.

To me the most remarkable aspect of Imfa, are its core values. Integrity, the pursuit of excellence, teamwork, and social commitment represent the pillars on which we have built this organization.

Dr. Bansidhar Panda,
Chairman Emeritus


Self-reliance is at the core of IMFA’s business philosophy. Over the years this philosophy has led the company to venture into mining & power generation as well as an in-house transportation company which has now been spun off. The manufacturing cycle comprising of chrome ore mining, power generation and ferro alloys smelting are intertwined particularly given the captive status of mines and power generation.

Products & Markets: The Company’s products include ferro silicon, power and fly ash bricks. The Company’s ferro chrome output is primarily exported to China, Korea, Japan and Taiwan in the Far East. The Company produces approximately 275,000 tons per annum of ferro chrome. IMFA’s captive power generation capacity is over 258 megawatts (MW) consisting of approximately 228 MW coal-based capacity and over 30 MW dual fuel unit, which operates on a mixture of coal and furnace gas. The Company’s captive mines have an Environmental Clearance limit of approximately 6.5 lakh tons per annum. IMFA’s plants are located at Therubali, Rayagada, Odisha, Choudwar, Cuttack.

Subsidiaries: Its subsidiaries include IMFA Alloys Finlease Limited, Indmet Mining Pvt Ltd and Indian Metals And Carbides Limited.


IMFA’s vision statement says;

  • Grow in terms of scale, scope and geography
  • Build an organization which is admired for its talent
  • Influence by way of being the leader in IMFA’s chosen businesses


The core strengths of IMFA includes;

Proven experience
IMFA enjoys over five decade-rich industry experience in ferro chrome industry.

Strategic presence
IMFA is strategically located in Odisha’s chromium reserves belt, which contains 90% of India’s total chrome are reserve. Besides, they get logistical advantages as they are based near major railway ports.

Cost efficient
IMFA’s stringent control measures and consistent efficiency initiatives have enabled it, to emerge as one of the most cost-efficient ferro chrome manufactures globally.

Long-term contracts
IMFA have emerged as a reliable partner to international and national steel players owing to their ability to deliver high-quality ferro chrome at the right price and at the right time. Today, about 40% of IMFA’s revenues are assured from long-term contracts.

Export oriented
IMFA export over 80% of Ferro chrome output to multiple customers across six counties.

At IMFA we believe that the values we hold influence the values we create; therefore it is always principles before profit & people before business. We take great pride in being a reliable partner for all stakeholders, be it our customers, our employees or the communities in which we operate.

Subhrakant Panda,
Managing Director


Socially conscious choices were executed by the founders of IMFA since the beginning of their journey. A few years ago IMFA evolved their CSR policy to align with an all-encompassing view of Corporate Responsibility, comprising of actions that will help to create a people and planet friendly business environment. In order to implement sustainable and scalable initiatives and collaborate with partners for greater social impact, IMFA set up the Bansidhar & Ila Panda Foundation (BIPF) to take forward its legacy of community initiative in 2011. BIPF operates in Rayagada, Keonjhar, Cuttack, Jajpur & Angul district of Odisha where IMFA has it operations. Through multi stakeholder engagement BIPF provides the external thrust in augmenting governments’ efforts in achieving social goals.

Vision of BIPF:
To engage, educate and empower the most vulnerable communities to achieve significant socio – economic transformation.

Mission of BIPF:
Enabling lives of the marginalized groups through “Sustainable & Scalable Interventions” through multi sectoral approach.


The awards and appreciations received by IMFA are shown in the box below.

  • Top Exporter from Eastern Region 2014-15 (Gold Trophy) Large Enterprise Award by EEPC India.
  • Certificate of Merit for outstanding exports of High Carbon Ferro Chrome for the year 2013-14 by Directorate of Export promotion and marketing, MSME Department, Government of Odisha.
  • Pollution Control Excellence Award 2016 in the category of Industry for 120 MW Power Plant by State Pollution Control Board, Odisha.
  • CSR Leadership award 2017 by ABP News
  • Economic Times-KPMG “2G 4G” certification in the pillars of Corporate Governance, Strategy, and Reporting in the domain of Corporate Social Responsibility for the Year 2015-16.


IMFA’s Corporate Responsibility efforts are aimed at positive and sustainable impact in the areas of: Education, Skill Development, Women Empowerment & Social Inclusion, Health, Water & Sanitation and Environment. The details of activities are detailed below.

Education: Project Adhyayan

  • BIPF in consultation with the State Govt., developed strategic initiatives under project “Adhyayan” to effect positive change in rural education.
  • IMFA established a modern CBSE English Medium School Chinmay Vidyalaya Therubali in Rayagada in collaboration with Chinmay Mission. With classes from LKG to STD XII, the school uses smart class teaching methods and is equipped with Science & Math labs. Since its inception in 1980, are providing quality education to the children of the local area.
  • BIPF has instituted “Prof. Ghanashyam Dash Scholarships” to support and privilege higher Education by giving Scholarships to meritorious students from financially disadvantaged families.
  • Infrastructure support to govt schools in remote areas, in form of toilets with water facilities; classrooms with desk & benches; computers & lab equipment etc and study material support like uniforms, bags, writing material, first-aid supplies etc are provided to create a congenial learning environment for reduction in dropout rate and promotion of girl child education. 39507 students from 118 schools are being supported in districts of Rayagada, Cuttack and Jajpur.

Skill Development: Project Yuva Sakshyam

Project Yuva-Sakshyam is in line with the National skill development policy 2015. ‘Yuva-Sakshyam’ aims to empower the youth (boys & girls) from the remote areas of Odisha with skill sets, to earn a living and become self-reliant. For this IMFA have developed skill training framework to identify and impart job specific employability skill through their Industrial Training Institutes and Skill Centers.

Industrial Training Institutes:

  • ITI Therubali at Rayagada (instituted by IMFA since 1992).
  • ITI Sukinda, in Jajpur District (a 45000 Sqft, state of the art residential Institute established in 2015-16) under an MOU with Government of Odisha.
  • (Both the ITIs are affiliated to The National Council for Vocational Training (NCVT). Training offered in Trades like Electrician, Fitter & Welder)

Skill Centers for short-term vocational training to both boys and girls

  • BIPF is empanelled as the PIA under DDUGKY scheme of Ministry of Rural Development (MoRD), Govt of India.
  • BIPF Skill Center at Choudwar provides young girls with skill training in Industrial Sewing Machine Operator (ISMO).
  • BIPF Skill Centre Jaykaypur, in Rayagada imparts training to young boys in trades like electrician, turner (fitter) and Welder.
  • Training module is as per MES under NCVT guidelines.
  • The ITIs and Skill Centers also offer soft-skill Training in Computer operation and spoken English. Industry visits are undertaken to guarantee placement after training. This is placement backed training and trainees are gainfully employed in different industries.


Case Study 1

It was an afternoon on a rainy day when the BIPF community suggested to Gandharba Dehury of Village Gunduri at Angul that he can enroll his two daughters with BIPF Choudwar Skill Centre for Sewing Machine Operator (SMO) training. Shanti & Ashanti Dehury joined the DDUGKY SMO training under BIPF at Choudwar. Two months’ residential training and one month’s On Job Training at Thirupur, one of the largest hubs for garment industries in the country. This was a turning point!

Today the two sisters’ work as professional seamstresses at Thirupur in Tamil Nadu, each drawing a salary of Rs. 11500 approx. plus Rs. 1500/- for lodging and boarding allowance. The girls who had never set foot beyond their little village travelled a long way.

Financial security and exposure to a new world have alleviated them out of poverty, improved their quality of life and given them a sustainable future.

Women Empowerment & Social Inclusion: Project Unnati

Project Unnati is a capacity building model for integrated social & financial inclusion to empower rural women from marginal communities through Self Help Groups. The integrated project teaches Savings & Credit, Livelihood Skills, to adopt and practice new technology in Agriculture/Vegetable cultivation and Livestock farming for income generation and also Life Skills such as Maternal & Child health, Nutrition & Hygiene.

  • The SHG program is carried out in Angul, Keonjhar, Jajpur and Rayagada district mobilizing 1500 women by building capacity through skill and knowledge for socio economic empowerment. Since 2011 till date total savings generated by members is to a tune of Rs.42,35,731/-.
  • 80 WSHGs are linked with banks and avail financial assistance of Rs.52,84,000.00.
  • 908 members are engaged in income generating activities both on-farm & off-farm adding extra income to the family.
  • Today members have become aware on various available Govt. services under social security net and voluntarily participate in community activities like planting trees environment conservation, counselling pregnant women and lactating mothers on basic health and nutrition care, maintaining sanitation and hygiene.


Case study 2

Kuni Biswal a member from Maa Saraswati SHG of Sakosinga village of Angul district had a tough time with her husband and three daughters who only depend on paddy cultivation for livelihood. This could barely support all their household needs. Her life changed when BIPF took over their SHG under Project Unnati. Over a period of time through meetings facilitated by BIPF with the officials from District Agriculture Department, Kuni learnt Yam cultivation. The confidence from the SGH meetings infused confidence in her to take up Yam cultivation instead of only working in the paddy field.” The earning far exceeded their expectation.

“I sold 35 kg to farmers for replication and sold 35 kgs in the market. Rest I kept as seed for next year” says Kuni

Kuni has been empowered and become a change agent to inspire other women.

Project Unnati has been recognized by the UN Foundation & GBC, New York as a best case practice in Women’s Empowerment.

Health: Project Arogyadhhara

  • Health services are offered through well-equipped Dispensaries at their project sites i.e Therubali, Choudwar, Sukinda & Nuasahi. This includes free medical consultation, medicines and referrals to beneficiaries from 200 villages. Annually 80,000 patients from peripheral villages are being treated at these dispensaries.
  • Periodic Health Camps are organized in hard to reach areas to ensure diagnosis, treatment, referrals for general ailments and gynaecological conditions by a team specialized physicians.
  • Convergence with Department of Health & Family Welfare, Govt of Odisha, by way of facilitating mobilization and organization of Government Immunization/health programs at their sites and creating awareness to reduce “under five” child mortality and morbidity. In addition IMFA has developed The Ila Panda Gynecology Ward at the Angul District Hospital ‘(2009) for safe delivery and post-natal care; reducing Infant Mortality Rate (IMR) and Maternal Mortality Rate (MMR) in the district.
  • Awareness programs are conducted for improving maternal & child health, adolescent issues and preventive healthcare practices for dreaded diseases like Dengue, Malaria, Diarrhea and HIV/AIDs. The idea is to emphasize on preventive healthcare practices as smart investment’ as opposed to high-life risk and financial expenses incurred when inflicted by a disease. So far 45,223 community members have been covered under this program.


Case Study 3
When Laxmi first saw her new born, she experienced the sheer bliss of bringing to life, love wrapped in a tiny bundle. Unfortunately, for many women this journey of motherhood ends in grief.

Even for Laxmi the reality could have easily been different. It was three weeks before her delivery date when she was grappling with severe pain and her mother-in-law assumed the pain war normal. It was only when an Accredited Social Health Activist (ASHA) trained under Project Raksha by BIPF for recognizing critical delay signs in pregnancy visited her, did she get to know that these are signs of premature labour. The ASHA counselled her family members and persuaded them to immediately move to the hospital for safe delivery.

“I am grateful that BIPF trained the ASHA workers in my area on maternal health. Without her trained intervention, we would have surely delayed the decision to visit the hospital which could have been fatal for me and my child’s life.” Laxmi.

Water & Sanitation: Project Suswasthya

To ensure availability of sustainable potable water in peripheral areas and to overcome the consequences of poor sanitation, BIPF in consultation with the community & Dept. of Rural Water Supply & Sanitation govt. of Odisha has initiated activities to encourage and undertake “one time investment for lifetime solution”.

  • BIPF has installed Tube wells with overhead tanks connecting to a network of piped water supply facilities to bring safe water at doorsteps; benefitting 37790 households since 2011. Acquaguard Water purifiers & Water Coolers are installed in schools and colleges and municipality areas.
  • Awareness Training is organized to encourage villagers, school children and women on importance and methods of making ‘Water’ safe for drinking and to adopt ideal behaviour practices.
  • IMFA have initiated both software and hardware solutions for maintaining Sanitation in their peripheral villages. While Hardware solution focuses on infrastructure building like toilets with water facility both for the community and educational institutions,
  • Software solution entails training for appropriate sanitation and hygiene practices to minimize waterborne and sanitation related diseases.
  • BIPF has shifted focus from Hardware to Software. It emphasizes on behavioural change and investing in community mobilization for Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) approach to raise awareness for ODF (Open-Defecation Free) villages.

Caring Environment: Project Prakruti

Tree plantation is a key feature of environmental sustainability and management plan for IMFA. In order to ensure ecological balance development and protection of natural resources so that the quality of soil, air and water can be maintained, IMFA undertakes environment protection activities like mass tree plantation in consultation with the forest department, Govt. of Odisha in all areas of operations. Special attention is given to dump stabilization, back filling and reclamation after open cast mining is over. In addition to this IMFA supports plantation programs by supplying and planting saplings at Schools and in the communities. Employee are also encouraged for plantation under employee volunteer program.


As the premier corporate entity of Odisha, IMFA has instituted prestigious awards as stated below.


The Sarala Award was instituted by IMFA in 1980 to recognise people for their outstanding literary work in odia. This is an annual award carries a cash prize of Rs. 5,00,00/-. Besides this, since 2015 the “Ila Panda Sangeet Samman” and “Ila Panda Chitrakala Samman” citations were added to felicitate musicians and artist of Odisha for their excellence in their work. The Sarala Award which is now in its 37th year is valued as the most prestigious literary award in the state.


The Ekalabya Award was instituted in 1993 to recognize Odia sports person for their outstanding achievements in sports and also to encourage and motivate budding sports persons from Odisha to excel in their respective field of sports Nationally & Internationally.

24th Ekalabya Puraskar (2016) was given to Ms. Srabani Nanda (ATHLETICS) for her outstanding performance in athletics both at National and International level during 2013-2015.

23rd Ekalabya Puraskar (2015) was given to Ms. Dutee Chand (SPRINT) for her outstanding performance in athletics both at National and international level during 2013-2015.

In the past recipient of Ekalabya Puraskar includes Mr Dillip Kumar Tirkey (Hockey), Ms Anuradha Biswal (Athletics), & Ms Padmini Rout (Weight Lifting).


The Shambhavi Puraskar was instituted by BIPF in 2014 to recognize excellence and innovation by emerging social catalysts in Odisha thereby inspiring more citizens to act as agents of change. This is an annual award which carries a citation along with a cash prize of INR 2.5 lakh. Identifying the unsung heroes at the grass root level, who carry on social work undaunted by the enormity of the challenges, have seen a surge in social workers following in their footsteps.

4th Shambhavi Puraskar in 2017 was given by Shri Rajiv Pratap Rudy, Hon’ble Union Minister of State for Skill Development & Entrepreneurship (Independent Charge), Govt. of India to Mr Hari Sankar Rout the founder-secretary of Social Welfare Agency and Training Institute (SWATI) for his innovative and systematic implementation of holistic solutions for the upliftment of indigenous populations though a micro hydroelectric water project which ensures 24×7 electricity to his village.

3rd Shambhavi Puraskar in 2016 was given by Ms Anu Aga, Director Thermax Ltd & Chairperson Teach for India to Ms Sabarmati for her phenomenal impact on a wide gamut of areas like conservation of forests, ecological regeneration of waste land, biodiversity conservation, sustainable agriculture and mobilizing & supporting women to deal with gender issues.

IDEATE From Ideas to Action

Social change needs mass and collective action. Beyond on ground action, BIPF shapes opinion by bringing together experts from across sectors to discuss ways in which stakeholders can contribute towards pressing social issues.

Launched in 2012 their annual panel discussion Ideate was started with a mission to go from ideas to action. ‘Ideate’ has been successful in bringing diverse minds on one platform and engaging productively to share their ideas on key subjects.

Discussions in the past have been held on the topics of Maternal & New-born Health; Water & Sanitation- Foundation for Improved Health; Rural India to Skill India- Unleashing the Avenue; Education for All- Prospects & Challenges & Immunization for all -Improving the Health of Children.

IMFA as an Odisha based company is comparable to the TATA’s in terms of entrepreneurship. But as far as IMFA’s image in the developmental parameter is concerned, it has miles to go, though it has the potential to reach there. IMFA’s CSR wing BIPF can focus on; a) CSR information management including documentation, b) impact evaluation and impact optimization; c) promotion of the impact made among the stake holders to generate the desired goodwill. The historic campaign of TATA steel ‘we also make steel’ creates a powerful socially responsible image for TATAs where steel making is part of their activities, can be referred to as the benchmark. IMFA has the potential to be the developmental catalyst of Odisha comparable to Tatas at the national level with its tangible contributions in almost all the developmental domain of India. Under the dynamic leadership of its management team including Ms. Shaifalika Panda, IMFA can actualize its potential

About the author

CSR VISION is India's (probably World's) first monthly magazine in print devoted to CSR and Sustainable Development for bringing together all stakeholders of SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT at a global and local levels and act as a platform for promoting strategic CSR and sustainable development practices through dissemination of information and knowledge.