In the early days of the mining business, a few employees with private motor vehicles drove within the vicinity of the mines without a license. One such employee at Pale mine indulged in this practice, but was caught and fined by the police. The amount was initially paid by the company, but was later deducted from employee’s salary.
Each day the employee feared an uncomfortable and awkward encounter with his boss over the incident, but Vishwasrao believed that it was not his place to discuss issues of a personal nature. Instead, when the need to send an employee for training abroad arose, Vishwasrao did not hesitate to nominate this employee, even arranging to cover the expenses of a holiday to another country on the way back.
Once, during routine operations at the Goa shipyard, a crane accidentally collapsed, crushing a worker. Moved with compassion for the worker and his family, and inspired by his father, Vishwasrao’s generosity, Ashok Chowgule ordered a very generous compensation- above and beyond the legal norms. The belief was that while nothing can compensate for loss of life or limb, the business of living needs to go on for the family.
Vishwasrao received a call from his secretary, who informed him that three of his school teachers were in Goa and wished to to see him. Immediately, Vishwasrao requested his secretary to arrange for a car to pick them up, and that all arrangements should be made to receive his VIP guests.
When his teachers arrived at his office,the courteous Vishwasrao journeyed down three floors to greet them. With utmost respect, Vishwasrao felicitated his guests and organized an introduction session with his colleagues, saying, ‘This is a special occasion in my life, my gurus are here at my place.’
When the Narmada Cement plant was being constructed in an area which was then remote, Vishwasrao Chowgule’s major concern was where the workers would stay. Typical of him, he ensured that right from the design stage a colony was planned to house the workers close to the plant.
However, once the plant became operational, the surrounding environment was found to be unsuitable for the workers and their families. On hearing of this, Vishwasrao immediately ordered the construction of a new colony in a more suitable area, and even organized transport for the workers, to be to and from their own homes.
Vishwasrao gave great importance to education. Schools were built wherever a new project was established. The Narmada cement project was no exception. An English medium school was decided to be built near the project.
However, teachers from neighbouring towns did not want to relocate to such an undeveloped area. Vishwasrao took it upon himself to convince some capable members of the employees’ families to become teachers. The school initially started with just 7 students and 5 teachers. Later, when Vishwasrao learnt that the surrounding smaller villages lacked a school, he arranged for buses to transport them to and from the school, so that the village children would have the benefit of education as well.