In Conversation with Mr Jayabrata Banerjee, Director of Sorrota coffee


Mr Jayabrata Banerjee, a Young Entrepreneur who hails from Balasore odisha has started a coffee enterprise in the state which is garnering applause and achievements throughout the nation. A graduate and MBA degree holder Mr Banerjee started his career from ICICI Bank, Hyderabad and then IRNet, Bhubaneswar. He started, “Sorrota Coffee” in 2012.

After entering into the Coffee segment, his venture was ranked 32nd. But now, “Sorrota coffee” ranks within the top 15 as per Coffee Board of India.
The Coffee produced by his industry is choosed by various MNCs, and 5 star Hotels, and they have reached to almost 20 states with their commercial Coffee Beans.
Sorrota coffee was recognized by then “Commerce and Industry Minister” Mrs Nirmala Sitharaman and received an applause call from her. Interview Times had a detailed conversation with Mr Jayabrata Banerjee, here are the excerpts,

Q1-How do you utilise your time wisely ?

For me, time management is an important factor of my life. I have divided my time into different segments. Like time for work i.e., my profession/business, time for my family, time for my friends, time for my child and finally “Me Time” too. I try to pull out some time to learn new things.

Q2- What are the toughest challenges you faced for erecting your start-up?

Human Resources, The main cause of my failure in my early time. Due to the inefficiencies of my employees, I was about to close my enterprise. Fortunately my family members were there for me, which helped me to restart my enterprise.

Q3- What makes you determined and motivated and why?

From my childhood I realized that most of my elder brother’s friends including my elder brother left the town to find a job. Even, during my Graduation, I found, most of my friends were deciding to move big cities for better opportunities. But, I decided to do something at my native place, so that I can stay here as well as future of our place will be safe with the youth. The Vice President of Coffee Board of India (Dr. BASHAVRAJ) was one of the reasons to choose Coffee processing unit at my native place. Finally, I became the first Coffee Industrialist in East India.

Q4- What is your greatest fear and how do you cope with that?

I had chosen the odd one. Coffee, When I started thinking about it, one of my teacher (taught me during my graduation) asked me, Who drinks Coffee here? Are you mad? But I Simply left the job to start it. My fear level was high then,
Within a minute he told “You are the only person, who can do the odd. Go ahead. My blessings are with you.”
People of Odisha were unaware about Coffee at that time. The thought was quite narrow regarding Coffee during that time. So, I started marketing at outside Odisha.

Q5- Was being an entrepreneur always in your bucket list?

I never wanted to do a job of 9 am to 6 pm. I love to be myself. I preferred freedom over money. So, I choose to be an entrepreneur after my MBA and job for 1 year. Literally with lots of struggle I am enjoying my freedom as well as my money.

Q6-What is your success mantra, can you elaborate that?

Success Mantra: Be punctual. Think big and implement step wise. There is no alternative of Hardwork.

Q7-Would you please like to share the journey of your start-up?

It was during 2011-12, I had just completed my MBA from Hyderabad and started job with ICICI Bank. I had an opportunity of a two days trip to Bangalore from Hyderabad for work purpose. There I found the Coffee of that 5 Star hotel was different and more aromatic than we drink during winter here. Later on, I came to know that, that was the purerest Coffee known as the “Filter Coffee.” Again I visited Mumbai for a job interview, where I had an accident, and fortunately I was saved by a person, who is now the Vice-President of Coffee Board of India. He gave me a magazine and asked for an advertisement given on a certain page. I went through that while returning from Mumbai. It was everything about Coffee. Then I went to Koraput to visit Coffee gardens of central Government, after that I went to Bangalore for training and received the certificate. When most of my friends were busy to get promotion and hikes, I was getting ready to struggle from ground zero. It was difficult in initial stages, but later on, everything was normal. My parents helped me a lot while I was shrinking. No business can start with Golden Spoon. My family members did a lot with my dream. It’s been 8 years of my journey and I have faced a lot of ups and downs. But now I am more dedicated and determined by experience. Now our Coffee reaches to almost 21 states in the country.

Q8- According to you what are the perks of being an entrepreneur?

Apart from your freedom, everywhere you can find obstacles. But yes, being an entrepreneur you need not listen to your boss.

Q9- Who is your inspiration and why?

My Inspiration: Ratan Tata. I met him at Tata Steel, Jamshedpur, while I was doing my internship there. A person whose leads a simple life and rest is history. He just asked me, How are you my dear? ( I was 22 years old then) couldn’t answer to him, as I was so nervous. He smiled and told, “Be Simple and Kind as much as you can.” I travel to Jamshedpur whenever I get the opportunity. That city inspires me a lot.

Q10-What will be your advice to youngsters who want to start something related to farming?

Farmers and Farming, these two things will continue till the end of human life. I would like to suggest my young friends, get some ideas to develop some food processing techniques if you are capable. Just searching a good job is not the life, but if you are doing something related to farming means you are building the nation.

Q11-What are your plans for future ?

Some plans are strategic, and secret. Still, we have plan to increase our production capacity so that we can reach to international markets with Koraput Grown Coffee.

Q12- What message you want to give to our readers?

Neither I am a motivator or speaker. I just want to say “Be cool, stay Happy and work hard.”

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