The entrepreneur who is bringing the most significant business opportunity to Rockdale since the closing of Alcoa believes his plastics firm can be the start of something big.
Haresh Sachithanandan— he says everyone can call him by his first name— owns PARI Olefins LLC.
The firm, with a lot of assistance from the Rockdale Municipal Development District (MDD), will be located in the Coffield Business & Technology
Park in an as-yet uncleared tract directly behind the Rockdale Juvenile Justice Center, the site preferred by the company.
Haresh is already boost- ing Rockdale as a potential hub for plastic manufacturing. He sees PARI Olefin’s 30,000-square-foot facility as the beginning of what could be a new era for the town.
JOBS—“I love to come to Rockdale,” Haresh told The Reporter. “I’ve never seen such wonderful people. The MDD and (Executive Director) Kara Clore have been so helpful.”
The business was “recruited” for Rockdale by Clore.
He sees 50 jobs at PARI Olefins within three to four years and feels expansion is definitely on the horizon.
Haresh is a native of India and a current resident of Round Rock. “I moved there to be closer to my son who is at The University of Texas,” he said.
His background is in engineering and sees “engineering innovation” as the thrust of the new business.
And he’s already spreading the desirability of Rockdale throughout his contacts.
“I’m telling them they need to come and see this town,” Haresh said.
He’s trying to interest a friend who manufactures LED lights into joining Haresh in Rockdale.
MARKET—The new business will do “olefin extrusion” in applications of plastic.
Pellets will be shipped from Houston to the Rockdale facility and transformed into plastics which perform a variety of uses.
At Monday’s city council meeting, Rev. Adam Straznicky showed samples of the products which will be produced in Rockdale including sealable containers and plastic tissues which separate flour tortillas.
He noted in Rockdale the company will produce Food and Drug Administration-approved (FDA) products.
“My challenge is to develop a good productivity team in Rockdale,” Haresh said.
He’s already been busy. The Reporter interviewed Haresh by phone from India as he was wrapping up a two-month trip to visit with potential customers.
“I have met customers in India, Thailand, Cambodia, Sri Lanka and China,” he said.
“Before the end of the year, I am going to register a company in Sri Lanka to use as a distribution hub for southeast Asia and a research and development facility in India to develop and test new products,” he said. “In India, this R&D facility will help us develop a good online business (set up software engineers) for our product.”
Haresh said the firm’s present warehouse in Taylor, will be maintained to store raw materials and finish product to distribute to Mexican and Canadian customers.
SUPPORTS U.S.—“I am a very strong believer in U.S. manufacturing,” he said.
“Recently, I have worked with HEB, San Antonio, to use our U.S. made product to replace a Chinese-made product and HEB has awarded this business to us,” he said.
“I cannot wait to put new machines at our Rockdale facility to manufacture this product for H-E-B. I consider this as my biggest achievement in 4 years of having my own manufacturing,” Haresh said.
“This has given me and my development team in the U. S. a very big hope in U.S. manufacturing,” he added.
“Big thanks to HEB for supporting a good quality USA product rather than looking bottom line from China,” Haresh said.