Dr. Sanak Mishra stood first in the State of Odisha at the High School Certificate examination in 1961. As a Government of India National Merit Scholar, he obtained BSc Honours degree in Physics from Ravenshaw College, Cuttack in 1965 and Bachelor of Engineering degree in Metallurgy in 1968 from the Indian Institute of Science,both in First Class with Distinction. He then received MS (1970) and PhD (1973) degrees in Metallurgical Engineering from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, while working as Research Assistant to Prof. Paul Beck, the world-famous Metallurgist and a pioneer of the new field of Materials Science. A part of Dr. Mishra’s doctoral thesis work was conducted at the Massachusetts of Technology (MIT) in association with Dr. Simon Foner. Dr. Mishra received the Alexander von Humboldt Fellowship from Germany in 1979 and spent two years as Guest Scientist at the Technological University in Aachen, where he collaborated with Prof. Kurt Luecke, Director of the Institute of Physical Metallurgy.
At a young age, Dr. Mishra received international acclaim as a brilliant scientist and academician. He is credited with the discovery of magnetic clusters in dilute alloy systems. Separately he has also to his credit the discovery of the texture memory effect in grain-oriented steels. He has over 100 publications in journals, has edited several books, and holds a number of Patents. Today, an iconic figure in the Science & Technology Sector and the Indian Metals Industry, and a charismatic leader of Corporate India, Dr. Mishra held Executive Director/CEO/ Managing Director positions of major national and international companies from 1996 to 2017. He was Member of the Board of Directors of the Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL), and Managing Director of its Rourkela Steel Plant during 2002-‘05 and transformed this sick steel plant from a level of Rupees 3 crores net loss a day to 3 crores net profit a day. He accomplished this through the implementation of a unique and Visionary Mission called SAMSKAR. Between 2007 and 2013, he was Vice President of ArcelorMittal group, the largest steel producer in the world, and was Chief Executive Officer of its Projects in India. He set up its Indian subsidiary, ArcelorMittal India Limited and also established in Kolkata the ArcelorMittal Design & Engineering Centre as a global facility.
In 2014, Dr. Mishra was hand-picked to take charge as the first Secretary General and full-time Executive Head of the Indian Steel Association (ISA). He built it up from scratch, anchored it, institutionsalised it, and created for it a credible and sustainable brand as the “Voice of the Steel Industry”. Through the data anlytics based advocacy of ISA, the Government of India took a series of steps beginning June 2015 to ensure the sustainability of the domestic steel sector which was plagued by large-scale imports at predatory prices. The Government also approved in May 2017 a new National Steel Policy, to which Dr. Mishra contributed significantly.
Presently Dr. Mishra serves as Senior Advisor to MIDHANI (mishra Dhatu Nigam Limited), a Govt. of India public sector in the Ministry of Defence.
Dr. Mishra was originally recruited directly from USA in 1973 by the Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL), as a Founder Member of its Corporate R&D Centre (RDCIS) at Ranchi. Besides setting up a world-class complex of state-of-art laboratories, he personally spearheaded the development of new processes, and a plethora of products that were commercialized in various steel plants of SAIL,and earned him a reputation as a dynamic leader and path-setter of Steel R&D in India. As Guest Scientist at the Technological University in Aachen during 1980-’81, Dr. Mishra significantly advanced the knowledge base on the formability of automotive steels and the crystallography in electrical steels. He was also Visiting Scientist at the University of Pittsburgh in 1991, with an award from the National Science Foundation (USA) and made notable contributions to the study of microalloyed high strength steels in partnership with Prof. Anthony De Ardo, and with Prof. Warren Garrison, Jr. of Carnegie Mellon University.
He completed the Advanced Management Program at the Administrative Staff College of India (ASCI), Hyderabad in 1994 and rose to become the Executive Director of SAIL at RDCIS in 1996 and was then elevated in 1998 to become the In-Charge of SAIL’s Corporate Planning Directorate in the Company’s Headquarters in New Delhi. Author of the “Internal Customer Satisfaction (ICS) Model” and the “Model of the Regenerating Organisation”, he was a principal architect of the turnaround of SAIL during 2000-‘02, as Head of the Office of Business & Financial Restructuring. Then,on his selection by the Government of India, he served as the Managing Director of Rourkela Steel Plant (RSP) from August 2002 to December 2005. He engineered a massive turnaround of this steel plant through one of the largest and longest ever employee engagement programs in the history of the industrial world. His paradigm-shifting work in mass communication is much discussed in international and national management literature. He also transformed the Rourkela Steel City, previously labelled as a “Dead City”, to one of the cleanest, greenest and most vibrant cities of India. He built the largest cultural complex of Odisha State in Rourkela. Through implementation of a masterplan termed “ShankhaDhwani”, he institutionalized far-reaching Corporate Social Responsibility programs, well ahead ofthe2013 national policy. A highlight of his tenure at RSP was the visit to the plant by the then President of India, Dr. Abdul Kalam.
Dr. Mishra was Chairman of the Task Force in SAIL that created and established, as a SAIL-TATA Steel Joint Venture, one of India’s first digital marketplaces, namely mjunction.com, which has grown rapidly to become by now the world’s largest eMarketplace for steel.
Dr. Mishra received the National Metallurgist Award from Ministry of Steel in 2003. He was the recipient, in 2012, of the JRD Tata Award for Excellence in Corporate Leadership. Amongst other awards received by him are: NMD Award;GD Birla Gold Medal, Kamani Gold Medal, Tata Gold Medaland Platinum Medal of the Indian Institute of Metals; the MRSI Medal, Visvesvaraya Medal, Jai Krishna Memorial Award, Udyog Rattan Award, Bharat Shiromani Award, PathaniSamanta Pratibha Samman, Manav Ratna Award,NP Gandhi Memorial Award, etc.
Dr. Sanak Mishra was President of the Indian Institute of Metals (IIM) during 2009-10, and Chairperson of the USA-headquartered International Organisation of Materials, Metals and Minerals Societies (IOMMMS) during 2010-13. He is Fellow of Indian National Academy of Engineering, National Academy of Sciences, Indian Institute of Metals, All India Management Association, Institute of Directors, Computer Society of India, Institution of Engineers, and Member of Asia Pacific Academy of Materials. He has been AICTE-INAE Distinguished Visiting Professor at IIT Delhi.He served as Chairman of the Research Advisory Committee of the Electronics Research & Development Centres of India, Co-Chairman of the Indian Deep Drawing Research Group, Vice President of Indian National Academy of Engineering,Vice President of the Magnetics Society of India; Member of the Apex R&D Council of Essar Steel India Limited, Member of the Technology Advisory Board of Mishra Dhatu Nigam Limited (MIDHANI); as Member of the Board of Governors of the National Institute of Technology, Rourkela, the Biju Patnaik University of Technology, and the Biju Patnaik National Steel Institute.
He has been Member of the Board of Management of the Nuclear Fuels Complex, Department of Atomic Energy, Govt. of India for the period 2005-2011. He has been Director on the Boards of Steel Authority of India Limited, ArcelorMittal India Limited, ArcelorMittal Design & Engineering Centre Limited, ArcelorMittal Dhamm Processing Limted, Almora Magnesite Limited, Bharat Refractories Limited, Asset Boards of Essar Steel India Limited, and Industrial Promotion & Investment Corporation of Odisha Limited, etc.
Dr. Mishra is a Member of the Selection Committee for the award of the German Chancellor Fellowship for Future Leaders from India.He has served as a Member of the Jury for award of the Prime Minister’s Trophy for the best steel plant of India.He was a primary author of the white paper approved by the Government of India for setting up the Steel Research & Technology Mission of India (SRTMI), and currently serves as Member of its Governing Board.
For his seminal contributions to Science, Technology and Industry, Dr. Sanak Mishra was conferred the “Distinguished Alumni Award” from the Indian Institute of Science (IISc, Bangalore) in 2008 on the occasion of the Institute’s Centennial Year. In 2010, he was conferred the “Distinguished Merit Alumni Award” in from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (USA), Department of Materials Science & Engineering. In 2018, he was honoured with the “Lifetime Achievement Award” by the Ministry of Steel, Govt. of India, for outstanding contributions to Indian Metallurgy and Metals Industry.
Dr. Mishra is an avid student of the philosophy of the hierarchy of knowledge.