Editorial – April 2023
The Indian iron & steel industry is performing well in spite of the adverse conditions prevailing in most of the parts of the globe. The reason is obvious, it is domestic consumption which is and was always driving not only the steel demand but also the national economy as a whole. I have also argued that with 140 crores of aspiring population, India is not likely to face recession. Today also I do not find any reason to deviate from this logic.
It is said that bad or rather challenging days are your best teachers. We all have gone through such a challenging period for the last three years or so. The covid 19 pandemic had really devastated not only families but also many businesses. Others somehow managed to survive using all their brains and the undying fighting spirit. During this survival journey, we have learnt many professional and management lessons. Cost and inventory control, working efficiency improvement, logistics optimization, employing new technologies, all these things we learnt and also practised during the pandemic period. Now the pandemic is over and the iron & steel industry has in a way bounced back. My dear friends, my humble request is that let us not forget the lessons learnt and continue practising them.
One area where we all have to work together is to improve our industry’s image. I have seen many of my friends being proud of their association with IT or Auto industry but rarely I have seen somebody aspiring for a job or a career in steel industry. Yes, ours was supposed to be a dirty industry offering jobs at add locations and in dusty hot environment. The salaries were far less than so called ‘elite’ sectors and thus ‘Metallurgy’ was undoubtedly the last choice of any engineering student. I know the things have changed a lot. Metallurgists no longer sit in hot iron cabin but have shifted to a decent control room. Many steel plants have excellent housekeeping and offer very clean and pleasant environment. The salary structure has also improved a lot during this period. Apart from the materialistic compensation, steel is a core sector and it directly impacts the infrastructure growth and one would get a feeling of participating in nation building. Many prestigious industry sectors such as auto, railways, aerospace, power, defence etc. can not survive and grow without steel. Such is the importance of our sector. I do agree that our industry now offers a bright growing career to a young engineer but the old perception about our industry still persists. We all have to work together to change it, isn’t it ?