Editorial – February 2023
We all know that today India is the fastest growing large economy in the world, surpassing the major countries like Germany, China, US, etc. We also know that the last two decades belonged to China when it manifested phenomenal economic growth of more than 10% annually year after year. Infrastructure development was a major contributing factor and the trigger for this fantastic growth curve. Development of roads, bridges, dams, airports, railways, metros etc. not only facilitate the transport and logistics but generate huge employment, consume steel, cement and also other metals. All this make the economy wheel rotate faster. Thus infrastructure development is the key for the economic growth of any region / country.
The reason to narrate the Chinese success story is that Indian government too is giving a lot of emphasis on infrastructure development China adopted open economy model by late seventies/ early eighties, a decade prior to India. They started first with infrastructure development process, invited international auto companies after that and finally the consumer durables. We started with consumer durables, invited foreign auto companies after that and finally understood the importance of infrastructure development. In my opinion, the sequence should have been exactly the opposite. For India also, it has been more than three decades of adopting Liberalization and Globalization as economic principles but the real benifits have started coming only after we placed infra development agenda in the centre of our growth strategy. I am seeing India entering the fastest growing part of the famous ‘S curve of the economy.
Friends, steel being the most important input for the infrastructure development, I see a very bright future for our industry on a long term basis. Now this is a very general statement indicating a positive direction in which the industry is likely to move. For an individual company, it is just a possibility not a certainty. There will be tremendous competition all along. One has to take care of quality, price and delivery in a best possible manner, adopt latest technology and processes, employ modern promotion, marketing and branding strategies and then hope for the best. Recycling whatever one can, harming the environment in a minimum possible manner and inducting sustainability are the newest challenges before our industry. We have to address them at individual as well as at the industry level. The government too is pushing the concepts such as Recycling and Green Steelmaking Lets work on them together taking all the stakeholders in confidence. Only that will convert the possibility of success into the certainty! The ‘Indian Growth Story’ has just begun. If it is to continue, it will need a strong support from steel industry.
Are we ready?