Editorial – July 2022
The iron & steel industry in India now seems to have well settled in terms of logistic linkages, raw materials availability & pricing and also the growing domestic markets. What more can you expect in today’s uncertain environment prevailing in most parts of the globe. Falling currency values is one of the prime indicators of the economic condition and fortunately, Indian currency value depreciated less compared to the currencies of most of the countries. In fact, many countries, including few in the developed world, are fearing of a big depression round the corner where as experts are quite convinced that India is surely not heading towards any depression. Indian economy is driven by domestic consumption and this ensures a continuous forward pull and keeps running the economy wheel. If the economy is doing well and is growing, the core sectors including ours, have to be performing well. In today’s era of communication, this positive industry sentiment can’t be restricted only to Indian industry and will surely influence the neighboring and nearby economies. Thus I see very good prospects for the iron & steel sector not only in India but in the Asian region as such.
Even if the above is true, please to not assume that the iron & steel sector in India is free of any problems. Growth itself comes with so many inherent problems but apart from those, in my opinion, technology adoption is a major problem in Indian iron & steel sector. Barring few top players, majority of casting, rolling and processing units in the country employ primitive outdated technology and processes making inferior quality products, that too at a higher cost and also following wrong shop floor practices and compromising on plant safety parameters. Effect of all this is manifold. Firstly, due to higher cost and inferior quality, one can’t compete in the global marketplace, loosing the cream business. Higher cost affect the bottomline adversely and prevents the management from doing any developmental and up gradation work. Unsafe environment brings the worker’s morale down and affects the overall efficiency of the plant. Slowly good professional employees start leaving such organization and the closure becomes an inevitable consequence, sooner or later.
Friends, what I want to say is one should take actions before it is too late. In today’s globalised business environment, there is no alternative for technology and process up gradation. Do it in time and you will ride on the growth curve, delay it and get ready to be perished. Choice is yours !