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"We are committed to sustainability."

- Riten Choudhury, Managing Director, Tata BlueScope SteelTata BlueScope Steel is committed to serve customers with best in class colour coated steel products consistently by leveraging superior technology with over 100 years of global research and development. Riten Choudh...

- Riten Choudhury, Managing Director, Tata BlueScope SteelTata BlueScope Steel is committed to serve customers with best in class colour coated steel products consistently by leveraging superior technology with over 100 years of global research and development. Riten Choudhury, Managing Director, Tata BlueScope Steel, shares more on the trends in the steel industry...Steel production capacities in India have gone up from just 14.23 million tonne (mt) in FY1992 to over 100 mt in 2018. Further, the new steel policy envisages annual steel consumption at 300 mtpa by 2030 – three times that of the current consumption of 100 mtpa. What are your views on this prediction of growth in consumption?Indian economy is poised to grow to an estimated USD 5 trillion by 2025 and steel being the backbone of the economy, a sustained per capita consumption is an important factor to consider while estimating the economic health. The steel consumption at a global level is on the rise.  Our per capita steel consumption is only 70.9 kg, which is way below the global average of 224.5 kg. While the new initiatives and policies focus on empowering individual states for achieving a challenging target, it is important to bring vigour through structural reforms within several segments including warehousing, infrastructure, automotive, building and construction that contribute to 70 per cent of steel demand in India. Affordable housing, alternate applications, agriculture are other few sectors that will further boost demand. Improving quality by adopting latest technology and investment in R&D will further augment demand for domestically produced steel. Considering the long term growth projections in these areas, we are optimistic that annual steel consumption will grow significantly from current level of 100 mtpa. Which segments are driving demand for your steel, PEB and other products?Within the B2B sector, infrastructure and industrial segments are the key drivers which will induce demand, considering the investments in rails, metros and airports. At the moment 1700 km of metro network has already been planned, in addition over 600 rail network are at a modernisation stage. With a 12 per cent CAGR growth estimated within the Indian aviation sector, this segment will continue to play a significant part in the future, pushing demand for our products. On the other hand, industrial real estate and warehousing are also a fast emerging segment attracting many investors in India, driven by the e-commerce and FMCG sector, aided by GOI’s ‘Make in India’ initiative. Apart from FMCG, other industries such as chemical & pharmaceutical sectors would also contribute majorly in creating demand for roof & wall cladding products. Technologically advanced PEB solutions that promise ease of installation with quick turnaround time will address these requirements. Sustainability gaining more focus, will drive demand for good quality solar structures. Tata BlueScope Steel has developed solar module mounting solutions for both ground and roof-top applications to address this demand.On retail front, GOI’s initiative like housing-for-all, agri-based industries, SME’s, commercial structures will further sustain the demand for our products. Our leadership position in this segment is evident from the fact that Durashine®, our retail brand has been recognised as the most trusted brand for the 3rd time this year by IBC 2019 consumer research report.How does the R&D team work to understand the market’s preferences and introduce products accordingly?Today customers are well informed and their needs are diverse. While strength, durability and long life are top priorities, superior aesthetics with sustainability have gained immense importance.Longevity and Durability: COLORBOND® steel and ZINCALUME ® steel, world’s most advanced pre-painted steel coils, are perfect examples of well-researched products from Tata BlueScope Steel. We have a dedicated team of scientists working in NATA authorised R&D centres based out of Australia, constantly working on developing new products and enhancing the existing ones. More so, these products are well researched, for their longevity and corrosion resistance on actual test sites, under adverse environments – saline atmospheric conditions, high altitudes, under cyclonic belts etc. across the globe (Australia, New Zealand, South East Asia and India) for over five decades. The research has confirmed the lifespan of COLORBOND® steel and ZINCALUME® steel is upto four times that of conventional pre-painted galvanised steel under similar environmental conditions.Sustainability: While sustainability is a way of life and many architects and developers are committed to this cause; resilient structures enabled by COLORBOND® steel are lead free, RoHS Compliant and are suitable for water harvesting. COLORBOND® steel is powered by THERMATECH™ technology that enhances roof’s thermal performance, cooling down inside temperatures, and ensuring lesser energy consumption. Since our products and solutions are made from 100 per cent recyclable steel, they ensure minimal environmental waste and can be reused and relocated. Flexibility and Superior Aesthetics: LYSAGHT® profiles made from high strength COLORBOND® steel that promise great flexibility and a perfect cladding solution for architects seeking innovative building product with complete design freedom. LYSAGHT® profiles undergo rigorous tests and proven processes – pressure cladding test, multi-loading test, water penetration tests to name a few. Our design team is constantly working  on new age software, developing different profiles by optimising designs, duly tested by reputed institutes like IIT Chennai, before they are offered to customers. While LYSAGHT® caters to the B2B segment consisting of warehousing, infrastructure, manufacturing and commercial; our retail roofing brand DURASHINE® too is an outcome of a well-studied customer base.  Our network of channel partners and sales executives are in constant touch with the end users to understand their needs and provide value added solutions based approach. How competitive are your offerings on the pricing front?TBSPL gives paramount importance to safety for its people, plants and environment. We are committed to sustainability which is reflected in the choice of raw material used in our products as well as equipment and practices deployed in both manufacturing and project execution operations. We offer value added services such as design, detailing, construction and maintenance which provide end to end solutions to our customers. There is a paradigm shift in consumers’ demand who value these aspects a lot, leading to repeat orders and better preference for our products and solutions over competition. What is the company’s current market share? What are your growth prospects for this fiscal?Tata BlueScope Steel offers Premium Al-Zn coated products (both bare and painted) for the coated steel industry where our market share is more than 23 per cent. On growth prospects: India’s GDP has slowed down over the last 5 years and has reached an all-time low. And we are definitely not insulated from this impact. Certain factors have affected liquidity with weaker consumer sentiments impacting growth prospects. However, Government has taken a slew of measures like corporate tax reforms, liquidity infusion through PSB financing, reversal of FPI tax proposal to revive the economy. Along with announcements of spend in infrastructure sector, which is expected to boost demand despite current slowdown. We are hopeful to maintain the past growth momentum this year too. 

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