In recent years, industries worldwide have grappled with unforeseen challenges, particularly in the wake of the global pandemic. The steel industry is no exception. We sat down with Ashwani Gupta of Vividh Wires Limited to delve into the intricacies of these disruptions, especially in the Indian market, and to understand the strategies employed to navigate this volatile landscape.
The Impact of the Pandemic on Global Shipping and Prices
The pandemic has undoubtedly shaken the foundation of global industries, and its ripple effect on the steel industry was significant. Gupta highlighted how global shipping prices surged, increasing by almost tenfold. This surge led to a consequential rise in export costs by 10-20%. Though prices have somewhat returned to pre-pandemic levels, the sudden upheaval led to the alienation of the existing customer base, pricing many out of the market.
The Unique Set of Challenges in the Indian Market
When asked about specific challenges in the Asian or Indian market, Gupta pointed to the pivotal role of government policies. A standout moment was when domestic steel prices in India peaked, prompting the government to introduce an abrupt 15% export duty on flat sheet metal products to curb inflation. Implemented almost overnight, this move caused significant disruptions for Indian exporters. Although the duty has since been lifted, it underscores the unpredictable nature of government interventions, which can sometimes prioritize national interests over industry stability.
On the brighter side, the Indian steel market is booming. With high domestic demand, the industry has a safety net. Whenever there's a dip in exports, the robust domestic market compensates for the loss.
Navigating the Storm: Adaptive Measures and Collaborative Approaches
In facing these unpredictable challenges, especially those stemming from sudden government decisions, Gupta admits there's little room for mitigation. However, Vividh Wires Limited remains committed to staying on track with their planning and schedules. They've adopted a transparent approach with their customers, ensuring everyone is aware of potential future challenges.
Adjustments were made to delivery schedules and shipping terms to create a balanced formula benefiting both Vividh Wires Limited and their customers. This adaptive approach emphasizes collaboration over competition. Gupta believes in working alongside customers, understanding each other's challenges, and finding mutual solutions. Such partnerships are crucial, especially when dealing with broad challenges that impact entire regions, like the European Union's import quotas.
The Power of Planning for the Future
Reflecting on the way forward, Gupta underscored the importance of planning. Whether it's keeping customers informed or being aware of global quotas and restrictions, proactive planning is a key to success. By anticipating challenges and crafting strategies in advance, industries can better weather the storms ahead.
The steel industry, like many others, is in a state of flux. Yet, with resilience, adaptability, and collaboration, it continues to forge ahead. As Ashwani Gupta from Vividh Wires Limited shared, while some challenges are temporary, others might linger. The key lies in understanding, planning, and partnering for a brighter, more stable future.
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- Schweissen & Schneiden 2023 Press release
Navigating the Steel Industry's Challenges: An Interview with Ashwani Gupta of Vividh Wires LimitedPublished on 06/10/23