Editorial — September 2020

posted on October 30 , 2020

The world is slowly coming out of Covid fear. Finally the livelihood proved more important than life and thus professional activities have been re-started and are gearing up all over the world. Mind well, the corona pandemic has not subsided nor we have found the vaccacine but still the industry has gradually started operating. Infact in many places, there has been surge in cases but fortunately the death rate has come down and recovery rate has improved substantially.

Iron & steel industry too has been improving on it’s production figures and by now it has achieved almost 75 % of pre-covid production level. Of course I am talking about the main, integrated and big steel mills. They are comparatively better placed to handle the situation. Many big plants are far away from the main cities and have their own staff and worker’s colony. Thus depending on the market demand, they can enhance their production level in a short time. Of course, there are instances where the pandemic has spread in these colonies too. Smaller rolling mills and processing units will obviously take a longer time to stabilise their production, processing and selling. For these smaller units, the problems are numerous. They have to first look for re-employing the migrated labour. If they have not come back, then getting their replacement is a big issue as it is very difficult to get matching skill set instantly. Secondly, they have to digest the losses of last six months and then raise the new capital. Which bank or financial institution will finance a loss making unit ? Further, the supply chain has been disrupted in many places and restoring it is not an easy task. Also regaining the customer support is very important and will be decided by your past interaction and relations with them. All in all, it is going to be quite an uphill task for smaller units in iron & steel sector. Let’s see how they take on this challenge !

This unforeseen, unprecedented situation has taught all of us a lot of new things. It has really changed the way we think. Naturally, our industry too has lot of takeaways from this situation. Many old business models are collapsing where as a lot of new models are emerging. One has to access the viability of his business model in the light of this new environment. May be there is a need to change, alter or even scrap the old model (as well as the thinking) and come out with an altogether new concept. Innovation was always welcome but in this extraordinary situation it has become the ‘Mantra’ for survival. Face the new world with courage and a smile on the face. Innovate, innovate and ……… innovate ! I promise you will be the winner !

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