Barely two years ago, the steel industry in India was fighting for survival due to large-scale dumping by China. Today, the very steelmakers that collapsed then are now some of the most sought after under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code’s corporate insolvency resolution process.

The change in the fortunes of the industry is a result of the quick and decisive decisions taken then by the government such as the imposition of a minimum import price, an anti-dumping duty and quality control orders.

Now that the sector has bounced back, Chaudhary Birender Singh, minister for steel, has high ambitions and set big targets for the industry.

“Our vision is to make Indian steel industry globally competitive and the world number one in quality. Our government has been making sustained efforts in this direction, giving priority to value-added steel production for self sufficiency and import substitution,” Singh said delivering the keynote address at the annual Fortune India Next 500 summit.

Elaborating on how to achieve this goal, Singh said that joint ventures, collaborations and acquisition are the ways to adopt advanced technology. “Development of new products, aimed at enhancing steel usage and exploring new markets for widening the reach of Indian steel must also be done on an equal footing,” he added.

Talking about the steel industry represented in the Fortune India Next 500 list, Singh said, “25 companies in the list are from the steel industry. You optimise the saying that necessity is the mother of all invention and you have contributed significantly to the development of India in spite of limited resources and multiple challenges.”

He added that micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) play a crucial role in the Indian steel sector. MSMEs in the steel industry are represented mainly through secondary steel producers who contribute nearly 57% of the total production of steel in the country.

He urged the MSMEs in the steel sector to come up with end-user driven marketing. “Customise products and go further down the value chain to capture the market. MSMEs can be a very good compliment to the bigger player. So let’s work together to take the Indian economy to new heights of success and create a new India,” Singh said.

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