Mr Kulmeet Bawa
August 29, 2022
June 30, 2019
He sleeps to dream big, and wakes up to aim high. A man with an unbeatable dedication for his work, who welded his way to become a leading name in the global cryogenic industry, meet CEO, INOXCVA, Mr Deepak Acharya. An enthusiast for Indian classical music and an ardent advocate of fitness, Mr Acharya reflects upon his journey in an exclusive interview with Stainless Post.
I grew up in the ‘Orange City’, Nagpur and was just as vibrant as a child. My father served as an Audit Officer at the CAG office, Nagpur. I did my early schooling in Nagpur and then at Fergusson, Pune. Later, I went on to pursue Mechanical Engineering at NIT Nagpur. After graduating in ’85, I completed my post-graduation from IIT Roorkee, with specialization in welding technology. I then received my post graduate diploma in Marketing & Finance from Nirma Institute of Management, Ahmedabad. Welding technology was an unorthodox subject to pursue that time. I remember people laughing at my choice of specialization. Now that I think about it, it was my father who always motivated me to do what’s unconventional. Given the specialized disciplinary knowledge required for this subject, and the minimal number of seats available at prominent institutes like IIT Madras and Roorkee, I was convinced that my choice was right.
Right after my post-graduation in ’87, I was hired by Hero Honda as a welding engineer. The company was in its inception stage, and I couldn’t have found a better learning experience. Then, in ’90, I worked with Advani Oerlikon as a Product Specialist and mastered the art of manufacturing welding consumables and equipment. I was gradually promoted to the position of Sub-Area Manager where I was handling key accounts in the western region of India. It was in 1992 that I was employed by INOXCVA as a manager. You’d be glad to know that I was the second employee in the organization. Having been part of a company that made its first sale of a mere Rs 4 lakh in March’92, to managing an annual turnover of nearly Rs 620 crore today in a CEO outfit, it’s overwhelming.
My biggest achievement is the fact that the passion that drew me to study welding technology never goes dry. A testimony to this fact is that I am the Vice President, Western Region, Indian Institute of Welding, and have just concluded my Chairmanship of the Baroda branch. I love my subject pursuing it and I have always had a ball.
In 1996, we supplied Nitrogen storage tanks for a Particle Physics research project in Geneva that studied properties of accelerating particles. From 2000-2004, we developed the entire cryogenic system for the Second Launch Pad (SLP) project at Sriharikota in less than 4 years. Recently, we developed a stainless steel thermo-vacuum chamber for ISRO Ahmedabad’s Bopal Centre. This vacuum chamber simulates space conditions on earth and test payloads. The GSAT-29 was tested in this chamber for a payload of nearly 3.5 tonnes. Apart from this, we also supplied liquid Helium cryolines for a nuclear fusion reaction project by ITER in France. Cryogenic tanks are double walled vessels with inner vessels made out of austenitic stainless steel. We also manufacture Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) vessels for satellite stations, marine applications, city-gas distribution (CGD) and LNG and LCNG (Liquid to Compressed Natural Gas )fuel stations. We are now eyeing to reduce pollution due to vehicle emissions by means of stainless steel LNG fuel tanks for buses and trucks. By 2020, these 450 litre tanks will help heavy-duty vehicles cover a stretch of nearly 500-600 kms without any refuelling.
From 1992-1996, we majorly relied on imports to fulfil our stainless steel requirements. These included players from Japan, Germany, and others in the European market. Around 1996, Jindal Stainless’ Hisar unit started developing stainless steel plates in 1250 mm width. Although, our manufacturing process didn’t allow using sheets in this width, we were highly impressed with the product quality. So much so, that we redesigned our products to be able to adapt to the available 304 and 304L grade stainless steel sheets (1550-1600 mm width).
Jindal Stainless has always set new milestones in its products’ quality. A testimony to this is the fact that marine fuel tanks, developed for European market, made from 201 LN grade stainless steel produced by Jindal Stainless were qualified by DNV-GL, Lloyd, Bureau Veritas, a premier international certification agency. Along with this, a professional delivery system and technical expertise at Jindal Stainless call for an applause. Another feather in the company’s hat is the warmth with which it maintains its customer relationships.
I have always believed in dreaming big and aiming high. A dream that can give you an effortless sleep, and an aim that can draw sleepless efforts from you. I urge everyone to have a flexible approach and adapt to innovative solutions. That’s the only way to keep winning your customers.
A physically exhausting hobby takes you a long way and helps you become more agile. For me, they are swimming and cycling. I take pride in the fact that I do not have any major failures in life. That happens when you make sure that what you do, you do it better than anyone else.