Mr Rajesh Rehpade
April 4, 2022
Peeking in from the outside of his glass cabin, you will find Mr Rehpade looking stern, eyes fixated on his laptop screen. But the moment you knock and get in, he greets you with a wide and generous smile. He keeps a smile on his face despite all the challenges he faces, and everyone who knows him confirms this. Mr Rehpade started his journey with Jindal Stainless in 2005 and his hard work and dedication brought him to his current position. Read his story to know about his interesting journey!
Tell us about your life before Jindal Stainless.
I am from Nagpur, Maharashtra. I did my B Tech in Mechanical from Nagpur University in 2000. After a year, I got my first job as a Graduate Engineering Trainee at Sipta Coated Steel Limited, Nanded. That was very challenging because that plant was shut by the union and it was reopening. So from the beginning, I knew that I had to learn on my own by taking up challenging tasks. The coolest part was that eight of my classmates were inducted together. I learned mill operations there. We restarted 2-3 mills there which was an achievement for us. Then, I shifted to Bhushan Steel, Kolkata. That shift was huge for me as the scale of operations was far greater than the previous job. From there, I moved to Vardhman Steel in Patiala. I finally joined Jindal Stainless in 2005. To be honest, Jindal Stainless was a dream job for many. I was congratulated by many when I landed the offer.
How has the journey of Jindal Stainless been for you?
I started here as an Executive in CRD. In 2006, I was promoted to Associate Manager, and in 2008, to Manager. In 2011, I was the Mill In-charge. In 2012, my boss,Mr D K Jain moved to Odisha, and again, I was made in charge of two more mills. In 2015, Mr Bindlish became the CRD Head. I can say that my career elevation happened under him. He is my mentor. He came here with the task of increasing the production of Rolling Mill. He set a target of 27,000MT production and achieved that within three months. It was a huge feat for us. Mr Bindlish had been there as a leader throughout this journey and took many initiatives to achieve the same. We took this target further and achieved a production of 29,000MT. Then, when the Z5 mill was installed, new challenges emerged again. Since the equipment was old, we had to make multiple improvements to it and then, we overcame that as well and achieved stability. So, before I was transferred to SPD, we brought the production to 35,000MT. After Mr Raina took the reins of CRD, he pushed our limits and took it to 37,300MT even during the pandemic. Then, Mr Bindlish brought a major change by bringing rolling mill divisions together, HRAP and CRAP, and finishing. I was at CRAP at that time. Then, I got an opportunity to go to SPD and I grabbed it. It was a shift for me as I came from a wider to a specialty segment. Here, I got the opportunity to oversee the entire 2000 tonnes plant as well, from BA lines, finishing lines, leveling, etc. Even here, we had challenges seeing the erection and commissioning of every line. It took me back to when I started my career as an Executive in 2000. Everything was new, from the machine to the manpower.
Tell us about your most memorable moment here.
The commissioning of the new SPD took place in steps. Mr Rehpade with his famous smileMachines and sheds were erected, commissioned, and installed one after another. There’s a Rolling Mill, Tension Leveler, Bright Annealing, two Slitting Lines, and two Packaging Lines here. I take this as the grace of God because I got a good amount of time to understand everything and eventually, get used to it. For me, the most challenging part was when we had to inform and educate the new workforce about safety. We used to give them sessions on safety so that there’s no mishap or accident anywhere. All of us were very cautious, and we finally made this plant operational without any accident. That I can say is the most memorable moment for me. Also, achieving the highest-ever rolling mark of 37,500MT was also a memorable moment.
What do you like to do in your free time?
I love cooking. Whenever I get free time, I go to the kitchen and cook something nice and then, relish the dishes with my two daughters and wife. I learned the basics of cooking from my father. During the lockdown, I cooked many dishes and found cooking therapeutic. In my free time, I just want to be home with my family. Every Sunday, I give a rest day to my wife and prepare lunch by myself. Even my kids nowadays prefer my cooking over food from outside. That certainly is an achievement in today’s takeout or order-in days.
What is your message to Jindal Stainless family?
I think everyone should actively participate in whatever they are doing, no matter what grade they are working on. There’s a difference between being a good boss and being a good leader. Equal participation is that one thing that differentiates them. Rather than just assigning work, one should be involved in it and work alongside the team. That’s my message to my Jindal Stainless family. Be a true leader and not merely a boss. You will see miracles happen.