Mr Kulmeet Bawa
August 29, 2022
May 26, 2021
In this edition, Stainless Post chronicles the extraordinary journey of Managing Director, Shree Balaji Tubes, Mr Ramesh Sharaf who set up the first stainless steel pipe and tube manufacturing unit in Patna, Bihar. A promising customer of Jindal Stainless, get to know how he gave up a successful career in Chartered Accountancy during his early years and went on to earn a respectable name in the stainless steel pipe and tube (P&T) industry.
1. How did you start your journey?
I come from a middle class family in Muzaffarpur, Bihar. After completing my schooling from Muzaffarpur in 1989, I was driven to become a Chartered Accountant (CA). For this, I started preparing for a foundation course in CA along with my regular college in Patna. After 3 years of hard work, I qualified for the CA course and started an articleship with L K Saraf and Company. However, due to some personal reasons, I had to drop out from pursuing a career in Chartered Accountancy. So, in 1993, I took up a job as an Accounts Supervisor at a Mumbai-based steel trading firm. By 1996, I was back in Patna where I joined a TMT and mild steel ingot producing firm as the Head of Accounts Department. By then I had developed a sound knowledge of the trade. Two years later, I started trading of TMT, mild steel ingots, and sponge iron along with my elder brother. After successfully running our trading business for 6 years, I set up an iron ore crushing unit in Barbil, Orissa in 2004. Later, in 2009, we set up another unit for manufacturing mild steel billets in Patna. In 2013, I set up the first stainless steel pipe and tube manufacturing unit in Patna, Shree Balaji Tubes. Today, we are the oldest and the leading producer of stainless steel pipes, rectangles, tubes, and sheets in Patna with a monthly production capacity of 100 metric tonnes (MT).
2. Under what circumstances did you start this business?
In 2013, I was looking for a new setup. After weighing several options and realising the potential and future demand of stainless steel, I chose this field. A major reason for this was that there was no single unit in Bihar or in neighbouring states that produced stainless steel pipes and tubes. Moreover, given my earlier experience, I had gained a vast knowledge of the technical and commercial aspects of the steel business. With this in mind, I started the production of stainless steel pipes and tubes in 2015, with a capacity of 30 MT per month. Initially, many challenges related to sale, quality, size, etc. sprung up. However, I was patient and was able to overcome all challenges with systematic business strategies. Presently, our capacity is nearly 100 MT per month and we are already in the process of expansion by this year.
3. What are the notable changes and trends ruling your kind of business?
In my opinion, our business is largely driven by customer satisfaction. I, along my team, lay continuous emphasis on production and supply of quality products to our dealers. I personally take up any grievances of our customers and try to efficiently solve them. As of today, stainless steel is proving to be a far better option than its competitors. With this in mind, I am looking forward to an exponential growth in the demand for customer-facing stainless steel products. I continue to add variety to our gamut of products, in terms of sizes, in order to fulfil customers’ requirements.
4. When and how did your journey with Jindal Stainless begin? What do you think sets it apart when compared to other suppliers?
In 2016, I got in touch with Jindal Stainless. The company’s reputation preceded its name owing to its high-end quality products. I am glad to share that since the start of our business, our raw material procurement till date continues to be from Jindal Stainless. The company is the market leader and stands up for the domestic stainless steel producers in a time when our country is flooded with biased imports. Moreover, Jindal Stainless is efficiently fighting the counterfeit in the stainless steel P&T market. For this, I congratulate the efficient marketing efforts of the company in terms of print and electronic advertisements, wall paintings, and glow sign boards that are supporting to improve our customer networking.
5. What is your message to young managers/ future generation
In my opinion, all you need to excel at anything in life includes the following golden rules- dedication, honesty, soft spoken demeanour, and hard labour.