Mr Vijay Mohan Jain
April 30, 2019
We bring to you an inspiring account of our OEM customer from Pune, Mr Vijay Mohan Jain of the DTL Ancillaries Ltd. A man of discipline and grit, Mr Jain takes pride as a self-made businessman. Having partnered with several automobile bigwigs as an ancillary supplier, to manufacturing railway coach components for the Indian Railways, DTL Ancillaries has covered a long journey under the leadership of Mr Jain. Catch him getting candid in a conversation with Stainless Post.
What Was Your Childhood Like? Take Us Back To The Beginning Of DTL Ancillaries Ltd?
My father was a native of Hansi, a city in the Hisar district of Haryana. Back in 1935, he moved to Delhi to complete his graduation. Thereafter, he set up a business in auto spare parts. While I completed my early education in Delhi, I was inspired by my father working relentlessly every day. He was a self-made man who motivated me at every step of my childhood. After completing my engineering from PEC Chandigarh in 1968, I got an opportunity to start an automobile dealership business in Raebareli, Uttar Pradesh (UP). Like my father, I gladly took on this new challenge on a new turf. What started as a mere agency for tractors, turned out to expand its reach across central & eastern UP; with service centres in Lucknow, Varanasi, Mirzapur, Gorakhpur, Rae Bareli, and Lakhimpur. By this time, I started dealing in two-wheelers as well. Around 1980, I got the dealership for Ashok Leyland in Varanasi for eastern UP. In 1983, I decided to come back to Delhi in order to provide better education opportunities to my children.
DCM Toyota Ltd. was newly established in the LCV industry in India during this time. In 1986, my company started working as an ancillary unit for DCM. DTL Ancillaries Ltd. thus came into being. We saw better business prospects and then moved to Pune in 1996, after the DCM Toyota arrangement drifted. Since then, we are operating from Pune.
What Are Some Of The Noteworthy Milestones Of Your Business?
After moving to Pune in 1996, we received a similar support role for Tata Motors, as we did for DCM Toyota. However, this time we were all the more energised to go the extra mile. This is what motivated us to get backward integration in our processes. We ventured into cold-roll forming (CRF) technology which helped us develop railway components.
A major breakthrough for us was in 2004-05, when we bagged our first order for Integral Coach Factory’s (ICF) trough floors for coaches. Later in 2007-08, ICF further placed orders with us for side-wall and roofs for coaches, along with other components. We went on to provide our services and products to major brands like BEML, Bombardier, and RDSO. This helped us earn a fair repute in the stainless steel market. We went on to open a dedicated railway unit in Kolkata which, in 2011, received a single order worth 11,000 tonnes of stainless steel. Later, in 2015, we aligned our interests with the railway wagons, metros, RCF (Raiway Coach Factory), and ICF.
In 1997, the total turnover of DTL Ancillaries Ltd. was 5 lakh rupees. This was the time when our survival was very tough. I am proud to share that today we stand at a massive turnover of Rs 300 crore. It indeed has been a long journey.
When And How Did Your Journey With Jindal Stainless Begin? In Your Entire Gamut Of Suppliers, What Sets Jindal Stainless Apart?
Till 2011, we were relying on other players for stainless steel. Jindal Stainless had started gaining momentum in the western region during this time. After meeting the company officials and inspecting the product quality of Jindal Stainless, I was convinced of a reliable business with the group.
With my roots in Haryana, I find myself in the shoes of several successful entrepreneurs from this region with acumen for business. Maybe this is why I have always felt culturally close to Jindal Stainless. The Hisar connect also helped me quickly understand the company quite well. I could relate to the dynamic business model that the company presented. Even after eight years of a healthy business relationship, Jindal Stainless continues to lead the Indian stainless steel industry with great fervour. As a customer, I have felt that Jindal Stainless makes efforts to reach out to its customers and make sure that they are heard.
How Do You See Your Business Panning Out In The Future? What Are Your Future Goals?
With the Railways expanding its reach at an expedited pace, I believe that DTL will achieve its target turnover of 1000 crs in the coming five years. Stainless steel is the metal of tomorrow. All major steel applications in future will switch to stainless steel. Given a plethora of properties, stainless steel has proven to be the best metal alternative for a variety of industrial applications. Some of the prospective new ventures that I have been eyeing include railway interiors, railway station furniture, and infrastructure like foot-over-bridges. With a green and aesthetic metal such as stainless steel, the market today is brimming with opportunities.
What In Your Opinion Has Helped You Thrive As A Businessman?
Starting a small business, I had to be nimble-footed. I learnt not to marry myself to any business and ventured into various areas. This method gave me enough strength to try something new without fear. With persistence, small steps lead to bigger achievements. Further, I have learnt to always keep an open mind. As a non-conformist, I have learnt to pave my own way. I even keep a check on myself by regular introspection.