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Stainless Spirit

Piyush Tripathi

June 10, 2018    

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On the first day of work, he failed to answer a single question out of several he was asked. But that did not deter him, rather helped him explore the best in himself. His journey is proof that he is nothing less than a hero today. Here is the story of the man who persevered day and night to become the connoisseur of CRD Operations. The kind of story that will teach you that success is no accident.

Tell Us About Your Early Days.

My childhood is a mix-tape of distinct memories of many places that I lived in, owing to my father’s transferable nature of job. He worked for Coal India Limited. Consequently, I switched schools across the length and breadth of the country. I did my B-Tech from Nagpur University and thought of pursuing MBA after that; since it was something that everyone was expected to do. Life, however, had different plans for me. In 2002, I started my first job at Bhushan Steel as a GET. In 2005, I moved to Shah Alloys, Ahmedabad as a Sr Engineer, in the hope to find opportunities and growth. While professional life progressed at a decent speed, cricket gave me a reason to look beyond. This cricketer in me took inspiration from Shane Warne, and so I turned out to be a decent leg-spinner. Little did I know that my sixers would land in Jindal Stainless, and how!

How Did Your Journey With Jindal Stainless Begin?

It was in 2006 that I came to Jindal Stainless. I was responsible for the project of erection and commissioning of the new rolling mill. When I joined, these mills were just being set up. I was one of the first few people who received all the shipments for this project. I have seen the place transform in front of my eyes. Later, when the commissioning was complete, I was made in-charge of Z-4 mill, which I operated myself for the first 6 months. It was indeed taxing to do both the things together – operating the mill and managing it at the same time. But my growth here has been tremendous. I have been a part of almost every department in the unit, except electrical; partly because of my curiosity to learn the know-how of different operations, and partly because of the company and its people.

“Piyush is our Man Friday. A trusted lieutenant, who is a solution finder for CRD Operations. He is process oriented and has an eye for detail but most importantly, he takes his team along with him. Piyus has amazing interpersonal skills and he always looks for helping and developing others.”- COO, JSHL, Jagmohan Sood

So Twelve Years With One Company Is A Big Time. What Is The Best Part About Working Here?

The best part about this place is that it is not chaotic. It is easy and yet challenging at times, but certainly not chaotic that people don’t know what is expected of them. The policies here are transparent. When the environment is not fearful, then you can be in your best creative self. Employees here can give their opinions without any hesitation. I still remember that when the focus on Kaizen was introduced, which is a long-term systematic approach to work, I was unsure of it. I thought it was one of those redundant things that needed to be mechanically filled out and so I did raise my objection. Although, sooner than later, I realized the uniqueness of that approach and a lot of other practices that helped me grow not only professionally, but personally as well.

Tell Us More About This Personal Growth Of Yours.

Akin to the transition of this plant, I have witnessed another transformation, of my own self. When I was a shift-in-charge, I used to be very aggressive, and came down heavily on the people who worked with me. This job has taught me tranquility. I’ve evolved and become cool like stainless now. It has had a calming effect on me and I don’t panic anymore. People often call me ‘Mr Cool’ now.

Apart from that, adaptability is another skill that I have mastered. I remember how D K Jain used to say that I can be put in any field and I will shine bright in it. “He is adaptable and has worked from operations to maintenance. His dynamic transformation has happened in front of my eyes.” – Deepak Agarwal, CRD, Jajpur

What Has Been Your Most Memorable Instance At Jindal Stainless ?

There are two such instances. On my first day, my then reporting manager called me to his office and asked me a few questions that I could not answer. I distinctively remember him saying- “you are at zero” and giving me a lot of study material, including engineering drawings and contract documents. To this day, I recall the feeling I had back then. I was filled with self-doubts. However, it is because of that moment, that I now know even the smallest details of Z-4; I can recall it in my dreams! Sometimes your biggest criticism can lead you to the path of greatest success. I owe my reverence to that ‘comment’ and thus it has found a special place in my deepest memories.

The other one is more of an achievement that I would like to share. When I was looking after the filtration systems, the Germans gave me a target to assemble, flush and reassemble them in 10 days. I completed the assembly in just 5 days. I used to be the first one to come to office, and the one to put the lock on while leaving late in the nights

What Is Your Message To The Jindal Stainless Family?

The future of the company is bright, as there is continuous emphasis on training and improving. My suggestion is that there should be more interaction between customers and junior employees.

Further, I would like say that nothing can be achieved alone. Team work is integral to the success of any task, and respect to both, juniors and seniors, is important. In 2009, when the company faced slack, there was no negative feeling or resentment in any employee and that in itself is commendable for any company. Work did not stop, and we kept moving forward with a positive attitude. Though life here in the mills is tough, but nothing could stop us. We are like an army of soldiers. And we keep moving on!