March 4, 2022
In this edition of Stainless Spirit, we bring to you the story of the SPD stalwart GM, Hisar, Mr Sourabh Kumar. He started his career as a GET with us. Having spent around 22 years with the company, Mr Sourabh is now thoroughbred with his role and responsibilities. He has seen SPD thrive through the years and has been a part of it achieving the demanding and seemingly impossible targets. This ‘family man’ always yearns to learn and loves to innovate. Read the story to find out how his team achieved the milestone of 1100+ MT of blade production in SPD!
Tell us about your life before Jindal Stainless.
I belong to Hisar. Post my schooling from here, I went to Nagpur for engineering and joined Jindal Stainless right after that in September 2000. Both my parents were teachers, so there was always a disciplined environment around me. Therefore, I wanted to join the Indian Army. I was so passionate about it, that even two years after joining here, I gave the SSB exams and cleared it, but due to some medical issues, I couldn’t get through. So, I have spent almost my entire life in Hisar itself.
How has your journey been in Jindal Stainless?
Right after engineering, I joined Jindal Stainless in CRD-2, Projects. After that, I worked with CRD Maintenance of CRD-2. In 2006, when Mr Jagmohan Sood became the Head of (Special Products Divison) SPD, I also shifted to SPD in Operations. I was working under Mr Nilesh Jain who was the Head of SPD Operations then. The journey was full of new experiences, and I learned a lot from Mr Sood and Mr Jain. Their focus, commitment and penchant towards innovation inspired me to the core. When the expansion of SPD started, I got the opportunity to visit France. I went to France and learnt Tension Levelling in Arcelor-Mittal plant. In 2000, I was made the SPD Operations in-charge and was working under Mr Nilesh Jain. Then Mr Rajinder Raina shifted from HRD to CRD and I got an opportunity to learn from him as well. His openness towards new ideas was the best thing. He doesn’t stay hooked to the old processes and practices, and easily adapts to the new. Then I started working directly with Mr V K Bindlish and what I learnt from him is focus and his mission to find solutions. All the people and the new opportunities kept me constantly motivated throughout my journey. I have also been a part of innovations such as laser welding machine and many more. I strongly believe SPD has a very bright future ahead. Products are getting thinner as companies are looking for cost-effectiveness. So in the future, SPD has the potential to cater to different sectors with niche products.
Share the most memorable moment from your journey.
There are two moments very close to my heart. This company has given me multiple opportunities where I have proven my mettle. When I was working in projects, I got a chance to monitor commissioning for the first time in my life. I was also a part of multiple innovations at Z3 mill. While working in maintenance, I was made the Head of Hydraulic department. In operations, I was working in Operation Excellence Cell. As I was giving by blood and sweat for the company, the company recognised my dedication and efforts and gave me ‘Leading from the Front’ award at Utsav 2019. That was a very happy moment for me. The second moment would be when SPD achieved the long-awaited and desired target. SPD was designed to produce 1000 MT blade n 0.1mm segment. We always worked hard to achieve this target but every time, we were missing the mark by small margins.
Finally in 2020, we broke the jinx and achieved 1100+ MT in production. That is another memorable moment for me. Everyone was elated. This success didn’t come overnight for us. We made teams for particular areas and did TIME study for that. We adopted different kaizzens, made small improvements and eventually, we were able to hit the bull’s eye.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
I believe that if you are dedicatedly involved in something on a daily basis, then you must have a hobby to keep yourself refreshed. I have two major hobbies in my life. One is playing squash and the other is gym. I make sure that even if I have a busy day and leaving office late, I go to the club and play squash for at least for some hours and 3-4 days in a week. Playing squash is the the ultimate stress-buster for me. My other hobby is exercising. I have kept weights at home. So I do weight exercise in the morning and play squash in the evening. I believe kids also pick up these habits very quickly. My twin sons Raghav and Madhav also like to play with me. I always take out time to play badminton with them. I feel this also encourages bonding among the family. On Sundays, I prefer to stay at home and spend time with my family. On Saturday evening, I plan and watch movie with my kids. I am a family man and I enjoy spending time with my family.
What is your message for the Jindal family?
I believe that our management has developed an environment that allows all to take new initiatives/experiment and implement those. Keeping this in mind; I think all of us should encourage innovation, creative and productive solutions, because that always brings about positive changes. Keep thinking innovatively and do not be afraid to share the ideas and if possible, get those implemented as well.