Sharad Rastogi, Country Manager (India) – Ruukki
Currently Ruukki provides special steel products and solutions to Indian and global customers operating in India. Going forward tell us about your future strategy for India? Any long term plans to set-up manufacturing facilities in India?
We have opened our office in Navi Mumbai just recently as a part of our long term strategy for this market. India is a growth market and we have a strategic focus towards India and other emerging markets. We manufacture special steels for all markets in our Raahe works in Finland where we have invested in manufacturing technology.
As for other processing, future needs will determine the needs for other kind of local processing investments.
In India, Ruukki’s main customer segments at the moment are construction and mining machinery. With high interest rates and lower equipment sales, tell us about the cascading impact on your business in India?
We see growth potential in India and that is precisely the reason that we decided to open an office here.
Since Ruukki’s business in closely linked to infrastructure development. Do you think the recent slowing of economic growth will lead to infrastructure development being hurt nationwide?
The Indian Prime Minister has recently announced a huge investment in infrastructure development over the next five years. An investment of the magnitude of one trillion US dollars has been announced. Now, it is just a matter of time before the impact of the same in seen here.
What is the current market scenario across India for high-strength and wear-resistant specialty steel products? Going forward how do you foresee the market growth?
The market for high-strength and wear-resistant steels in India is growing. There is a huge potential for development of special steels in India especially in sectors like Construction, Mining and LHT (Lifting, Handling and Transportation) industries amongst others. We see growth potential in India for these steels with the growth in mining, construction and infra structure sectors.
Tell us about the main growth drivers for specialty steel products in India?
The growth drivers for special steel products in India remain the mining, construction and infrastructure sectors.
How is the Indian market for speciality steel technologically vis-à-vis other nations?
In the developed countries, there is a much bigger demand for special steel technology and products. In the developing countries, the concept is fast catching up, as the special steels like wear resistant steels (Ruukki RAEX) increase the life of wear parts by up to 3 or 4 times and the use of high strength steels (Ruukki OPTIM) increase the pay loads by reducing the weight of steel components by up to 30 per cent or so in addition to savings on fuel and lower wear of moving parts and tyres etc.