BIG INTERVIEW, Special Stories

TRACING THE SKYLINES OF TOMORROW

One of the prime steel suppliers of the country having their name established across all the sectors of the industry is none other than the trailblazer – Tata Steel. They have rightly achieved their vision of value creation and corporate citizenship with their brand name ‘’Tata Strcutura’.

With the belief that steel is a versatile material for construction, and, will remain the main growth engine for the country’s development. They aspire to set bring international best practices for Steel application/usage in construction….

We have with us the man-of-the hour PRAVEEN SHRIVASTAVA, CHIEF OF MARKETING & SALES TUBES SBU, TATA STEEL who will spill some more beans about the leading steel supplier…
Read on to know more…

Being one of the pioneers of the Steel Industry, what is your take on the future of Construction in India?
Traditionally, Indian construction was based on masonry and RCC (Reinforced Cement Concrete). RCC requires natural minerals like sand & coarse aggregates, which are gradually depleting. The problem is compounded by increasing water scarcity across the country.

In addition, technology continues to evolve towards new, less-resource intensive and more sustainable forms of construction. In this scenario, steel with its inherent advantages, assumes greater importance. The future is expected to be ‘greener’ and it is predicted that composite construction will play a greater role.

How does Tata Steel stand out from the rest of its combatants?
Tata Steel stands out from other steel companies because, it continues to innovate and develop new technologies and advanced products for sustainable construction to ensure optimum usage of natural resources.

What role has Tata Structura’s innovative products have played in changing the industry scenario?
India has a very low per capita steel consumption, and, typically uses RCC or conventional steel sections. In such a scenario, Tata Steel introduced steel hollow sections for structural use, under the brand name ‘Tata Structura’.

After a decade usage, the market size of this product has increased exponentially and achieved the intent for aesthetically wonderful structures. It continues to define the skylines around the country. We are the market leaders in chosen segments like infrastructure and major industrial projects.

How would you describe Tata Structura’s success story?
With changing times, Tata Structura’s innovative products have played an important role in the industrial scenario. This is a premium brand in hollow sections market and as pioneers in structural steel, Tata Steel continues to create demand by enabling usage.

Major infrastructural projects viz. airports, stadiums & metro rail stations are built with steel hollow sections and we are an integral part of these projects, not only as the material supplier, but also by supporting the AEC community. Our in-house team of structural experts for steel hollow sections support the efforts of stakeholders in project construction through customised services.

What are the key challenges faced by our Steel Suppliers today? How do we plan to overcome it?
The main challenges faced by steel suppliers today are urgent requirements of non-standard sections & MOQ issues. Also, the limited knowledge of steel design and fabrication with hollow sections in the industry, is compelling lesser usage of steel in construction segment. The Indian Standards for Design are not fully in line with international practices.

Steel has been popularly used in commercial structures. What steps should be taken to encourage builders to use steel in their major projects?
As steel availability has increased in the country, the builder community needs to switch over to steel frame construction, for achieving faster construction timelines. This will help them to achieve in early revenue generations of the facility & steel as an option will provide better life cost of the facility due its usage will lead to higher column free spaces, carpet area & faster project completion at targeted quality and life of the structure.

Please state about your novel products such as H&I Sections and Fire Resistance Steel?
In steel frame buildings, the fire protection of the steel frame is one of the major cost component and hence steel buildings are becoming uneconomical. Our R&D has developed an innovative steel grade which will meet the requirements of the structural engineers for fire protection without any coatings or may be in some case with minimal fire resistance coatings. With this grade, the steel structures will become more economical and meet the customer requirements.

In order to reduce the work at project sites and give more customised products to our project customers, we have launched factory-welded H&I sections which are being manufactured under factory-controlled conditions instead of site fabrications. This helps consumers to access better quality product, with less project lead time.

What steps should be taken by the government to promote steel construction in India?
With Government of India focusing on using on developing infrastructure (Airports, Railways, Roads & Waterways) Smart Cities and ‘Make in India’ initiative, will boost steel demand in the country. However, the codal provisions and BIS standards need to be updated in line with international codes. Also, focus is required for skill development and for steel fabrication & erection works.

What is Tata Steel’s plan of action for the next 5 years?
We at Tata Steel as always shall focus on developing value added & Innovative products for the construction segment. Also, we are trying to facilitate and bring international best practices for Steel application/usage in construction.

What Message would you like to give our readers?
Steel is a versatile material for construction and will remain the main growth engine for the country’s development. It is a material with high strength to weight ratio and will remain the main construction material for decades to come.

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