Rajeev Jhawar-Usha Martin and his views on post covid expansion of production23rd March 2022
Rajeev Jhawar, the son of Brij Kishore Jhawar, is an Indian industrialist with over three decades of experience in strategic management. He is an alumnus of Ranchi University and London Business School. He started his journey as Sr. Vice President (Commercial) and became the Managing Director of Usha Martin Limited in 1998. He has been the Managing Director at Usha Martin Limited since May 19, 2008, and in the three decades that he has been at the helm of the Usha Martin Group, he has accelerated growth, built a meritocracy and enhanced stakeholder value. Usha Martin started its business as a wire rope manufacturing company. The group has set new standards in the manufacture of wire rods, bright bars, steel wires, specialty wires, wire ropes, strand, conveyor cord, wire drawing and cable machinery. The company is also in the business activities of Steel, Wire & Wire Ropes.
Rajeev Jhawar is the Director of Neutral Publishing House Ltd. He graduated from London Business School and completed Management Development Course at the University of Pennsylvania. Rajeev Jhawar has been Vice Chairman of Usha Martin Education & Solutions Limited since September 2010. His leadership qualities, sharp business acumen, in-depth understanding of business administration and strategic decision making has taken the Group to an altogether higher growth trajectory.
Rajeev Jhawar has been an Independent Non-Executive Director of Orient Cement Limited since August 09, 2014. He serves as an Executive Director of Usha Martin Limited. He serves as Director of Usha Martin International Ltd., Usha Siam Steel Industries Public Company Ltd., Thailand, Brunton Wolf Wire Ropes FZCO, Dubai, Usha Breco Ltd, Usha Breco Realty Ltd, KGVK Rural Enterprises Ltd, KGVK Social Enterprises Ltd, Redtech Networks India (P) Ltd, PARS Consultancy & Services Pvt. Ltd. And Jhawar Venture Management Pvt. Ltd. He has been a Non-Executive Director at Usha Martin Education & Solutions Limited since March 4, 2000. He has been Director of Usha Breco Limited since March 30, 2010. He is also on the boards of various corporates including Orient Cement Limited (part of CK Birla group companies) and Neutral Publishing House Limited which has a leading regional newspaper under the flagship title ‘Prabhat Khabar’ published in the Indian cities of Patna, Dhanbad, Ranchi, Jamshedpur & Kolkata.
Post covid market analysis by Rajeev Jhawar:
Rajeev Jhawar shares his observation about the industry post covid. After the coronavirus, the industry witnessed a pandemic and subsequent lockdown disrupted overall economic activity. The Indian steel industry struggled to keep pace with the sharp fall in steel demand. Adverse market conditions forced steelmakers to cut their operations by up to 50% by the end of 2019-20 and early 2020-21. Further, he also makes his views on the various stimulus measure taken by the government to enhance the growth of the economy.
Rajeev Jhawar, managing director, UML, said the various measures announced by the central government to stimulate the economy are likely to bear fruit after the monsoon. While the pandemic has not yet been eradicated, the growth is likely to occur as all the industries had learnt to live together with the pandemic. Rajeev said while the demand for wire rope in the international market was very modest, domestic demand in various sectors was very low due to the lockdown in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. Rajeev Jhawar says that their plant is currently operating at 50-55% of the installed capacity. However, export demand is good and we are supported by the depreciation of the rupee, he said. The company expects capacity to increase by the second half of this financial year once the covid situation is brought under control and domestic demand picks up.
Usha martin in wire rope manufacturing:
The company’s global R&D centre in Italy is actively engaged in the design of wire ropes and uses property design software to develop products. The company also has a comprehensive R&D facility in its manufacturing unit at Ranchi. “Product innovation that meets the customers’ needs is a continuous process for us. We are a major supplier of several OEMs,” explains Devadip Bhowmik, director, sales & marketing, UML. The market leader in India in wire ropes, Usha Martin can produce a wide range – from 4.8 mm to 130 mm in diameter – of wire ropes. “Our USP is diverse quality products that cater to large customers,” adds Bhowmik. “It is the concept of a ‘super market’, where one can pick up everything under one roof.”
Describing the advantages of the overseas operations, Rajeev Jhawar affirms that these operations provide a significant synergy and support to the overall business performance. It also helps us to spread the offerings across the globe. The Covid pandemic had adversely impacted UML’s demand but the international market is expected to open up, though slowly. Rajeev Jhawar thinks that in the next five years, the segment will see good demand.
Mr. Rajeev Jhawar has also cautioned all to remain agile and responsive to the changing market needs and focus on increasing market share in high contributory products. Rajeev is bullish about the segment and expects oil & gas, ports and shipping to be the growth drivers. On a consolidated basis, 35-40 per cent of Usha Martin’s revenue is from exports to Europe, South East Asia, the US and the Scandinavian countries.
“Usha Martin has been supplying us with wire ropes for heavy-duty cranes for ports over decades now,” says Harinder Singh, business head, coal import terminal, Adani Ports & SEZ. Performance-wise, UML’s products are on par with the imported ropes. But though the quality is good, there is a need to improve the services, says Rajeev Jhawar Usha Martin enjoys strong brand recall in the segment. Usha Martin is now in the process of strengthening its projects and services under the new leadership. The adopted HR policy of the company identifies future leaders. The HR processes find high-potential performers. UML nurture them internally through training and development, as part of a succession planning process, so that future leaders can be developed within the organization. This is what Rajeev Jhawar feels. Usha Martin has a workforce of 2,300. The average age group of the company’s management is below 50.