October 2007 | Sujata Agrawal
Centred on service
Pedigree is just one of the many reasons for Tata Ryerson’s robust health. There’s also reliability, a fantastic team and the ability to innovate
"We started with the processing and distribution of 10,000 tonnes of steel a year and we touched the million mark in 10 years. Now we’re talking about reaching our next million in three years and 3 million by 2012.” To hear Sandipan Chakravortty state the facts of this growth story thus, everything seems simple and steady, but the managing director of Tata Ryerson knows how difficult a task that is. “You must always aim high,” he adds. “If you reach the higher target it means you have an opportunity you had not planned for.”
The primary objective of a service centre is to be a complete solution provider to the customer and not just do a particular job like cutting steel or holding inventory. Tata Ryerson delivers single-window solutions. This means that if a customer asks for 20 types of steel in various shapes and sizes, the centre will give them that.
“When we started in 1997, we were the only enterprise of the kind in India,” says Chakravortty. “Before that, there was the unorganised sector. Poor workmanship was the norm and customers rarely got what they wanted.”
TRyL, with first-mover advantage on its side, found success quickly with its international-class service. From the very start, the company concentrated on the high-end business from industries such as automobiles, auto components and consumer appliances.
“We did this because we felt that Ryerson’s global experience would come in handy here,” says Chakravortty. “The second point is that these sectors were used to steel service centres and comfortable with their facilities. Identifying and understanding the market was a crucial factor for us. So we set up a wide all-India network of service centres in phase 2.”