This chemicals manufacturer is on a mission to localise electro-galvanised steel production

Shubh Gautam, Chief Technical Architect of Noida-based American Precoat Speciality, found that India produces 75 million tonnes of steel but imports 100 percent of electro-galvanised steel, which has applications in our daily lives. He’s now working to reduce this import dependence.
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From raising their voice against imports and raising the banner of vocal for local and import substitution, the last few years have changed things for the Indian manufacturing ecosystem. 

Against this backdrop, last year in June speciality chemicals manufacturer American Precoat Specialty nudged the government to launch an investigative probe against the dumping of electro-galvanised steel by countries like Korea, Singapore, and Japan into Indian territory. 

“What was happening was not in the interest of India and this upsets the country’s innovative ecosystem,” says Dr Shubh Gautam, the promoter and Chief Technical Architect of the company. 

Shubh says the government gave them a “patient hearing” and has started a “fair investigation” against dumping.

American Precoat Speciality Limited, which was founded in 2005 by Shubh, launched its own electro-galvanized steel plant in Valsad, Gujarat, in December last year. Shubh refused to reveal the initial capital invested to start this facility.

The Noida-based company has over the years expanded to other categories as well, offering industrial coating, polymers, and more. The company holds patents for some of its products such as plastic closure caps, closure caps for containers, liners for plastic closures, and more. 

The reason behind establishing the new facility is to help India become self-sufficient, says Shubh. 

“India imports 10,000 tons of electro-galvanised steel every month. We produce 75 million tons of steel but do not produce electro-galvanised steel,” Shubh says. 

While deploying the electro-galvanised method, steel sheets are dipped in a zinc ion solution, and current is passed through so the zinc ions are uniformly spread over the steel sheets. The product has applications across myriad industries, from FMCG and automobile to defence. 

However, the lack of market in India and the startling statistics compelled Shubh to explore this segment further. He found himself asking the question, “How can this dependence be removed and leveraged to strengthen India’s manufacturing ecosystem?”

“Electro-galvanised steel is present in our everyday life – in a refrigerator, electric oven, washing machine, medical equipment, etc.,” highlights Shubh, adding that the fact India imports 100 percent of electro-galvanised steel is baffling. 

“The idea was to put up an electro-galvanised steel plant in India with innovative technology not available in the country.” 

The company plans to reach out to original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), white goods manufacturers, and auto, nuclear and defence players to localise a large amount of electro-galvanised steel used in the country. 

Shubh adds that this product holds huge potential when it comes to exports. “If we can export to Korea and Japan, that will be a great moment to celebrate.”

Latin America, Europe and the Middle East can also be great markets for India. “If they see value in electro-galvanised steel imports coming from India, I am sure they will come forward,” Shubh says. 

Edited by Teja Lele Desai

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