Shah Steel & Tubes (Shri Pujalal Lallubhai Shah Group) has been a preferred steel provider, offering quality-focussed distribution services to its clients ever since its inception in the year 1957. Headquartered in Ahmedabad, the company is one of the largest distributors of steel pipes & hollow sections in the country.
In a conversation with Tube & Pipe India, Mr. Sapan S. Shah, Partner, Shah Steel & Tubes, talks about the company’s manufacturing capabilities, product range, and market presence in India.
“The market is evolving as the needs are getting very specific and tailor- made, and the users are constantly in search of products whereby they can save money.”
Tube & Pipe India: Could you please give us a brief outline of the business journey of your company along with its crucial milestones?
Sapan S. Shah: Our Company was founded by my grandfather in 1957. We’ve been serving the industry for the last 65 years. We have, over the years, kept almost all the products related to steel pipe and geographically, we have grown across the country. As India progresses towards industrial development, we are serving the industries, and catering to their needs. The country, as a whole, is going into value addition. The level of manufacturing is increasing. We are providing custom-made tailored needs, by keeping a large number of products as per customers’ needs in our product line.
TPI: Cast some light on infrastructure at your facility.
SSS: As we are stockists and super stockists of pipes, we need to have a good level of storage and racking technology installed in our warehouse. We need to segregate different types of grades. One single type of pipe has at least 20 types of thicknesses and 8 types of grades. Hence, we have to manage our stock accordingly. A small mistake can lead to a big problem when it comes to supply. Pipes of the same thickness, same size, and same length can have different categories of steel installed in it. That makes a lot of difference and we have to maintain that in our warehouse. Being a stockist, we don’t have any machinery but we keep a good racking and storing system in our warehouses around the country.
TPI: Tell us about your portfolio. Where do you procure your products from and what are your future plans?
SSS: We are into line pipes, boiler pipes, and APH tubes. We have ERW pipes, rectangular pipes, spiral pipes, seamless pipes, and pre-galvanised tubes. Right from 15 NB to 2500 NB, we keep almost every kind of steel pipe. We procure 80 percent of our products from Maharashtra Seamless Ltd. and the D.P. Jindal Group. We are their authorised exclusive distributor.
We would soon be foraying into stainless steel pipes and value-added custom length pipes, whereby, we will work as per the future planning of our clients. According to their order book, we will keep the materials ready so that we can save on the delivery time when the actual requirement comes.
TPI: Please share some light on the market footprint and clientele of your company.
SSS: Over the last 65 years, we have developed a supply chain and maintained a lot of channel partners in key strategic locations around the country. We hardly go to the OEMs or users directly. Our model is to deal through channel partners because we only deal in pipes, but the manufacturer or the user might require fittings or adhesive which will help them join the piping. Our channel partners purchase products from us, give the value addition or make a bunch of different products together and then supply to the users.
TPI: Kindly describe your outlook on the tube & pipe industry.
SSS: The market is evolving as the needs are getting very specific and tailor-made, and the users are constantly in search of products whereby they can save money. They are also trying and experimenting with new types of pipes and different grades. We, as a stockist, need to know what kind of demand is going to come. If we stock something, that doesn’t cater to the demands, it would make no sense.
TPI: What is the business roadmap for the coming years?
SSS: There are a lot of challenges; having said that, opportunities are also there. We need to do a lot of hard work because steel is a very cyclical industry. We need to keep abreast of the developments happening around the market.