Since its inception in 1973, Surya Roshni has transformed into an organization that has not only developed its lighting and consumer durables business but also built a stronghold in the steel pipes and strips business. With a combined capacity of about 12,15,000 MT per annum for steel pipes and strips, the company has consolidated its position as a leading manufacturer of GI pipes in India. The business has further strengthened with the set-up of 3LPE coating facility unit in 2018, and direct forming technology (DFT) in April 2022, being one of the largest lighting companies in India, the lighting business manufactures an array of conventional to modern LED lighting. ‘Surya’ Brand and ‘Prakash Surya’ have a strong presence of more than four decades in India. With a revenue of over INR 8000 crores, Surya enjoys a strong pan-India presence with an extensive dealer network. In a recent interaction with Tube & Pipe India, Padma Shri Jai Prakash Agarwal, Chairman – Surya Roshni Limited, shared the company’s overview, manufacturing capabilities, recent developments, business roadmap, and current trends in the Indian tube and pipe industry.
Tube & Pipe India: Please share Surya Roshni Limited’s journey, major milestones, and crucial achievements.
Jai Prakash Agarwal: The journey of Surya Roshni started in 1973 by manufacturing steel tubes and gradually diversifying into the lighting category in 1984. Since then it has grown by leaps and bounds to become one of the largest steel pipes and lighting companies in India. It further ventured into PVC pipes in 2010 and into consumer durables like fans and home appliances in 2014-2015. The steel pipes manufacturing facilities are located at Bahadurgarh (Haryana), Malanpur (Madhya Pradesh), Hindupur (Andhra Pradesh) and Anjar (Gujarat). Today, the company enjoys strong industry leadership by being India’s largest manufacturer of GI pipes and the largest exporter of ERW pipes. Steel pipe division manufactures a wide range of steel pipe products that find application across high-opportunity segments like agriculture, infrastructure, oil and gas, water, and construction.
TPI: What is the manufacturing set-up and production capacity of your steel pipe plant?
JPA: ERW pipe (GI, black, and section) and pre-galvanized (GP) pipe are manufactured at all our manufacturing units in Bahadurgarh, Malanpur, Hindupur, and Anjar. API pipes catering to the oil and gas sector are manufactured at our Bahadurgarh and Anjar units with external 3LPE coating of pipes done at Anjar. These plants are suitably equipped with high-end machines ranging from slitting lines, pipe mills, galvanizing units, finishing machines, and fail-safe, as well as high-pressure hydro machines along with adequate handling facilities. The Gujarat unit is strategically located in close proximity to two major ports, Kandla and Mundra, providing a significant advantage for exports and imports. The unit exports over 70 percent of its production. With a combined capacity of about 12,15,000 MT (1.215 million MT) per annum for steel pipes and strips, the company has consolidated its position as a leading manufacturer of GI pipes in India.
“Padma Shri Jai Prakash Agarwal, Chairman – Surya Roshni Limited, was conferred with the prestigious Padma Shri Award by President Shri Ram Nath Kovind on 8th November 2021 at Rashtrapati Bhawan, Delhi.”
TPI: Please tell us about your steel pipe product portfolio and its applications.
JPA: Our product portfolio includes GI pipes with applications for agriculture and irrigation, casing and tubing, water transportation, plumbing greenhouses, fire fighting, street light poles, and solar panels, etc. Black pipes are used in applications for construction, fabrication, fencing, metro railway platforms, airports, powder coating, sign boards, industrial applications, and scaffolding. Our hollow section pipes find applications for infrastructure – airport, metro, railways, warehousing, industrial infrastructure, urban development, solar structures, electrical poles, and telecom towers, etc. API/3LPE coated spiral pipes are used for oil and gas pipelines, oil well casing, water transportation, and our CR strips have applications for auto components, electrical stamping for motors, cycle rims, umbrella tubes, and rips, furniture, and fittings.
TPI: Please shed light on your steel pipe market footprint and USP.
JPA: Surya has built an exceptional reputation in both the Indian and global markets due to its innovative products, commitment to quality, and excellent service, all offered at competitive prices. Our brand has gained the trust of millions of customers worldwide, and we remain dedicated to delivering superior products while adhering to the strictest global quality standards. Prakash Surya stands as a brand image that is synonymous with high-quality products delivering consistent performance and peace of mind. It is because of this trust of our esteemed clients that today Surya has a significant presence in more than 50 countries and is among the top three in black pipe exports.
One of Surya’s key strengths lies in producing large-diameter pipes, ranging from 114.3mm to 406.4mm in ERW and 457mm to 2667mm in spiral pipes. Our expertise extends to manufacturing various special grades, including API 5L grades such as X70, X80, PSL 1, PSL 2, and API 5CT grades H40, J55, K55, and PSL 1. Our commitment to quality assurance begins from the raw material stage and continues throughout all manufacturing processes until the pipes reach our esteemed clients. To ensure the highest quality, our quality assurance department is fully supported by a modern laboratory for conducting metallurgical and chemical tests, as well as a test house for evaluating physical properties.
TPI: What is your steel pipe technological and business roadmap?
JPA: New technology always aims to simplify the process and saves time and labour. Surya recently introduced the best-in-class direct forming technology (DFT), paving an innovative route of high-tech designed methodology to produce ERW structural steel section pipe. This technology significantly reduces the time of producing customized hollow sections by including them in the mill range without changing the roll. Being a completely automatic and computerized process, DFT saves the setup time and makes operation settings accurate, easy, and efficient. Compared to traditional production processes, this method is completely automatic and computerized, all PLC control with a DC digital control system only to motorize the roller movement during the size changes. Surya is taking big strides in its chosen areas with tested skills, commitment, a skilled workforce, vast experience, and mature leadership. In a bid to introduce technology in our daily operations, we rolled out salesforce automation (SFA) across all the regions.
TPI: Surya Roshni is expanding its steel pipe Hindupur plant. Please share some details about this underway expansion.
JPA: Surya Roshni is planning to set up a new steel pipe plant in Hindupur, Andhra Pradesh for manufacturing. The large dia new plant being 100 percent financed through internal accruals, has an investment of INR 75 crore and will have a production capacity of 72,000 TPA. With the setup of the new plant, the company aims to cater to the ever-growing and demanding oil and gas sector filling the void of high-quality pipes being available in the southern part of India. This new mill will put our Hindupur plant in the category where niche products are manufactured to cater to a niche market.
TPI: Please elaborate on your capex investments for new ERW pipe mills at existing facilities.
JPA: To meet the growing demand for larger diameter pipes, ranging from 18″ up to 24″, we have decided to expand our operations. This expansion will not only enhance our capability to handle larger pipe sizes but also enable us to strengthen our presence in the oil and gas markets, increase our exports, and cater to local irrigation and water distribution projects. To achieve this, we plan to install ERW pipe mills capable of producing products like ERW pipes (black, and GI), 3LPE coated pipes, and API/pilling pipe at our Anjar Plant in Gujarat. The proposed manufacturing facility will have a capacity of 100,000 MTPA, with an estimated cost of INR 75 crore to INR 80 crore. This strategic move will position us to better serve our customers and expand our market reach, contributing to the growth and success of our company.
TPI: Surya Roshni has recently invested in its Prakash Surya brand and distribution networks. Can you share in detail all the steps that you have taken?
JPA: Over the years, the company has developed a strong brand and robust distribution network across the world. Our investments towards strengthening distribution (including trade network and retail outlets) and decentralized depot networks ensure smooth logistics movement, prompt delivery, and customer satisfaction, aptly supported by strong marketing and publicity initiatives. It has established its brand ‘Prakash Surya’ and has been consistently promoting through different advertising mediums for enhanced market visibility. The company’s products are sold across the length and breadth of the country owing to the strong dealer and distributor network. Besides, the decentralized branch/depot networks help with the quick delivery turnaround to customers. The company offers a wide array of products that are sold across India and exported to over 50 countries across the world.
TPI: Have there been any other developments at Surya Roshni in recent times?
JPA: The company recently implemented SAP software to integrate and automate key processes, resulting in faster and more efficient operations. As a responsible corporate citizen, Surya Roshni aims to assist in promoting social development by building capacity within the broader society. The company considers societal well-being and ecological responsibilities as the key focus area for its corporate social responsibility (CSR) endeavors. The company is continuing with the high growth momentum in lighting, consumer durables, steel, and PVC pipe by focussing on further improving the distribution and reach, across urban, semi-urban, and rural India. There will be several new product launches and the company will continue to aggressively drive channel financing too. The company is also continuing to invest in automation and upgradation of systems to drive higher efficiencies and productivity. Surya Roshni is focusing on aggressive advertising and promotions (including both above-the-line and below-the-line advertising) to enhance its brand visibility.
TPI: Can you share with us your observations on key market trends in the Indian tubes and pipes market?
JPA: There is a high demand for steel pipe in various sectors with strong improvement in the Indian economy, including rural and urban. The industry opportunity has been so exciting considering the following encouraging developments which will generate demand for our steel pipes and strips business. The Indian economy showed resolute strength during the period with the government’s stance for Atma Nirbhar bharat which has opened new avenues with immense hidden opportunities to explore in making India a global manufacturing hub in the medium to long term. With huge investments made in housing, and infrastructure like railways, ports, roads, airports, etc., demand for steel products is reaching a new level and more will be anticipated in time to come.
TPI: What are your vision and plans for your company’s future?
JPA: Our vision is to become the largest global enterprise that delivers optimized solutions to consumers and value to stakeholders while providing the best steel pipe to markets worldwide. We are fully committed to delivering value to our teams, customers, and shareholders through high-return transactional initiatives, while also maintaining a positive dividend profile. We carefully assess growth opportunities not only to improve top-line revenue but, more importantly, to ensure consistency and enhance our bottom line as well.