As Director- Business Strategies, of Utkarsh India Limited, Kolkata, the young and dynamic, Utkarsh Bansal, a graduate in Industrial Engineering and Operations Research from the University of California, Berkeley, US, is vigorously using innovative technologies to power the company, a market leader in manufacturing infrastructure products such as PVC pipes, Steel tubes, HDPE pipes, railway electrification structures, Polygonal/Conical poles & Steel Tubular poles, towers and crash barriers. In a chat with Fortune India Exchange, he shares his passion for India’s infrastructure growth initiatives.
The journey of Utkarsh India can best be described as an incessant evolutionary process over the last three decades, where the company has completely transformed and diversified itself from a commodity player manufacturing steel pipes to become a front ranker in the non-commodity segment, with 7 vertical shaving focus on infrastructure sector, across the board. In fact, from a conventional engineering company, Utkarsh has switched over to a highly technically driven and strategically steered company, a makeover that has occurred particularly in the last decade. Having registered a significant revenue growth of 30-40 percent YOY over the last couple of years, the company has grown from a 100-crore entity to a 1150 crore worth business conglomerate in the last 10 years.
When did you anticipate the infrastructure boom taking place in the country and how did you prepare to rise with it?
In the last 7-8 years, the government policies are aligned to and giving thrust to sectors such as the Railways, Telecom, Power, Bharat Mala scheme of National Highways, etc. We, therefore, anticipated this sector-specific pan-India boom and prepared ourselves for it accordingly, bagging contracts for product supplies by them. Our focus, however, has been particularly on Eastern Region, because of the government’s emphasis on infrastructure development of the eastern region. With it comes tremendous potential for the company to contribute in the process of economic empowerment as well as strategize its own future growth objectives
What are the strengths on which Utkarsh rode to incredible heights of success?
There are very few players in the field manufacturing multi-products that match our diverse portfolio and offerings, placing us at an advantage. We,ourselves, handle a range of processes beginning from procurement of raw products, to Utkarsh India Limited: Empowering India’s Infrastructure Goals smart factories enabling low-cost engineering, state-of-the-art R&D facilities, and most importantly abundant manpower to man them. And all these facilities are easily accessible and available from the various factories of the company, having high benchmarks in excellence, for manufacturing products of all the verticals, and suits us in every respect to be based in West Bengal.
The biggest advantage that our hi-tech factories have, is their competence to achieve high growth across the 7 verticals as they are interchangeable, i.e., they have the ability to shift e.g., from transmission to railways and so on depending upon the industry trend and demands, which does not make them redundant. With expansion of railways, the demand for railway structures is expected to grow consistently for another 10 years, while electrification is in for a major impetus, where we are the market leaders with 30-40 percent market share.
What are your current areas of diversification and those in the pipeline and reasons for this expansion?
We have adopted an aggressive strategy to expand and strengthen our portfolio. Having consolidated our market position as trusted manufacturers of Transmission Line Towers & Substation Structures, High Mast, Polygonal/ Conical Poles & Steel Tubular Poles, Polymer Products, Steel Tubes, Pipes & Poles, Metal Beam Crash Barrier, Railway Electrification Structures, we are now venturing into solar infrastructure, besides focusing on heavy engineering. In the later half of this year, we should begin operations in these segments.
Globally, what blueprint is being prepared for major expansion plans or collaborations with foreign partners and investors to benefit Utkarsh?
Utkarsh envisaged infrastructure growth to be the next big leap across sectors, not only in India, but the world over. We have consistently achieved an annual export worth almost 80 crores and are hopeful to touch the 100-crore mark this fiscal. Our major markets are Europe, UK, UAE, Germany, Canada, Australia to name a few. There is vast potential that remains to be tapped globally, and we are sure to soon establish ourselves as a major global player in the infrastructure segment.
How is Utkarsh contributing towards Make in India initiative for the country’s economic growth??
We have grown to become a company with an overall workforce of almost 4000 people, that makes Utkarsh India a major contributor to the Make in India initiative by catering to the growth of various sectors. Envisaging the infrastructure growth, the company shall continue to evolve its strategies and growth plans accordingly for economic empowerment of the nation.