Tata Steel Targets Rural Mart, Forms Special Group

Mumbai, July 29: | Updated: Jul 30 2003, 05:30am hrs
Tata Steel is set to focus on enhancing steel consumption in the rural areas in a big way. This is part of its plan to offer steel-intensive solutions in the construction areas. Towards this, the company has formed a Constructions Solutions Group comprising a team of experts from within the company to explore avenues of increasing steel consumption within the country.

According to company sources, Tata Steel has identified the rural market as a segment having immense potential for steel-based applications, especially in construction-related solutions, which are currently at a nascent stage in India and are yet to be explored fully.

As part of this plan, Tata Steel is in talks with several banks, some of which have approved the modular design that the group has worked on with regard to housing solutions and are referring it to non-government organisations (NGOs) through which they disburse housing loans.

According to analysts, on an yearly average, India roughly produces about 27 million tonne of steel and 13 million tonne of steel is used for construction purposes. Out of that, about 50-60 per cent is used for infrastructure, while for the rural segment so far only about one and a half to two million tonne of steel is being used on an annual basis.

In the rural arena, there are various schemes for housing like the Valmiki Awas Yojana offered by the government. Steel-based offerings may be applicable to some of these schemes. According to sources, Tata Steel is working in that direction and the concept is being transformed into reality by optimising the designs, according to the various available schemes.

Various steel-intensive houses have come up in Jamshedpur catering to different needs and Tata Steel is believed to be talking to various potential customers to whom they can offer such solutions.