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Cover Feature

Published on: Nov. 27, 2021, 11:35 a.m.
Ready for a serious B2C shot
  • Arttd’inox store in Chennai

By Ritwik Sinha. Consulting Editor, Business India

Media shy Ratan Jindal (60), Chairman, Jindal Stainless, has divested a large part of his responsibilities to his son Abhyuday (32) who was elevated as managing director in 2016, a year after joining the company. And according to the young scion, while he is now responsible for day-to-day functioning, his father is more involved in strategic decision making. “I am handling day-to-day operations. Marketing, sales, production, process improvement, technology, and talent management functionalities are supervised by me. My father is more into strategic decision making and finance is also with him,” says he.

Abhyuday incidentally is the first grandchild of legendary OP Jindal, who has been given the direct reins of an established company of the group as mostly defined by its four units under the command of four sons. And within the industry circles, he seems to have built a good reputation of being pro-active and determined to make a difference. “Every month, I make it a point to spend one week each in two of our major plants. That is an important lesson for all children in the Jindal family. I remember visiting the Hisar plant along with our late Dadaji and have seen how he used to interact even with the lower rung employees and the respect he commanded,” he recalls while explaining the basic DNA of Jindal family values which has created one of the largest conglomerates in the country with decisive global footprint.

“It is no mean achievement that there is no workers union in any of the plants of the group. These are the invaluable lessons which we have learnt more subconsciously watching our elders in the family. There is no formal grooming process as such,” he adds. Boston University Graduate Abhyuday had also spent one-and-a-half years under the tutelage of Sajjan Jindal at JSW, Mumbai before joining the stainless steel unit. 

Ask him about the equations within one of the largest business families in the country and Abhyuday emphasises that even with four distinctive divisions which work independently, it remains a close knitted unit where members essentially come together to celebrate festivals or attend family functions. And when it comes to business, the four brothers often meet and exchange notes on new initiatives they have planned and help each other wherever they can. 

Meanwhile, for the man spearheading Jindal Stainless, a major point of satisfaction is the approval and compliments from his father and esteemed uncles who have towering status in their own rights. “They are very proud of how I have taken up the business and turned it around. Guess, they are also hearing right things about me from the business community. They also look at stainless steel as something that has huge growth potential and keep pushing me,” says he. 

  • Abhyuday: We want to create an entire ecosystem built around stainless steel products and solutions

As he explains, looking for new opportunities is also a key philosophy for Jindal family, and much in the family tradition he is now keen to make a major difference bringing in a component which ideally is more suited for young entrepreneurs. Metals and mining are traditionally large scale B2B businesses but Abhyuday now wants to develop a dedicated B2C vertical by pushing the limits for existing subsidiary – Jindal Stainless Lifestyle. 

Not much talked about though, the JSL Lifestyle is an integrated stainless steel solution provider offering a clutch of services through its verticals – JSLL Value Engineering (in OEM services), JSLL Mobility (public sector manufacturing projects, specially Indian Railways), JSLL Infra (urban development projects like bus sheds), JSLL Plumbing (stainless plumbing solutions), and Arc (masstige stainless kitchens and tableware brand).

The subsidiary which earns more than Rs250 crore annually also includes Arttd’inox (a premium designer home fashion lifestyle brand extending kitchens and home-ware solutions) which was founded by his mother Deepika Jindal 15 years ago. Arttd’inox (a French term meaning ‘Art in Stainless Steel’) is India’s first exclusive home lifestyle brand in stainless steel. Currently it has more than 10 operational stores in the country and three more will be opened shortly. 

Abhyuday is looking to push this vertical in a big way. “It’s not just about selling consumer oriented products. We want to create an entire ecosystem built around stainless steel products and solutions for different groups of consumers. It would be more like creating Just Dial kind of platform for everything related to stainless steel,” he says. The platform, to be launched next year, is obviously backed by his conviction that the per capita consumption growth of stainless steel is inevitable in the country. And who else but Jindal Stainless Steel can reap optimum benefits of it!

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