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Vividh Wires: R&D Efforts have Opened New Markets for Us

“As a group with over 40 years of experience in the steel industry, our Greenfield expansion into stainless steel wire drawing has empowered us to scale new heights over the last five years.”

Mr. Ashwani Gupta, Director, Vividh Wires Ltd.

Vividh Wires Ltd. is the stainless steel wire division of the diversified Vividh Group. The company has an ultramodern stainless steel wire drawing unit with an installed production capacity of 6000 MT per annum. With a strong focus on continual improvements and strict adherence to quality standards, Vividh Wires provides service to customers across a diverse range of industries with a wide array of products including stainless steel wires, MIG/TIG wires, and shape/profile wires. In an interview with Wire & Cable India magazine, Mr. Ashwani Gupta, Director, Vividh Wires Ltd. talks about the various applications of the wires being made by the company and its expansion plans.

Wire & Cable India: Could you please take us through the business journey of your company?

Ashwani Gupta: Vividh Wires was born out of a vision of creating better synergies between our existing group companies and enhancing value addition across our entire basket of stainless steel and high-nickel alloy products. As a group with over 40 years of experience in the steel industry, our Greenfield expansion into stainless steel wire drawing has empowered us to scale new heights over the last five years. In terms of volume, we have seen a steady growth YoY right from the company’s inception and our forecasted trajectory for the next three years is based on an even higher growth rate. Of course, the key challenge for us is to maintain our brand identity and ensure the high-quality standards that our customers have come to expect from us.

Vividh Wires is still a very young company, and that youthfulness is personified in our ideas, people and work culture. We have fostered a very transparent culture based on an open exchange of ideas, and this has enabled the company to successfully utilise the combined expertise of all our team members.

Some of the High-Nickel alloy wires made by us have found extensive use in the oil & gas sector, primarily serving as a substitute for wires from North American and European manufacturers.

WCI: Tell us about some of your specialised products along with their USPs.

AG: Starting out primarily from stainless steel wires for weaving & fastener applications, we have branched out into many different segments such as welding wires, superfine wires, etc. We have also established a presence in the specialty nickel-alloy wires segment, and a lot of products now being made by us are import substitutes. At present, we are amongst the few manufacturers of wires as fine as 0.12MM in high-nickel alloys such as Inconel & Hastalloy.

Owing to the specialised applications of these products, we have zero margins for error and this has compelled us to learn faster, improve efficiencies and enhance quality control measures throughout each and every stage of our manufacturing processes.

WCI: What are the top prestigious projects for which your company has supplied products?

AG: Due to the diverse applications of the entire range of wires being made by us, we have been fortunate to be associated with some prestigious companies and projects. We are the main suppliers of MIG and TIG wires for the Indian subsidiaries of a number of Japanese automobile and automotive component manufacturers. While it has been quite challenging at times, particularly due to the strict timelines emanating from their ‘Just In Time’ philosophy, we have also learnt a lot from their comprehensive approach to quality management. Also, an area of particular pride for us is that some of the High-Nickel alloy wires made by us have found extensive use in the oil & gas sector, primarily serving as a substitute for wires from North American and European manufacturers.

WCI: What are your targets for the next two years with regard to market reach, R&D, and technological advancements?

AG: Our short to medium-term plans are primarily focused on new capacity addition in a phased manner. We have been gradually expanding our product range in order to cater to new industries and geographies. Domestically, we already have a very strong presence in North India.We plan to further increase our market presence in other regions, with a special emphasis on Southern India.The tireless efforts being put into R&D by our extremely dedicated team have opened up some interesting new markets for us and the primary objective for the near future is to consolidate our position in those niche markets. Also, with regard to the export market, we are looking at the North American market with an increased focus and already working towards attaining the required certifications.

As a company, we are strongly bullish on the potential of renewable energy in the steel industry. We are one of the few Indian companies in the stainless steel sector with a captive solar PV plant, and our push for ‘Green Steel’ or Zero Carbon Steel is only just beginning. We are targeting to go entirely off-grid in a phased manner with the commissioning of our second solar PV Plant, greatly reducing our carbon footprint as well as achieving significant cost savings on our production processes.

The Indian stainless steel market is expected to continue growing at nearly 6-7 percent per annum over the next decade, so the opportunities are undeniably present.

WCI: Share your outlook on the Indian steel sector.

AG: The market has evolved drastically due to the pandemic. Over the past year and a half, metal prices have seen an unprecedented rise causing visible changes in buying patterns. However, owing to forced production cuts in China as well as certain other geo-political reasons, there has been a strong upsurge in demand across most segments of the steel industry. Many steel companies have been investing in large-scale capacity enhancement, owing to the increasing stainless steel market.

Due to the pandemic, many countries have been openly promoting protectionist policies and imposing restrictions to protect their domestic steel industry. Such protectionist policies, coupled with increased price volatility do raise some questions on the future market potential, but I strongly believe that stainless steel is a future-ready material and should easily surmount any short-term challenges.

The Indian stainless steel market is expected to continue growing at nearly 6-7 percent per annum over the next decade, so the opportunities are undeniably present. To capitalise on these prospects, the stainless steel industry needs to focus increasingly on automation and Industry 4.0.