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Jindal Shadeed: Putting Oman on global map of steel manufacturing

27 Feb 2021

Jindal Shadeed Iron & Steel has won His Majesty’s Award for Industrial Excellence 2020. Dr Ali bin Masoud al Sunaidi, chairman of the Public Authority for Special Economic Zones and Free Zones, presided over the presentation ceremony of His Majesty’s Award for Industrial Excellence 2020, on February 9, and gave away the prestigious awards to the winners.

In an interview, Sanjay Anand, chief operating officer and head of Jindal Shadeed Iron & Steel, spoke in detail about the company’s operations, its strengths and contribution to Oman’s economy.

His Majesty the Sultan’s Award for Industrial Excellence is the highest accolade a company would aspire to win in Oman’s industrial sector. At Jindal Shadeed, what factors and strengths of the company would you attribute this success to?

With the latest technology and brightest minds, and the able guidance of seniors and Hon Chairman Shri Naveen Jindal, we believe in innovation and continual improvement to produce iron and steel that will address future needs today. Jindal Shadeed has adopted several best practices in the areas of energy conservation and resource optimisation. 

Our certifications include ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001 certificates, UK CARES Certificates for Product Conformity, Sustainability, Responsible Sourcing and Environmental Product Declaration, DCLD Product Certificate – UAE, Abu Dhabi Product Certificate, Saudi Arabian Standard Organization (SASO) Product Certificate, Kuwait Product Certificate, India’s BIS and Germany’s MFPA Product Certificates. These certificates play a vital role in implementing the requirement of business excellence framework. 

Jindal Shadeed has won a number of awards: His Majesty’s Award three times in a row in 2015-16, 2017-18 and 2019-20. Frost & Sullivan Business Excellence Award (back to back in 2016 and 2017); and the 10th Mohammed bin Rashid Award for Business Excellence 2019.

The participation in various awards motivates our team to improve the performance up to highest levels in the steel sector by implementing the best practices mentioned in various business excellence frameworks. 

Jindal Shadeed has won the most prestigious His Majesty the Sultan’s Award three times. These highly coveted awards signify the epitome of business excellence and best performance for the manufacturing industry. 

Other factors that enabled Jindal Shadeed to win His Majesty the Sultan’s Awards are visionary leadership, Omanisation, in-country value (ICV) addition, dedicated team, innovation, world-class steel products and fully satisfied customers.

Jindal Shadeed is the largest and only integrated steel manufacturing complex in Oman. In your view, how is the company taking Oman ahead on the path of industrialisation?

Jindal Shadeed caters to the steel demand not only for the Omani market but also for the neighbouring GCC markets resulting in net forex inflow to Oman. The total steel production by Jindal Shadeed in year 2020  stood at 1.9mn metric tonnes. 

Steel production and export at such a voluminous level provides enormous business opportunity to other small and medium enterprises in Oman in the form of handling exports, transportation, logistics, consumption of local raw material, fleet of vehicle and their maintenance etc. This contribution by Jindal Shadeed results in the development of Sohar Port and ultimately strengthening the sultanate’s economy. 

Moreover, Jindal Shadeed is the largest private sector investment in Oman with US$1.2bn investment in fixed assets at its Oman manufacturing facility.

It is also the fourth largest steel maker in Arabian Peninsula and contributed in making the Oman from net importer of steel to net exporter of steel.

It’s been more than a decade when India’s JSPL had acquired Shadeed Iron & Steel to make it Jindal Shadeed. How the company’s size and operations have evolved over the years?

The DRI plant started in January 2011 and the total investment made was US$522mn. After that, we commissioned steel 

shop in May 2014 with a total investment of US$400mn. Further, we started the Rolling Mill project and the same was commissioned in April 2016 with a total investment of US$220mn. Total investment by Jindal Shadeed in Oman as of date stands at US$1.2bn.
All the earnings till March 2019 were re-invested in building the integrated steel plant which puts Oman on the global steel manufacturing map.

Can you tell briefly about your products and exports from Sohar and how are these products superior to compete in the global markets?

Jindal Shadeed has the best-in-class plant and machinery from renowned suppliers and well qualified and experienced experts to produce steel. 
The state-of-the-art technology and virgin raw material makes our products best suitable for our buyers’ requirement, from commercial quality to higher end applications like seamless pipes and automobile applications. Added to it we have all the prestigious certifications from reputed agencies across the world. 

The buyers get increased productivity using Jindal Shadeed’s steel, so there is always an increased willingness to buy the products. Jindal Shadeed supplies its products to the customers in all the five continents of the world and the product range for exports includes square billets, round billets, and rebars.

How Jindal Shadeed has been contributing to Oman’s economy in terms of creating in-country value and jobs for Omani youths?

Jindal Shadeed, being a flagship company located at Sohar Port, plays a significant role in the credentials of Sohar Port which helps foreign investors to place more reliance in order to consider Sohar as a business destination. Jindal Shadeed has generated total in-country value addition of US$3.6bn over the period of six years i e from 2014 to 2019.

Currently, Omanisation level is at 39.1 per cent which is more than the limit specified by the respective ministry. The focus is given on upgrading the skill – both technical and managerial – of the local nationals so that they can take up the supervisory and managerial roles at the company.

There is an exclusive intensive programme, wherein we hire fresh Omani graduate engineers and diploma engineers and put them under a one-year structured training programme which includes classroom as well as on site experience in different areas. 

We have Omanis in our all areas of operation like production, maintenance, quality assurance, safety, legal, environment, marketing, purchase, IT, finance, security and other departments. 

Under the outbound plant exposure, the company keeps sending national employees to its plants in India where they get on the job experience in different areas of steel making.

What are your future plans in terms of expansion in Oman and targeting new export markets?

Jindal Shadeed is planning to invest another US$3-4bn in steel, power and cement in the coming years in Oman. Apart from the GCC countries, we are targeting markets in China, South East Asia, Canada, Africa and South America.

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