Amit Chopra, a Chartered Accountant from Bengaluru was frequently switching from one job to another at his early 20s. He worked in so many MNCs, but not even one of the jobs could satisfy his inner self, which was the major reason why he could not stay with one company for a long period. He then felt that he should quit the job and start a new business, something of his own.
Breaking the stereotype
Then the question aroused in his mind, which field? By looking at all his previous job experiences one would say that he could have easily started with accountancy or consulting firm. But he chose to venture in the steel industry.
He wanted to start such a business which will never go out of fashion. Upon research, he saw that steel is the steadily growing sector in India. India was the second largest producer of steel in 2018. But producing steel would require a huge amount of funds along with huge risks and at this stage, he was looking at some small-scale business that could reap him profits in a short period.
The leap of faith
With more research, he found out that construction companies were facing problems in getting customized types and sizes of structural steel products. It then struck Amit that he doesn’t have to manufacture something but he can support the construction firms by providing them the right product that they need, like steel angles, joists, beams, bars, etc. For this, he invested 30 lakhs from his savings and borrowed some amount from his family and started Kesar International in Bengaluru in 2018.
The asset-light strategy worked wonders
In its first year, it recorded a revenue of Rs.10 crore. They started investing in sourcing metals from places like Punjab, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and more. After that, they hired rolling mills near Bengaluru, where they would customize the product according to the client’s need and then deliver the products to not only builders but also coach and ship makers.
The social aspect
Amit has also helped some of the 3000 rolling mills revive from their situation, where 60 percent of them remained closed due to several issues. He provided them the contract to process the steel for Kesar International. In this way it also helped him with the trouble of investing huge amounts in processing steel and then customizing it as well. Steel has lots of quality issues and so in this way they are being able to focus on its quality and also the client’s needs.
The Industrial Scenario
With customized steel joints, the construction of tall buildings has become much faster than before. Amit also ensures that the construction industry does not need to import custom steel products when India itself has the capability to make them locally.
The most important constraint that Amit faces is Goodwill, which takes years to build, and Kesar International is just a year old. The challenge lies in convincing the stakeholders in the construction industry of his firm’s credibility.
Also, there are some financial constraints in scaling up as the steel industry’s stalwarts have deep pockets and can work with massive volumes of steel.
But a revenue of Rs 10 crore in just a year is massive, and we wish Amit all the luck for the future. Also, Amit you are setting goals for all the youngsters out there. Keep up the good work!