Rourkela Steel Plant - A Saga of
Rourkela Steel Plant, in around two and
a half years, has achieved one of the most dramatic turnarounds in Corporate
Indian History. The Steel Plant, which was on the threshold of oblivion
a few years ago, is now firmly on the net profit mode. While RSP’s turnaround
started on a modest note in the year 2001-02 it gradually picked up
speed and in the first ten months of the current financial year RSP
surpassed the production levels of all earlier years.
Records Galore : By producing 1.47 million tones (MT) of Hot Metal, 1.32 MT Crude Steel
and 1.3 Million Tons of Saleable Steel during the period April 2003
to January 2004, RSP broke new records. The Sale of RSP products grew
by 8% during the period April-January and the Plant operations moved
on to net profit mode in January. It may be recalled that RSP had commenced
the new financial year by producing high volumes but only against market
demand. Consistent with this objective RSP focused on enhancing capacity
utilization to bring down the cost of production. Another important
step taken by the Steel Plant towards profitability has been its success
in increasing the proportion of high value added products in its saleable
RSP made major improvements in the areas of steel quality,
packaging, delivery and customer satisfaction thereby vastly enhancing
the acceptability of its products in the highly competitive steel market.
Thrust was imparted to the packaging of HR coils, CRNO, Galvanized Plain
and Corrugated sheets and Tin Plates resulting in this value added products
reaching the customers intact. This has enhanced customer satisfaction
leading to greater acceptance of RSP’s products. This can be gauged
from the surge in dispatches. The Steel Plant dispatched 1.3 million
tonnes of Saleable Steel during the first ten months of the current
financial year, which stands out as the best so far since inception.
Enhancing Aesthetics, Nurturing Nature : Apart from crossing new milestones
on the production and productivity front in the township too the Plant
has been making fresh endeavors in the area of enhancing aesthetics
and nurturing nature.
Since more than a year RSP has been making intensive
efforts for garbage disposal, fighting the menace posed by plastic carry
bags and making the region more verdant. Last February RSP organized
a unique campaign, at the initiative of the Chief Executive against
the use of plastic bags, which evoked an unprecedented response. More
than 12,000 citizens, including students and youth in large numbers,
formed an eight and a half kilometer human chain, held hands and took
a pledge to stop using polythene and plastic bags. It is noteworthy
that RSP’s efforts at spreading the canopy of green have resulted in
the planting of more than 36 lakhs saplings covering 35% of the land
belonging to RSP. In the current financial year alone more than 40,000
saplings have been planted. What is special about the plantation drive
in the recent past is that more and more school children are being involved
in the noble venture and there is a greater thrust on greening of works
area. This year an award has been instituted to recognize the greenest
departments in the Works area every year. Besides, to improve the aesthetics
more flower bearing trees are being planted. Dr. Mishra, an avid nature
lover, has exhorted the Rourkelites to make Rourkela a garden city.
To provide an added impetus to this movement the Managing Director revived
the Rose and Chrysanthemum Show after a gap of four years. The Rourkelites
responded to this gesture by participating in the show with great enthusiasm.
Recently, a face lift has been given to the entire steel township which
includes cleaning and carpeting of roads, repairs of drains, removal
of garbage, modification of chowks keeping in mind road safety, besides
general cleanliness. This has been greatly appreciated by the public
at large as well as the visitors to the Steel City. It is significant
that the drive for solid waste utilization stepped up by the Plant has
not only resulted in disposal of wastes that are a potential environmental
hazard but also earned substantial revenue for the Plant. For instance
in the period April 2003 to January 2004 RSP earned a revenue of Rs.
15 cores through disposal of 3,60,000 tons of solid wastes.
Renaissance : The upbeat mood in the Plant found its reflection in the
civic life of the Steel City. To create a cultural renaissance in the
region, Rourkela Steel Plant, at the initiative of the Chief Executive
of Rourkela Steel Plant, introduced the concept of a ‘Cultural Calendar’.
As per this unique concept important festivals will form an intrinsic
part of this calendar and will be celebrated every year. This will go
a long way in making Rourkela a center of cultural excellence and give
it a pride of place on the nation’s cultural map. Keeping this objective
in mind RSP has started organizing and patronizing several programmes
to celebrate festivals, which symbolize the rich and diverse cultural
heritage of Orissa. Some of these programmes include Kumar Utsav, Baisakhi
Kavya Sandhya, Megh Malhar and a special cultural programme to commemorate
SAIL Foundation Day. On these occasions many eminent artistes of national
and international repute were felicitated. These include the late Akshay
Mohanty, Mr.Pranab Patnaik, Mr. Shantanu Mohapatra, Ms. Kumkum Mohanty,
Mr.Mohammad Sikandar Alam and Mrs. Sanjukta Mohanty Ray. RSP strongly
believes that one of the most fruitful investments that can be made
in the present generation is in the field of sports. With this credo
in mind it is implementing a strategy to hone the skills of the budding
talents and provide a fresh impetus to the sports activities in the
region. As a part of this strategy in the current financial year the
Sports Department of Rourkela Steel Plant has conducted several tournaments
to impart a fresh impetus to the sports activities in the State. These
include Orissa State Chess Championship, All Orissa Body Building Championship,
SAIL Under –19 Cricket Championship, All Orissa Junior Boys Basketball
Championship, Inter-Steel Plant Weight Lifting Championship, Annual
Athletic Meet – 2003-04 of CHSE, Orissa, Steel Trophy Invitational Hockey
Tournament, Inter-Steel Plants Cricket Championship etc. Plans are on
the anvil to conduct many more national, SAIL and State level tournaments
to give a further boost to sports in Orissa.
Campaign : RSP, it is evident, is now firmly on the path of resurgence.
How did this transformation come about? How did the Steel Plant bounce
back from the brink of extinction to the realm of prosperity? The saga
of this transformation is a story of visionary planning, immaculate
implementation, total commitment and sheer hard work.
Soon after taking
over as the Chief Executive of the Plant, Dr. Sanak Mishra reached out
to the employees in various forums. While he found a lack of synergy
and synthesis in the organization he was impressed by the potential
of the Steel Plant Collective. To enable the employees to understand,
assimilate and internalize the organization’s priorities and implement
them in day-to-day working the Chief Executive launched a massive communication
campaign that has no precedence in corporate history.
Under the leadership
of the Chief Executive, a series of communication exercises, workshops,
interaction sessions were held involving employees’ participation in
large and small groups. Deliberations were held on day-to-day technical
bottlenecks in open sessions in which the employees participated in
hundreds expressing their commitment and concern for the Plant. The
massive Mass Contact exercise on ‘Regenerating Strength with people
for the survival and future of RSP’ launched by the Chief Executive
in the year 2002-2003, made history with its impact.
Keeping in mind
the changed vision of RSP, in the year 2003-04, the objective of the
Mass Contact Programme was changed to “Regenerating Strength with People
for the Profitability and Prosperity of RSP.” The Rourkela Collective
has adopted a mission which reads as: “The future of our Steel Plant
lies in our own hands. It is our individual and collective responsibility
to rebuild our Plant into a profitable, harmonious and vibrant organization.
We will do whatever things are necessary which are good for our Plant.
We shall never do anything that hurts our Plant.” In order to focus
discussion among the employees of the unit in the context of current
priorities, make them understand their individual roles in the turnaround
of the Plant and elicit their commitment for positive contributions
to achieve the growth plan of the Plant, a new weekly forum called ‘General
Manger Communication Meeting’ popularly known as ‘GMCM’ has been launched
at the initiative of MD.
To further enhance the synergy and synthesis
achieved as a result of the communication interventions launched by
him, the Chief Executive, has formulated another unique strategy, which
he refers to as “Samskara”. It revolves around a philosophical code
of leadership practise: ‘We have to create and sustain a peaceful work
environment where every employee can contribute to the Plant in assigned
area of work, with full freedom and dignity and without fear’. In tune
with the philosophy of Samskar RSP initiated several reforms like Direct
Reporting System, Gate Control, Check-off Facility to Multi-Unions,
Change in the system of issuing ID Cards to Contractors and Redeployment.
It is significant that many of these reforms owe their genesis to the
suggestions given by employees in the various interaction sessions with
the top management. Employees in general have welcomed these measures
and have expressed their confidence that these innovative steps would
provide an added impetus to the Steel Plant’s efforts at improving the