The story of Chromeni Steels begins with Chinese stainless steel manufacturer Tsingshan Industries and an invitation. Keen to live up to their corporate motto of “Dare to be the First,” Tsingshan began eyeing India as a potential site for investment several years ago. The first step for Tsingshan was to observe and strategize, which eventually led the stainless steel giant to seek out the top players in the Indian market. The choice was clear: the Shah family, with over 40 years of experience in Indian stainless steel, were ideal business partners.
An invitation to the Shahs led to a meeting in Shanghai in August 2016. From there, both parties took up planning in earnest, culminating with a Memorandum of Understanding in January 2017. Chromeni Steels would unite the scale and scope of the largest stainless steel producer in the world with five leading business houses of India, securing the company’s success in India and on the global market.
The unique, multi-national collaboration between Tsingshan and their Indian partners make Chromeni the biggest joint venture in the stainless steel industry. On the Indian front, Chromeni Steels consists of Sunrise Group, Suncity Group, JP ISCON, and VD Group.
Sunrise Group has a long history serving domestic and international stainless steel markets for the past four decades. Suncity Group brings 25 years of experience in stainless steel to Chromeni, while JP ISCON brings expertise in real estate development in Gujarat and Mumbai. Finally, the VD Group has been active in the diamond industry for a decade, with their most recent diversification being stainless steel.
As Mr. Pratik Shah explained in a recent interview, the first step to setting up Chromeni for production was to begin construction of a new facility. “The foundation stone for the facility, located in Mundra, in the Western state of Gujarat, India, was laid on January 23, 2018. In a record-setting 14 months, work on the facility was complete, and since August 2019, we have been up and running.”
Chromeni’s new facility—part of a USD 2 billion investment—ranks among “only a handful of stainless steel manufacturing plants that can accommodate melting, slab casting, and hot/cold rolling for coil production at one location. In fact, it’s the fourth largest facility with this capability in the world,” said Mr. Shah.
Chromeni leadership has a number of goals for the site. “Our targets stretch over five years. By the end of 2019, we expected an output of 1 million cold rolled coils. Happily, we met that goal.
By 2022 we are aiming for an additional 1 million cold rolled coils, and by 2025 our goal is to have produced 4 million hot rolled coils in mainly the 200 & 300 series. These are ambitious targets, but due to investment in the latest manufacturing equipment and techniques, we are confident that our goals can be met.”