Tue, 15 Oct, 2019

Shree Steel & Hardware to diversify and survive the mining ban in Goa

With their headquarters in the mining belt of South Goa in Sanvordem, Shree Steel and Hardware, the brainchild of Ketan Anand Mittal, is now planning to diversify in the upcoming financial year and entering into construction business offering budget homes for working couples and small families

11th March 2019, 02:27 Hrs

BHARATI PAWASKAR    


With mining as the soul and sole industry that fetched a decent livelihood across Goa, many businesses flourished in the past couple of decades, however, as this bread-winning industry gradually came to a standstill in the later part of 2012, businesses that depended upon it also suffered a setback, more or less. Despite these issues, there are still few who witnessed a steady growth graph in their business and ‘Shree Steel & Hardware’ is one of these.  

Witnessing a humble beginning in 2011 Ketan Anand Mittal, gradually climbed the steps of success and expanded his business of supplying construction material across Goa, and is now all set to diversify into building budget homes for working couples and small families in South Goa. “When we kick started our business way back in 2011, mining was at its peak and hence we chose the mining belt in South Goa to open our unit, and camped at Sanvardem, making it our base,” recalls Ketan Anand Mittal, proprietor, Shree Steel & Hardware. Dealing in all types of steel TMT bars, angles, channels, square bars, square tubes, cement, pipes and water tanks, Shree Steel progressed well initially until the mining industry suffered a setback and ultimately came to a standstill. “Yet, we continued with our business and kept a target of 20 per cent growth per year, which we managed to achieve,” smiles 36-year Mittal, a B Tech.  

Mittal has two more units in South Goa apart from Sanvardem – one in Verna – Vardha Steel and another in Nuvem – Nuvem Steel Hardware which he opened recently to cater to Margao, Raia, Majorda, Utorda, Varca, Benaulim and Colva area. Vardha Steel caters to North Goa. The Sanvardem unit caters to Ponda, Netravali, Canacona, Quepem, Sanguem and Shiroda. “We offer same day delivery and free transport to anywhere in Goa as we are equipped with our own loading-unloading labour,” adds Mittal who is also authorised stockist for roofing sheets in Tata BlueScope Steel and Vedang Infotech, both of which provide wide varieties and colours. Apart from this, Shree Steel also sells structure material, square tubes, angles, channels and zinc aluminium roofing. Mittal also offers rods and TMT in brands like Kamdhenu, Magna, Tata Tucson. He is also dealer in cement brands like Ultra Steel, ACC and JK.  

“We also deal with bathroom fittings of Hindware and Cera Sanitaryware as well as Dulux Paints,” he adds. In paints, there is more demand for distempers used for exteriors by most customers in Goa who paint their homes from outside on festival occasions. Due to heavy rainfall in this part of the country, the leakage issues are more and looking at this aspect Mittal ventured in chemicals used for anti-leakage purpose, like Dr. Fixit and Fosrock construction solutions. He also provides Mr. Engineer, a brand launched just two months ago and admits that there is good inquiry in it too. Mittal deals with Syntax, Shakti and Boss water tanks too.  

Speaking on the GST issue Mittal is vocal about its repercussions. “We now have more organised billing. This sector, which was largely unorganised, now is working in an organised manner. Also with GST in place, we can order material from any part of the country. The ease of the business has increased and the system has become more transparent. It also has facilitated more employment generation,” briefs Mittal who keeps track of every bill and now has his entire billing of the previous month ready by the 18th of every month. “With increased transparency, the possibility of cheating has been eliminated in a big way,” he admits.  

Mittal is planning to diversify in the coming financial year – 2019-20 and enter into construction business. “There are many families and working couples who cannot afford big homes and for them I wish to construct budget homes in South Goa, beginning with Verna. These will be eco-friendly homes with lot of natural lighting and solar energy run equipment. We plan to make it a hassle-free, smooth buying by making easy loans available,” shares Mittal who also discloses that the expansion plans includes the opening of one more unit in Karaswada, Mapusa to cater exclusively to North Goa clients.  

Today’s customers are fully aware of the market and the brands available in it. They have specific demands and are keen on buying brands that have credibility in the market. The future is of branded products. Gone are the days when others would make purchases on blind suggestions. The shopkeepers and dealers now have to educate themselves about the products and respect the choice of the customers, points out Mittal who started his business with only one staff way back in 2011 and now has a fleet of employees working under him in his various units.

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