Aiming high

Print edition : August 01, 2008

-BY SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

THE directors of Nalco share their thoughts on the strengths, goals and thrust areas of the giant public sector company. They speak on the challenges faced by Nalco and its ways of meeting them, of its stress on ensuring consumer satisfaction, its expansion plans and its impeccable track record of living up to its social responsibility as a corporate entity.

The company markets its aluminium both in the domestic and in the overseas market by balancing the quantities, depending on the market scenario and realisation.

At present, around 30 per cent of metal production is exported and the remaining 70 per cent is sold in the domestic market. As a primary producer, the company targets to keep its inventory of finished products at a minimum level by selling its products in a fully transparent manner, at the best market price.

Keeping in view long-term sustenance in the domestic market in the face of additional availability of metal, the company introduced the memorandum of understanding with domestic customers in 2002-03. This scheme has been quite successful so far. The customers have expressed their enthusiasm and satisfaction by joining the scheme every year in increasing numbers and tying up more quantities for lifting.

The company has also strengthened the domestic distribution channel by opening nine stockyards at different parts of the country. These measures have enabled the company to achieve a quantum jump in domestic sales and to maintain its domestic market share (27 per cent).

The company is now adopting a new technology to increase the production of billets with an eye on the domestic as well as the overseas market.

Customer relationship is the top priority. Delivering the right quality of product at the right time, along with improved services, and transparent policies are aimed at building up good relations with customers. Overseas customers are highly satisfied. At present, the company is unable to meet their full requirements, but with the commissioning of the second-phase expansion, likely by 2008-end, the company will try to meet all their demands.

-BY SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

We have taken up the challenge of meeting our customers requirements by producing top-quality products and by reducing the cost of production. Plans are afoot for both brownfield and greenfield expansions in India and abroad. At the same time, 100 per cent capacity utilisation of our rolled product units and the special-grade alumina plant will give us an edge over our competitors.

Nalco conforms to safety, health and environment norms and energy standards. We are striving to improve our practices in these areas to meet international standards. We have also started work on a world-class R&D [research and development] centre in Bhubaneswar.

While technology absorption is done seamlessly in Nalco, technology upgradation in alumina refining and aluminium smelting is on the anvil so that the most efficient and effective processes are in place.

-BY SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

Nalco acquired 7,263 acres of land at Damanjodi and 4,057 acres at Angul in Orissa to set up Asias largest integrated alumina-aluminium complex in 1981.

As a corporate policy, financial compensation, employment and rehabilitation packages have been provided to people displaced by Nalco projects.

Nalco allocates 1 per cent of its net profit every year to peripheral development activities. Creation of infrastructure in the surrounding villages for communication, education, health care and supply of drinking water gets priority in the periphery development plans of the company. Besides community participation in innovative farming, pisciculture, social forestry and sanitation programmes, encouragement is given in the spheres of sports, art, culture and literature to the communities living in the contiguous areas.

At the time of natural calamities, Nalco donates to the Chief Ministers Relief Fund and the Prime Ministers National Relief Fund, besides taking up various relief measures.

Soon after the supercyclone in Orissa, Nalco built 197 primary school-cum-cyclone shelters in the coastal districts. Today, whenever there are any investment plans in Orissa, Nalcos role as a responsible corporate citizen is cited to interested companies. That is the benchmark we have set for others to emulate.

Nalco is rich in human resource and has 7,500 highly skilled employees. Performance management and competency mapping are among the focus areas.

Professionalism and teamwork are fused with personal responsibility to enhance performance at all levels through appropriate organisational structures and empowerment. The compensation and reward systems and the employees welfare and social security schemes provided by the company are among the best in public sector

In the past decade, global demand grew by 5 per cent every year, leading to the setting up of additional capacities in various countries. Asia, led by China, contributed largely to both the additional demand and capacity.

-BY SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

Nalcos growth potential is supported by access to good quality raw materials, bauxite and coal. Historically, the growth plans have been restricted to brownfield expansion of existing capacities only, all situated in Orissa.

However, realising its potential, the company has of late chalked out ambitious plans of growth that would see its presence spread out in ASEAN [Association of Southeast Asian Nations], CIS [Commonwealth of Independent States], Gulf and African countries.

The company exports more than half of the alumina it produces without value addition for want of electricity at economical charges. Now the company has set its eyes on sourcing power from abroad.

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