Sharma Fabricators and Erectors Pvt. Ltd. (SFE), the leading erection and installation company for the pulp & paper industry in India, started its journey in 1954. While it diversified its operations by entering into other segments such as petrochemical, aluminium, power, and staple viscose fiber, the pulp and paper industry remained its core focus. During the course of this journey, the company assimilated electrical, instrumentation & automation within its scope of services to complete the mechanical installation circle. In an interview with Paper Mart, Mr. Vinod Sharma, Managing Director, Sharma Fabricators and Erectors Pvt. Ltd., enlightens us about the new projects undertaken by the company amid the pandemic and its future plans.
Paper Mart: Please shed some light on new developments at your company.
Vinod Sharma: Our core business of installation of pulp & paper plants which got adversely affected because of the pandemic, started picking up as the situation is returning to normalcy. Some of our recent projects are mentioned below:
The new pulp mill at TNPL is under commissioning;
- We have just completed the erection and commissioning of a new 650 TPD coated Board machine for JKPM at Songadh, Gujarat and it is under commercial production;
- Khanna Paper Mill’s new SFT Plant is also under commissioning;
- Installation of the new Paper Machine at Sri Andal Paper Mills in Tamil Nadu is going on;
- Installation of New Evaporation plant has started at ITC, Bhadrachalam;
- New Recovery Boiler and Evaporator at OPM, Amlai are in the installation stage;
- Installation of New Evaporation Plant at CPP, Lalkuan is going to start;
- Discussion for some further projects in India and abroad is going on.
Another area of activities has become very much in demand nowadays. To cut costs, reputed European paper machine manufacturers are more and more inclined to manufacture and pre-assemble their machinery parts, section by section, in India before delivering them to their clients in India and abroad. Sharma Fabricators and Erectors Pvt. Ltd. (SFE) is entrusted with these pre-assembly jobs for different projects which we have successfully executed.
“Reputed European paper machine manufactures are now manufacturing and pre-assembling their machinery parts in India before delivering them to their clients; SFE is entrusted with these pre-assembly jobs.”
PM: Besides the core business of installing pulp & paper plants, what other products and services have been provided by Sharma Fabricators and Erectors.
VS: As environmental pollution has become the most serious concern throughout the world, sharing the same concern, India is giving special thrust towards ‘Green’ energy. To be a part of this drive, Sharma Fabricators and Erectors, through its umbrella organization, has started providing solar power technology, supply, installation, operation, and maintenance to the domestic consumers as well as industry. It has already provided solar power plants to Century Pulp and Paper, ITC hotel, NHPC, and many domestic consumers with rooftop and ground-mounted power. Presently, it is in the process of providing a similar solar plant to Trident Group.
PM: What challenges has COVID imposed on your working and how did you overcome the same?
VS: The major challenge before the company during the COVID period was multi-fold. As a matter of fact, COVID 19 had two phases – the first one was total lockdown for about three months and the second one was the post lockdown period when the pandemic was still very much prevalent in the country.
During the lockdown phase, the business got almost totally stuck. Special attention and care were taken towards the health safety of the staff and workmen associated with the company – along with their families. Management also tried hard so that no employee was retrenched. Fiscal plans were made on an emergency basis so that salaries could be paid as regularly as possible without any pay cut. SFE is happy that it succeeded in these endeavors.
Also Read: Sharma Fabricators and Erectors: The Better Half.
After the lifting of the lockdown, there were still fears in the mind of employees and their families and therefore, it was a tough time to convince and depute them to different sites. More challenging was to ensure that at different sites, there was no major health hazard for our employees. By God’s grace, we were able to enforce that. Now, we are at almost total normalcy.
Fiscal plans were made on an emergency basis during COVID so that salaries could be paid as regularly as possible without any pay cut. SFE is happy that it succeeded in these endeavors.
PM: What are your future plans for the coming years?
VS: At one time, Sharma Fabricators and Erectors Pvt. Ltd. was a company working only in the pulp & paper industry. Over the years, we experienced that this industry has its cycle of coming up and going down and accordingly during the lean period; the numbers of new projects become less. Therefore, we started to explore new areas other than this industry and test our capability. Now, keeping pulp & paper as our bread and butter, we have succeeded in putting our footprint in other industrial sectors like textile, aluminum, power, chemicals, petrochemical, etc. In the coming days, we will further explore these areas. Apart from this, we have already started exploring new overseas geographical areas for new business opportunities which will be continued.