Interview of our Founder Neeraj Walia with AIFI
Extract of Interview - Association of Forging Industry
Tell us something about yourself, your childhood, hobbies, educational journey etc?
I am a sports enthusiast and I find my zone in outdoor activities. Speed and agility keeps me alert, I am an avid biker and enjoy scuba diving as much. I completed my graduation in Mechanical Engineer, and topped it up with an MBA in Marketing.
How would you describe a ‘perfect day off’ for yourself?
Perfect day off is being in the company of my family, or trekking in the mountains.
What inspired you to join the forging business?
Through my 40 years journey of innovating & developing auto components, me and my team realised the need of producing forged component in a more controlled environment. Backward integration was therefore an obvious choice, ensuring our customers a one stop shop.
If not the forging business, which alternative career path you would have chosen?
As I mentioned earlier, speed and agility keeps me alert. Forging & machining is actually an alternate career option for me. I always desired to be an airforce pilot.
What kind of strategies do you feel can bring or mark huge change in Indian Forging Industry?
Forging is considered a key integral part of manufacturing industry. The forging industry supports economic growth of the nation through vital sectors such as automotive, heavy industrial machinery, power, construction & mining equipment, railways and engineering in general. Through the effective leadership we have today, we look forward to the government pitching in for our industry into the global markets more aggressively, to ensure a broader footprint.
Walia Auto recently completed its 40 years. How would you describe your journey in these 40 years with Walia Agni Industry Pvt Ltd.?
While our machining division has completed 40 years, our forging business is at a nascent age. And we have just begun!
Based on the current situation of COVID 19 with new variant approaching what impact will it have on the forging industry?
Going by reliable sources, my best estimate is, it wouldn’t be as bad as the first & second wave. We are collectively in better control of the situation today. With about 45 crore citizen already vaccinated, and a daily rate of over 5 million jabs, we are making commendable progress. The sector will respond affirmatively.
In your opinion what steps should have been taken by government which could have some control over the spread of infection & death rate?
Our government has been proactive towards controlling the spread of the virus. For the size, diversity and last-mile delivery challenges of our nation, I can proudly say that, we are at, or at a better pace in comparison to developed countries.
Kindly elaborate your views on “Export is the current emerging market for Forging Industry”?
The market is opening up for exports. That’s because of a paradigm in focus from China to India. The Government’s thrust on manufacturing sector with initiatives like ‘Make in India’ and ‘Skill India’ has created a positive economic sentiment. Global OEMs and Tier-I players are setting up their purchase offices in India and looking at procuring high standard quality products.
Increasing steel price & reduction in availability of oxygen how has it particularly impacted Walia Agni Industries Pvt. Ltd.?
The current trend and pandemic has affected the demand of business movement, at large. And since we have been delivering largely to the Commercial Vehicle segment, we see the effect in parallel. Having said that, this should be a passing pattern.
Suggest areas where AIFI can extend/improve its services for the benefits of its members?
While organisations such as AIFI play an integral & leading role in aggregating the forging industry, your role surpasses the limit of a finite completion. We will always look forward to your proactive involvement, in bringing together the industry and all its stakeholders.
Given that forging industry is not a very conventional area for young job seekers, what would you like to say to incentivise them to be a part of the forging industry?
Clearly good things happens to the undaunted. I recommend youngsters look at the industry at large and with a broader perspective. It begins with seeking formal education in the sector, which is offered by highly specialised and prestigious academies in India. Catching with the latest updates and industry trends will bring in a larger purpose to the way youngsters would want to look at shaping their career. From my experience, I can assure you that hard-work, patience and continuous excellence always pays.
In future, which all area is Walia Agni Industries Pvt Ltd is planning to expand its business to?
Our focus will majorly be on the overseas market and non-auto sectors including locomotive and defence. This will bring us a broader exposure hence building enhanced capabilities towards creating a multi-pronged approach for the business.
Visit www.WaliaGroup.in to more about our business. Write to Mr. Neeraj Walia at neerajwalia@WaliaGroup.in to engage further.