The Cable and Wire Fair 2019 was held from November 6th to 8th 2019 at Pragati Maidan, New Delhi. This year, the event saw participation from approximately 200 exhibitors from around 25 countries. Among the many sub-sectors, the exhibitors had the following profiles: Annealers & heat-treating equipment; braiding machines; accumulators; preheaters conductors & wires; dies & die making equipment; drives, controls & process tools; extrusion lines, equipment & tooling; fibre optic cable & optical fibre manufacturing equipment; fillers, insulation, jacketing/sheathing compounds & colorants; guides, pulleys, sheaves, rollers; lubricants & process chemicals; marking and printing machines & materials; optical fibre cables; payoffs and takeups; quality control, measurement devices & testing equipment; reels, spools, baskets, cores, carriers & packaging; respoolers; rolling mills, flattening & shaping; rotating machinery – bunchers, cablers, stranders, twinners.
As in its prior editions, the expo conducted this year was aimed at enabling networking while also proving to be a platform for riveting discussions. The topics proved to be critical to knowledge sharing. Among the many industry representatives participating in the conference was Dilip Dev, Chairman, SWMAI, H.D. Wires Pvt Ltd; Nirmal Saraf, Past- Chairman, SWMAI, Nirmal Wires Pvt Ltd; Siddharth Agarwal, Member, Executive Committee, SWMAI, Systematic Industries Ltd. Pointing to a key issue within the market, Dilip Dev, Chairman, SWMAI, H.D. Wires Pvt Ltd said: “Among the many challenges is the continual shift in demand for steel within the Indian market which is price-sensitive. We see a shift in demand for steel wires, and there also exists a bias within the market from the customer end. These trends are not good for the industry as a whole. Secondly, another issue is the lack of skilled-labour on the delivery end, especially for galvanised steel processes.” While suggesting that the industry needs to take measures to deal with such situations, he said: “We are doing our part to deal with the lack of skilled professionals and have built a centre for training, where industry representatives can come and train to work hands-on as skilled professionals.”
Another aspect addressed during the conference was the economic situation of the country as a whole which in turn has been influencing the wire and steel industry. The panellists suggested that much of the economic situation has to do with the banking system. As a consumer economy, we are to see fast growth, but the hindering problem seems to also be the liquidity crunch. Also, a few other challenges that were sighted during the extensive discussion was that the wire industry is fragmented and unorganised. Industry representatives called for a unified approach to solving industry issues while tackling them with a holistic approach. Other industry challenges sighted was the need for quality in the products being used in projects and the necessity to adhere to standards. A unified call was also made for a body or association that could cross-check the quality of the products being used in projects.
Overall, the general sentiment held by the panellists and industry representatives was positive. India is the world’s second-largest crude steel producer, as its production stood at 106 metric tonnes in the year 2018. The steel and the cable and wire sector are broadly driven by domestic production of raw materials such as iron ore and cost-effective labour. This also tells us that we can hope for a competitive market. While there are challenges, the Indian steel industry is modern and it does have the potential to continually upgrade as a major producer.