Waking up to the spring air of February, with shades of Valentine’s week adding colours of love to our lives, I left home around 5am to catch our train to Jamsedpur, the Steel City of India. I was accompanied by a bunch of fellow bloggers and together we boarded the train Steel Express at 6am. When the world around us was busy in Valentine’s Day celebration, we looked forward to our journey; the excitement of visiting the Tata Steel Plant and witnessing the process behind the manufacturing of Tata Tiscon rebars kept us occupied. We knew it was going to be a different experience altogether. It’s the love of Tata Steel which has been helping all of us to survive in this progressive world; it is this care and concern for the customers which has helped them earn the trust of millions of users and it is this same customer satisfaction which led us to our journey of visiting the plant, to see how things work. Our love was reciprocated.
We reached around 10 am and were taken to Hotel Centre Point by car. We freshened up soon and headed straight towards the plant. Soon we found ourselves standing in front of the largest plant of Tata Steel in the world. It is more than a 100 years old. Unbelievable!! From authorities to workers, everyone behaved well with us and their amiable vibes made us comfortable in this unknown plant whose machines were completely unknown to us. We were given protective helmets, jackets and gloves to wear. We looked no different from the workers there. As our guide pointed out, these were the safety gears which protect workers from sustaining burns. Wearing them, we realized the care and concern embedded within these garments.
We went inside the Tata Steel Plant and the diligence of the workers welcomed us. Everyone worked in a rhythm without complaining. Their satisfaction reflected in the love for their work. First, we saw the Blast Furnace. The basic job of a blast furnace is to convert iron oxides into liquid iron. Now imagine!! How hot can it be!! We were lucky enough to watch it from the air-conditioned control room but its gigantic structure and the temperature recorded there gave us a strong idea of the heat produced there.
Our next stop was the New Bar Mill. It is a place where rebars are made from billets. Now before you wonder what I am talking about, let me explain the meaning of rebar. A rebar is a long rod that you can see at construction sites. It is also called ‘reinforcement bar’. Okay, I will not go into too much of technical details. Simply speaking, a rebar is a steed rod located inside the concrete of your building which gives strength to the building preventing it from breaking down. Billets are small cuboid pieces of iron that are heated and then, under pressure, slimmed down to cylindrical shaped bars. Gradually, they are divided into two smaller streams of hot steel. After all this, the grooves are made, and ‘Tata Tiscon’ is embossed on them (Tata Tiscon, of course being the Tata Steel brand which manufactures and markets steel rods, rebars and the like). After this, they are cut, cooled, collected, and packed.
Now this whole process is extremely dangerous. These rebars are the ones we use in our homes for safety and they are bound together by stirrups at 135 degrees. We were amazed at the way Tata Tiscon took care of the workers working there. Tata Tiscon offers safety both to the ones who make the products and the ones who buy them. The best part is they officially collaborate with masons so that you don’t need to rely on hearsay, and can actually hire legitimate masons without worrying! This concern for both workers and buyers made us feel that it’s more than just a company but an extended family where the authorities focus on safety for each and every person, irrespective of the role a person plays. This eye opening experience helped us feel this mutual bond of love and care.
Our final stop was the Russi Mody Centre for Excellence. It chronicles the tales of one of the most revered families of India: the Tata family. Jamsetji Tata built Jamshedpur from scratch when he decided to start a steel plant in India. The love, care and concern of Tata is woven in the roots of its foundation. Jamsetji, a man with a heart of gold envisioned a city with all kinds of comforts, a city where workers would enjoy living in. ‘Be sure that there is plenty of space for lawns and gardens; reserve large areas for football, hockey and parks; earmark areas for Hindu temples, Muslim mosques and Christian churches,’ he had insisted. This very vision of Jamsetji is still reflected in the Tata Steel Plant, in Tata Tiscon, in Jamshedpur and everywhere, even in their ways of production and customer service.
It was late evening when we returned, enriched with knowledge. The love, care, concern, the arrangement of workers’ and customers’ safety filled us with a feeling of being loved and cared by one of the biggest industrial giants of India. It is this familial bond which unites all of us together.
I’ll leave you with something spectacular.