Five minutes with Uday Gupta

Five minutes with Uday Gupta

To help you get to know the amazing people we have working across our global operations, this month we spent five minutes with Uday Gupta, Managing Director at Adhunik Metaliks, our integrated steel plant located at Chadrihariharpur, near Rourkela in Odisha, in east India. 

What’s your background?

I am a Mechanical Engineer with a Post Grad in Applied Mechanics and then Business Management. I’ve worked across all areas of the ferrous and non-ferrous metal industry, from the engine room to the corner room.

What are some of the highlights of your career?

I’m lucky to have had a very full and interesting career, with some highlights as follows:

  • 26 years in aluminium semi fabrication businesses first with Alcan, India and then with First Aluminium Nigeria (erstwhile Alcan, Nigeria). Navigated through Maintenance, Expansion Projects, Production, Business Development, Internal Audit (wrong rotation) before assuming the role of Executive Director and Business Head for Aluminium Rolled and Coated products.
  • 11 years with Mahindra Sanyo (erstwhile Musco), alloy steel business of the Mahindra Group in India, as the Managing Director driving the management triad of turnaround, excellence and transformation.
  • 2 years with GFG India and now leading the rejuvenation of a 0.5 million tonne integrated steel plant Adhunik Metaliks, the first acquisition in India, as its Managing Director.

What are some major challenges you’ve faced?

Modernising old plants with outdated technology and reskilling people, distancing the business from the dreaded “C” word in the metals industry and continuously differentiating the brand by delivering non-price value propositions to customers, developing customer centricity of employees familiar with the inside out thinking way, and embedding sustainability in the business strategy to deliver on triple bottom line.

What has stood out personally?

Rebooting, reinventing and reigniting ambition post 2008, delivering committed profitability when graphite electrode prices went 7X north, when Mahindra Sanyo became the first company globally to be approved for Science Based Target for reduction in carbon emission for scope 1, 2 & 3, and operating a successful joint venture with Sanyo – the leading specialty steel company globally.

What are you looking forward to?

Steering Adhunik for a successful start- up and reaching full people and business potential in two years to align to CN30. It’s my aspiration that Adhunik becomes the most admired company in the group delivering on people, planet and profit.

What are your interests outside work?

  • Music: genre 70’s rock, blues, some jazz and Bollywood for mood elevator
  • Reading: Anything that comes my way: HBR to Steinbeck to Neruda to Dostoevsky

Who inspires you?

Three people:

  1. Anand Mahindra: A cauldron of empathy and both brain thinking – he just strikes conversation as the CEO and magic gets done in the organisation.
  2. Jacinda Ardern: Simplify politics to do good to real people: can be a business learning
  3. Sanjeev Gupta: I had planned to return to academics. During a conversation he said that people are the only asset of a company. I joined GFG.

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