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Industry gathering stresses technical-commercial cooperation, support for national manufacturing, employment

A congress of home appliance manufacturing companies and Mobarakeh Steel Company (MSC) was held in Tehran, bringing together the managing director and sales and marketing managers of MSC as well as a host of managing directors and experts representing Iran’s giant household appliance producers.   
In the gathering, which focused on ways to develop technical and trade cooperation and lend support to national manufacturing and employment, MSC Managing Director Dr. Bahram Sobhani said that a quarter century has passed since Mobarakeh Steel Company emerged and stood by the home appliance industry and other industries on the national stage. “Over the years, the industry sector has faced multiple ups and downs, but what matters most is the fact that domestic industries have paved the way for the growth and perfection of each other in a healthy environment which is alive with conscientious cooperation and sympathy. The current gathering is a perfect example of such growth and partnership.”
Since its launch, he said, MSC has acted in line with strategies driven by global models, adding, “Mobarakeh Steel Company views customer viewpoints as a tool which sheds light on the path it has taken. In this process, MSC is informed of its approval ratings among customers and stakeholders by listening to them which in turn helps put the company on the path of growth.”
Dr. Sobhani said the managers and staff in his company have been, and will be, open to constructive approaches. “Constructive criticism coming from customers is by no means bitter; rather, it serves as the magic bullet which brings about recovery, agility and liveliness for the company. That’s why MSC will always seek to interact with upstream and downstream industries and embrace their technical viewpoints. The company will stop at nothing to make a big difference in society through proper planning.”      
He said quality, competitive prices and timely delivery of products are the major issues MSC customers focus on, adding what comes off the production line at MSC should – at best – be picked up as material for another production line. “Mobarakeh Steel Company is resolute to offer its steel sheets to real consumers, that is, domestic manufacturers, including home appliance producers. This is a source of pride for Mobarakeh Steel.”
As for MSC’s investments, he said the investments made by Mobarakeh Steel Company here and there are not merely aimed at expanding the company’s size. “Rather, MSC has tried to complete the steel chain and bring about cost-effective production in the country by putting its money in different projects.”
The MSC chief further said the company’s achievements and its cooperation with other local industries will definitely have upsides such as improvement of the business atmosphere, more profits for stakeholders, materialization of the objectives enshrined in the Outlook Plan, and stimulation of the Resistance-based Economy.
Mahmoud Akbari, MSC’s chief sales and marketing officer, told the gathering that God has mentioned iron in the holy Koran as a tool for people to make their livelihood. “We hope the presence in this gathering of all industrialists who care about the country’s performance – including hardworking manufacturers of home appliances – can help us get results and help improve the business environment for Iranians.” 
He further said MSC has organized a wide network through which it sends its products to domestic markets, adding it directly sells its sheets to more than 1,000 customers in order to optimize the supply of its products to domestic markets. “Moreover, with the help of a distribution network run by service centers in all provinces across the country, as many as 3,000 small-sized consumers that cannot obtain the items they need directly from MSC, meet their steel sheet needs indirectly.” 
Akbari went on to say that in recent years Mobarakeh Steel Company has invested over six trillion tomans as part of plans to send more products to domestic and overseas markets. “MSC made such investment in the toughest economic conditions. Fortunately, most of the projects the company has invested in have paid off in different corners of the country. A 30 percent increase in product supply is one of the results of such investment.”    
The chief marketing officer also said MSC produced 2.4 million tons of crude steel in 1993, adding thanks to the implementation of expansion projects the figure rose to 7.2 million tons in the year to March 20, 2017. “The production capacity of Mobarakeh Steel Group which stood at 4.9 million tons in the year to March 20, 2007 has climbed to 10.3 million tons this year (ends March 20, 2018). The figure is projected to hover around 12.8 million tons by March 20, 2020 and around 25 million tons by March 20, 2026.”
The supply of steel products exceeded 6.2 million tons for the first time in the 12 months to March 20, 2017, he said, adding the company is determined to act according to plan and raise the volume to 7 million tons by yearend. 
It should be noted that Mobarakeh Steel Group’s steel supply – with the production of Hormozgan Steel Company taken into account – will post a 14 percent growth over last year to stand at 8.6 million tons.   
Akbari said job creation is a national concern, adding Mobarakeh Steel Group has created as many as 355,000 job opportunities, directly or indirectly, in the country. “The Group will add an additional 20,000 jobs when a number of its projects are inaugurated in the near future. MSC together with industrialists and manufacturers, including home appliance producers, can join hands to help develop the business atmosphere and stimulate the national economy.”  
He said MSC has mainly focused its attention on domestic markets by reducing its exports so that it can meet domestic needs maximally. “The company shipped 4.72 million tons of steel to the market in the year to March 20, 2017, posting a 42 percent increase over a year earlier. In the first nine months of this year (March 21–December 21, 2017), it sold 4.36 million tons on domestic markets, up 32 percent and helped meet domestic needs and bring in hard currency to the country.” 
The bulk of MSC products (around 120,000 tons) found its way into the home appliance industry, the official said, adding home appliance manufacturers have cited product quality as a major index of customer satisfaction with MSC products. “MSC attaches great importance to this. In developed, industrialized nations, product quality is of great significance to home appliance and car manufacturers. This can be instrumental in strengthening upstream industries, including Mobarakeh Steel Company.”
The fact that home appliance plants are scattered across the country can be an upside, in that it can help create sustainable employment in the provinces, he said, adding home appliance plants in Tehran, Isfahan, East Azerbaijan and Khorasan provinces account for about 75 percent of MSC customers.  
Akbari said the home appliance sector claims a 2 percent share of steel produced in the world. “The home appliance industry uses 30 million tons out of around 1.6 billion tons of steel produced throughout the world.”
He then provided a detailed breakdown of the statistics on MSC’s delivery of products to customers in the first eight months of the current Iranian year and said the company dedicated 25 percent of its products to customers in the pipe and profile sector, 22 percent to complementary industries, 17 percent to the transportation sector, 10 percent to small industries and service centers, 9 percent to metal structures, 7 percent to the fluid and water transfer pipes, 2 percent to the home appliance industry and 8 percent to other industries.   
Akbari said this gathering aims to establish better and more constructive interaction between Mobarakeh Steel Company and home appliance manufacturers. “This congress also seeks to better introduce the capabilities of MSC, on the one hand, and predict qualitative and quantitative development of the home appliance industry, on the other.”
In conclusion, he expressed hope the gathering can lead to efforts to paint a better picture of the future situation of the home appliance industries, and provide MSC with easier access to production information on home appliances so that the company can make better planning and get better informed of technological developments which play a role in the home appliance industry. “It will also help MSC meet its customer needs and expectations and boost the satisfaction level of its staff.”    
Nader Hosseinzadeh, who is in charge of MSC’s Cold Rolling Plant, also presented a detailed report on the company’s achievements when it comes to production of sheets used in the home appliance industry and the giant steelmaker’s plans for meeting the needs of the industry.
Hosseinzadeh said what MSC’s customers need falls into four groups: cold-rolled sheets (oil-coated), cold-rolled sheets (glazed), galvanized steel sheets (conventional and tensile), and color-coated steel sheets, adding these sheets are used in producing different types of heaters, refrigerators, air conditioners, washing machines and the like.  
He said MSC has employed state-of-the-art devices and modern methods in its production lines in order to improve the quality of end products before they are delivered to customers (home appliance manufacturers), adding to that end the company has put other projects on its agenda.
The official then put forth proposals aimed at boosting cooperation between home appliance manufacturers and different production lines of Mobarakeh Steel Company and said, “A project produces favorable results when all parts involved in the production process cooperate and exchange information in a proper fashion. For its part, MSC has taken appropriate measures and made investment to produce quality products and meet customer needs.” 
He concluded that any step taken toward development of cooperation and production of better quality goods amounts to a step toward national development.
Secretary of the Home Appliance Manufacturers Association, Dr. Habibollah Ansari, told the gathering in light of the fact that customer-centeredness is one of the core elements of market development, a national and even transnational approach should be worked out toward creation of export markets and expansion of exports. “We need to bear in mind that manufacturers which solely depend on domestic markets and fail to take an export-oriented approach are doomed to fail.”
The steel industry together with the home appliance industry is among the leading industries which stimulate economic growth, he said, adding these industries – which prevent the inflow of imports and outflow of money – are directly related to people’s lives and create more added value for society. That’s why domestic industries should be properly supported, he stated.    
In conclusion, the secretary said that economic development is a shared objective of Mobarakeh Steel Company and home appliance industries, stressing the need for holding such meetings and for implementing the questions put forth in such meetings. 
Later, Managing Director of Sepehr Electric Co. Davoud Badali said that organization of this gathering is a positive step toward lending more support to production. “As one of the first customers of Mobarakeh Steel Company, Sepehr Electric has been proudly using MSC products in its production lines for more than 20 years.”
He said the launch of production lines of different types of steel sheets has been a long-held dream of Iranian industrialists, adding the dream came true with the inauguration of Mobarakeh Steel Company.       
Industry plays an important role in job creation and economic development, he said, adding, “In light of the country’s climactic and geographic conditions which have resulted in shortages of agricultural water, and the lack of proper infrastructure in the tourism industry to ensure more foreign arrivals, we need to make efforts to speed up manufacturing by tapping into the existing resources. This would help prevent the outflow of money from the country.”      
The managing director also said Mobarakeh Steel is a parent industry. “Efforts made by those involved in the home appliance industry have set the stage for us to use steel sheets produced by MSC and stop the capital flight to some extent.”
Badali went on to review ways of improving interaction between his company and Mobarakeh Steel and said organization of such gatherings would definitely help improve working conditions and boost the industry sector in the country.
Managing Director of Nicala Company Dr. Soleymani told the same gathering that listening to the voice of customers forms the backbone of growth and progress in the industry sector, adding such gatherings which reflect the determination of MSC management to focus on customer-driven measures hearten industrialists, and those who act with one voice and share one single objective: reconstruction of the country. “It also helps generate jobs and bolster customer satisfaction.”  
Creation of one joint working group between Mobarakeh Steel Company and home appliance manufacturers can be effective in reviewing the weaknesses which need to be improved and in stimulating growth in both. “We have been, and still are, one of the long-time customers of Mobarakeh Steel Company, and we believe these two industries can complete each other when it comes to improving the quality of products.”    
In the same gathering, Managing Director of Emersun Industries Company Soltan Hossein Fattahi said that the home appliance industry is largely affected by the steel industry, and stressed the need for more interaction between home appliance manufacturers and Mobarakeh Steel Company. He also discussed ways of setting the stage for producing competitive, cost-effective goods as well as the role workforce efficiency plays in the industry sector.

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