Steel producers have taken up digitisation of processes and platforms in full force to align with the transformed business scenario and customer preferences post pandemic. This was the main
takeaway from a Webinar on “Unlocking Value: Digital Transformation in Steel Sales – Myths and
Megatrends” organised by India’s largest B2B e-commerce company, mjunction services limited.
“Digitalisation of sales processes is the need of the hour to offer customers a bunch of products and services and end-to-end solutions under a single platform for complete transparency and price
discovery,” mjunction MD Mr Vinaya Varma said before the event, underlining the timeliness and
pertinence of the topic to be discussed.
Setting the context for the webinar, Mr Soumya Sanyal, General Manager, mjunction, who
moderated the show, said, “The pandemic has necessitated the need for steel makers to be flexible
to change, be resilient, digitize continuously and connect with the evolving needs of the customers.”
The eminent panel discussed on the market post pandemic, global perspective, plans for retail and
digitalisation and features required in an evolving and dynamic digital platform.
Mr S. Karthik Narayanan, Chief (Agrico Business & Retail Initiatives), Tata Steel, said: “Before the pandemic, our digital programs were based on the premise of three A’s – anyone can buy steel, from anywhere and anytime. Post pandemic there has been a realization that customers are interested in thorough research before buying, there is more use of digital payment systems/cashbacks resulting in rise overall revenues from online sales mode and customer loyalty through digital methods are increasing.”
“Our retail initiatives have evolved over time. In phase one it started with standardising the product, branding, pricing and promotion. It was taken up with use of proper processes, people and customer engagement and by setting up physical infrastructure. Now we have evolved with a bouquet of products through partnerships and platforms,” he added.
Mr Narayanan also spoke on Tata Steel’s sales digitalisation plans. “The plans are based on the
concept of understanding the customer, digitising the entire ecosystem, including partners, so as to offer a bundle of one stop solutions under a single platform. Steel is undergoing transformation like FMCG segment and has to operate through multiple sales channels and service levels. The player has to be clear of the value proposition offered and continuously evolve to convert challenges into opportunities,” he said.
Mr Kush Jeevan Deep, Director Sales & Head Strategy, Vedanta Resources, said that: “The pandemic has led to a change in the ecosystem. There is increased dependency on digitalisation and
technology. Value creation through data and serving customer at the right time and place is the key to success. The customer wants a one-stop end-to-end solution to all his demands and there is a requirement for a bouquet of products under single umbrella.”
He added that: “We have to understand that stickiness of customers and transparency in pricing are
important parameters and we have to adopt models used globally. We definitely have a retail foray
plan through our own brand and are currently in the internal research phase.”
“Digitalisation can take us at par with global peers. The platforms should sell products through
consultative selling process by educating the customers and then selling through the right price
discovery,” Mr Kush Jeevan Deep said.
In conclusion, both panellists agreed that the platform should have early engagement with
customers through educative content, followed by ease of ordering and smooth delivery of orders