In the past decade, India’s Steel sector has expanded significantly. Iron and Steel production and consumption are frequently seen as measures of a country’s economic development. The continuous modernization of infrastructure and adoption of new technologies is expected to meet the growing needs in the sector. As a result, many great minds are coming to the fore with their brilliant methodologies, innovative ideas, and insights. These leaders are not only guiding the organizations to improve efficiency but are also leading India as one of the forerunners in the Iron and Steel industry.
One such leader from the mining industry with three decades of experience is Dilip Kumar Mohanty. Dilip was always enthusiastic to know and learn about the composition of metals and minerals and that inspired him to pursue a Bachelor of Science in Engineering (Metallurgy) from NIT, Rourkela, Odisha. Post this, he joined Vizag Steel Plant, Rashtriya Ispat Nigam as a Management Trainee (Technical). Dilip also contributed to the commissioning of different units of steel plants before joining NMDC in 2015. He has a demonstrated history of working in the mining industry and also serves in various capacities such as President of the Mining Engineers’ Association and Mineral Engineers’ Association.
Currently working as the Director (Production) of the largest iron ore producer in India, Dilip aims to lead his team and firm to success by staying resilient despite all odds. Under his esteemed leadership, NMDC has achieved a record-breaking 41 million tonne iron ore production for two fiscals in a row. To contribute to the growth of the nation, NMDC has also liaised with the state and central authorities for hassle-free operations under Dilip’s guidance. He is also inspired to envision the enhancement of NMDC’s technical and digital strength to increase productivity, efficiency, and sales.
A Trailblazing Leader
NMDC is a Government of India public enterprise under the administrative control of the Ministry of Steel.
Established in 1958, NMDC has been involved in the exploration of minerals such as copper, rock phosphate, limestone, magnesite, diamond, beach sand, and more. From 4 MnT in the 1970s to crossing 41 MnT in FY23, NMDC has recorded a historic milestone in iron ore production. Dilip focuses on bridging the gap between the production and supply of iron ore with a special thrust on evacuation. “Growth in production capacity should be complemented by growth in evacuation capacity and for this, I have a ternary approach. First is, Ropecon technology and pipe conveyors which are the new age projects in mining architecture. Second is, strategic mine planning with intermediary stockpiles to enhance efficiency. Third is, swift dispatch in collaboration with the Railways”, adds Dilip.
The organization is leveraging new technologies to enhance its production capacity and adapt to digitalization. NMDC’s vision focuses on production, technology, community, environment, and industry. The organization has ingrained technology heading towards more futuristic mining and contributes to society through CSR initiatives including education and healthcare. In its six decades of presence in the industry, NMDC has played a crucial role in the country’s growth by contributing to the economy and is on its way to fulfilling the vision of Atmanirbhar Bharat. “Learning and keeping oneself updated are the greatest resources to stay aligned with the advancements in the industry.
I have spent three decades of my life working in the industry and I do not foster overconfidence or complacency since mining is a rapidly growing industry and one must keep up to speed with the evolving novel innovations and technology. I also participate in National and International conclaves, conferences, summits, and exhibitions and keep a tab on reports on emerging new trends in the industry. Before introducing these technologies to the organization, I ensure we are well versed with the benefits and complexities through thorough research and build a conducive environment for the same”, informs Dilip.
Marching towards Success
Since mining is a rapidly evolving industry there are various challenges Dilip has to face on a day-to-day basis. The biggest challenge has been the evacuation of produced iron ore while facilitating economic efficiency. To increase productivity, NMDC focused on a three-pronged approach for technological advancements including the usage of WAP powder, specialized liners, and the covering of stockpiles using water-absorbent polymers to reduce the moisture content in the ores. This strategy has enabled NMDC to produce more than 41 MnT of iron ore in FY23 despite the highest annual rainfall since the inception of the firm.
I tell my team that the onus of representing NMDC & India’s mining sector lies on us
Advance planning, perseverance, and investment in advanced mining technology helped the organization reach the shore successfully. NMDC also recorded the highest-ever daily production of 2.34 LT in FY23 overcoming challenges.
Sharing his advice for young entrepreneurs who aspire to become business leaders in the future, Dilip asserts, “Becoming a successful business leader is not an overnight phenomenon but a journey. It is essential to identify one’s long-term goal and work towards achieving it wholeheartedly in order to sustain in the industry. One must be equally ready to face challenges, accept defeat, acquire the necessary set of skills and knowledge to overcome them, and gain new perspectives. I would also advise all the young entrepreneurs and business leaders to keep up with evolving technological and digital advancements and the emerging trends in the industry.”