Gearing up Vedanta to deliver for ‘Make in India’, Abhijit Pati, CEO- Balco


Abhijit Pati has over 30 years of experience in the aluminium industry, serving in several leadership positions, and delivering exponential growth. Across the entire value chain, he is passionate about new ideas, innovation, safety, sustainability, and digitalization. Furthermore, he is a visionary in the areas of corporate social responsibility (CSR) and diversity & inclusion. BALCO continues to deliver excellence under his leadership.

An alumnus of Calcutta University, Abhijit began his career as an engineer with the Indian Aluminium Company (a subsidiary of ALCAN, a major aluminium producer in Canada) in 1989. Until 2008, he worked for several leading aluminium companies with exemplary reputations. This was when he was offered a senior leadership position to lead one of the world’s largest greenfield aluminium cum power complexes at Jharsuguda, Odisha by the global natural resources conglomerate Vedanta Ltd.

Subsequently, on March 16, 2015, Abhijit was elevated to the coveted position of President and CEO of the Aluminium business and headed the world’s largest single-location aluminium smelter at Jharsuguda for a little over four years. Under his able leadership, Vedanta Ltd., Jharsuguda became a distinguished member of the prestigious ‘million-tonne club’ of global aluminium producing companies. He is a Senior Management Executive Committee member of Vedanta’s Global aspiration in its quest to emerge as the frontrunner in the international natural resource business. He is also the lead officio member of Governing Council of the Aluminium Association of India (AAI).

He is a nominated representative of India for the Indo-Japanese collaboration on the PAT scheme for cooperation in the energy sector appointed by the government of India. He has also taken the responsibility of co-chairing the FICCI (Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry) Odisha State Council and has been a nominated member of the Board of Management of BPUT, Odisha, for the past three years.

Bharat Aluminium Company Limited (BALCO) is India’s iconic aluminium producer. It is owned 49 per cent by the government of India and 51 per cent by Vedanta Limited. Under the stewardship of Pati, BALCO is gearing up to ensure that world-class products using state-of-the-art technology and indigenous resources and skills are manufactured in India.

“As an integrated plant, we have reduced costs, consumption of power and water in our system, compared with previous years. Balco has set a benchmark in the power consumption and scores over other smelters and pot lines in India and the Middle East. Our products achieve 99.8 per cent quality assurance, and our inclination towards becoming a 100 per cent value-added products company will further help us take on the competition”, says Pati.

The BALCO CEO is committed to strengthening the company’s value-added products (VAP) portfolio and driving innovation.

“In an attempt to bolster the Indian aluminium industry while protecting the domestic market from high aluminium imports, Vedanta’s Balco unit developed two very successful products — primary foundry alloys (PFAs) and flip coils — to cater for the Indian and global markets. Over the years, Balco has emerged as one of the leading aluminium producers in India with its steadfast production of VAPs such as wire rods, flip coils, rolled products and PFAs. We are exploring new products, and the work is in progress. With a vision to change the course of the Indian Aluminium market, Balco made a bold move by launching PFAs, the most used variant in the market, to mainly cater for the manufacture of alloy wheels for global and domestic automotive industries and challenge all odds of an import-dependent nation. Geared with the best-in-class Befesa Cast Bar Technology, Balco has now created a niche for itself among major automobile players. The next feather in Balco’s cap is the production of flip coils”, said he.

Pati has been feted with awards galore for his exceptional achievements. He has been awarded the “India Affairs Professional CEO of the year 2017” at the 8th Annual India Leadership Conclave & India Affairs Business Leadership Awards 2017, an event attended by a galaxy of famed corporate leaders and other distinguished personalities.

In a highly competitive industry, the award recognized Pati’s excellent and inspiring leadership at the helm of Vedanta Ltd, Jharsuguda, which has led to’ Vedanta’ is synonymous with’ quality excellence’ in industry circles. His aluminium expertise, honed over three decades, coupled with his leadership and people-management skills, scored his nomination brownie points over five other CEOs with industries ranging from retail to mobility.

More recently, Pati was recognised as ‘Most Promising Business Leaders of Asia 2020-21, by The Economic Times in a virtual ceremony on December 15 last year. This award recognises eminent business leaders who are poised to make a significant impact in shaping the business demographics of not just their country but also beyond.

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