Indian steel major's Internet transactions cross 1 B

Tuesday, 29 April 2003, 07:00 Hrs
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The Internet transactions of state-owned Steel Authority of India Ltd. (SAIL) crossed the 1 billion mark in the just concluded 2002-03 fiscal year.

NEW DELHI: The steel major "not only stabilised the process of reverse auction on Internet but also made a maiden entry in the realm of forward auction in 2002-03. In all, the company's total business transactions over the Internet crossed the figure of 1 billion during the period," SAIL said in a release Tuesday.

Internet-based reverse auction technology allows online bidders to compete in real time for contracts by lowering their price offers, or raising them in the case of a forward auction as they see other bids posted.

"The entire process of forward auction, taken up on a trial basis, met with a fair amount of success as the company conducted several transactions over a period of two months towards the end of the last fiscal," the release said.

The forward auction of prime products, including HR coils and plates, and industrial use rails, was for over 500 million. Simultaneously, the plants sold secondary steel worth around 80 million through the e-commerce route, generating around five percent additional revenue for the different items.

"Our attempt has been to put SAIL in tune with future technology," said V.S. Jain, chairman of SAIL.

SAIL entered a new phase in the area of e-commerce last year by consolidating its gains in reverse auctions on the Internet, launched in the previous fiscal - a feat that won SAIL the honour of being amongst the first few state-owned units to successfully do so. Through online bidding, also known as an invisible process, the company procured caustic soda, welding electrodes, transformer coils, lamps and fittings, pipes and stone bricks worth around 520 million.

On an experimental basis, SAIL also sold some idle assets during the year.

On the way to reversing its losses, SAIL has been making intensive efforts to leverage its limited expertise in e-commerce to find a complete solution for online trading. Some key initiatives, like amendments in existing rules and procedures in tune with the requirements of e-commerce, upgrading skills of employees, vendor education and creating a customer base are already paying dividends.

The service provider for all these online trading activities has been Metaljunction Pvt. Ltd., a joint venture between SAIL and India's private sector major Tata Steel.

Source: IANS

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