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A Brief History Of BSRM

Mar 10, 2019

The Bangladesh Steel Re-Rolling Mills, commonly known as BSRM, is a Bangladeshi steel manufacturing company based in Chittagong. It is the oldest Steel re-rolling mill in Bangladesh. BSRM started its journey in 1952 with four manual rolling mills. It was the first steel mill in Bangladesh. Today, it is the biggest merchant steel re-rolling mill in Bangladesh. And BSRM Group is the largest and leading industrial conglomerate in the steel sector of Bangladesh.

This is a brief history of BSRM prepared based on secondary research. I hope you will enjoy.

The beginning

In 1947, the family of Akberali Africawala, founder of BSRM Group, migrated from India to Pakistan to make it his new home. Initially, the hardware merchant settled in Karachi, visiting Dhaka on and off.

Soon Akberali decided to move to Chittagong because he found out that the iron-rich water of the port city was soothing to his health and eventually went on to establish a steel re-rolling mill to produce reinforced steel bars and structural sections.

1952: In 1952, Akberali, along with four businessmen- Mr. Akberali Alibhai Africawala, Mr. Taherali Africawala, Mr. Abdul Hussain Africawala, and Mr. Rajabali Africawala, set up the first steel re-rolling mill of the then East Bengal in Nasirabad, Chittagong. BSRM started its journey with four manual rolling mills. The rest is history.

Fast forward 2019 and Alihussain Akberali FCA:

Alihussain Akberali FCA is the current Chairman of BSRM. The 3rd son of Akberali Africawala, founder of BSRM Group, Alihussain was born on August 8, 1949, in Chittagong. He started his schooling at St. Placid's' School Chittagong, and Inter CA in Commerce from Govt College of Commerce, Chittagong. And then he moved to Karachi and completed his B.Com from S.M.College Karachi and CA at A.F.Ferguson Karachi Pakistan in 1972. He is a Chartered Accountant and a Fellow Member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Bangladesh (ICAB). After completing education, he joined the family business.

1970: In 1970 Mr. Alihussain, along with his father, has guided the transition of this industry established by his father from four small manual rolling mills to the state-of-the-art Italian built rolling mill. He has expanded the business and established a good number of industries in the steel sector under the BSRM Group.

Mr. Alihussain has more than 49 years of experience in the steel-making business in Bangladesh. His life is regarded as synonymous with the rise of Bangladesh’s steel industry. In the business circle, he is considered as an epitome of enterprise for his integrity and hard work.

The BSRM saga started by setting up of four manual rolling mills, the first of its kind, to produce plain bars for construction purposes.

A timeline of BSRM history:

1984: In 1984, Akberali Africawala (founder of the Group) and Alihussain Akberali (current chairman of BSRM) went to the UK and bought a second-hand automatic re-rolling mill to be set up in BSRM factory premises in Chittagong and thus Introduced high strength cold twisted steel bars (TORSTEEL) to the construction industry.

19987: Introduced High Strength Deformed reinforcing steel bars conforming to ASTM 615 Grade 60 for the construction industry.

1996: Commissioned the then largest billet making plant in the country - Meghna Engineering Works Limited, now known as Steel Melting Works (SMW) unit of Bangladesh Steel Re-Rolling Mills Ltd.

2006: Introduced micro reinforcement wires, below 8mm, for low-cost rural construction.

2008: BSRM Steels Limited commenced production of internationally recognized Grade 500 steel bars branded as “Xtreme500W” conforming to ISO 6935-2.

In 2008, BSRM built a state-of-the-art rolling mill on 11 acres at Latifpur, Fouzdarhat, Chittagong under the name of BSRM Steels Limited with the capacity of producing 375,000 MT bars of 500 mpa strength at the brand name of “Xtreme 500W”. Recently, BSRM has taken the step to increase the capacity of the mill to 600,000 MT per annum. Simultaneously, it has also planned to increase the capacity of its oldest mill, Bangladesh Steel Re-Rolling Mills Limited up to 400,000 tons to meet the demand for quality sections for the re-bars of the country.

2009: On 18 January 2009 Shares of BSRM Steels Limited, the flagship company of BSRM Group was listed with the Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE) Ltd. and Chittagong Stock Exchange (CSE) Ltd. as. Market Capitalization as on 30th June 2018 is Tk. 23,377 million.

2010: BSRM Iron and Steel Co. Ltd. one of the biggest billet making plants in the country, started commercial production on June 01, 2010. In 2017, it was being merged with BSRM Steels Limited in 2017.

2011: In 2011, Mr. Alihussain Akberali FCA, the Managing Director of Bangladesh Steel Re-Rolling Mills Limited and the Chairman of BSRM Group has been selected as Commercially Important Person (CIP) from the Large-Scale Industry Category. Previously, he has also obtained this distinction for five years in 1995, 1996, 1997, 2001 and 2008.

At present, the BSRM Group has several sister concerns -- Meghna Engineering Works, Karnafuli Engineering Works, BSRM Recycling Industries, BSRM Wires, BSRM Iron and Steel Company, and BSRM Steel.

2012: Production capacity of BSRM Steels Limited enhanced to 600,000 MT per year.

2013: A syndicated term loan of US$ 40 million and BDT 5,908 million, raised by a consortium of 25 banks and financial institutions, for BSRM Steel Mills Limited. It is the largest ever syndicated loan facility arranged for a private company in Bangladesh.

2015: Capacity of BSRM Steels Limited enhanced from 600,000 MT to 700,000 MT per annum. 2. Introduced a new product - “BSRM Maxima” 3. The capacity of Bangladesh Steel Re-Rolling Mills increased from 120,000 MT to 540,000 MT per annum which is the first and largest merchant mill in Bangladesh.
2015; Bangladesh Steel Re-Rolling Mills Limited went public and listed with the stock exchanges (DSE & CSE).

2016- 17: For the first time in the history of BSRM Group, sales of MS Products has crossed one million M. ton in the year of 2016. 2. BSRM Steel Mills Limited, the largest billet making plant in the country started commercial production in June 2016. 3. BSRM Ultima - a landmark innovation of BSRM is introduced the first time in Bangladesh. 4. EPOXY coated bars for corrosion free structure - CENTURA is introduced.

2017- 18: Business Intelligence BI Analytics Tool for BSRM Group started in May 2018, which helps senior management and Board Members to take prompt and prudent decisions.


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Ayrin Saleha Ria is an undergrad student currently studying Applied Sociology at ASA University Bangladesh. She takes a deep interest in human society and behavioral science and loves reading. She works at FS as a Community Management Fellow and writes about interesting companies.

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