Pioneer of Steel Distributors PV Ukkuru International Trade
For more than eight decades, P V Ukkuru Group of Companies have supplied their customers more than just iron and steel. P V Ukkuru, the founder of the group of companies, began his humble beginning by starting a business of iron nails in 1942 in Coimbatore. Then, little did he know that he was laying the foundation of steel trade in South India.
Leading the network of steel distribution in South India, P V Ukkuru Group of Companies is a trusted name in the steel industry. “We are a business partner, a trusted provider of comprehensive product lines and infrastructure solutions, backed by a solid guarantee, fast and friendly service and incredible sourcing capabilities,” said P Jose Ukkuru, the Managing Director of P V Ukkuru Group of Companies. My father mastered the art of making nails as an apprentice in a blacksmith’s shop, and in no time he opened his retail shop and managed to become a dealer in goods produced by Tata Steel and Steel Authority of India, he added.
Gradually the fame and quality of the product spread across Kerala and a new branch office in Kerala was opened in 1964. P V Ukkuru’s keen business shrewdness gave wings to the P V Ukkuru Group, setting the stage for his sons Jose & Paulson Ukkuru to identify new markets and expand their distribution network across India and the International market. With branch offices in Coimbatore, Madras and Kochi in India, P V Ukkuru International Trade is moving forward to realms outside the nation.
“I set my foot in the business after finishing my pre-degree in 1974. I wanted to do higher studies but my father wanted me to join his business as our firm was at its peak of expansion,” said Jose. For over six months, I was treated as a normal office boy to learn all aspects of business, and it was then I was shifted to sales, marketing, purchasing to managing accounts, he added. Learning from basics, Jose learned to manage the business and still keeps the legacy of his father through the firm. His father was his Guru who taught him lessons which no universities would have taught him. “I have learned a lot of things from my father. He is my inspiration and it is from him I learned that however heights we reach we shouldn’t forget what humanity is and should serve and lend hand to the needy irrespective of caste, religion or social standards,” he said with a smile. Providing free education till class XII for children belonging to financially backward families, Jose also supports old age homes and cater to their needs.
Supplying steel to almost all major projects in Tamil Nadu and Kerala, P V Ukkuru International Trade supplies supreme quality branded steel products produced by the Steel Authority of India, Essar TMT, JSPL Raigad, JSW Bellary, Kamachi Steel Chennai, Pulkit Steel Pondicherry and the list goes on.
Talking about one of the challenges he faced, Jose said that, unlike today, there were very few manufacturers of steel in the market. So the demand for steel was constant and we could market the steel without any challenges. We didn’t have any marketing department then. But with the rise of many companies, the material started to flood in the market and it became difficult without a marketing team to do the business. Today, the company also keeps pace with the times, creating digital awareness and tapping the online requirement for steel and allied products.
Jose is also a distributor of products made out of steel such as a shovel, and the latest being the TMT Rebar Epoxy Coated steel which prevents the steel from rusting for 15-20 years. Being one of the top iron & steel dealers in India having a dominant presence in the industry, the firm sect vendors based on stringent market surveys and based on the quality of the products, reliability in business, timely dealings and financial stability. “We have created a brand name by supplying the highest quality of steel in the market for reasonable rates and we continue to so, which is the prime reason for it. We have signed a MoU with the Steel Authority of India and sell steels at a special price for projects of national importance,” said Jose, who is also the Managing Committee Member of Kerala Steel Traders Association.
Being the first company to import steel and finished products from Japan, Korea and the Middle East, Jose envisioned expanding his business across the world. Known for the customised designs and supply of specialised items, the firm has clients including Geo Tech, The Port Trust, Cochin Shipyard, Cochin Refineries, FACT, KSRTC and the list goes on
Right now Jose’s future plans are in promoting the aspiring entrepreneurs by training them in how to handle a business and letting them handle the franchise of PV Ukkuru International Trade, Ravi Associates in different parts of India and to focus on exporting steels to other parts of the world.
Talking based on his experience in business all these years, he wants to share a point to aspiring entrepreneurs of today to stay focused on what they do. Staying focused without letting anyone distract you is important. And above all seeking advice from elders is nothing wrong. Half of the unemployment will be resolved if youngsters would seek job advice to experience persons and try to follow their advice.