From humble beginnings over 35 years ago, India’s Goyal Gases has come a long way to establish itself as the country’s fifth largest industrial gas player.

Officially titled Goyal MG Gases Pvt. Ltd (GMGL), the company has grown in line with the increasing industrial gas demand in India and demonstrated its capability with the successful delivery of many lucrative contracts.

This is something GMGL aims to build on, with the vision of remaining a leading force in the competitive corporate world of the manufacture & distribution of industrial gases.

Chairman Dr. Suresh Goyal gave gasworld some of his time to reveal all in an exclusive mini interview…

GW: How was the company first formed? Was there a particular gap in the Indian market?

Dr Goyal: The company was formed way back in the year 1973 after I came back from the US on completion of my Masters in Electrical Engineering, with an intention to cater to the growing demands of the fast industrial growth taking place at that point of time.

We started with an ASU for filling cylinders at an industrial area located at the outskirts of the nation’s capital, Delhi. While we grew in volumes and the demand was ever increasing, we decided to set up our first ASU of 120 tpd capacity near Delhi. Hence, began our success story!

While the majority of the product output would go to a steel-making facility through pipeline on an over-the-fence supply system, we started building up enough infrastructure in terms of cylinders, storage vessels and cryogenic trailers of our own to sell the remaining products in the market.

We started manufacturing our own storage vessels, vaporizers and more and continued building our assets. Soon enough, we were selected to set up an ASU under a long-term gas supply agreement for the largest public steel maker in India (Steel Authority of India Limited).

At that point of time, in the mid 1990s, long-term gas supply agreements were still a little known concept and so we believe our success was a trend-setter of sorts, as many more such projects followed suit. This was a turning point – we have never looked back ever since and continue to receive new orders to set up plants on long-term gas supply agreements from reputed customers.

From a humble beginning, we have come a long way to establish ourselves as a leading industrial gases company in India and more importantly, continue to maintain our status as the fifth largest player after the four gas majors.

GW: What operations do you have across India?

Dr. Goyal: The present focus is primarily in the domestic market (India). We are operating several onsite tonnage ASUs at strategic locations in India on a Build Own & Operate (BOO) basis for large & respectable business houses, and a few more are under implementation.

We also own and operate one of the largest fleet of cryogenic tankers in the country, which carries liquid products to customers and filling stations throughout the length and breadth of the country. We have our own fabrication facility at Sahibabad in the state of Uttar Pradesh, India, where we manufacture storage vessels, tanks and vaporizers, which are used in our own projects.

Besides, we are also the largest seller of compressed hydrogen (through cylinders) in the country. We cater to the whole spectrum of industries with our wide and full range of gases, starting from commercial to ultra pure and different mixtures.

We also have a helium de-bulking facility, which we intend to re-start for helium business as it was stopped due to irregular supplies – though we had an agreement in place with the end-user. We are on the lookout for a strong supplier of helium with its own source, and who can guarantee supplies on a long-term basis at competitive prices.

Though our operations stay confined to India at the moment, we are looking for opportunities in the Middle East, Africa and Asia.

GW: What’s driving industrial gas growth in India at the moment?

Dr. Goyal: The Indian gases industry continues to surprise everybody with its robust growth in demand in recent years, mostly due to fast track growth in steel, glass, petrochemicals, electronics, pharmaceuticals & chemicals.

Though we have been hit badly by the global recession, the extent of damage is limited and is already on the path to recovery.

We feel that PV cells, steel & the electronics industries look promising and will grow, while the semiconductor sector also holds a lot of promise. In the energy sector, coal gasification holds a great deal of promise and so too does the automobile sector, which is showing no signs of slowdown.

So overall, future gas growth looks good to us.

GW: How has business been affected by the global recession?

Dr. Goyal: For us, not much really! Though some sectors like the steel industry for example were badly hit with cancellation and postponements of new and existing projects, it seems to be already on the path to recovery, earlier than anticipated.

We don’t really see any major concerns for the gases industry, since several new contracts for industrial gas have been, or are in the process of, finalisation.

We are also using this time to explore new avenues in the field of application technology. Usage or application of oxygen should grow, because when oil prices go up industries tend to use more oxygen.

So we may be looking at new opportunities and demand.

GW: The future – what’s next for GMGL?

Dr. Goyal: In India we consider ourselves to be a major supplier and player and therefore have many advantages. As a regional company with strong roots, this has enabled us to surge ahead and achieve our current status.

A strong reputation, dedicated customer service, and a highly valued personal touch and easy approachability provide the crucial impetus for our success. This enables us to make decisions much faster – any customer can talk to me directly for help and I respond.

We intend to keep concentrating on our core strengths rather than trying to do too much too soon. We will try to develop new applications, to look into alternative energy, and we will look for investment opportunities in the Middle East, Africa & Asia.

We will try to achieve a healthy balance between emerging and established sectors.

We are already in the renewable energy sector and intend to start our foray into the LNG business too. In addition, we are looking for strong partners/reliable suppliers in specialty gases, helium, LNG and associated applications & products.

Our strong, dedicated & professional work force is our pride and we aim to consolidate our position as a world class and reliable TGM company of Indian origin.

We would like to take this opportunity to convey our best wishes to gasworld for its forthcoming conference event in the Middle East.