Though the Indian steel industry has been touted for years as one with great potential for development, the promise never quite seems to materialize. In the mid to late nineties, after India finally concluded the liberalization of the sector, many investments in steel capacity were announced with great pomp. With the private sector allowed a freer hand in production, entrepreneurs with vision could take advantage of India’s wealth in natural resources, particularly iron ore, and bring the country into the forefront of international steelmaking.
However, when it became clear a few years later that the investments would not be pursued – for a number of reasons – the great expectation turned into great disappointment and a whole decade went by with the impression that India was destined to remain nothing but a hopeful candidate. In the meantime, Chinese output skyrocketed, pushed by the need to cover its own growing appetite for steel, and became a much more believable destination for investment: in short, a developing market that kept its alluring promises.