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COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI) – Columbus Steel Manufacturer Severstal, plays a major role in the local economy. On Tuesday, Severstal’s Vice President and General Manager Madhu Ranade (Mah-doo Ron-ah-day) spoke at the Lion Hills Club about the current economic state of the company. Ranade is the man behind Severstal’s economic stability and expansion.

“Severstal is doing very well. We are growing our market, supplying more value added products. We have a good presence in pipe & tube and we are trying to grow our market in appliance and automotive business,” says Ranade.

Ranade spoke at the Columbus Rotary Club meeting, giving details about how well the company is doing. Severstal brought in nearly two billion dollars in revenue last year, has 650 employees with an average annual salary of $78,000 and does business with 500 local contractors.

“They have made a huge investment in this area, and have built the plant several years ago and added on to it and added on to it. So that’s great for the economy,” says John Davis, a Columbus Rotary Club Member.

Severstal plans to develop a lab at MSU to teach students how to make steel and develop new products. They’ll also support the STEM program in local high schools.

“We’re also interested in developing trades people. The mechanics, the electricians and the automation experts. We’re just in the starting phase but what I see is, as our demand starts growing, we are going to need those people because of the high technology operation that we have,” says Ranade.

Severstal produces about 7 percent of the world’s steel manufacturing.

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