What big industries are in Rajasthan

Granite industry in Rajasthan, India

India is world famous for its variety of granites, and the granite deposits are usually thought to be in the south of the country. When it comes to the north, and especially the state of Rajasthan, one spontaneously thinks of marble, sandstone and slate. Hardly anyone associates Rajasthan with granite deposits. And yet there, very secretly, quietly and quietly, an important granite industry has developed in recent years without anyone in the stone industry having noticed. This relatively new business not only processes materials that have been mined elsewhere, but actually mines granite in quite a number of different colors in the state itself.

Today, in 2012, there are already more than 20 different types that are being industrially marketed and new materials are constantly conquering the market. In this article, we want to look at a growing industry that is likely to become more prominent in India as well as the rest of the world over the next few years.

First a few facts - most granite quarries are within a 300km radius of Jalore. As is often the case, the mining methods were initially not fully developed, but now the processes are becoming more and more mechanized. The mining of blocks has increased and it is safe to assume that the blocks themselves will continue to grow as the mechanization of the quarries advances. Around 700 mining licenses have been issued so far, some of which are not very large.

There is already a significant processing industry in this area. When the last inventory was made in July 2012, around 1,130 registered block cutting machines were already in operation in Jalore and a further 100 are expected in the near future. In total there are already around 1,500 block cutting machines in Rajasthan. These machines, mostly from India and China, are used to produce around 1,000 m2 of panels in all possible sizes per month. An estimated 15,000 people are employed in the granite industry in Rajasthan.

In addition, there are now modern plants in Rajasthan with a higher production capacity. In Jalore there is a modern plant with gang saws for granite - Shree Ram Granimarmo Pvt. Ltd. (SRGM). This plant, which is 100% export-oriented, has three gang saws in its factory there.

Tirupati Impex, a company that has been mining green marble in its quarries since 1978, began processing granite in 2004 and making calibrated granite tiles. In addition to their own materials such as Desert Brown, Lakha Red and Devgarh Black, which is also sold under the name Rajasthan Black, granite from southern India is also processed there.

Pacific Industries, based in Udaipur, has four modern gang saws. There they mainly work with materials such as Baltic Green, Pacific Red, Crystal Yellow and Royal Cream.

In Udaipur there are already around 10 modern gang saws for processing granite. Shree Rishabh carries Desert Brown, Desert Green, and Devgarh Black, alongside green marble.

The most popular granites from Rajasthan are Desert Brown, Desert Green (also known as Splendor Green), and Devgarh Black. 100% of the Desert Brown is exported to China; Tropical Brown from Saudi Arabia has replaced this material. Desert Green is especially popular abroad, perhaps because it is a good substitute for green granite from Saudi Arabia, which blocks can no longer be exported. Devgarh Black is popular in India itself and abroad and is quarried in more than 20 quarries. Another material, Rosy Pink, is particularly popular in Turkey. Otherwise, Bala Flower, Lakha Red, Tiger Skin, Crystal Yellow (from the neighboring state of Gujarat), French Green and Colonial Blue are mined in significant quantities.

Exports currently make up no more than 10-15% of total production, as most of the material is destined for the local market. Delhi and the state of Gujarat are the main buyers here.

Granite from Rajasthan has already been used for important projects, e.g. 117,000 m2 of Classic White were used for the flooring at Kolkata International Airport. At Hyderabad Airport, it was almost 200,000 m2 of Chima White. Granite from Rajasthan is used in almost all subway stations that are being built in northern India, as well as in shopping centers and airports. The use of granite from Rajasthan is already standard in office buildings.

The relatively cheap price compared to granites from South India (which is partly due to the higher transport costs), also compared to high-quality marble, is a factor in favor of granites from Rajasthan. However, this is not the only plus point. Due to their high compressive strength and hardness, these granites are also better suited for floor coverings and are therefore ideal for projects, according to the M.A.Rathore from Rachana Stones, who is also a geologist. The materials from North India tend to be more evenly colored than with a wavy structure, and rather light.

Although the granite industry in Rajasthan will continue to grow in the near future, the fact is that it could gain in importance much faster if the mining policies worked better, according to local entrepreneurs. The big difference to the south is the level of education of the workers - this is lower in the north, and so the quarry and company owners are faced with the big problem of finding qualified - but also unskilled - workers. According to the people there, Jalore is at the end of the world and hardly anyone wants to move there. The lack of a qualified workforce is therefore the greatest obstacle on the way to more growth. Whenever the more than 100 quarry owners have a meeting, sooner or later the conversation turns to this topic, according to a well-known businessman. Dr Hitesh Patel, Managing Director of Tirupati Impex, points out other significant problems: the lack of available land for the construction of manufacturing plants, lack of electricity, lack of landfill for overburden. Since it is a desert region, water shortage is inevitable and the water is salty. For Vinay Rawal, managing director of Pacific Industries, the biggest problem is the lack of raw materials, made worse by the fact that Chinese block buyers buy everything up, regardless of the quality. And yet it is as Gaurav Choudhary from SRGM says: where else can you find so many companies in a single city?

Given all these difficulties, it must be said that this industry has already reached a critical size, along with all the other elements that the development of a modern industry brings with it.

There is a lot of talk about building new, modern manufacturing facilities. Most business people in Rajasthan are considering or planning to expand their offerings and invest in the granite industry, even if they mainly sell sandstone, green marble or other stone. It is firmly believed that domestic demand will continue to grow for a long time as it looks like the Indian economy will continue to grow by 7 to 8 percent over the years. It has already been proven that domestic materials offer an attractive business. There is also a sufficient variety of materials with which one can work, so that the construction of a modern production plant on a large scale is always lucrative and involves few risks. We will hear from this industry again soon. This article will become obsolete very, very quickly.

Note: Our special thanks to M.S. Rathore, Gaurav Choudhary, Ishwinder Singh, Kalit Bhandari, Hitesh Patel, Narendra Sharma, Vinay Rawal, J P Khetan and Narpat Singh Shekhawat for their support in preparing this report.