Sanjay Awasthi

Sanjay Awasthi

Mr. Sanjay Awasthi, a native of North India, was the owner of Vaibhav Castings – a scrap melting business – prior to establishing Tembo Steels in Uganda.

The company’s furnace may have been small in size, but it was mighty in its capabilities, breaking records in the region as the most efficient and productive steel plant around. His experience in the scrap melting business equipped him with a comprehensive understanding of the steel manufacturing value chain, from raw materials to finished products. Now, as the chief of Tembo Steels, he brings his vast experience and expertise to bear, propelling the company to new heights of success.


Mr. Awasthi takes pride in identifying his company as “the most diversified and integrated steel producer in the continent” which makes Tembo Steels a company with the largest product portfolio in Africa through primary route, covering all four verticals of steel with 1.8 million tons of varied integrated steel product capacity. Tembo Steels adheres to the Buy Uganda, Build Uganda (BUBU) initiative, which promotes local production and consumption.

Mr. Awasthi, being the first generation, embarked on his entrepreneurial journey in Uganda in 2000, and with unwavering courage and determination, he set forth to establish a formidable enterprise without any roots or family/friend connections in Africa. In 2001, he laid the foundation stone for Tembo Steels, a visionary project situated in the picturesque town of Lugazi. In 2002, under his astute leadership, the production of ribbed bars commenced at the Lugazi facility, setting the stage for a revolutionary leap in the steel manufacturing industry in Uganda.


Never one to rest on his laurels, Mr. Awasthi’s visionary spirit led him to commission yet another pioneering endeavour in 2004. This time, he spearheaded the establishment of the first-ever structural mill in the region, located in Iganga. The state-of-the-art Structure Mill was designed to produce light sections, representing a ground breaking advancement in the field of structural steel production.

Remarkably, this facility is known to create the lightest sections in the world, translating it to a world benchmark. In 2005, Tembo Steels achieved a ground breaking milestone by successfully installing the world’s first mini converter capable of converting cast iron into liquid low-carbon steel for Africa. The initiative was a response to the need at the time as despite having abundant Cast Iron across Africa at the time, there was no user. Mr. Awasthi and his team’s innovative approach and determination led to the development of this cutting-edge technology right in Uganda, positioning Tembo Steels at the forefront of steel manufacturing advancements.

Following this breakthrough, in 2006, Tembo Steels initiated the production of hot-rolled sheets (HRC) in Uganda from the primarysteelmaking route. To this day, it remains the only primary steel producer of HRC in the region. Tembo Steels was thefirst company in the world to produce 0.7 mm HRC through continuous configuration. In 2008, the company introduced Thermo Mechanically Treated (TMT) – a great initiative that delivers higher strength and helps users save up to 20% on steel consumption. In 2012, it introduced wire rods production using a cutting-edge block mill – a first in the entire East African region.


Mr. Awasthi remains passionately committed to learning and innovating for the better. He sees every challenge as an opportunity to learn, grow, and push the boundaries of what is possible. By constantly challenging himself and his team to think outside the box, he has been able to foster a culture of innovation and excellence that has propelled Tembo Steels to unprecedented heights in the steel manufacturing industry.

Mr. Awasthi leads by example, staying updated with the latest management practices worldwide and industry insights, and encourages his team to do the same. His management style reflects his simple yet powerful philosophy of staying ahead of the competition through cutting-edge technology and innovation, and constantly refining management strategies to achieve organisational success. He is also a firm believer in empowering his team and fostering a collaborative work environment. He understands that innovation is the cornerstone of success, and encourages his team to think creatively, take calculated risks, and push boundaries.


Mr. Awasthi understands the importance of maintaining work-life balance. Despite his busy schedule, he recognises the importance of making time for his hobbies. As an introvert, he finds solace in activities like cooking, outdoor sports and gardening, where he can immerse himself in his thoughts and connect with nature. But that’s not all – Mr. Awasthi also has a thirst for adventure and loves to travel and explore new places. Uganda holds a special place in his heart, as it is his home country. Nevertheless, he often takes his family along on his journeys to remote and unexplored corners of the country.