WRA Presidency: Carol Jackson welcomes her successor, Parmod Sagar

Mr. Parmod Sagar, Chairman of IRMA, MD & CEO of RHI Magnesita India and President of RHI Magnesita India, Middle East & Africa, has been appointed to represent the World Refractories Association (WRA) as its president starting March 16, 2022. During the WRA Board Meeting, organised in parallel with UNITECR 2022 in Chicago, Board members unanimously agreed to give the rein of the association to Parmod Sagar for 30 months. He is succeeding Ms. Carol Jackson, CEO and chairman of HarbisonWalker International, who was elected as WRA President in January 2020.


Former president Carol Jackson successfully navigated WRA through tumultuous times, as the global pandemic which surfaced in early 2020 shook the whole world. The need to elevate the criticality and awareness of the refractory industry was as important as ever: “We have, as individuals, as company leaders and as essential industry participants, confronted what seems to be a lifetime worth of challenges resulting from the pandemic. […] During this time, we all quickly learned the need to elevate the importance of refractories, and to share […] that the refractory industry is the enabler to most vital industries, even and especially during a pandemic, where choices were made about which industries would be allowed to continue and which would be required to close their doors.”


WRA sincerely thanks Carol Jackson for the stability with which she guided the association during the past two years. “It really is the organisation, the membership, the leaders of the committees, all the hard work that our dedicated folks have put into the time and effort to make the wonderful initiatives happen. Despite all the challenges, it has been a very productive time for our industry, and I am very pleased to pass the torch to a well-deserved recipient of this role,” said Carol Jackson.


Parmod Sagar expresses his thanks to the Board members for this opportunity, presents the topics to be addressed under his presidency: “As an industry […], we have a lot of issues to work together on. To me, the refractory industry is still not recognised widely enough as an essential industry to keep our entire economies running. One of our key challenges is to make ourselves environmentally and socially more sustainable. We need to leave a better world for our next generation. Our industry is challenged as well by shortage of adequate talent. […] It is important to attract, train and groom young men and women to be future refractory experts and take our positions in the coming years. I will be happy to support WRA efforts to the best of my abilities. I look forward to work hand-in-hand with all of you for a greener, safer, younger and flourishing refractory industry.”


About Carol Jackson:

As President, Chairman of the Board, and Chief Executive Officer of HarbisonWalker International (HWI), Carol R. Jackson leads North America’s oldest and largest refractory producer. Previously, Carol was senior vice president and general manager at HWI. Before joining HWI in 2014, Carol was Vice President of the bar, wire, and strip business units of Carpenter Technology Corporation. She also progressed through numerous roles at PPG Industries, where she was ultimately Director, Global Raw Materials Purchasing. Carol is an independent director of AZZ, Inc (NYSE: AZZ) and Sensient Technologies Corporation (NYSE: SXT) and was elected President of the World Refractories Association (WRA) as its first North American leader, serving from 2020 through March 2022. She has received numerous professional awards including 2021 Director of the Year in Private Company Governance by the National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD), and Outstanding CEO and Top Executive by the Pittsburgh Business Times/American City Business Journals in 2019. Carol has a bachelor’s degree from Duquesne University, an MBA (MSIA) from Carnegie Mellon University, and a Juris Doctorate from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law.


Carol Jackson is chairman and CEO of HarbisonWalker International. With more than 150 years of industry leadership and global recognition, HarbisonWalker International is the largest supplier of refractory products and services in North America. Headquartered in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the company’s international network spans North America, Europe, and Asia, with 18 manufacturing plants, 20 global sourcing centers, and technology facilities in both the United States and China. Serving virtually every major industry that requires refractory solutions to enhance production and protect assets, HWI is consistently recognized for its talented experts, industry firsts, and intensely driven excellence.


About Parmod Sagar:

Parmod Sagar comes with more than 3 decades of extensive experience of serving the Steel and Refractory industry. A mechanical engineer, Parmod started his career in the steel making industry and worked in the sector for over 7 years gaining valuable insights.


Thereafter, he transitioned to the refractories business joining Orient Abrasives Limited and continued his career growth in the industry over the next 2 decades reaching the Senior Vice President role at Orient Refractories Limited (ORL). In 2013, after RHI AG acquired ORL, Parmod was promoted to the role of Managing Director of ORL. He led the successful merger and integration of the three erstwhile legal entities of RHI Magnesita in India. Parmod currently holds the position of the Managing Director and CEO of RHI Magnesita India Ltd.


Additionally, he also leads the business of the Global refractory maker in India, West Asia and Africa as the President of the regional Business Unit. Parmod also is the Chairman of the Indian Refractory Makers Association (IRMA).


About WRA:

At a time when economic pressures call for stronger networks, the refractory industry is embracing increased global cooperation. To this end, and following successful international meetings in 2013 and 2014, the major refractory industry associations and multinational companies joined together in November 2014 to set up the World Refractories Association (WRA).


World Refractories Association is a forum to debate regulatory issues affecting global trade, circulate aggregated industry statistics and promote the interests of the worldwide refractory industry. It also serves as a counterpart to other world industry organisations.


The WRA consists at the moment of 6 major refractory industry associations and 16 multinational companies. The secretariat is held by the European Refractories Producers Federation, PRE.