India took its first tentative step towards economic liberalization in 1991. The economy was in the midst of a radical change and the Sponge Iron Manufacturers Association (SIMA) was constituted and started operation from 11 February 1992. It was officially registered under the Society Registration Act XXI of 1860 on 31 January 1994. The overall mood was of great dynamism, qualitative change and greater choices. It was felt, that if the government did not facilitate growth at this time, Indian economy would slip back into the moribund 70's. Therefore, the fundamental premise behind the formation of the Association was to promote and protect the interest of the Indian Sponge Iron Industry.
SIMA has come a long way since inception to bring all sponge iron manufacturers together. Now in a multi-dimensional role, it represents the Indian DRI Industry and provides a common platform for regular interface with the Government of India and other regulatory authorities. The Association is a common forum for its members to share and exchange each other's experience, views and problems. The Association concentrates on market development, compilation and dissemination of industrial data and technical and commercial information, essential for decision making in the current fast changing business environment.
Besides its traditional role of keeping members updated with development and data, both at national and international levels, SIMA also takes up image building exercise at regular intervals. These are to project and ensure the continued development and growth of the sponge iron industry in India. In the current economic scenario, the role of SIMA has significantly enhanced to maintain a coherent plan, which represents in totality, the requirements and hardships faced by the industry.
As on date, SIMA has a membership of 80 sponge iron manufacturing units. These include coal based 77 and gas based 3.