Saroj Poddar-led Adventz Group to cut dependence on govt orders for rail biz

adventz-groupKolkata:  The Saroj Poddar-led Adventz Group has chalked out a multi-pronged strategy for the $3-billion group’s railway infrastructure business, which will see the vertical reducing its dependence on Government orders and expanding its overseas footprint.

Currently, Texmaco Rail & Engineering Ltd, a group company which is the country’s largest wagon maker, is heavily dependent on the Indian Railways for orders, manufacturing one out of every four wagons for them. Texmaco and Kalindee Rail Nirman (Engineers), in which Adventz has a 49 per cent stake, will spearhead the group’s strategy for the railway infrastructure business. Both are listed companies.

Orders galore 

Delhi-based Kalindee is a rail infrastructure service company primarily catering to large industries. The services it offers include railway signalling, telecommunication, track-laying and related civil work such as electrification.

Adventz acquired the 49 per cent stake in the company, which suffered losses in four consecutive quarters since March 2013, through Texmaco in early December.

Under Adventz’s leadership, Kalindee doubled its order book position and is expected to notch a turnover of nearly ₹450 crore in 2014-15, up from an estimated ₹200 crore this fiscal, says Poddar. “We have worked on the managerial and financial deficiencies of the company. I am confident that Kalindee will be on profit path in the next fiscal,” he told Business Line.

The acquisition proved a strategic fit for the group as it converted Adventz into a one-stop-shop for a complete bouquet of products and services.

The benefits, Poddar argues, are accrued by both Texmaco and Kalindee as a business, for one often opens new opportunities for the other. “We have bid for a few contracts (to offer products and services). And they are looking good.”

Overseas sales

Meanwhile, as part of its strategy to reduce dependence on the Railways, the ₹829-crore Texmaco is aiming to step up overseas sales.

“We have got a very large export order in foundry products. You will see significant shipments from Kolkata in the next fiscal,” says Poddar.

He expects exports to contribute nearly a third of Texmaco’s turnover in the next two years.

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