KOLKATA: Veteran industrialist and chairman of Texmaco Rail & Engineering Saroj Poddar is looking at business opportunities in Africa, particularly in railway projects.
“Enormous opportunities to invest in Africa exists in almost all geographies there. African countries are really looking at investment from India. So far, they received a lot from China and now they are looking at receiving investment from India as well to diversify the base. As for us, we have set up a company in South Africa as we expect EPC contracts from different African countries,” Poddar told on the sidelines of the annual general meeting of Texmaco.
Earlier known as just a wagon maker, Texmaco is being transformed into a world-class railway company through a slew of joint venture and technological tie-ups. The latest such project is the JV manufacturing facility set up by Texmaco-Wabtec near Kolkata.
Earlier in May, NYSE listed Wabtec entered into an agreement to combine with GE Transportation, a unit of General Electric, creating a Fortune 500, global transportation leader in rail equipment, software and services, with operations in more than 50 countries.
“US can be a potential market for us, particularly after the strengths of Wabtec and GE Transportation coming together. While we would be primarily targeting the domestic market, we would, obviously, target all the geographies where they are present as the JV’s cost base would be comparatively lower,” Poddar said.
Another of its joint venture, Touax Texmaco Railcar Leasing would be reaping opportunities thrown up with the Railway Board coming up with General Purpose Wagon Investment Scheme, he said.
“This opens up new business opportunities in lease financing. We have a lot of orders and so expanding the equity base,” Poddar told shareholders.
Texmaco, meanwhile, is comfortable with the reverse auction being undertaken for the latest tender for procurement of 22,258 wagons, the largest of its kind, undertaken by Indian Railways.
“Reverse auction is now becoming the norm for wagon procurement and Railways adopting the norm was expected. But we don’t expect pressure on pricing as it depends upon demand and supply situation. If there are too many suppliers prices are bound to fall, whatever be the mode of tendering,” Texmaco finance director A K Vijay said.
Under reverse auctioning, the prices are disclosed to every participant on an online platform and bidders compete to undercut each other.
- Texmaco is being transformed into a world-class railway company through a slew of joint venture and technological tie-ups
- Its joint venture, Touax Texmaco Railcar Leasing is eyeing opportunities with the Railways’s General Purpose Wagon Investment Scheme