Titagarh Wagons bet on diversification to grow its business

MD Titagarhकोलकाता Kolkata (KOAA): Titagarh Wagons Limited (TWL), the Calcutta-based railway wagon maker, is betting on diversification to grow its business over the next five years.

The company is looking to increase its earnings from shipbuilding and is foraying into manufacture of tractors, to supplement its core business of making wagons and other engineering equipment.

“The diversification into other business lines is essentially to grow our overall business. For us, ideally, the wagon business in the next five years should not be more than 40-45 per cent of the total revenue,” said Umesh Chowdhary, vice-chairman and managing director of Titagarh Wagons.

Wagons constituted 88.5 per cent of the company’s revenue in 2013-14.

In shipbuilding, the company through its subsidiary Titagarh Marine Limited, had opted for inorganic growth by acquiring Corporated Shipyard Private Limited in 2012.

The company used to supply vessels to both Indian Navy and private operators. TWL has also invested Rs 50 crore in developing steel fabrication units and slipways for building ships at its Titagarh wagon plant.

“There is no capacity constraint as far as shipbuilding is concerned. We have already participated in tenders worth Rs 650 crore in both defence and non-defence sectors,” Chowdhary said.

The company is also awaiting clearance from the state government to acquire around 200 acres at Kulpi to develop another shipyard.

“At the moment (shipbuilding) industry is remaining choppy but we expect the situation to improve in the coming years. We are cautious in our progress,” Chowdhary said.

TWL is planning to utilise Cimmco’s plant at Bharatpur, Rajasthan to manufacture tractors. “We are going to test our products next quarter,” he said. He added that the commercial production could start soon after that.

In wagons, TWL is also looking at more orders from the private players in sectors such as automobile, steel and cement. “From fiscal 2015-16 we expect private sector wagon demand to increase,” Chowdhary said.

According to Chowdhary, the company expects its capacity utilisation to improve and its losses to lower following more demand from the private sector.

The company is also planning to manufacture metro rail coaches.

Civilian honour

A statement from the French consulate said Ambassador François Richier would confer the insignia of Chevalier de l’Ordre National du Mérite (Knight in the Order of Merit) on Umesh Chowdhary, in recognition of his outstanding and steadfast contribution to the bilateral ties between India and France in the economic sphere during his visit this week.

Titagarh group had acquired the assets of ArbelFauvet Rail out of bankruptcy in the year 2010 and after emerging a successful bidder started its operations in France under the name of Titagarh Arbel Fauvet Rail, TWAFR.