Interview

Expect double-digit growth in topline of EPC in FY17: Bajaj Electricals

T&D sector can expect better growth in the short as well as medium term.

-Sanjay Bhagat, VP & BU Head – TLT EPC, Bajaj Electricals Ltd

As transmission and distribution operations constitute major part of their EPC business, Sanjay Bhagat, VP & BU Head – TLT EPC, Bajaj Electricals Ltd expects double digit growth in the topline of EPC segment.

Could you give us a brief overview of the year gone by?
The year gone by was a mixed one. While, as a nation, we are facing surplus generation scenario, a lot of ground work still needs to be done in transmission and distribution (T&D) sector to improve last mile connectivity. Focus remains on T&D sector to ensure availability of reliable and affordable power to the end consumers.

What is your current order book position?
As a part of major reform process in power sector, there is shift to Tariff Based Competitive Bidding (TBCB). As a result a few published tenders of transmission lines were cancelled. These are expected to be refloated again this year. However as we have diversified portfolio including sub-stations and monopoles, it has not affected us adversely. Presently, we have healthier unexecuted order book compared to last year.

What does next year look like for the Indian electrical equipment industry?
With excess generation scenario, more focus is likely to be on transportation of generated power to the consumers, which will result in growth in T&D sector. Therefore, Indian electrical equipment industry can expect better growth next year.
What are the projections for your business?
As T&D operations constitute major part of our EPC business, we expect double digit growth in the topline of EPC segment of BEL.

What are some of the major potential areas that will drive the growth in next one year or so?
Next year, a few major contracts related to transmission sector under TBCB scheme shall be finalised. Moreover we also expect extra liquidity in market due to demonetisation drive. Hopefully, this extra liquidity will help in making funds available for infrastructure industry in general. Therefore, T&D sector can expect better growth in the short as well as medium term.

What about ‘smart city’ mission?
‘Smart city’ mission means wholesome development. It will not only mean better opportunities for T&D sector, but also for other products and services spanning across many sectors. We are equally excited about more demand of galvanised monopoles structures for T&D, telecom, illumination, signage and other applications, as these structures are not only aesthetically pleasing but also meet the lesser footprint requirements for the smart city.

Are there any challenges too?
Major challenges are increasing raw material and fuel prices, lack of availability of skilled labour and industry wide excess capacity built-up. Also slower execution of infrastructure projects due to various issues such as fund availability and Right of Way (ROW) is an area of grave concern.

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