We expect a growth of 30% in FY 2018-19: Anoop Kumar Mittal, NBCC
Anoop Kumar Mittal, Chairman-cum-Managing Director, NBCC, in an exclusive interview with Swati Khandelwal Jain, Zee Business, said the firm will achieve a growth of nearly 30 per cent by end of the year, which may go up between 30-40 per cent in times to come.
Anoop Kumar Mittal, Chairman-cum-Managing Director, NBCC, in an exclusive interview with Swati Khandelwal Jain, Zee Business, said the firm will achieve a growth of nearly 30 per cent by end of the year, which may go up between 30-40 per cent in times to come. Edited excerpts:
Q: You have been associated with NBCC since 1985 and had worked at different positions in all these years. Interestingly, in past few years, the company has posted good results as its market capital went up to Rs 20,000 crore in FY 2017 from Rs 1,000 crores in 2013. In fact, its lifetime high, which stood at Rs 25,000 crore, was seen in November 2017. Can you tell us something about NBCC's journey of past 4-5 years and what contributed in earning such a strong order book as well as the return?
A: As you said, my association with NBCC dates back to 1985 and I have worked in almost every position. Thus such a long association makes you feel the areas of strength and weakness of the firm as well as opportunities. I was appointed as the Chairman of the firm in 2013 and prior to that, I was serving it as Director (Projects) since 2011. This was a time when we decided about the direction in which the company should be taken and the opportunities that were present in the market. The prevalent conditions post-2010-11 made us feel that the budget decided by the government was not enough to support us. This was something that made us work on redevelopment model under which we had developed the New Murti Bagh Complex in Delhi. Under this redevelopment model, a self-revenue generation model, the construction cost is generated from the place itself just by monetising a part of the property. We reworked on the model and demonstrated it in front of the government, where it was given a thumbs up.
In fact, we completed the first project under the plan in an area of 100 acres without asking for any cost from the government. Leela Hotel was developed by the same money. Currently, we are using the same redevelopment model in developing Kidwai Nagar. Redevelopment model, which was brought by us in the country, is something that has helped the company in its growth. In fact, it has a contribution of more than 60 per cent in our order book.
Apart from this, during such a long stay of 30 years, you get to know about people and the place where they can contribute in the best possible way. In addition, we also worked on digitisation, transparency and system, as the construction industry is one of the most unorganised places when it comes to working. However, it is maturing and developing as a system under which everything goes in a right direction. The market has responded in a positive way to us after looking at our growth structure, size of the order book, history of implementation of projects. Secondly, we have a faith in technology in almost every forte may it be related to construction or management. I can say that all these things have contributed to strengthen the position of the company.
Q: You have also proposed a Vision 2020 and have strong faith that you will be able to achieve it. Do you think that the existing order book and those who will be a part of it in future will help you to achieve it? Also, let us know about the factor that makes you optimistic about the vision?
A: Re-development plan is something that is fueling optimism in me. In fact, in past 2-3 years, the plan has helped the company in branding itself and positioning as a company that delivers the quality project. And, this is something that has helped us get several budgetary projects. Secondly, the government's faith in your endeavours is the most important thing. Currently, we are getting projects from both the sides, .i.e., project management with budgetary support as well as self-revenue projects.
Q: But there is a matter of concern and it is related to the stock prices of the company, which has almost halved in the past few months despite the fact that the company is performing well and is growing. Can you let us know about the area that is troubling investors? Is it related to the preliminary report of Delhi assembly's Public Accounts Committee, wherein, it has blamed the state-owned NBCC for committing serious irregularities in tree plantation?
A: See, it is a complicated question and my answer to it is also going to be a complicated one. The company never works by keeping its eyes on the stock prices of the very next day but it has an eye on the growth of the company and the level where it can be taken in next five to ten years. Yes, stock prices are a matter of concern as it has gone down by almost 50 per cent in past six months. One of the things that has contributed to the problem is related to redevelopment program of seven colonies in Delhi, of which three are being redeveloped by NBCC, where people have raised their objections related to felling off trees at NGT. The court has never said that it is a wrong step, but yes has shown its concern asking as to how it can be rectified as on one hand we should protect the environment and on the other there is a need of development.
It is a city of 2 billion population, therefore, planning and development are the only solution to it and it has been witnessed in the redevelopment program of Kidwai Nagar and new Moti Bagh. I feel the court's decision will be based on the same and the market has reacted in the same way. But I feel that one must not come to a conclusion on the valuation of a company like NBCC that too in such a short period. Its counter question can be related to the price as its market cap went up to 25,000 in such a short period of time. But it happened just because the market felt that the company is here to grow, it has an order book. It has the potential and is delivering and that is the reason that the prices went up to such levels.
On the execution part, the market was expecting a growth of nearly 30-40-50 per cent as our order book saw a sudden growth of 6 times. But there are certain big projects where the DPRs and approvals are delayed and on occasions, certain unplanned problems like the issue related to NGT props up all of a sudden but these litigations will come to an end with a solution. The best part of a big order book is that if 4 projects are stalled for a period of six months then you have the other set of 50-60 thousand crore order book for completion. This is the reason that I can still say that we will witness a growth of 30 per cent in the ongoing financial year, and it will continue to grow by 30-40 per cent in times to come. In addition, all these problems will come to an end in the next 1-2 months, and thus it is a matter of concern for a short time period. Those who invest have to think, and I would like to inform our investors that the company has the strength, the reason, the central or the state governments rest their confidence in us and look towards NBCC for completion of their projects at the earliest.
Q: Do you feel there are possibilities in which you will have to revise your order book because you are getting more projects and you are talking about positive response from places, where you are going. Do you think that this figure of Rs 80,000 crore will increase in the recent future?
A: Today, we have an order book of Rs 80,000 crore, and as I said that we will be getting an additional order of Rs 20,000 crore this year. So, they will be working as an add-on to the existing one. By March 31, 2019, we may have an order book of Rs 90,000 crore to Rs 1 lakh crore.
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Q: There is an interesting play related to your work on heritage sites of the country. Can you let us know about its outlook and what you will earn from it in terms of revenue and margins?
A: See, we didn't have our eyes on revenues and margins while starting the work on the project. In fact, we took on the project as a responsible PSU and I too have my personal interest in the decision. We appreciate the heritage sites of other countries during our visits, but hardly pay attention to our heritage properties. I started working on the project as a responsible company, and we will be doing the work under CSR and also from the government's side. In fact, the government, the ASI and the ministry of culture have chosen NBCC to complete the project. Currently, we have the projects related to Purana Quila, Red Fort, Qutub Minar among others in Delhi itself. To be true, we are not losing anything from this, but will earn profit from it, which may not be not so high when seen percentage wise.