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L & T set bigger ambitions in defence business

A M Naik, who took the engineering and construction company Larsen & Toubro Ltd (L&T) to greater heights during his 18-year stint as its CEO, said the company grew its revenues from Rs.5000 crore to Rs.120,000 crore between 1999 and 2017.

“This surge, achieved entirely through organic growth, has few parallels in corporate India. In the same period, market capitalisation climbed from Rs.2000 crore to about Rs.160,000 crore at a CAGR of around 28 per cent,” he said addressing company’s 72nd annual general meeting (AGM). Despite macroeconomic headwinds, L & T achieved a 43 per cent increase in profit after tax at Rs.6041 crore,” he added.

Naik said L&T would secure orders worth upto Rs.30,000 crore from the defence in the next 3-4 years. With favourable opportunities in defence areas, the company has already set up seven new facilities across cities and has been making significant progress.

L&T has embarked on its five-year strategic plan (Lakshya) for achieving improvement in key performance parameters. The plan lays emphasis on profitable growth, harnessing emerging opportunities in defence, nuclear power and smart cities, productivity improvements through digitalisation, reduction in working capital levels and unlocking of shareholder value through divestments of non-core businesses.

S N Subrahmanyan, the newly appointed managing director and chief executive officer, pointed out that L&T was likely to bag at least two of the major bids. He also pointed out that some of the upcoming infrastructure projects, especially in Maharashtra including the trans-harbour link, the coastal road, Mumbai-Nagpur highway, Bandra-Versova link and Phase-IV of Metro where L&T saw bright prospects.

Naik said the company was seeing a lot of opportunity in smart cities, new technologies, in information technology and new technological application in engineering and defence. He talked about his 53-year long tenure at L&T - how the company grew its business, fought off a tough takeover attempt and prospered. Hence he said: “few parallels in corporate India.”

“The secret of my success is very simple. It is passion, conviction, commitment and devotion. Devotion is beyond hard work. Devotion is when you worship your God in a temple. My mandir, my temple is Larsen & Toubro,” said Naik.

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