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F C Kohli - his concerns all embracing Demise of a media baron... Air Asia India will set new benchmarks for budget travel No engine for this car Delhi is distant Sri Lanka votes for change L&T- the specialty of special purpose vehicles B H Kothari - a tribute Infrastructure funding – lessons learnt Cleaning Ganga – relocate tanneries and install electric crematoria Marketing expert Balagopal is no more Plummeting profits of PSBs Fortune for Indian Airlines Bihar – Nitish Kumar adopts the Lalu model Boy, can you beat these? Wise Presidents Nuclear power at the nucleus Towards speedy justice Varuna (rain) in 2015; Vaayu (air) in 2016. Chennai devastated For whom the MIDS bell tolls? Strengthen the base... Solar, solar everywhere … WTO Meet: resolved to meet again Auto components surge… Godspeed, Chief Minister JJ The ‘Jayanthi Tax.’ TN – agglomerate land holdings without alienating ownership More Shakthi to Das’ elbow A C Muthiah – his munificent bequeaths to science Shanti and Sadhana through Music Shaming of Tamils by Tamil farmers at Delhi Mu Sigma – is no more Revving up the manufacturing sector Poor representation for Kerala and TN in Cabinet Five star activism stalls development activity Editor's Notes EEC at the National Media Centre This scant respect for Law Multi-faceted Venkat The rise and rise of KCP Tribute – Manikam Ramaswami A Grand Finale for SN’s MS centenary at the US… Fortune 500 review The power-full Hindujas The nuclear option Gay abandon in pricing Roaring Ro-Ro facility EVM is tamper-proof There was flood of milk. Reason: no milk commissioner! The Gulf aviation boom Moily’s bold thrust Things happen by accident and not by design... Eternal support for capitalisation of PS banks The few handicaps... The why of tax incentives Discoms deserve better… Polls and promises Delhi Chalo... Welcome thrust on trade in Modi’s foreign visits... An inexplicable neglect L&T: focus on infrastructure and more infrastructure… For whom the bell tolls? Dr C Rangarajan returns to Chennai The star of Spencers is no more S Ramanathan – a versatile musician, musicologist The ‘Ayyo-yes’ is no more Rs.1600 crore paper board plant of TNPL China invests in India Waning interest in public discussions… SoA @ 80 Noble nonagenarians... A proud Madrasi Paytm karo... MHC should not return to its old indisciplined ways The Jan Dhan bonanza Make standards certification mandatory... Tribute – M V Murugappan Banning booze... Tihar, Puzhal not different from Parappana Agrahara Building loyalty through the stomach Which side are you, Montek? 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An informal presentation - analytical, forward locking... Quality silica from Neyveli Modi and the lady Welcome changes that testify to Jayalalithaa’s return to health All eyes on Sankara Nethralaya Russi Mody – a tribute How Air-India loses customs... More heat than light Online not in line with brick and mortar businesses... PC’s preference for professionals CRS, a jewel among managers, is no more. Road development slows down Come elections, come advertisements... Convulsions in The Hindu Vibrant Gujarat No Maha Koottani in TN... …and of a popular trade leader Preserving for the future Tribute Naidu’s return augurs well for Seemandhra London, London Narayan Delhi is distant… The balancing act Remembering Indira Sivasailam... When TN politicians can emulate Kerala's He continues the focus on social amelioration The brown list of Venkitaramanan CII projects higher growth… A friendly business group Kudos to NDTV... Align crops to agro climate endowments… Valli, they are more marginalised Lesson from Chandrababu Naidu TGS- The king storyteller Build close rapport with business leaders Odisha: spectacular win by Naveen Patnaik Editor's Says Focus on quality of power - its only around 170-180V He saved millions from starvation... An enemy’s enemy is a friend Protest masters... CIPET hqrs to stay at Guindy – for the present? The Swadeshi Trump The rise and fall of Annamalai University Fuel for thought Increasing non co-operation of state leaders Another Indian music maestro at the UN IAS invades NDDB... Muffled voices for merit… A yen for wastage… Quality education through the PPP mode Adharma of opposition politics Not just in-laws (and outlaws); they’ve renowned academics at the helm! Diamond jubilee of Egmore Samskrt School Insurance companies bleeding, yet no decision on increasing FDI limit! When small is no larger beautiful.. 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Pharma – overdose of copying Where is Rajaji? Land reclamation from sea appears cheaper! Kulandai was a giant West Bengal: mindless malignancy More tributes to GR Why this malaise in medical education? A Grand Finale for SN’s MS centenary at the US… Streamlining mandatory third party cover Chennai and Kolkata miss opportunity to grow as Delhi and Mumbai GM Technology at last! Put expensive assets created to use... Where a state respects its litterateurs… Tatas moving out of urea production... A rich pool of talent not utilised…. Gas is the way forward Tax agriculture Delhi returns to BJP When Ratan Tata visited SRM Lalu’s envy, India’s pride CSR and CMI: promise of another Srinivasan Ramanujan... No mega rail project for Tamil Nadu A professional at the helm of IRDA... A welcome initiative by the judiciary Mersal magnified Revive development banks... Measuring roof tops in terms of KW/MW Tough task taking states together TELANGANA at last…BUT
 
L&T- the specialty of special purpose vehicles

A decade ago, engineering and construction giant Larsen & Toubro conceived a bold, new plan: to form separate subsidiaries or special purpose vehicles to focus on new projects. This enabled the company to access and acquire expertise in new areas such as toll roads and bridges, airports, seaports, metro and rail systems.  I remember the foresight and passion with which A Ramakrishna (AR) explained this foray.

Of course, such a pioneering effort, involved certain business risks. AR took efforts to explain the benefits of the toll road concept, which found resistance in the initial period. In quick time, the concept gained acceptance and opened the floodgates for massive expansion of quality road network. With handsome funding by the private sector, road construction recorded growth as never before.

Equally innovative was the lead taken by L&T ECC to form a separate company for the construction of the Bengaluru airport. Its reputation and record were helpful in ensuring participation by reputed global companies. This experience was a big stepping-stone for taking up construction of the much larger airports at Delhi and Mumbai.

Such enterprise extended to form more such companies. The large Dhamra Port in Odisha in partnership with the Tatas is another major venture. K V Rangaswamy who headed the construction division pointed to L&T gaining rich expertise in such diverse fields for engineering and construction, build value and sell its share in such projects to good profit. The company thus derives twin advantages: getting  orders for constructing such large projects and on completion, to sell these at profit.

The L&T Shipbuilding Ltd on which L&T has invested around Rs 4000 crore is another example of a handsome diversification. This project has three components: an engineering unit, shipbuilding cum repair facility and a container port. The present recessionary conditions come in the way of full utilisation of the niche facilities created. With the expected turn around of the economy, the operations would become profitable.

 The construction division had been accounting for around half the revenues of the giant corporation. With the slowdown in the economy affecting the manufacturing sector in the current year, the construction division may account for larger share, of around 75 per cent, of the revenues of the corporation.

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