The Telegraph
Thursday , June 19 , 2014
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RIL blueprint for makeover
Ambani flagship vows big investment

Mumbai, June 18: Reliance Industries (RIL) has outlined investments of Rs 1,80,000 crore over the next three years as it eyes an entry into the list of top 50 companies globally.

The investment is expected to transform the company into an entity with huge strengths and scale across various sectors, Reliance chairman & managing director Mukesh Ambani said today while addressing shareholders at the company’s 40th annual general meeting.

The key message of Ambani’s address was that the mammoth investment plan in telecom, petrochemicals, refining, organised retail and exploration & production would drastically alter Reliance’s profile from its origin as a small textiles company more than three decades ago.

The proposed outlay of Rs 1.8 lakh crore is higher than the Rs 1,50,000 crore investment announced last year.

Ambani said that while the company was now in the middle of the largest investment programme in its history, the next two years would see Reliance executing and progressively bringing various projects on-stream in sectors such as petrochemicals, refining, retail and telecom.

According to him, 2016-17 will be the first full year in which the complete benefits of these investments will be felt by its shareholders and others.

“The next three years are transformational in RIL’s journey. By the time we finish four decades since our first public offering we will again be a radically different company. We hope to accomplish as much in the next three years as we have achieved in the past 37 years,’’ the Reliance chairman said.

As a result of these efforts, Reliance will come closer to its aspiration of being a Fortune 50 company, he added. Reliance had become a Fortune 500 company in less than three decades.

Retail plan

In organised retail, where Reliance Retail is now the country’s largest player by revenues, the plan is to open more stores.

Reliance Retail had launched a new format — Digital Express Mini — during the year, which is positioned as an easy-to-access, friendly neighbourhood technology store for mobility and communication products.

The plan is now to scale up this format to over 900 cities in the country in the coming years.

Similarly, the initiatives in the petrochemicals business, which has seen the highest allocation of capital, are expected to result in more high-margin products.

“Our petrochemical investment is targeted to add value to the refinery streams and feedstock and is focussed on the growth potential of the Indian market. As we complete our petrochemical investments within the next two to three years, we would have added high-margin speciality products and improved cost positions in each key sector,’’ Ambani said.

In its refining & marketing segment, the coke gasification project at Jamnagar in Gujarat is expected to drastically bring down energy costs and make the refinery comparable to its peers in the US.

However, unlike the other segments, Ambani steered clear of making any big announcements in its exploration & production business. He only went on to note that RIL was in the process of carrying out an appraisal of the discoveries in the Krishna Godavari and Cauvery basin blocksKGD6 and CYD5 blocks.