MSTC transforming from pure-play trading agency to e-commerce outfit
MSTC Ltd, the Calcutta-based public sector outfit, is steadily transforming itself from a pure-play trading agency to an e-commerce outfit to render services to government entities and private parties.
The company has ventured into multiple sectors such as online sale of oil and gas, online allocation of coal, a bidding platform for the export and import of petroleum products, sand mining and liquor licence.
It is also developing the sale of property as a vertical, including sale of enemy property by the government of India, and sale of idle land of the central public sector unit by the department of investment and public asset management (Dipam).
“We have just made a beginning. The sky’s the limit. People need efficiency at their doorstep at the click of their mouse,” Surinder Kumar Gupta, chairman and managing director of MSTC Ltd, said.
Sources said the company may be mulling a new identity, including change of name, to position itself as a new-age technology driven e-commerce firm. The suggestion to rechristen the PSU, which started its journey in 1964 as Metal Scrap Trade Corporation as a regulatory body for the export of ferrous scrap and thereafter a canalising agency for the import of ferrous scrap and old ships for breaking in the country, came from the Union minister of steel Ram Chandra Prasad Singh.
The pie of e-commerce in the overall revenue mix of MSTC is about 35 per cent but it is growing noticeably. The company, which had carried out spectrum auction on behalf of the government, is also working with Dipam for strategic as well as asset sale of sick PSUs.
MSTC Ltd is also exploring venturing into the fintech sector, Gupta informed, adding that it was studying the opportunities there.
While e-commerce is emerging as the new growth driver, the trading business also received a boost in the first quarter. The company’s revenue soared from this segment in line with the rising value of goods — iron ore, cotton bales and coal .
The company is also expecting the vehicle scrappage policy announced by the Centre to spur the growth of its joint venture with Mahindra to recycle end-of-life vehicles. It has set up three centres and more are coming up.