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BW Businessworld

In The Fast Lane

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A painfully slow economy does little to inspire confidence to look for fast-growing companies. But India Inc. appears to have had the resilience to tide over nearly five years of slowdown and go on to deliver some rock-solid results.

Take the case of what now appears to be a gravity-defying company — Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) — which shot up from the 11th position last year to the top of the list this year. Already India’s first $10 billion IT services firm, the company’s performance improved from 21.55 per cent —four-year average net sales growth in 2013 — to 29.5 per cent in this year’s ranking. TCS continues to widen its lead over other IT services firms such as Infosys and Wipro ever since it implemented a massive restructuring that re-organised it from a geography-centric organisation into customer-centric business units, each focusing on one or more industry verticals.

Incidentally, TCS happens to be the only non-energy company, barring infrastructure giant Larsen & Toubro, in the Super Heavyweights category (Rs 50,000 crore of net sales or more in 2013-14), dominated by the likes of Reliance Industries, ONGC, Indian Oil, NTPC and GAIL.

In comparison, the Heavyweights (Rs 10,000 crore to less than Rs 50,000 crore) are a more eclectic bunch, even though the category is led by yet another IT firm, Tech Mahindra, with 50.6 per cent average net sales growth. Its  growth was partly inorganic and partly organic. The inorganic growth came from the acquisition and integration of the scam-tainted Satyam Computer Services. But importantly, it also diversified its portfolio from telecom to newer areas such as manufacturing, retail, logistics, banking, financial services and insurance.

But the Heavyweights still make for a diverse grouping at the top, comprising cement giant Ultratech Cement, steel firm JSW Steel, auto major Mahindra & Mahindra and telecom operator Idea Cellular.

Among the Middleweights (net sales of Rs 5,000 crore to under Rs 10,000 crore) is another energy firm, Cairn India, that rode the success of its 14th well — after drilling 13-odd dry wells — aptly named Mangala at Barmer in Rajasthan. With that its production of crude shot up 300 per cent over the past four years. That also gave it the distinction of being the fastest-growing oil and gas explorer globally, a position it has held for the past two years. The Middleweights also include Delhi-headquartered PC Jewellers that, in addition to having a finger on the customer’s pulse, makes jewellery shopping a pleasant experience. It grew at nearly 55 per cent per annum in the process.

Among the Featherweights (Rs 100 crore to under Rs 1,000 crore), Ahmedabad-based Metroglobal owes its growth to its entry into three new businesses — real estate, paper and dyes and intermediates — soon after it sold its core business of manufacturing textile intermediates in 2009.

In the following pages, you will encounter the thrill of a choppy-water ride in a placid lake. Read on.  

[email protected]
twitter: @rajeevdubey

(This story was published in BW | Businessworld Issue Dated 11-08-2014)


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