Reliance Industries Ltd
(RIL) will look for talent globally and has begun stepping up its presence in the oil and gas fields of Latin America and West Asia, said Chairman Mukesh Ambani
, while addressing the 39th annual general meeting of the company held in Mumbai on Thursday (June 6).
Ambani said he would be "personally focused on strengthening the organisation by hiring the right talent from across the world". While the new businesses RIL gets into will focus on India, the energy businesses will also look outward. "Energy markets are…transitioning to a new world order," Ambani added.
In the retail business, RIL will continue to have different formats. In 2012/13, Reliance added 184 stores across formats, Ambani said. The company now operates around 1,500 stores spanning 130 cities across India and covering an area of over 9 million square feet. The business has achieved cash breakeven, crossing revenues of Rs 10,000 crore.
Reliance Jio Infocomm, RIL's venture into high-speed mobile broadband services, has finalised the key vendor and supplier partnerships needed for the initial launch of its services. Reliance will focus on key areas that address India's digital infrastructure woes.
"I see a new India which will use digital currency instead of paper money, for a more secure and more convenient way to transact," Ambani added. There will also be sustained focus on education, where teachers, students and researchers from far-flung areas will be able to connect with another other.
RIL's global oil and gas ambitions are clear from the regions in which it has already secured a presence. Besides its interest in US shale gas reserves, it is looking at partly developing heavy oil fields in the Orinoco Oil Belt of Venezuela, the country with largest oil reserves in the world, through a tie-up with Venezuela's national petroleum company. It will bid for Iraq's Al-Nasiriya Integrated Project for development of upstream oil field, and construction and operation of a 300,000-barrels-per-day petroleum refinery.
RIL recorded its highest ever turnover of Rs 371,119 crore and net profit of Rs 21,003 crore last year. It also achieved its highest ever exports of Rs 239,226 crore to 116 countries during the year, accounting for 64 per cent of its turnover, Ambani said. The company will invest Rs 1.5 lakh crore in the coming three years.
However, the market feels the fundamentals aren't strong enough. Morgan Stanley Research estimates the P/E ratio for RIL will be lower at 11 per cent for 2014 than the 12.1 per cent in 2013. Earnings per share is however, expected to see robust growth from 66.8 in 2013 to 73.5 in 2014.
The RIL stock
closed 1.03 per cent lower at Rs 792.30, compared to yesterday's close of Rs 800.55, according to data from the Bombay Stock Exchange.