Business Today

Craning for a bigger piece

Small in size, but big in ambition, Anupam Industries is ramping up to be among the top shots of India Inc. in half a decade.

Tejeesh N.S. Behl        Print Edition: August 9, 2009

Mehul Patel
STAR SME
Anupam Industries
Turnover (2008-09): Rs 240 crore
PAT (2008-09): Rs 22.68 crore
No. of employees: 235
Year of incorporation: 1973
Headquarters: Anand, Gujarat
Company profile: Manufactures high-capacity electric overhead travelling (EOT) cranes
Mehul Patel, MD: “Our aim is to have a top-line of Rs 6,000-7,000 crore and be the global leader in cranes and lifting equipment”

Small in size, but big in ambition, Anupam Industries is ramping up to be among the top shots of India Inc. in half a decade.

Sometimes, adverse market conditions are just the booster shot needed for a resuscitation of a company struggling to survive. “In 2002-03, which was the worst year for capital goods industry, I realised we had hit rock bottom and the only way out was scaling up capacity,” recalls Mehul Patel, Managing Director, Anupam Industries.

And so, Patel ramped up on land and assets, biding out the rough times to encash them when the tide turned, even as his competition went conservative.

That gamble certainly paid off for this Gujarati second-generation entrepreneur as the market for lifting equipment (read cranes), which was worth Rs 200 crore in 2002-03, has now ballooned to Rs 1,500 crore, with Anupam Industries cornering a share of 22 per cent. But Patel isn’t getting smug— at least not just yet.

“Our market size is a pittance compared to China’s, which stood at Rs 45,000 crore last year,” he points out. That explains his capex of Rs 200 crore in expanding his product portfolio to include tower cranes and ship building cranes, which, Patel hopes, would lift his turnover from the current Rs 240 crore (in 2008-09) to Rs 800 crore by 2010-11. “Our aim is to have a top-line of Rs 6,000-7,000 crore in the next five years and be the global leader in cranes and lifting equipment,” he avers.

Setting targets, perhaps, may seem easy as Patel rattles off the numbers with élan. What wasn’t so easy was changing the management complexion of the organisation that was started by his father in 1973. Patel, who took charge in 1991, admits that decentralising decision-making was tough.

“Till about three years back, I used to get personally involved even in a small order worth no more than Rs 3 crore as it was difficult to part with ownership control,” admits Patel. But, given the exigencies of the market place, he slowly eased off the control pedal. “Today, 70 per cent of the decision-making is decentralised down to the departmental heads, who are authorised to take budgetary decisions for amounts of up to Rs 5 crore,” he says.

It’s decisions like these that should go a long way in assuring his future investors about his managerial competency, when Patel taps the IPO market with a Rs 500-600 crore issue in 2012.

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