Millennium Post

NLC: Powered by collective will and CMD Acharya's leadership

New delhi: From mining major to a power conglomerate, the success story of NLC India Ltd has been almost a dream come true. In many ways it is a classic example of a company with core expertise, taking a quantum leap into allied areas, and achieving distinction in every foray.

Let's take their report card for the last three years, from the time Dr Sarat Kumar Acharya took charge as chairman and managing director. The changes he would initiate and the course of transformation he would chart, were heralded with a change of name, from the erstwhile Neyveli Lignite Corporation to NLC India Limited (NLCIL), presaging the pan India outlook of the corporate, in letter and spirit. Today, the company operates mining and power projects in Rajasthan, Odisha, Jharkand and Uttar Pradesh, besides it's home state of Tamil Nadu.

Working on multiple objectives, Dr. Sarat Kumar Acharya and his management team set about to transform the company into a highly productive facility, overcome challenges in the domestic power sector, generate quality power and address ecological and environmental concerns by adopting the latest technologies. While consolidating its core strength in lignite-driven power production, NLCIL ventured into coal-powered projects as well, to take advantage of coal deposits available in other parts of the country.

The highlight of Dr Sarat Kumar Acharya's three-year tenure has been his master plan for all-round growth, titled Vision-2025. As envisaged in the plan, NLCIL will take a quantum leap in a seven-year period, and transform into a 21,000 + mw energy major with a total mining capacity of 113.15 MILLION TONNES PER ANNUM (mtpa), lignite and coal combined.

Performance numbers in the last three years bear testimony to his vision becoming reality in the near future. In 2015, the Company was generating 2740 MW of thermal power and excavating 30.6 million tonnes of lignite p.a. Currently, it has increased power generating capacity to 5240 MW and mining capacity to 39.15 MTPA,now with a commited CAPEX of around 60,000 Crore in ongoing projects in Mining,Thermal and Renewable power.

In terms of financial performance, numbers are equally impressive. NLCIL's sales turnover grew to 27.40 per cent, from Rs. 6669.05 crore in the year 2015-16 to Rs. 8,496.20 crore in the year 2017-18. The stock market also responded favorably, with share prices rising from Rs 70.30 to Rs 107.35 at one stage.

The spectacular growth has been in tandem with vibrant steps initiated and executed by Dr. Sarat Kumar Acharya, which include re-engineering of human and physical resources, motivating the workforce towards peak performance, judiciously redeploying manpower to new projects, rationalizing the wage structure, zero retrenchment policy and consistent and transparent employee engagement.

As a socially responsible corporate, NLCIL has been commended for its CSR efforts by Hon'ble Minister for Coal and Railways, Piyush Goyal. Through consistent efforts and by deploying restoration techniques, NLCIL has successfully reclaimed used and defunct mines and converted the terrain into cultivable land areas. Revenue from sales of vegetables and fruits grown in reclaimed areas has exceeded Rs 1.7 crore, yet another proof of the project's phenomenal success. The man-made forests and artificial lake created in the reclaimed lands have become popular tourist spots in Neyveli. The lake attracts rare species of birds and visitors from far and near throughout the year.

Early in his tenure, Dr Acharya coined the phrase "Creating Wealth for Well Being," with the philosophy of utilizing the company's resources for improving the lot of the people. As part of this ethos, NLCIL has rejuvenated many water sources, including Walajah Lake and desilted the course of the Paravanar river.

The augmentation of water resources by NLCIL in and around Neyveli has facilitated the supply of more than 13 million litres of water per day from its mines to Chennai which helps meet part of the drinking water needs of the metropolis.

For the benefit of people in peripheral areas, NLCIL has installed solar power pumps in 68 villages. It has also set up water kiosks equipped with Reverse Osmosis Plants at major religious centres such as Tirupati, Puri, Madurai and Chidambaram. It has donated battery- operated vehicles to various places of worship for the convenience of elderly devotees.

With sustainability as the prime focus, NLCIL has provided intensive livelihood training for people in surrounding villages. It organizes coaching programmes to equip Plus Two students and preparing for competitive examinations for admission into reputed institutions such as IITs. The academic results have been extraordinary in this aspect.

NLCIL has created excellent infrastructure for sports. This includes four wooden floor badminton courts and three swimming pools on par with global standards in the Neyveli Township. Those who trained in these facilities have won many laurels at the State, national and international levels. As a crowning glory, a boy from Neyveli made it to Rio Olympics in the swimming event.

If the present is path-breaking, the future is expected to be even more transformative. A robust foundation is in place, pillars of growth have been established and the stage is set for a change in status of NLCIL from Navratna to Maharatna. As Dr. Sarat Kumar Acharya hands over the reins to his successor, he will have the satisfaction of having created an employee-friendly, eco-friendly and investor-friendly energy conglomerate that will shine like a jewel in the power map of India.

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