Doing India proud
With its overseas tentacles offering a diversified and comprehensive array of services, RITES Ltd is now functioning as an Indian multinational, writes Satyaki Chakraborty
RITES, the Mini Ratna public sector enterprise has gone global and its performance in the areas of railways and transport infrastructure has got high appreciation from the developing countries of all regions of the world. As a result, the company is getting big orders from the overseas markets, making it one of the most profitable PSEs in the country.
With a track record of over four decades, the company has undertaken projects in over 55 countries including Asia, Africa, Latin America, South America and Middle East regions. RITES Limited is the only export arm of Indian Railways for providing rolling stock overseas, other than Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia.
RITES has also been engaged in technical services for Metro project in Mauritius, Project Management Consultancy for Trident port in Mauritius, supply of Diesel-Electric Multiple Units (DMU) train sets, Broad Gauge locomotives and AC & Non-AC coaches to Sri Lanka, Feasibility study and Detail design work for Railway Line in Ghana, Integrated Check Posts at Biratnagar in Nepal, Road project at Botswana and Guyana, etc.
During FY 2018-19, RITES achieved its highest ever total standalone revenue of Rs 2,164 crore, up by 36.4 per cent over FY2017-18. Similarly, the operational revenue, excluding other income, has increased by 37.3 per cent and reached Rs 1,969 crore in FY2018-19. Profit before Tax and Profit after Tax in FY 2018-19 have been Rs 677 crore and Rs 445 crore respectively, up by 39.6 per cent and 34.0 per cent over FY 2017-18.
Key business segments continued to register growth over FY 2017-18, with consultancy income going up by 13.3 per cent, leasing up by 12.3 per cent and turnkey revenue up by 287 per cent. Exports revenue during the FY2018-19 was Rs 207 crore.
On a Consolidated Accounts basis, the total revenue has been Rs 2,240 crore in FY 2018-19 as compared to Rs 1,651 crore in FY 2017-18, recording a substantial increase of 35.7 per cent. As a result of better utilisation of human resources, expansion of International Consultancy business, improved efficiency from subsidiary and Joint Venture and economies of scale in turnkey business.
RITES has ended FY 2018-19 with its highest ever order book of Rs 6,097 crore, recording an increase of 27 per cent over FY 2017-18. In view of the healthy order book and large investments taking place in infrastructure projects in India and overseas, the accelerated growth of the company will continue in years to come. This increase was due to orders flowing in from various infrastructure projects in railways, metros, exports and loco leasing segments.
RITES provides a diversified and comprehensive array of services from concept to commissioning in all facets of transport infrastructure and related technologies. Since its inception in 1974, it has evolved from its origin of providing transport infrastructure consultancy and quality assurance services into a multi-disciplinary engineering and consultancy organisation. A key thrust in its overseas projects is to actively pursue and develop cooperative links with local consultants and firms as a means of maximum utilisation of local resources and as an effective instrument of sharing its expertise.
RITES Limited was incorporated as a private limited company by the Ministry of Railways with the name `Rail India Technical and Economic Services Private Limited' and had the benefit of being associated with such a large rail system as the Indian Railways. But two years later, the word `private' was deleted from the name and subsequently the name was again changed to RITES Limited in the year 2000. In 2008, it was converted into a public limited company and upgraded to a Schedule A public sector enterprise. It had already been granted Mini Ratna Category-I status and based on the Public Enterprise Survey 2015-16, the company was ranked No. 1 based on net profit and dividend declared in Industrial Development and Technical Consultancy Services sector.
While the company has a significant presence in the railway sector, it also provides consultancy services across other infrastructure and energy market sectors, including urban transport, roads and highways, ports, inland waterways, airports, institutional buildings, ropeways, power procurement and renewable energy.
RITES Ltd's clients within the country include various Central and state governments, ministries, departments, instrumentalities as well as local government bodies and public sector undertakings. It has been associated with some of the most prestigious projects, such as Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation of India Limited, High-Speed Rail Corporation of India Limited, Delhi Metro Rail Corporation, Steel Authority of India Limited, Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Limited, Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited, Bharat Coking Coal Limited, Metro Link Express for Gandhinagar and Ahmedabad (MEGA) Company Limited, Indian Port Rail Corporation Limited, Airports Authority of India and several others.
RITES also engages with various large private-sector corporations including L&T Metro Rail (Hyderabad), Kanti Bijlee Utpadan Nigam Limited (KBUNL), Cimmco Limited, Titagrah Wagons Limited, Snowmex Engineers Limited, Unity Infraprojects Limited, AFCON Infrastructure Limited, Indian Geotechnical Services Limited, Geokno India Private Limited and NATRIP Implementation Society, among others.
The consultancy project for providing services in relation to the Mass Rapid Transit System for the Delhi Government is considered one of the landmark deals of the company. As such, in 1998-99 the company entered into a contract with Delhi Metro Phase I project for providing construction management and consultancy services to Delhi Metro Rail Corporation Limited. Similarly, in 2004-05, it bagged an order to provide design consultancy services for the 12.5 km long railway tunnel in the Pir- Panjal railway tunnel. It also has a railway concession agreement on PPP model by forming an SPV for Bhuj-Naliya corridor.
RITES is the global face of Indian Railways. Its all-round performance has given a big boost to the image of India's technological capability in the area of high-tech railway infrastructure. The PSE is preparing to further expand its overseas operations in the third decade of the twenty-first century.
Views expressed are strictly personal