Emami Group, which recently ventured into cements, is expecting the growth of its new vertical to gather greater momentum, particularly in Orissa. Against this backdrop, Orissa POST caught up with Chief Executive Officer of Emami Cement Vivek Chawla to find out more about the company’s strategies in the new market. Excerpts from an interview he gave Debasish Acharya:
# The cements industry had witnessed a slowdown April to June. What is the current situation?
> There was a downturn as the demand for cement fell as fallout of new taxation laws and a slowdown in the real estate market, among other things. But it will change in September and we will see a rise in the graph from October onwards.
# What is your growth forecast for the industry?
>The industry is expected to see 6 per cent to 7 per cent growth nationally with 15 per cent 17 per cent in the Eastern Zone and 12 per cent to 15 per cent in the state. The real effect of GST and RERA will be seen from October as incomplete projects will be restarted and it will enhance the demand-supply graph. Affordable housing scheme will also help in boosting the growth of the cement industry.
# What is Emami Cement’s target for the coming years and how do you intend to achieve the growth?
>We are eyeing 15 per cent share both in the eastern zone as well as in the state, which will be a three-fold rise in our share by next fiscal. Our new plant in Orissa, coming up at the cost of Rs600 crore, will become operational in March 2018 together with footprint expansion from 1,000 retailers in the state to 2,000 by March 2018 and 3,000 by FY2018-19 will help us meet the target in the state. We also hope to achieve revenue target of Rs1,400 crore to Rs1,500 crore this fiscal and Rs2,800 crore by FY2018-19. The target will be met by selling 3.2 million tonnes of cement by March 2018.
# What is the extent of your presence in the eastern zone. Do you have any inorganic growth plan?
>We have presence in Chattisgarh, Bihar, Orissa, parts of Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal, and Vidarbha, among other reaches in the zone. We plan to extend operations to Rajasthan and Andhra Pradesh and are working towards acquiring mines. Our production from Chhattisgarh and West Bengal units is four million tonnes per annum and we hope to raise it to six million tonnes per annum by end of this fiscal.
# What is the USP of Emami Cement?
>We have installed hi-end automated robotic laboratory at the Risda plant in Chattisgarh at an investment of Rs10 crore to Rs12 crore for monitoring product quality. Samples collected at various points by the robots will helps us to maintain quality and to address issues immediately.