Rakesh Verma Si­mon In­dia


Rakesh Verma, CEO, Si­mon In­dia Ltd, dis­closes why he is so up­beat about the com­pany’s sus­tained progress from a ₹100 crore en­tity in 2016-17 to a tar­geted ₹600 crore in the next few years, and how their en­gi­neer­ing ex­per­tise in di­verse heavy in­dus­tries is pro­pel­ling the EPC busi­ness growth. Ex­cerpts from an in­ter­view with Maria R & Seema Gupta. Please tell us about the Ad­ventz Group and its var­i­ous busi­ness ver­ti­cals.

Ad­ventz Group has a sig­nif­i­cant pres­ence in agri­cul­ture, en­gi­neer­ing & in­fra­struc­ture, real es­tate, con­sumer durables and ser­vices, all of which are the key driv­ers of In­dian Econ­omy. It is a ma­jor pro­ducer of a wide range of high-qual­ity com­plex fer­til­iz­ers and other agri­cul­tural in­puts such as seeds, pes­ti­cides, mi­cronu­tri­ents and spe­cialty fer­til­iz­ers. It is also one of the largest man­u­fac­tur­ers (in the pri­vate sec­tor) of new gen freight wag­ons and hy­drome­chan­i­cal equip­ment.

The Group has en­gi­neer­ing ex­per­tise and of­fers tech­ni­cal con­sul­tancy, project man­age­ment and con­tract­ing ser­vices to chem­i­cal, fer­til­izer, oil & gas, petro­chem­i­cal, power, and other in­fra­struc­ture projects. It ven­tured into real es­tate with the aim of cre­at­ing world-class yet af­ford­able homes and of­fice spa­ces. In the con­sumer durables seg­ment, the Group man­u­fac­tures state-ofthe-art, RTA fur­ni­ture, a com­plete range of fit­tings and hard­ware to cater to all the three seg­ments of fur­ni­ture man­u­fac­tur­ing (of­fice, res­i­den­tial and kitchen & bath). Ad­ventz Group rep­re­sents many well-known brands and has a fan­tas­tic syn­ergy of hu­man tal­ent, tech­no­log­i­cal ex­per­tise and fi­nan­cial prow­ess across di­verse sec­tors.

What is the busi­ness pro­file of the Ad­ventz Group’s EPC arm- Si­mon In­dia Ltd?

Ad­ventz, which orig­i­nated from the Zuari Group, cur­rently has 26 com­pa­nies un­der its ban­ner with var­i­ous ver­ti­cals such as agro, life­style, en­gi­neer­ing and in­fra­struc­ture. Tex­maco, for in­stance, pro­vides com­plete rail so­lu­tions from coaches to tracks, met­ros, ded­i­cated cor­ri­dors etc. Si­mon In­dia is the EPC, which was set up in 1995 fol­low­ing a 50:50 JV be­tween the Zuari Group and UK com­pany Si­mon Carves chem­i­cal di­vi­sion, which was pi­o­neer­ing niche chem­i­cals’ tech­nolo­gies. The JV was formed to cater to fer­til­iz­ers that need very niche chem­i­cals like sul­phuric acid, phos­phoric acid etc. Slowly they started some EPC work also and es­tab­lished of­fices in Saudi Ara­bia, where they took on some very good projects in chem­i­cals and petro­chem­i­cals, in­clud­ing EPC of our in­house acid plant.

In 2005, the Zuari Group took over the 50% of the JV and set up Si­mon In­dia as its wholly owned sub­sidiary. The busi­ness en­tered petro­chem­i­cals and waste heat re­cov­ery in ce­ment plants. The heat that comes out of ce­ment plants is uti­lized to make steam and the steam drives the tur­bine and gen­er­ates power, which is uti­lized for in­ter­nal us­ages. This project was ac­quired two years back and is now com­mis­sioned and is pro­duc­ing more than the rated/promised ca­pac­ity. To­day, Si­mon In­dia of­fers tech­ni­cal con­sul­tancy, project man­age­ment and EPC Con­tract­ing ser­vices to Chem­i­cal, Fer­tiliser, Oil & Gas, Petro­chem­i­cal, Ce­ment & Power and other In­fra­struc­ture projects.

What are Si­mon In­dia’s strengths and how has it grown over the years?

There was a time of in­dus­trial slow­down and busi­nesses like ours were sim­ply sur­viv­ing. This was dur­ing 2014 to 2016. I joined this com­pany in 2017 from L&T, prior to which I was with Sam­sung, and for a very long time with En­gi­neers In­dia Lim­ited (EIL). So, I car­ried rea­son­ably a rich ex­pe­ri­ence in heavy in­dus­tries.

At Si­mon In­dia, my ini­tial ef­forts were on re­viv­ing the busi­ness, whose size at the time was not right for any com­pany. Si­mon had an em­ployee strength of 200 peo­ple and you need a min­i­mum of ₹200 -300 crore of busi­ness. My tar­get was to reach to ₹500 crores in 4-5 years.

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