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Sunday, Sep 22, 2002

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Tony Adam quits as Sical MD

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CHENNAI, Sept. 21

MR Tony Adam, Managing Director, South India Corporation (Agencies) Ltd (Sical), has put in his papers. Confirming this to Business Line today, Sical's Deputy Chairman, Mr Ashwin C Muthiah, said that Mr Adam would continue to support Sical as a consultant.

It is understood that Mr Ashwin Muthiah would be personally look after the day-to-day running of the company, which is right now in the process of a restructure. There is a good possibility that HDFC, IDFC and IL&FS would pick up equity stakes in Sical.

Speaking to Business Line about his departure, Mr Adam said he cherished his time with the M A Chidambaram group, which he joined in 1981. Mr Adam is a former cricketer, who represented Tamil Nadu between 1978 and 1981. After having been in-charge of importing fertilisers at various ports, Mr Adam became the Managing Director of ACT India Ltd, the group's logistics company, in 1992. When ACT India was merged with Sical in 1997, Mr Adam was retained as the Managing Director of Sical.

Looking back at his five years as the Managing Director of Sical, he said that what gave him the greatest satisfaction was the fact that he was able to put together a team which developed Sical into the largest logistics company in India. In 1997, the company was handling 1,500 tonnes of coal per day. "Now it does 18,000 tonnes, with the same crane and crew", Mr Adam observed.

The merger of ACT India with Sical, gave the latter the qualifying stature to bid for contracts from the Tamil Nadu Electricity Board. "So far we would have saved around Rs 500 crore for the TNEB," Mr Adam said. This came about by enhancing productivity, which in turn reduced the number of ships in use. Later, when MAC Agro was merged with Sical, other unrelated businesses such as sugar, liquor and auto components came under Sical's fold. Many of these units were turned around and sold off as profitable units. The sugar division went to Rajashree Sugars, which fetched Rs 52 crore and the liquor division, which was taken over by MGM, got Rs 41 crore.

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