Balmer Lawrie & Co Ltd is looking to invest ₹150-200 crore, primarily into logistics and industrial packaging businesses over the next two years.

The diversified PSU is present across several businesses, including industrial packaging, greases and lubricants, leather chemicals, logistics, travel and vacations and refinery and oil field services.

According to Prabal Basu, Chairman and Managing Director, logistics, tourism and greases & lubricants business will be the key areas of growth for the company.

The company appointed PwC as a consultant last year to suggest a roadmap for growth over the next four to five years.

“They have submitted their report in June this year and based on that we have already formed an internal team to work towards the transformation exercise,” Basu told newspersons after the company’s annual general meeting here.

Logistics infrastructure According to Basu, nearly 50 per cent of the estimated investment of ₹150-200 crore will go into the logistics business.

Logistics infrastructure and services account for nearly a third of the company’s net sales at ₹1,828 crore. Industrial packaging also accounts for one-third of the net sales, grease and lubricants for 25 per cent, while nine per cent comes from travel and tours.

The multi-modal logistics hub being set up by the company at Vizag in partnership with the Visakhapatnam Port Trust is expected to commence operations by March 2018. Balmer Lawrie has invested close to ₹300 crore – partly equity and partly debt - in the project, he said.

“We are exploring the possibility of setting up one more such multi-modal logistics hub once this one is operational,” he said.

The company’s first Temperature Controlled Warehouse (TCW) was commissioned at Hyderabad in March 2016. The capacity utilisation at the warehouse varied between 30 per cent and 60 per cent throughout the year.

“Unless we are able to achieve a capacity utilisation of 70 per cent it is not viable. But we are hopeful of achieving the same within this fiscal,” he said.

The company’s second TCW at Rai in Haryana is ready for operation and is awaiting statutory approvals from the state government. The third unit at Patalganga in Maharashtra is expected to be ready for commercial operation by end of this fiscal.

The approximate investment on these warehouses is to the tune of ₹20-25 crore, depending on the location and value of land, he said. “We plan to have another such warehouse in the eastern region soon,” he added.