Companies

Feedback Infra to push ahead with global expansion

| | Updated on: Jun 02, 2015
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Expects the international business to contribute 40% of revenue in five years

Vinayak Chatterjee believes that engineering infrastructure services will be the next big “thing”, almost similar to the IT sector’s boom since the 1990s.

He should know. As Chairman of Feedback Infra Pvt Ltd, a leading integrated infrastructure services provider, Chatterjee is seeing increasing demand for his company’s services, both within India and globally.

Now in its 25th year, Feedback Infra offers a range of services – operating toll booths on national highways, distributing electricity in four districts of Odisha, operating and maintaining power plants and offering consultancy for setting up industrial parks.

Over the last three years, the Gurgaon-headquartered company has focussed on international operations, so much so that Chatterjee expects nearly a third of fresh orders this fiscal to come from global operations.

Feedback Infra is confident that the international business will contribute almost 40 per cent of its top line in the next five years.

It ended 2014-15 with a top line of ₹303 crore, a 37 per cent jump over the ₹221 crore reported in the previous year.

Apart from Chatterjee and other founders who own shares in the company, L&T, IDFC and HDFC hold stakes in Feedback Infra.

To fuel its global expansion plans, Feedback Infra will require another dose of capital infusion.

In the short-term, it will look at either private equity funding or rope in a strategic partner and in the medium- to long-term, it will look at a public listing, according to Chatterjee.

The company is present in Indonesia, Nepal, the Philippines, West Asia and sub-Saharan Africa.

It recently acquired Dubai Consultants, a 38-year-old architecture, engineering and design firm based in the UAE.

Dubai Consultants, according to Chatterjee, is among the few firms that have the ‘G+ Unlimited Level License’ for buildings in Dubai and has worked on several large projects in the Gulf.

According to Chatterjee, there are two reasons behind Feedback Infra’s global expansion.

One, it helps de-risk the company’s business, what with infrastructure projects in India getting delayed in the last three-four years.

“The strategic alignment to international markets allows us to ride out subdued PPP (public-private-partnership) conditions in the Indian market,” he says.

Two, a large number of infrastructure projects are being taken up in East Asia, West Asia and Africa, which Feedback Infra hopes to tap into.

Thanks to its experience of working in a variety of projects in India, Feedback Infra has no problems in passing the pre-qualification criterion.

“I can smell now what the IT guys smelt in the late 1990s,” Chatterjee says and adds “as an Indian infrastructure services provider, I am uniquely placed to provide the services as compared to the Anglo-Saxon counterparts in terms of cost.”

He is convinced that engineering infrastructure services exports will become a significant contribution to India’s overall exports in the next decade.

Almost all the projects are competitively bid and Feedback Infra has been able to bag quite a few global projects against stiff competition from not only multinationals, but also Indian companies.

“The margins are better and there is excitement,” adds Chatterjee.

Published on March 12, 2018

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