State-owned MSTC Ltd, which transformed from a pure play trading agency into an e-commerce outfit, is looking to venture into the fintech sector through its e-commerce offerings. Plans are also afoot to strengthen its existing e-auction platform for agri produce with a specific focus on organic farmers and produce.
According to Surinder Kumar Gupta, CMD, MSTC, the company is in discussion with some entities to explore a possible foray into fintech sector.
“We are thinking of various models.....and right now we are in discussion with some entities. It is a promising sector to be in and we will be working on it. However, it is too premature to talk about it now,” Gupta told BusinessLine .
The company has ventured into multiple sectors such as online sale of oil and gas, online allocation of coal, a bidding platform for the export and import of petroleum products, sand mining and liquor licence. It has integrated its bidding platform with the IBAPI portal of banks for conducting auctions of NPAs of PSBs. The business volume per year from the sale of the NPAs is approximately Rs 3000 crore.
Besides, it has developed the sale of property as a vertical, including sale of enemy property by the central government, and sale of idle land of the central public sector unit by the department of investment and public asset management (DIPAM).
The company is expecting a 20 per cent growth in the transaction volume of business at around Rs 1.5 lakh crore during the current fiscal.
E-auction of agri produce
MSTC currently conducts auction on behalf of NAFED & HAFED for sale of their PSS (Price Support Scheme) stocks. Some of the agri produce auctioned in its portal mainly include pulses, oil seeds and cereals. The company, which had registered volume of transaction to the tune of close to Rs 1068 crore, is expecting a higher traction in its auction volumes during the current fiscal.
The company has also developed a portal called ‘Jaivik Kheti’ on behalf of Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare for organic farming and e-auction of certified organic produce.
“The portal is ready now we are looking to tie up with partners for the logistics. We are in talks with India Post and other such logistics partner so as to enable linking up the organic farmers to big consumers (the likes of Spencers, BigBasket etc). Logistics is the key, it has to be cost effective,” he said.
The portal would aim to give a wider market access to the organic farmers.
This apart, it also provides e-commerce services to Cotton Corporation of India for sale of cotton and cotton seeds. During FY-21, 8.58 million bales of cotton amounting to Rs 37,941 crore and 17.22 million quintals of cotton seed valued at Rs 4,223 crore were sold through the portal.
“We are constantly in talks (with JCI, Rubber Board etc)........some fructify while some take longer. But there is a lot of potential in the agri sector,” he said.
Vehicle scrappage units
MSTC has entered into a tie up with Mahindra Intertrade Ltd to set up the Mahindra MSTC Recycling Private Ltd (MMRPL) for vehicle recycling. It currently has three vehicle scrapping facilities in Greater Noida, Chennai and Pune. It has also signed an MoU with the Gujarat government for setting up a unit in Ahmedabad.
The vehicle-scrappage policy announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to give a boost to the reviving automobile industry in the country and develop the recycling industry.
“We are bullish on this segment and are looking to set up more such centres moving forward,” he said.