VA Tech Wabag sees huge potential in Africa, Latin America

R Balaji Chennai | Updated on January 12, 2018 Published on June 08, 2017

Rajiv Mittal, Managing Director

Bets on public sector, industry orders in desalination, water supply and sewage recycling

VA Tech Wabag sees a “gold mine of opportunities in Africa” and in Latin America, the two major emerging markets for water related projects, according to Rajiv Mittal, MD and Group CEO.

The ₹3,200-crore Wabag, a Chennai-based multinational player in water and waste water management, recycling and reuse, will significantly enhance its presence in Africa followed by Latin America over the next five-year period, he said.

Increasingly, “our business is coming out of international markets because of slow decision making and award of projects in India,” Mittal said.

Wabag is present in four geographical clusters with India, including South-East Asia, accounting for 65 per cent of the business; West Asia and Africa about 15 per cent; Europe, a legacy market, about 20 per cent; and Latin America just starting, he said.

Net profit

On a consolidated basis the company has seen a 15 per cent growth in net profit over that of the previous year in 2016-17 at ₹102 crore (₹88.7 crore) and a 28 per cent growth in revenue at ₹3,207 crore (₹2,508 crore) on a consolidated basis.

Wabag is a market leader in North Africa and will now get into sub-Saharan Africa backed by its strong presence in the region, including West Asia, he said.

Wabag is primarily into utility and industrial scale projects in water. On the industrial side, projects on this scale are available in oil and gas sectors, metals, minerals and mining, and power sector. Both in oil and gas sector and metals and mining, Africa and Latin America hold great potential.

Public sector orders

Also, with developing countries in Africa being a destination for international funding and assistance, public sector orders are expected in desalination projects, water supply and sewage recycling.

Wabag can build on its presence here as it has bagged projects in Namibia, a project for potable water and recycling waste water from major industrial hubs; and in Tanzania, a project funded by the Exim Bank of India.

Local companies

Governments anywhere prefer local companies to cater to the projects funded by them. Wabag’s presence in Europe can help it exploit opportunities from projects funded from the European governments, he said.

Order flow from Latin America is picking up and “it is definitely an area that we are going” to including Brazil, Argentina.

“We are building our brand in this market and will develop local partners,” Mittal said.

Published on June 08, 2017
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