"APAR Industries is in a sweet spot with growing energy sector"

  • Interviews
  • Feb 27,23
In this interview with Rakesh Rao, Kushal Desai, CMD, APAR Industries Ltd, explains how the changing energy landscape presents big opportunity for the company.

APAR Industries, established in 1958, has grown into a diversified billion dollar company manufacturing a wide variety of products like conductors, wire & cables, specialty oils, polymers and lubricants. In conversation with Rakesh Rao, Kushal Desai, CMD, APAR Industries Ltd, explains how the changing energy landscape presents big opportunity for the company.

Give us perspective of APAR Industries’ diversified product portfolio.
APAR Industries has three main business verticals. We have conductors for transmission lines and we are one of the largest in the world offering a full range of products that are used to evacuate power from power plants for railway electrification.

APAR also has a wire & cable business, which is a fastest growing segment within the three businesses that we have. Here, we have a very wide variety of special cables that are used in renewable energy (solar & wind), rolling stocks (railways), ship wiring (including submarines, warships and commercial vessels). So, we have fairly unique products. Besides, we have standard LT & HT power cables, instrumentation and control cables. We are also one of the few manufacturers in the world who can do hybrid products that combine power and telecommunication in a single product.

The third business vertical is of specialty oil and lubricants. We are the third largest transformer oil manufacturer in the world exporting to over 100 countries. We also have a fourth smaller division that offers various types of specialty polymer and polymer blends.

The conductor business accounts for around 45 per cent of the revenue with specialty oils and wire & cables contributing about 30 per cent and 25 per cent, respectively.

Decarbonisation is a buzz in every industry. What kind of opportunity it presents to APAR?
The whole green revolution is really at the heart of driving business today. Climate change is a reality today. After COP26 and now leading into COP27, every major country has made pledges to reduce carbon emissions and become net zero. The only way to achieve this goal will be to dramatically change the way power is generated. The two most commonly used renewable sources are solar and wind. We are the largest manufacturer of string cables that are used in these two sectors. We have global approvals for our products which allows us to bid and supply products for international projects.

As renewable energy installations are dramatically increasing across the world (including India), it is opening up big opportunity for cables at the generation sites. Also, transmission line business has seen a big growth because power generated at plants need to be evacuated into a grid.

In short, a lot of electrical infrastructure is required to be built to meet the growing requirement of electricity. Electrification of transportation (such as railways, metro, electric vehicle, etc) is also increasing. Again APAR has a major focus on cables that go into rolling stocks as well as in metros. We are supplying cables to metros not only in India, but also globally like in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, etc. All these are really a big driver of our business.

Will Vande Bharat Express is one of the opportunities for you?
Yes, there are many trains, which have been ordered for Vande Bharat Express. We have a full set of cables that are used in Vande Bharat. We also offer harness, a complete plug and play solution, and have received approvals for it from coach manufacturing facilities. We are now in the process of getting all those approved also for Vande Bharat Express trains as well.

We are doing the same thing for electric buses. We are supplying the harness to JBM and have received approval from Olectra.

What’s your growth plan for an incoming one or two years?
We are in a sweet spot at present given the opportunity before us due to rising usage of electricity. Over 80 per cent of our revenue comes from the building blocks that go into power infrastructure. We really see a good runway of organic growth not only for coming 1-2 years, but for the next 5-10 years.

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