Murugappa Group, one of India’s oldest business conglomerates, held their annual press interaction in Chennai. The company has been the market leader in numerous segments such as Abrasives, Auto-Components, sugar, cycles, farm inputs, fertilisers and bio-products, with a large geographical presence all over India and in six continents.

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The 119 year old Murugappa Group addressed the press about their expansion plans of Rs. 1,300 crore, across various divisions of the Group Companies during the present FY, which is set to take place to take advantage of growth opportunities.

Mr MM Murugappan, Executive Chairman, Murugappa Group, heading the 329 Billion Rupee business said, “We have had a good show in FY 2018/19. Aspiration is always there for double digit growth and we are certainly planning on this basis. But we are clearly seeing challenges across businesses such as agriculture, engineering and financial services. Nevertheless, we want to be ready for the future growth.” After a highly successful double digit growth in 2018/19, the group is cautiously optimistic about the present FY’s performance.

The group’s expansion plans are set to be aimed at enhancing capacities, unblocking the bottlenecks and more importantly, on the IT Infrastructure. Mr Murugappan added, “We plan to invest more in R&D, which is one of our long term goals. More than 18 patents were filed during 2018/19 largely in the field of material sciences. We plan to monetize a large part of these patents during this term.” Murugappa Group is now on the process of preparing for the next wave of opportunities, to increase the business.

Mr Sridhar Rangarajan, President & Group CFO, addressed that the group’s profit after tax (PAT) grew up about 18 percent at Rs 2880 crore, while the Net sales increased by 12 percent to Rs 36,893 crore in the last FY.

The market leader in abrasives, Carborundum Universal (CUMI), is set to ramp up the capacity of coated products and metallised cylinders for this FY as part of the plans, according to the Group CFO.

Murugappa Group is also set to invest close to Rs 200 crore in the IT Infrastructure of its financial and insurance businesses.

The Engineering businesses of the group, which comprises of Carborundum and Tube Investments, recorded a revenue growth of close to about 15 per cent at Rs 8,119 crore, while financial services businesses, Chola NBFC and Chola MS Insurance, saw a revenue increase by 15 per cent at Rs 11,537 crore.

“In the side of agriculture business, Coromandel International’s revenue grew 19 percent. Phosphoric acid and the capacity increase for the pesticide business will be the key areas of focus for Coromandel during this FY.” added Mr Sridhar.

As a proud moment for the Murugappa Group, ISRO (Indian Space Research Organisation) has chosen CUMI as its commercial manufacturer and input supplier. CUMI will now supply and collaborate with the people, with whom ISRO works with.

In the previous FY, Murugappa has also achieved bringing down the group’s long-term debt to about Rs 825 crore from Rs 1625 crore, two years back in 2016/17. This meant that all the companies were generating good profit, which contributed to reducing the debts.

“There has also been a substantial growth in the networking capital, which is reflecting on the growth we have seen in all the business. Overall, the top-line growth is coming well for the group, balance sheet has strengthened, debts are coming down and free cash flows helped. All the capex we planned are on track. We continue to invest so that future of the group is secured,” said Mr Sridhar.

Murugappa Group has a very diverse workforce, with multiple nationalities working together across their geographical presence. According to Mr Murugappan, most of the Senior Managerial roles are currently held by women and the group even has an all-women assembly line at their manufacturing plant in Hosur.

Partnerships with numerous domestic and international academic institutions have been signed, in order to conduct campaigns and student development programs. The group also asserts the importance of employee health and fitness, and strives to have a stress-free work environment.