garden reach shipbuilders expects new contracts to swell order book to rs 28,000 cr

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The Kolkata-based Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers Ltd (GRSE), a state-owned supplier to the Indian Navy, expects a three-fold increase in its top-line by 2021-22, riding on a mammoth order book position, according to the Chairman and Managing Director, Rear Admiral (retired) V. K. Saxena.

GRSE reported a net profit of Rs 86 crore on a turnover of Rs 14,000 crore in 2017-18. The company has an order book of nearly Rs 23,000 crore, which is expected to swell to Rs 28,000 crore with some new contracts, which are in an advanced stage of finalisation.

“We have been selected as the lowest bidder for supplying eight ASW (anti-submarine warfare) shallow-water craft. The contracts are expected to be finalised in the next two to three months, increasing the order book size from Rs 23,000 crore to Rs 28,000 crore,” Saxena told news-persons on the sidelines of a CII conference.

Of the existing orders, nearly 90 per cent came through the nomination route for supplying three stealth missile frigates of 6,600 tonnes each. GRSE has been making frigates for a long time, but the current ones are one of the largest the company has ever made, he said.

To ensure cost efficiency, the company would outsource 60-70 per cent of the jobs (non-core activities), opening the scope for private sector participation. “It is not possible for us to execute such large orders completely on our own and we need to build a reliable partnership,” he said.

Earlier, talking on “Industry defence linkage”, the GRSE Chairman proposed that academic institutions should focus on capacity building in cutting-edge technologies such as artificial intelligence and robotics.

“The developed countries are aggressively working on these areas, but we are still in catching-up mode,” Saxena said. GRSE is looking forward to new-age technological options to reduce costs and improve efficiency.

Inviting the private sector to tap the wave of opportunities in the defence sector he said both the Indian Navy and the Coast Guard were aiming to increase their fleet strength to 200 each by 2027. The Navy currently has 140 ships, while the Coast Guard owns approximately 120.

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