India's Top 500 Companies 2016

India's Top 500 Companies 2016


Please give us a brief profile of your company and the business it is engaged in.

Established in 1981, we are a leading manufacturer of transmission & distribution structures (towers & poles) and plastic water pipes. With more than 35 years of domain knowledge in both the power and water segments, it is a crucial player to support infrastructure and power projects. It is one of the world’s largest integrated transmission tower manufacturing companies, with angle rolling, tower, accessories & fastener manufacturing and EPC line construction. Our manufacturing capacity is among the top three in India and among the top ten in the world. It is the only company in India which has a control over the complete value chain, resulting in control of 80% of costs for any tower line project. The global market reach spans across 20 countries, some of which are from South America, Europe, Africa, the Middle East, South and Southeast Asia and Australia. Skipper is also one of the largest producers of plastic pipes in Eastern India. Apart from West Bengal, the company has already set up plants in Ahmedabad, Sikandrabad & Guwahati making it a national brand. It offers a huge range of polymer based pipes and fittings, which are used in different areas such as plumbing, sewage, agriculture and borewell sectors.

What was the thought and motivation for the inception of the company? Kindly describe the key milestones achieved by the company.

We have successfully and profitably grown our business by focusing on the two most critical ingredients for human survival and progress - power and water. These two resources touch almost all spheres of human life; and in a developing society like India with a billion-plus population, the ability to provide adequate power and water to a large proportion of the population will determine the nation’s socio-economic wellbeing for the long term.

Our Key Milestones:

1990 Company entered into manufacturing of Telecom Towers & Masts
2005 Set up First Galvanizing Plant
  • Achieved INR 1 Billion in revenue
  • Got Power Grid approval for Tower Unit & first order itself was for 400kV towers (the highest voltage level at that point of time)
  • Entered into manufacturing tie up with Ramboll, Denmark – The World’s largest Tower Design Company
  • Got India’s 1st order for 800kV Transmission Towers from PGCIL
  • Commissioned Uluberia, West Bengal Unit with 1st Polymer Products Unit and India’s first double side Tube GI Plant
2010 Entered into backward integration of Tower manufacturing by way of Angle Mill
  • Achieved INR 10 Billion in revenue
  • Entered into an alliance agreement with South America’s largest TSO for exclusive supply of their Transmission Project
  • Executed several prestigious & challenging orders, having a diversified order book of both national and international orders
  • Awarded “Fastest Growing Transmission Tower Manufacturing Company “ by CNBC TV 18
  • Equity Shares listed with National Stock Exchange (NSE) & Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE)
  • Commissioned Polymer Products Plants at Ahmedabad, Guwahati & Sikandrabad
  • Technological Tie Up with Sekisui of Japan for CPVC compound
  • The company recorded a gross revenue of INR 16 Billion
  • Won ‘The Best Industry in Water Resources Sector’ by the Central Board of Irrigation and Power
  • Awarded “The Largest Tower Supplier” in Tower Supply Category by PGCIL
  • The export revenue growth of the company rose from 5% to 45%

What specific strategies did your company follow to reach today's pinnacle?

The company management had set comprehensive strategies to achieve the long term goal. Few measures listed below acted as a major boon for company’s growth & diversification.

Asset-Light Strategy for Improving ROE

The company adopted the strategy of Asset Light Model for its Polymer business segment expansion. The strategy allows prudent capital allocation and we expect the strategy to generate better returns.

Ready for Large – Scale Project orders

With a 200,000 MTPA capacity, Skipper is among the top 3 tower producers in the country and also among the top 10 globally. The company in the past has consistently increased it’s manufacturing capacity to be ready for greater market opportunities. Today, the company has the scale and experience to implement large T&D orders of the highest voltage levels and has successfully done so in the past. In the Polymer Pipes segment, Skipper plans to increase its capacity to 100,000 MTPA by 2019 to meet the national water infrastructure requirement.

Location & Integrated business module

With operations in East, Skipper enjoys a 300 to 400 basis points margin advantage due to lower logistics & resource costs than other industry operators. The integrated business model of the company makes it less dependent on third parties and as a result enjoys better supply chain management

Strong Order Book

Skipper has maintained a 2x order book to sales ratio consistently which is also well diversified between domestic and international projects. This provides us revenue assurance for next 2 years and also helps maintain our margins.

Monopoles - A New Growth Driver as they require less ground space

Skipper has one of the largest designing facilities of Monopoles in the country with an application up to 400 kVA. They are the only solution for setting up transmission lines in a crowded urban setting, as they require less aerial and low ground consumption.

Investing in Human Resource

Skipper has always believed in investing in Human Resources. Our operation volumes are continuously increasing and so is our employee strength. At present Skipper has approximately 1,600 employees, including very high quality professionals at various levels from finance, engineering, technical, marketing and legal fields. Employees are provided with suitable training and guidance to improve performance. Incentives and rewards on various platforms to talented and result-oriented employees serve as a great motivation. The company has a policy of retaining talent by providing a comfortable work environment, good pay and attractive rewards.

What opportunities do you see for your sector in the next five years? How is your company planning to tap these opportunities?

T&D investment is high on government priority and power evacuation constraints and high transmission losses have attracted the attention of policy makers for more investments in the transmission infrastructure space to match the investment in power generation. The government has taken strong agenda for “Power for All” and announced several schemes to catalyze the growth like dedicated green energy transmission corridors are being developed to cater to renewable energy projects.

The per capita consumption of power in India is around 90 kVA per person, compared to the global per capita consumption of 313 kVA per person and China’s 447 kVA per person. The country’s growing population, rapid urbanization and accelerating industrialization will drive the demand for power consumption in the coming years. Further, growth in the power sector will be catalyzed by the government’s decision to create 100 smart cities, Rajiv Gandhi Grameen Vidyutikaran Yojana(RGGVY), Restructured Accelerated Power Development and Reforms Programme (R-APDRP), and North East India transmission investment. Current year budgetary allocation towards schemes in the power sector are up by over 50% to INR 122bn, with almost half to strengthen urban electrical network, smart metering and city-level GIS.

An approval to a new scheme – Ujwal DISCOM Assurance Yojna (UDAY) which provides for the financial turnaround and revival of power distribution companies, and importantly ensures a sustainable permanent solution to the problem. UDAY is a path breaking reform for realizing the Honourable Prime Minister’s vision of affordable and accessible 24x7 Power for All.

In fact, during 2015-16, the Government has set itself an ambitious target for awarding new transmission projects worth 1 lakh crore, and has announced huge investment plans in the water transmission and distribution space for the next few years. It has announced large projects, such as the National Rural Drinking Water Programme, Swachh Bharat and river interlinking. The thrust on water supply, irrigation, river management, along with improving sanitation, sewerage and urbanization is expected to drive the Polymer pipes and fittings markets.