Sanjiv Goenka, chairman of CESC shared his views and outlook on the economy, the power business, plant load factors and Too Yumm.
Speaking on economic slowdown, he said, “I do not believe that you can take one quarter’s numbers and extrapolate it too really surmise or opine on the state of the whole country's economy. One has to see there has been fundamental structural reforms that have taken place in multiple areas. It is a new way of governance, it is a new way of doing business and the reforms that have happened are a structural improvement, a huge improvement."
"It is not just one step forward but many steps forward. So, I think you have to look at the whole thing in a total context and not look at numbers or statistics in isolation," he added.
According to him, every economy will have ups and downs, you cannot just have one way up. "So, if we structurally succeed in changing the way the Prime Minister and the Home Minister and the Finance Minister intend and are sort of steering the economy in that direction, I think it would be great," he said.
Talking about the power business and plant load factors (PLFs), he said, “The PLFs have been decent in October and November. As far as the first half is concerned, we sold more units than we did in the previous year, so sales were higher but exports of power were lower. However, October and November overall this year is better than October and November of the last period.”
With regards to capacity, he said “You had too much of generation capacity which was installed too soon and it takes little bit of time for demand to catch up with the supply. In the next may be 12-24 months you will see the national PLF rates going up definitely,” he noted.
On pending tariff revisions, Goenka said, “We have not got any revisions of tariffs for the last couple of years.”
When asked about the Rajasthan Distribution franchisee, he said, “Bikaner and Bharatpur are doing well. Both are at break-even or at break-even plus but we are having issues in Kota. There are issues of minorities and some interference by political officials." So, Kota is taking a little longer than we had anticipated. But the other two have gone well, he added.
Talking about power purchase agreements, he said they are not looking at any fresh PPAs in the near-term but hopefully going forward there should be some more agreements. With regards to the the recent PPA, he said it would help Dhariwal unit to break-even at a cash level. So now there would be no cash losses and would be able to cover interest completely, which is a very big positive, he added.
On Too-Yumm’s growth, he said, he was not confident of maintaining growth levels seen earlier because as they go into rural India, they have noticed that rural India couldn't care whether the snack is baked or fried. For them the only thing that mattress is taste and in fact would prefer if it is fried.
"So in terms of pioneering the creation of a category which is guilt-free snacking, Too Yum has singularly achieved it and now, most of the fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) majors are actually entering this space which is great but I think that rate of growth we are not seeing in rural India and I think we are now going to rejig our portfolio for rural India and we will have other products, which we will be launching very soon,” he specified.