Richest Indian Gautam Adani on Tuesday said his ports-to-energy conglomerate never slowed or stopped investing in the country as the group’s success is based on its alignment with the India growth story. Speaking at the annual shareholder meeting of the group companies, he said the previously announced USD 70 billion investment in new energy business will help turn India from being a net importer of oil and gas to an exporter of clean energy.
“Never have we walked away from investing in India, never have we slowed our investments,” he said. “We believe our scale, our diversified business, and our track record of performance positions us very strongly to continue to perform well in a variety of market conditions.” The success of the Adani Group, he said, is based on its alignment with the India growth story.
Starting off as a commodity trader in 1988, the Adani group has over the years diversified into sea ports, producing coal, energy distribution, airports, data centres and more recently into cement and copper. It is now bidding to acquire 5G telecom spectrum to set up a private network. “The best evidence which showcased our confidence and belief in the future – is our investment of USD 70 billion in facilitating India’s green transition,” Adani, the chairman of the group, said. Adani Green Energy Ltd (AGEL), one of the world’s largest solar power developers, is targeting 45 gigawatts of renewable energy capacity by 2030 and will invest USD 20 billion to develop a 2 GW per year solar manufacturing capacity by 2022-23.
The group will invest the rest of the money in creating manufacturing facilities to produce green hydrogen.”Our strength in renewables will empower us enormously in the effort to make green hydrogen the fuel of the future,” he said. “We are leading the race to turn India from a country over-reliant on import of oil and gas, to a country that might one day become a net exporter of clean energy. A transformation which will help reshape India’s energy footprint in an extraordinary way.” Adani said the group continues to grow as “builders of India’s infrastructure”, winning large road contracts and expanding business ranging from ports and logistics to power transmission and distribution and city gas utility.
It has now become the second largest cement manufacturer in the country with the acquisition of Holcim’s assets in India (ACC and Ambuja Cement), on top of being the nation’s largest airport operator. The group now holds a major global renewable energies portfolio.”This is a classic example of our adjacency-based business model at work,” he said. “In addition, we have also made entries in sectors ranging from data centres, digital super apps, and industrial clouds to defence and aerospace, metals, and materials.” Across six listed entities, the group’s market capitalization this year exceeded USD 200 billion.
“We were able to raise billions of dollars from the international markets – a direct validation of confidence in the India and Adani growth story,” he said. “Our growth and success have been recognised around the world. Several foreign governments are now approaching us to work in their geographies and help build their infrastructure.” This, he said, laid the foundation to seek a broader expansion beyond India’s boundaries. He, however, did not elaborate.
“Our rising market capitalisation has been supported by robust and sustained growth in our cash flows. Our focus on operational excellence across our portfolio and the accretive capacity addition delivered an EBITDA growth of 26 per cent. Portfolio EBITDA stood at Rs 42,623 crores,” he said.This diversified growth in FY22 was reflected across its range of businesses – the utility portfolio grew by 26 per cent, transport and logistics portfolio grew by 19 per cent, FMCG portfolio grew by 34 per cent, and Adani Enterprises Ltd – its incubator business – by 45 per cent.
“AEL’s unique business model has no parallel and we intend to leverage this further. The high growth of AEL provides the Group with a reliable foundation for the continued development of new businesses for yet another big decade,” he said. Adani said his group has in two decades become India’s largest integrated infrastructure business. “This has resulted in our transformation into an integrated ‘platform of platforms’ that combines an energy platform with a logistics platform – both of which help us with unprecedented access to the Indian consumer. “I today know of no company that has such a unique business model with potential access to an unlimited B2B and B2C market for the next several decades,” he said.