Mishra Dhatu Nigam (MIDHANI), a defence PSU engaged in manufacturing of special materials, alloys and other products for use in high-tech industries and sectors of strategic importance, is taking up a major revamping exercise. Dinesh Kumar Likhi, CMD, talks to Deepthi Nandan Reddy about its expansion plans. Excerpts:
Are you happy with the Budget allocation to the defence sector?
There is talk that allocations to defence amount to just 1.58 per cent of the GDP. But, that is not the only way to look at it. In absolute terms, allocation to defence is increasing year-on-year. This will create more opportunities for players such as MIDHANI that strive for self sufficiency in sectors of strategic importance like defence, aerospace etc. We are in the process of entering new areas and increasing market share. We also have collaboration with a German team to revamp our technology and spur our future growth activities.
What’s the status of your Rohtak plant for bullet-proof products?
Land has been acquired for the Rohtak plant, which will manufacture bullet-proof jackets, bullet-proof vehicles and similar products for the armed forces. We already have the required technology and human resources for the plant. This facility will come up by the end of this year. Already, our armoured bus is being used by the forces in Kashmir.
What are your capex plans for this year?
Demand for special steel, superalloy, titanium alloy and aluminum alloy is expected to increase, as indigenous manufacturing is going up in defence and related sectors. We are already a leading player in manufacturing of special steels and we are the only player to manufacture titanium in India. While we are focusing on improving our titanium production from 250 tonnes at present, we are also planning to enter aluminum production in a big way. We are setting up an aluminium alloy manufacturing facility at Nellore in Andhra Pradesh with an investment outlay of `3,000 crore. It is a joint venture with NALCO and we have already acquired land for the facility. A foreign player will also join as a technology partner, who will do the hand holding. Right now, detailed project report is being prepared.
What are your growth projections for this year and the next?
MIDHANI achieved a sales of `810 crore in FY17, registering an eight per cent growth rate. We’re planning to maintain the growth rate in FY18 but are confident of doubling it over the next two to three years as our facilities and initiatives will increase our market. Our aim is to double the income by 2022 and achieve about `2,000 crore turnover. Our new projects at Nellore and Rohtak will transform MIDHANI from a single-location company to a multi-location one with increased capacity and ability to supply the specialty and hitech products required in defence, aeronautics, atomic energy, general engineering industries and other strategic applications.