The good days appear to be on the horizon - finally. The past two years have witnessed a roar of government initiatives and announcements such as Make in India, Digital India, Swacch Bharat Mission, Smart Cities, Skill Development, Startup India, Model Building Bye-Laws, Real Estate Regulatory Bill, Ease of Doing Business. Most have come at a time when the sector has been reeling under debt stress and low demand, but they are set to form bulwarks to shore up the sector. Compared to FY15, when many government proposals were still to materialise on ground, FY16 began to witness moderate construction activity, even a pickup in road construction.
Despite the slow pickup and sluggishness in the recent past, there has been no looking back for some bravehearts. An indefatigable spirit and smart strategies have helped a number of construction and infrastructure companies to confront and overcome the roadblocks and make it to CW´s list of Top Challengers of 2015-16. These were organisations that grew their top line and bottom line (as in March 2016), stayed profitable, and managed to keep their financial health within defined debt limits. These winners include companies engaged in contracting, engineering, building materials and equipment.
To select our Top Challengers from various segments related to the construction value chain, we followed a rigorous method by focusing on parameters such as net sales, PBDIT and net profit after tax. While sales figures are important as they reflect demand for products or services, PBDIT figures guide us on how the company is performing operationally and its efficiency. And net profit clearly shows how much is left for shareholders. Further, we observed whether these companies have risked their debt profile or leveraged too much and, hence, parameters like total debt and net worth have been examined. Inventory levels and receivables have also been observed to eliminate inefficiency. Such stringent evaluation helped us pinpoint the challengers who have shown their true mettle.
We have selected companies that have shown improvement in at least two of the above parameters. However, if the company managed to show an increase in sales but failed to show improvement in PBDIT and net profit, it has not been considered. For companies with fiscal closing other than March 2016, the trailing eight quarter financial performances were considered. Companies that have not yet announced their March 2016 quarter results have not been considered. A few organisations chose not to participate in this process and hence do not figure in the list. Real-estate companies have not been considered in this study. And only the top two companies were considered in the building materials and equipment categories.
To rank the companies, we provided a weighted average to three parameters: 40 per cent to sales, being a prime growth driver, 35 per cent to PBDIT and 25 per cent to net profit. After ranking the companies on growth in percentage terms (FY16 over FY15), the rankings were provided with weightages. This process rationalised the ranking process and all players were rated on similar grounds. In some cases, we offered the selection panel the right to veto by adhering to qualitative factors. The final list is an extensive one and the panel has taken into account almost all aspects that needed to be considered. The companies have not been listed in order of ranking as the purpose was only to choose companies from diverse sectors that have braved the odds.
These Top Challengers are being felicitated at the 14th CONSTRUCTION WORLD ANNUAL AWARDS in Mumbai. Read on for strategic insights into how these companies (listed in alphabetical order) have fought against the odds in the last fiscal -û and demonstrated their mettle.
The Top Challengers of 2015-16
Action Construction equipment
Ahluwalia Contracts India
IRB Infrastructure developers
Kansai Nerolac Paints
Pennar Engineered building systems
Sector: building systems