It wasn´t all sunshine and roses last year. On the positive side, with the new government coming to power, the first six months saw some movement on the demand-supply side and new project announcements. However, the balance six months of FY15 was rather lacklustre as many of the government´s proposals were still to materialise on the ground and a major move - the Land Acquisition Bill - remained stuck in Parliament.
When the going gets tough, the tough gets going, they say. They´re right! Despite the sluggishness, several construction and infrastructure companies managed to confront and surpass the challenges and make it to CW´s list of Top Challengers of 2014-15.
These were organisations that grew their top line and bottom line (as of March 2015), 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, and we honour their resourcefulness and resilience.
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 how the demand for products or services is moving, PBDIT figures guide us on how the company is doing at the operational level and its efficiency. As for net profit, it 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 2015, the trailing eight quarter financial performances were considered. Companies that have not yet announced the March 2015 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.
To rank the companies, we provided a weighted average to three parameters: Fourty per cent to sales, being a prime growth driver, and 30 per cent each to profit before depreciation interest and tax (PBDIT) and profit after tax (PAT). After ranking the companies on growth in percentage terms (FY15 over FY14), 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 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. We have decided not to rank them as the purpose was only to choose companies from diverse sectors that have braved the odds.
Befitting their outstanding accomplishment, these Top Challengers will be felicitated at the 13th CONSTRUCTION WORLD ANNUAL AWARDS to be held on October 16, 2015, in Mumbai. Read on for strategic insights into how these bravehearts (listed in alphabetical order) fought against the odds in the last fiscal - and won.
The Top 15 Challengers of 2014-15
1.Ahluwalia Contracts India
2.Berger Paints India
Sector: Building Systems
6.Indian Hume Pipe
7.ITD Cementation India
8.Kansai Nerolac Paints
14.Sunil Hi Tech Engineers