By Satyaki Chakraborty
RITES, the public sector enterprise under the Ministry of Railways of the Government of India is making waves in the global market as the exporter of rolling stocks and project contractors. The developing countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America are wooing RITES to set up projects in their respective countries.
With a track record of over four decades, the company has undertaken projects in over 55 countries including Asia, Africa, Latin America, South America and Middle East regions. RITES Limited is the only export arm of Indian Railways for providing rolling stock overseas, other than Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia.
RITES provides diversified and comprehensive array of services from concept to commissioning in all facets of transport infrastructure and related technologies. Since the inception in 1974 it has evolved from its origin of providing transport infrastructure consultancy and quality assurance services into a multi-disciplinary engineering and consultancy organisation. A key thrust in its overseas projects is to actively pursue and develop cooperative links with local consultants and firms as means of maximum utilization of local resources and as an effective instrument of sharing its expertise.
RITES Limited was incorporated as a private limited company by the Ministry of Railways with the name `Rail India Technical and Economic Services Private Limited’ and had the benefit of being associated with such a large rail system as the Indian Railways. But two years later, the word `private’ was deleted from the name and subsequently the name was again changed to RITES Limited in the year 2000. In 2008, it was converted into a public limited company and upgraded to a Schedule A public sector enterprise. It had already been granted Mini Ratna category-I status and based on the Public Enterprise Survey 2015-16, the company was ranked No. 1 based on net profit and dividend declared in Industrial Development and Technical Consultancy Services sector.
While the company has significant presence in the railway sector, it also provides consultancy services across other infrastructure and energy market sectors, including urban transport, roads and highways, ports, inland waterways, airports, institutional buildings, ropeways, power procurement and renewable energy.
The company’s global foray began in 1975-76 when it entered into a consultancy agreement for conducting techno-economic study for Syrian Railways. During the year 1994-95, the company bagged an export contract for the supply of diesel locomotives to Nepal Railways. RITES Ltd’s important global deals include the lease of Locomotives in Mozambique and providing design, construction, supervision and post construction services for Francistown-Ramakgwebana Road project Botswana. In 2016-17, the company entered into an agreement with Metro Express Limited for providing construction management services for the Metro Express Project in Mauritius. Similarly, it secured its highest value export order of about Rs 680 crore from the Sri Lankan Railways for supply of locomotives and DMUs.
RITES Ltd’s clients within the country include various central and state governments, ministries, departments, instrumentalities as well as local government bodies and public sector undertakings. It has been associated with some of the most prestigious projects, such as Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation of India Limited, High Speed Rail Corporation of India Limited, Delhi Metro Rail Corporation, Steel Authority of India Limited, Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Limited, Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited, Bharat Coking Coal Limited, Metro Link Express for Gandhinagar and Ahmedabad (MEGA) Company Limited, Indian Port Rail Corporation Limited, Airports Authority of India and several others.
RITES also engages with various large private sector corporations, including L&T Metro Rail (Hyderabad), Kanti Bijlee Utpadan Nigam Limited (KBUNL), Cimmco Limited, Titagrah Wagons Limited, Snowmex Engineers Limited, Unity Infraprojects Limited, AFCON Infrastructure Limited, Indian Geotechnical Services Limited, Geokno India Private Limited and NATRIP Implementation Society, among others.
The consultancy project for providing services in relation to the Mass Rapid Transit System for the Delhi Government is considered one of the landmark deals of the company. As such, in 1998-99 the company entered into a contract with Delhi Metro – Phase I project for providing construction management and consultancy services to Delhi Metro Rail Corporation Limited. Similarly, in 2004-05, it bagged an order to provide design consultancy services for the 12.5 km long railway tunnel in the Pir- Panjal railway tunnel. It also has a railway concession agreement on PPP model by forming an SPV for Bhuj-Naliya corridor.
In 2009-10, RITES formed a Joint Venture Company (JVC) with SAIL for manufacturing of wagons including high end specialized wagons for Indian Railways and other domestic and overseas customers. Similarly, a subsidiary was formed with the Indian Railways in 2012-13 for the generation and procurement of power including through renewable energy.
During the year 2016-17, the company recorded the higher ever revenue of over Rs 1,500 crore in its history. Last year, the Government of India offloaded 2.52 crore equity shares of RITES via an initial public offer (IPO), which was priced at Rs 185 per share. After the successful completion of the IPO, the Government of India’s stake in RITES Limited came down to 87.38 per cent from 100 per cent.
RITES continues to turn in impressive numbers in terms of revenue, profit and business growth. The company posted a 70.1 per cent rise in standalone profit after tax (PAT) to Rs 131.82 crore for the fourth quarter of 2018-19, compared to Rs 77.46 crore in the same quarter for the previous year. Similarly, the standalone revenue during the January-March quarter increased to Rs 761.84 crore, compared with Rs 571.35 crore in the year-ago period. (IPA Service)