GSL - Gearing up for future maritime security requirements

Established unique benchmark in Indian shipbuilding industry with delivery of 23 ships in the last four years, all ahead of schedule, amounting to gross tonnage of 32,000 tonnes, highest in the industry. The throughput achieved with three times increase in VoP and four-anda-half times increase in profit in four years validates the processes and productivity which has been consistently increasing year on year. SP’s ShowNews in conversation with Rear Admiral Shekhar Mital (Retd), Chairman and Managing Director, Goa Shipyard Ltd.

Show: Defexpo India 2018 - Day 2
Rear Admiral Shekhar Mital (Retd), CMD, GSL

SP's ShowNews (SP's): GSL has shown sharp improvements in the financial results year on year over last four years coupled with consistent delivery of 100 per cent projects ahead of schedule. How has the company manage to achieve these superlative results in such a short span of time?

Rear Admiral Shekhar Mital (Retd) (Mital): The Company has experienced exponential growth in the last few years with VoP jumping three times from 500 crore in FY 13-14 to 1,400 crore in FY 17-18 and PBT increasing about 4.5 times from (-)63 crore in FY 13-14 to 290 crore in FY 17-18. Year after year, the Shipyard has been reporting highest operating profit in the industry. This becomes particularly more impressive when growth of 30 per cent achieved in the last four years is compared with other shipyards operating under similar ecosystem. We have delivered 23 ships in last four years including 9 OPVs, 2 FPV, 11 FIBs, 2 1,000T fuel Barge and 2 Damage Control Simulator which amounts to 32,000 tonnes of shipbuilding. This is highest in the shipbuilding industry, with the unique distinction of attaining all deliveries prior contractual schedule, the biggest sore point and complaint area in shipbuilding industry.

The Shipyard has recently completed Coast Guard Advanced Offshore Patrol Vessel Project in November 2017. It is a matter of pride that project was completed in five years from 2012-17 with all six vessels delivered ahead of schedule and build period of 2,400 tonne OPVs reduced to 36 months from 67 months taken earlier for last OPVs built by GSL.

The slew of measures undertaken for this turnaround include strategic realignment of priorities, strict cost control measures, stringent monitoring mechanisms, seamless coordination amongst various stake holders, accountability of personnel, on the spot decisions, fast tracked approvals and effective supply chain management. This of course comes only with sound understanding of technical and financial issues required in running shipyard efficiently.

SP's: The Shipyard has established itself as the leading exporter with successful execution of multiple exports projects. Can you tell us something about that?

Mital: Shipyard’s share of exports have been increasing year after year and in the last three years alone it has delivered two OPV to Sri Lanka, 11 FIBs and 2 FPVs to Mauritius, and a Damage Control Simulator to Myanmar. The two Sri Lankan OPVs are the biggest warships to be exported from India and largest in the Sri Lankan fleet. Share of exports in VoP in the last financial year 16-17 was 40 per cent at approximately 400 crore and for FY 17-18 and it is likely to be 550 crore. With these figures, the Shipyard has emerged as the largest exporter of defence ships from Indian sub-continent and was given Raksha Mantri’s award for ‘Best performing in export amongst all DPSUs’ for FY 14-15.

SP's: Can you give us insight into the future plans of the Shipyard?

Mital: MCMV - Considering the grim shortfall of Mine Counter Measure Vessels (MCMVs) with the Indian Navy, GSL has taken cue from ‘Make in India’ initiative of Government of India and taken up the challenge of constructing all 12 High technology MCMVs indigenously at GSL. We have to put majority of infrastructure, expertise and planning into place to be able to start construction of the MCMVs by 2019. The requisite infrastructure is nearing completion and Phase 3A was inaugurated by Hon’ble Prime Minister on November 13, 2016, which reflects the importance attached to this Project. Since there are only two technology providers in the world for required niche technology of MCMVs, there were certain commercial issues faced during negotiations. To overcome that EOI has already been reissued seeking transfer of MCMV technology and expect to move forward rapidly. It is to be appreciated that such mega projects involves considerable planning, finalisation of build strategy, positioning of resources before start of Project and I am happy to state that we will be ready to start construction immediately on conclusion of ToT agreement and conclusion of PNC with the government.

Missile Frigates - GSL has been entrusted with construction of Two Advanced Missile Frigates for the Indian Navy under ToT with Russia. The first two ships of the class will be constructed at Russia and the next two will be constructed at GSL under ToT. The PNC for the Project is in advanced stage of conclusion and preparatory activities are in full swing to commence construction by 2020/21.

The Shipyard has taken lot of initiatives for ‘Make in India’ is always on the lookout to get most advanced and niche shipbuilding technology to India through collaboration/ToT. You will shortly be hearing a lot from us regarding our initiatives towards indigenisation and ‘Make in India’ to bridge the technology gap.

With excellent track record of deliveries and build Quality, the Shipyard is determined to continue its exponential growth and provide quality indigenous solutions to our maritime security agencies.