Ajay Harinath Singh, the group chairman, of Darwin Platform Group of Companies, speaks about the steady growth of his group & their dedication to nation-building through wealth creation
You have one more feather in the cap with the ONGC contract for oil blocks. How do you see your entry into the oil exploration and production sector?
The Darwin Platform Group of Companies (DPGC) was keen on oil fields to cater to the energy requirements of India. Winning a bid for four oil blocks from state-run ONGC is a breakthrough for us. We will be embarking on a new journey with our entry into this high-growth oil and gas sector. We have won a bid for four oil blocks in contract areas (CA) of Rajahmundry, Ahmedabad, Cauvery and Assam Assets.
Oil exploration and production require enormous investments since it is a capital-intensive sector. We expect global players to invest both in exploration technology and the oil recovery process. We will strive to bring investments to the industry. Global oil and investment giants from UAE and the UK are likely to invest nearly $1 billion (approximately Rs 7,700 crore) in oil fields recently awarded to us. Several UAE and UK- based energy and investment sectors’ global players, including international financing agencies, have shown interest in joining ur. With technical and financing support coming from them, DPGC aims to bring positive socio-economic effects to its nation-building exercise. What’s next from the Darwin Platform?
Going forward, nation-building would remain a priority. Over the years, DPGC, with innovative business models, has been creating wealth for the nation. With focussed investments in the high-growth sector, we will be further accelerating the Atmanirbhar Bharat and Vocal for Local campaigns. After carving a niche in several sectors, energy/refineries, defence production, renewable energy, new-age technologies, green mobility and infrastructure as also several sunrise sectors would be our main focus areas.
Future-ready and purpose-driven businesses and brands will cater to the growing requirements of the nation from these sectors. We will seize emerging opportunities and meaningfully contribute to national priorities. In order to achieve these goals and create value for our stakeholders, we will focus more on technological transformation, innovative capacity building, structural cost optimisation, sustainability and empowering the team. The next level of growth would be achieved through these tools and best practices.
What are the main focus areas for DPGC over the next five years?
It is green energy, infrastructure and mobility. We are aligning our businesses to promote a green economy. It isn’t just green mobility with our electric vehicle company but several other group companies will follow a proactive strategy of decarbonisation.
Along with EV, we will foray into the renewable energy and green infrastructure sector. We have won the bid for Lavasa Smart City and once approvals are in place, we will develop the world-class city as an epitome of green infrastructure. I believe that if Lavasa is completed, it would give a boost to India’s Smart City Mission for 100 such cities.
We will also expand our existing businesses like energy/refineries, retail, real estate, and logistics. We are hopeful that over the next five years, DPGC would carve a niche in the defence production segment as well with its revolutionary products based on molecular nanotechnology (MNT) for Indian forces. Overall, our main focus will be on nation-building through wealth creation which is our core value. A strong nation needs to ensure sustainable livelihoods for its citizens Hence, creating millions of employment opportunities would be our top priority.
Fear of worldwide recession and economic crisis is looming large. How is India coping?
The entire world is going through VUCA (volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity) times. We have responded to the pandemic with resilience and managed it well. Now global risks have got accentuated by geo-political tensions especially the Russia-Ukraine war and severe economic stress caused by untamed inflation and supply-side disruptions. The recessionary trends and debt crises in certain geographies are also of concern to the global economy. There is an apprehension about food and energy security worsening. All these are possible threats to society and can lead to bigger inequities. Amidst this, the stark sustainability challenges continue unabated, with climate change becoming an existential threat and livelihood generation — a daunting task for nations across the world. Amid such a VUCA situation, India has demonstrated significant resilience and achieved robust recovery driven by the government’s proactive policy measures. I find that the Indian story is still intact and the economy is poised to remain one of the fastest-growing in the world. The government and the industry have been astutely addressing the near-term challenges. India has continued to focus on economic reforms and policy interventions to enhance the competitiveness of the economy and these measures will take us to the next level of advancement.