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The covid-19 led disruptions notwithstanding, consumption by India’s middle class will help create a $15-trillion economy in two decades, said Gautam Adani, chairman of Adani group, on Monday.

In his address to shareholders at the annual general meeting of Adani Enterprises, Adani also rejected "reckless, irresponsible reporting" about the company’s shareholding in June which caused unexpected fluctuations in the market prices of his group's stocks.

Adani added that there should be no doubt about India’s target to be a five-trillion-dollar economy in four years. "History has shown that, out of every pandemic crisis, there emerge several learnings – and I believe that India and the world are wiser as we go through this pandemic," he said.

"India will be 5 trillion-dollar economy--and then go on to be a 15 trillion-dollar-plus economy over the next two decades. India will emerge as one of the largest global markets, both in terms of consumption size and market cap," Adani told shareholders.

Referring to the drop in share prices of the group companies, Adani said the group's focus is on creating long-term sustainable value. “Recently, a few media houses indulged in reckless and irresponsible reporting related to administrative actions of regulators. This caused unexpected fluctuations in the market prices of Adani stocks. Unfortunately, some of our small investors were affected by this twisted narrative in which some commentators and journalists seemed to imply that companies have regulatory powers over their shareholders and that companies can compel disclosure. In the long term, such diversions will not impact us," he said.

For the fiscal year 2021, the consolidated EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization) of the group’s listed portfolio was over 32,000 crore: a year-on-year growth of 22%. “All the Adani stocks generated returns over 100 percent – and our businesses ensured that we returned close to 9,500 crore to you, our equity shareholders. This is a 166% increase in profit after tax on a year-on-year basis," he said.

Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone (APSEZ) has become an integrated ports and logistics company. In the financial year 2021, APSEZ crossed a landmark after its share of India’s port-based cargo business rose to 25% and the container segment market share grew to 41%. It continued to diversify further, with LNG & LPG business in Mundra added to the portfolio and LNG operations being added in Dhamra. “No other company in the world runs a port business of such scale and reach," he said.

Adani Green Energy, in 2020, became the largest solar company in the world. Last month, following the acquisition of SB Energy’s five-gigawatt portfolio, at an enterprise valuation of about $3.5 billion, the company pushed up to its renewables target of 25 gigawatts a full four years ahead of schedule, the company said.

Through Adani Enterprises, the group made its move into airports. Today, one of every four passengers in India flies through an Adani airport, he said. “No airport business in any large country has achieved a 25% share of the total passenger traffic. The company also took over operations of airports in Ahmedabad, Lucknow and Mangalore, signed concession agreements for Guwahati, Jaipur & Thiruvananthapuram, and is now in the process of acquiring the Mumbai and Navi Mumbai International Airports.

"In addition to developing our pan-India airport network, we are also increasing our focus to include non-passenger revenue and nurturing a range of possibilities within both – the physical and digital infrastructure," Adani said, adding that whatever businesses the group is in – seaports, airports, logistics, natural resources, thermal and renewable power generation, transmission, distribution, data centres, defence, agri and food, real estate, city gas utilities, and several others– " I believe that our real phase of accelerated growth is just beginning. This is because our Group benefits greatly from having a portfolio of companies with several strategic adjacencies that will fuel our future growth in a diverse range of sectors," he said.

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