Porcelain insulator maker WS Industries shifts focus to infra development

June 24, 2023 09:41 pm | Updated 09:41 pm IST - CHENNAI

Chennai-based WS Industries Ltd. (WSIL), which had gone into oblivion, said it is betting on its huge land bank in and around Chennai to develop IT and logistics parks and electronics factories to revive fortunes.

The six-decade-old manufacturer of porcelain insulators for electrical transmission lines shut down its business unit at Porur during November 2018 on various reasons.

However, it is back in the limelight after the takeover in June last year by its new promoters who are said to have two decades of experience in the infrastructure segment.

“WSIL was out of business for almost 10 years,” whole-time director K.V. Prakash said during an analysts call.

“The insulator business is very challenging and so it was phased out. We don’t intend restarting the business. Currently, the new set of promoters [our specialties] is in the infra segment. So, we intend carrying this business to the next level and as you can see, the turnover has shown a significant increase,” he said.

Mr. Prakash said that WSIL is in advanced stage of discussion with a leading realtor to develop its 7-acre property in Porur into a 1 million square feet IT/ITES building. This would be completed in 36-48 months. A government order to this effect has been obtained and the partnership will be announced soon, he added.

Besides, WSIL is also in advanced stage of signing up orders worth about ₹400-500 crore in the next quarter. 

“In the infra segment, we’ve executed the storm water drain project to the tune of ₹70 crore in Chennai and another one for ₹47 crore. We are also constructing a bus terminus at Tiruchi estimated at ₹200 crore,” he said.

According to him, the macro drain project in Chennai will be completed by March 2024, the storm water drain work by May 2024 and the bus terminal at Tiruchi by September 2024.

Recently, WSIL acquired 254 acres in Sunguvarchatram belonging to the erstwhile IVRCL. The acquisition came with 150-acre pre-approval by the State Government for building light engineering, warehousing and electronic factories.

“The combined expertise of the new promoters in the infra segment, the turnover of the group and related party entities, is about ₹4,000 crore. They have experience for the last two decades in the infrastructure segment and are also working on the government projects. So, that is going to be our biggest strength,” he said.

The recent announcement of two big orders in the infra segment saw WSIL shares hitting a 52-week high on the NSE from ₹13.10 to ₹103.10.

For FY23, the company reported a net profit of ₹20 crore against a loss of ₹59 crore and revenue of ₹80 crore against nil.

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