Wealth creation for nation-building as a core value, Darwin Platform Group of Companies (DPGC) has now embarked on a new journey to expand its operations in high growth sectors and acquire nation’s assets like public enterprises to make them more vibrant and profitable with innovative business models. In the last three years, DPGC a leading Indian Global Business Conglomerate with $6.4 billion net worth, aggressively participated in the bidding process for acquiring grounded Jet Airways and huge loss-making but prestigious public carrier Air India.
DPGC with its 21 associate companies, operates in 11 countries and has entered into several sectors including Finance, Banking, Healthcare, Aviation & Avitronics, Shipping, Realty, Retail, Infrastructure, Energy, Information Technology, and Mass Media. While bidding for Air India and Jet Airways aimed at expanding wings in the aviation sector, now DPGC is in the big league by submitting biding documents for the government–owned Shipping Corporation of India Ltd (SCIL). DPGC submitted its ‘Expression of Interest’ on March 1, the last day for bidding, and emerged as a surprise entrant in the race to acquire SCIL.
DPGC’s move is perfectly aligned with the government’s disinvestment plans. In the Budget speech for 2021-22, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had said, “Many transactions namely Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd, Air India, Shipping Corp of India, Container Corp of India, IDBI Bank, BEML Ltd, Pawan Hans, Neelachal Ispat Nigam Ltd among others would be completed in 2021-22.” To meet the disinvestment targets of the government, the Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM) initiated the bidding process for SCIL recently. In December 2020, DIPAM had invited expressions of interest (EoI) for strategic disinvestment of its entire stake of 63.75 percent in SCIL along with the transfer of management. The last date for submitting the bids was February 13, which was later extended to March 1.
SCIL is among the list of high-profile privatisations likely to be completed in 2021-22. The government had approved the sale earlier but the pandemic hurt the sale process. Now, with the fast recovery of the economy and robust response from big global companies such as DPGC, Vedanta, the government can expect a better offer for its shipping enterprise.
With the surprise entry of DPGC into the bidding process at the last moment, the Group is now all set to give tough competition to several global giants and big consortiums in the sector. Media reports reveal that for SCIL Great Eastern (GE) Shipping, a consortium comprising Prem Watsa’s Fairfax and the UAE’s Safe Seas, and Anil Agarwal’s Vedanta Group, a consortium led by Foresight Group, comprising Belgium listed shipping company Exmar and Dubai-based shipping company GMS DMCC, and Seven Islands, a Mumbai-based logistics company are the main bidders. Now with the entry of DPGC, the race is expected to become interesting and tough.
Ajay Harinath Singh, Chairman and Managing Director, DPGC confirmed that his Group has submitted its bid documents and entered into the race for SCIL. “Given the tough competition with several big global players, we have earmarked enough resources to meet all the requirements. Earlier in 2019, we had bid for Jet Airways and looked for Air India also but our efforts could not yield positive results. Wealth creation for nation-building is our core value and we would be very proud if we emerge as a winner for SCIL with the highest bidder tag. A company like SCIL would strengthen our positioning in the Shipping sector,” he said.
The move is yet another initiative by DPGC led by the young global entrepreneur Ajay Harinath Singh- The Prince of Sultanpur and the descendent of the Ikshvaku clan. He comes from Lava (The Son of Lord Rama) lineage. Lava belongs to the Ishkavaku clan or Suryavanshi Dynasty of Kshatriya in ancient India and Ajay Harinath Singh’s caste, Suryavanshi claims their descent from Lava. With a glorious lineage, Ajay Harinath Singh is passionate about nation-building through strong and innovative models. The ultimate aim of DPGC’s businesses and initiatives in India is to boost the economy. He was recently honoured with the Times Men of the Year 2020 award for being an ‘Innovative Multipreneur’
Over the years, DPGC has made rapid progress in several sectors with its associate companies which include Darwin Platform Capital, Darwin Platform Holding, Darwin Platform Shipping, and Darwin Platform Infrastructure.
“We are operating in several high growth sectors and would like to expand our operations further. We are a debt-free company and would meet the funding requirement for acquisition from our internal sources. The SCIL has unmatched expertise and would be instrumental in tapping the huge opportunities the shipping sector offers in India and globally,” added Singh.
Established in 1996 by young and innovative entrepreneur Ajay Harinath Singh who is known as Young Turk in the global business circle, the Group has emerged as one of the fastest-growing Indian global business conglomerates. As the company has enough resources to meet its expansion plans, internal and external borrowings are not on his business agenda currently. The group has taken a considerable lead in adopting innovative business models and has established its credibility as a wealth creator with a passion for nation-building. Usually, Indian industry and businessmen accord priority to profit, but DPGC has surpassed industry’s expectations not only in terms of revenue earning but also contributing significantly to India’s goal of self-reliance (Atmanirbhar Bharat). The group has ambitious plans for the shipping sector in the country and the bid for the SCIL is part of that strategy.
Source: Economic Times