| Business &
4 February - 17 February 2011
In an exclusive interview Debu Bhattacharya,
MD, Hindalco discloses why and how the metal
giant changed its strategies
B&E: Considering the high growth
opportunities, Hindalco shifted focus from India
to overseas markets and now aims to achieve
global leadership. How are you planning to fulfil
Debu Bhattacharya (DB):
True, we are now aiming to achieve a sustainable
global metal leadership. To fulfil it we have
aligned our strategies to deliver three objectives
cost leadership, price leadership and
capability leadership. While our thrust is on
coal and bauxite for the first target, we are
trying to be present across metals and geographies
with strong growth potential for the same. And
with Novelis on our board, our third target
has got a great boost as Novelis is a strong
name in high-end technology.
B&E: But realigning one's strategies
with a new focus is certainly not an easy task...
DB: These changes were decided
internally and we are working on them simultaneously.
As for copper business, the financial performance
suffered on account of planned shutdown of 3
weeks in one of the smelters. Then we needed
to offset these impacts by improving operational
efficiencies. Another example is our Jharkhand
Smelter. There is a total land requirement of
4,000 acres for the project. Land has been identified.
Application for acquisition of private land
has been submitted and acquisition of government
land to proceed after private land acquisition.
As for environmental clearance, application
is yet to be submitted after start of land acquisition.
Similarly, 94% of basic engineering and 60%
of detailed engineering is complete at our Mahan
Aluminium Greenfield Project. Major statutory
approvals are in place. There we have over 10,000
people working at the site. Then at Aditya refinery,
Alumina refinery commissioning will take place
by Q1 FY14. So we are moving along nicely with
our plans to achieve what we want.
B&E: What are your plans
on the global front?
DB: At Novelis, for example, we
are planning to increase production by around
20% by 2014. Novelis will increase its capacity
through brownfield expansions of plants in emerging
markets, such as Brazil. In fact, Novelis will
invest about $300 million in one of its Brazilian
factories to meet the growing demand for its
products in South America.
B&E: Do you think that
the measures taken by you have started showing
DB: Certainly. Despite production
loss at Hirakud, Hindalco has witnessed strong
results, mostly due to better productmix
and optimised performance of other plants. Moreover,
while our Utkal Alumina project is gearing up
for Q2 FY12 commissioning, the Jharkhand smelter
will start production by Q1 FY14. With these
we feel that our aluminium smelting capacity
will reach 1,638 kt by FY 2015 from 535 kt at