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Thursday, April 10, 2014

Gautam Adani, the baron to watch to ~ when Narendra Modi becomes the PM of Bharat

Gujarat with so many ports is a Mariner’s delight….there lies the Kutch district covering vast area, literally meaning something which intermittently becomes wet and dry; a large part of this district is known as Rann of Kutch which is shallow wetland which submerges in water during the rainy season and becomes dry during other seasons. The Sanskrit word however would trace its origin to  ‘a tortoise’.

Here is the place established by Rao Hamirji in 1510 ~ Bhuj, the  Capital of Kutch State.  On 21 July 1956 as well on 26 January 2001, the city was struck by  major earthquake which caused great deal of damage and loss of life and property. Gujarat Govt has ensured rehabilitation and reconstruction so well that the infrastructure is so well developed here now. The airstrip in Bhuj was destroyed in the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971, in air strikes in which Pakistani bombers dropped napalm bombs. The airfield was raided 35 times in 14 days with attacks by 92 bombs and 22 rockets. It was rebuilt during wartime by a group of 300 women from the nearby village of Madhapar who were given 72 hours to complete the task. Later the Government of India honoured them too. 

From Bhuj airport one can reach the nearer Port of Mundhra….  Now - Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone Limited (APSEZ) is India’s largest private multi-port operator – yes a Port operated by Private player ……….  APSEZ is a part of the Adani Group, a global integrated infrastructure player. The company (earlier known as Mundra Port & Special Economic Zone Ltd) changed its name to "Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone Limited" in Jan 2012.  While earlier, the company had only one operational port at Mundra, today it also operates ports at Dahej and Hazira in India and at Abbot Point in Australia. The company is also developing port infrastructure at Mormugao, Visakhapatnam and Kandla in India, Dudgeon Point in Australia and Bunyu in Indonesia.

APSEZ  located in Northern Gulf of Kutch, is India’s first multi-product port-based special economic zone (SEZ).  The port is  designed to handle all types of cargo viz. containers, dry bulk, break bulk, liquid cargo and automobiles. The marine infrastructure at APSEZ consists of ten (10) berths for handling dry bulk & break bulk cargo, three (3) berths for handling liquid cargo, six (6) container berths including a Ro-Ro berth, three (3) mechanised import cargo berths and 2 single point moorings for crude oil imports. The Port has its own fleet of tugs and pilots. APSEZ also owns a fleet of dredgers to carry out the capital and maintenance dredging activities and thereby ensuring that APSEZ has the deepest draft amongst all ports in India.

Gautam Adani is the Chairman of Adani Group. Gautam Adani is a first-generation entrepreneur who has led the Adani group from a modest background to create a $8 billion professionally managed empire in a relatively short period of time. He is said to be among the 100 most influential businessmen worldwide in the shipping trade and developing shipping related infrastructure. He has also been recognized for establishing the modern Mundra port which was selected as the best port in 2006 by the oldest and the most influential British publication for shipping business, Lloyd. …….and he is the baron to watch out for if Modi becomes PM.

Read this interesting piece in TOI of date.  :  In the late 1990s, an employee of Adani Exports took a wrong call in sugar trading, resulting in a 20-crore loss. Fearing a sacking, he apologized for the grave mistake and handed in his resignation letter. Gautam Adani, in his thirties then, tore up the resignation and told him with a smile: “I know you will not make a similar mistake in future because of this lesson. Why should your next employer benefit from this learning when Ihave paid the price for it?”

Old-timers remember Adani moving around in Ahmedabad on his Bajaj scooter during the 1980s while his childhood friend Malay Mahadevia — a dentist who now works with the group as a director of Adani Port and SEZ Ltd — rode on the pillion. The graduation for this college dropout, first to a Maruti 800, and now a fleet of BMWs and a Ferrari, has been spectacular. Apart from three helicopters, he has three Bombardier and Beechcraft planes. A picture of BJP’s PM candidate Narendra Modi alighting from one of these planes was recently released by AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal, who has trained guns on Adani and Mukesh Ambani for being beneficiaries of his ‘crony capitalism’. Adani, however, explains that he rents out his aircraft to BJP, or whoever asks for these services, at market rates.

His ability to make friends extends beyond India — he is known to have excellent relations with the political brass in Australia, where the group plans to invest $6 billion in a coal mine and port near Brisbane.  But the market believes Adani is the right man to back, given the seemingly bright chances of Modi becoming PM. ‘Adani is the Bachchan of his field’  ~ and the total market capitalization of the three listed Adani group companies — Adani Enterprises, Adani Port and SEZ Ltd and Adani Power — has risen by 85.35%  in recent times.  With an estimated group net worth of Rs 25,000 crore, Adani presides over an empire spanning coal, power, logistics, real estate, agro-products, oil and gas.  The group, which employs 10,000 people, built the country’s largest private port and has also emerged as the top private power producer in the country.

Adani has come a long way successfully. After commissioning Mundra port in 1998 and Adanis had transformed from an export house into an infrastructure company. The port is connected to the railway network by a privately built and maintained 65km rail line — again a first in the country. “In terms of the risk-taking appetite and risk-absorption capacity there are very few who can match Gautam Adani. There are many who take large risks, but very few have the ability to face their adversity with courage and conviction,” says former IIM-A director Bakul Dholakia, who is associated with the Adani group’s educational and CSR initiatives. When Mundra port was being built, a consultant came up with a novel idea of building floating breakwaters to contain sea waves at the cost of Rs 7 crore. The experiment sunk — literally — within 20 minutes of its execution. Adani, who watched the disaster calmly, turned to the consultant and put his arm around his shoulder. “Well tried,” he said before leaving. The consultant broke into tears and worked for the group for the next 15 years.

While much is being said about his close relationship with Modi, Adani had been extremely close to previous regimes in Gujarat headed by Shankersinh Vaghela, Chimanbhai Patel and Keshubhai Patel. All these regimes allocated land to Adani in and around Mundra at cheaper rates than what the Modi government is charging. In 2003, when most industry heavyweights stayed away from an investment meet that Modi had organized, a group of Gujarati business barons led by Gautam Adani saved the day for him. While doyens of India Inc warmed up to Modi much later, Modi never forgets people who stood by his side when it mattered the most.

More interestingly this report has appeared in Economic Times too

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

10th Apr 2014.


  1. “Adani Group has done a remarkable job in their business be it with Modi or any other leader. Adani brothers and group maintain cordial relationships with every leader in power be it the past or present.”

  2. “No Doubt the growth of Adani Group is astonishing along with how Gautam Adani has grown over the group. If we want nation to develop then we need persons like Gautam Adani. But everything comes at a price. So we are stuck with negative thinking, we cannot make India a developed nation ever.”

  3. “Gautam Adani has right attitude in life and will continue to grow despite the power is in hand of anyone because we need businessman like these to move ahead of countries

  4. “We feel proud that Mr Guatam Adani is a true Businessmen and he had developed good ports which are well recognized all over the world. Bearing and managing risks to withstand successfully is a gift of Gods to the brave hearts.”

  5. “Adani Group has done a remarkable job in their business be it with Modi or any other leader. Adani brothers and group maintain cordial relationships with every leader in power be it the past or present.”

  6. “Gautam Adani has right attitude in life and will continue to grow despite the power is in hand of anyone because we need businessman like these to move ahead of countries”