Corruption, cumbersome procedures and dirty practices had forced Arun Bharat Ram-promoted SRF Ltd to abandon its planned diversification into the power sector.
“We wanted to get into the power sector about two years ago, we put in place a team for the same but we pulled out due to dirty practices widely prevalent,” the SRF chairman said .
Bharat Ram’s revelations came barely a month after Tata group chairman Ratan Tata raised a storm by hinting that he had to abandon plans to launch an airline as he refused to bow down to pressures of paying bribes to authorities to secure the necessary approvals.
SRF, earlier known as Shri Ram Fibres, is part of the Shriram Group founded by Lala Shri Ram more than a century ago, had drawn out elaborate plans for the power sector entry.
The blue-print was ready and a team of top professionals was put together to execute the plan on lines of the recommendations by an external consultant, the R2,800 crore group had engaged.
The plan had to be shelved after the firm failed to secure the necessary approvals despite having everything in order.
“There was rampant corruption and there were unethical practices involved to get any kind of permission,” he said.
His son and deputy managing director of the company, Kartikeya Bharat Ram, said the company would now focus on its core businesses — specialty chemicals, technical textiles and refrigerant gases. He said that the company is determined to build a strong brand value based on the dual pillar of “respect” and “recognition.”
It has decided to go for an aggressive recruitment drive to increase its headcount from 4,800 employees with focus on strengthening the research and development division and expects to double its revenues over the next three years.