India’s most valuable company, Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) on Tuesday outlined its growth plan and said it may become debt-free in less than two years and plans to acquire assets overseas to boost its revenue from the energy business.
“In 21 months, at this scale and size, Reliance has the potential to be debt-free,” RIL’s Chairman and Managing Director, Mukesh Ambani told shareholders at the company's 35th annual general meeting in Mumbai. Reliance has a current cash balance of nearly $4.2 billion (Rs 19,425 crores), Ambani said.
“Global growth by acquisitions” is the key to growing the energy business, Ambani said adding that the company is scouting for oil and gas properties overseas in order to bring about a better balance between its domestic and international operations.
The petrochemical giant currently has 99,000 square kilometres of acreage under exploration in Oman, Yemen, Colombia, East Timor and Peru.
On the domestic front, Reliance Industries is planning an aggressive exploration campaign, Ambani said, adding that this would take the company to "a higher growth trajectory and transform the energy landscape of India."
Ambani said the company was also working to expand its retail business to new cities and markets in the country.
“Having achieved critical scale, Reliance Retail is now working on expanding its coverage. The expansion will encompass new cities, new markets and new strategic alliances,” he said.
Ambani also said the company will focus on growth in its renewable energy segment and plans to pilot projects in biofuels, solar energy and fuel cells.
Reliance shares declined 1 per cent to 2,132.35 rupees in Mumbai trading. The stock has climbed 73 per cent this year, compared with a 77 per cent increase in the benchmark BSE Sensex.