Anil Singhvi, the managing director of Gujarat Ambuja Cement has quit after 21 years of service having risen from the ranks to hold the top job. He was the most visible face of the company and the trusted lieutenant of his boss Narottam Sekhsaria, vice chairman of Gujarat Ambuja Cement and chairman of ACC.
Singhvi is leaving GACL to join I-Can Investment Advisors, a financial advisory firm, as the country manager. Swiss firm Notz Stucki, a Swiss firm holds 49 per cent in I-Can Investment Advisors.
Those who have known him well are not surprised by this news because Singhvi, who’s a chartered accountant, is acclaimed for his financial acumen and his treasury management capabilities at GACL.
He guarded Sekhsaria’s turf by keeping GACL ahead of competition through efficiencies and consolidating the business at the right time. He convinced his mentor, Sekhsaria, to sell out to Swiss cement major Holcim at the right time.
Today both GACL and ACC are under the management control of Holcim and probably Singhvi may not be able to run the company the way he could have under Sekhsaria.
Singhvi had a conservative approach whether it was in raising resources for the company through market or in not willing to pay a high price to buy ACC. GACL bought 14.4 percent at a premium to market price but never did it stretch beyond that to buy additional shares through open offer from other shareholders.
DLF and Modi Cement, the other two companies that GACL acquired were sick companies. But it is his masterstroke that made Holcim pay a high price to buy GACL stake— Holcim paid Rs 2100 crore for a 14.8 per cent in GACL.
The valuation is considered to be the highest ever for an Indian cement company as it derived value not only for the cement plant, but also for the jetty the company owned and also a price for a non-compete agreement from Sekhsarias.