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GE eyes big chunk of infrastructure pie

A major portion of the firm's $250 mn fund for India will go into infrastructure, reports Prerna K Mishra.

india Updated: Nov 13, 2006 17:35 IST

After its success in the country's information technology sector by pioneering India's back-office industry, global giant General Electric Co (GE) is charting an aggressive plan to participate in India's infrastructure development.

Underlining the importance of the GE Infrastructure business that contributes 35 per cent to GE’s  revenue, the company has for the first time appointed a president, Pratyush Kumar, to anchor the business in India.

Kumar told Hindustan Times that the direct addressable market size for GE, with its interests in energy, transportation and water, is about $50 to $100 billion of  India's estimated total spending of $320 billion on infrastructure over the next five years.

“This is the right time to be in India. If we don’t do it now, it will be a long time before the market gives us another opportunity," Kumar said.

The company has a $250 million fund to invest in India and a major portion of that would go into infrastructure. GE expects revenues from India to double to
$1 billion in 2006-07.

The company has already signed up its first few deals in infrastructure. GE Water & Process Technologies has bagged its first sea water desalination plant project from Tata Chemicals Ltd. The company has also signed a compressor deal with Reliance and a $2.2 billion-deal with Air-India for engines.

“While water will be a very important stay for us in India, we are looking at harnessing non-conventional energy as well as opportunities in aviation and railways in the transportation space,” Kumar said.

“We are in active negotiation with the Indian Railways to participate in the public-private partnership model for wagon enhancement as well as signalling. We hope the deal to come through by the middle of next year. In fact, we are also looking forward to participating in the nuclear energy space once the relevant regulatory issues are solved,” he said.

Email pmishra@hindustantimes.com