MUMBAI: From making locks and safety equipment to contributing to India's Mangalyaan space mission, the $4.1-billion Godrej Group has come a long way in its journey to become a diversified conglomerate. The group, which turned 118 on Thursday, is now betting big on real estate and is also eyeing partnerships in defence, a sector which has only recently opened up to the private sector.
"Our objective will be to supply to international companies that wish to come here. If necessary, we will partner with them. It is too early (to say) as to what shape it will take going forward," Adi Godrej, chairman, Godrej Group, said at a media conference.
The group is already supplying some parts to Rolls Royce, Godrej said.
In addition, he said the group will concentrate on some of its B2B business in the nuclear and space programme. "With the government encouraging defence production, we will focus on that too," said Godrej.
While reflecting on the group's journey thus far, Godrej said the group's philosophy as envisioned by its founder Ardeshir Godrej fits in well with the Prime Minister's 'Make in India' campaign. Ardeshir Godrej's primary intent, said Godrej, was 'Make in India'.
"Since then there have been a lot of innovative endeavours in the group. The three innovations that I am most proud of are the making of one of the earliest soaps in the world from vegetable oils, supplying to the Indian nuclear programme and the cryogenic engine to the Indian space programme which eventually propelled the recent Mars mission - Mangalyaan, and the very recent innovation of Good Knight Fast Card which is an affordable (Re 1), easy to use, and popular, mosquito repellent which I think will help control malaria and dengue over the years to come," Godrej said.
On the other hand, with the requirement for residential housing expected to grow exponentially riding on rising income levels, Godrej said the group's real estate business has emerged as the fastest growing business within the group over the last five years.
However, both FMCG and consumer durables will continue to remain the key focus areas going forward. "About 600 million Indians use one or the other product each day. That's more than any other Indian group. Our objective is to add to this 600-million number," said Godrej.
The Godrej Group's larger objective, which it pronounced three years ago, is to grow ten times its size in ten years, which translates into an annual compounded growth rate of about 26%. This, said Godrej, would be achieved both through organic as well as inorganic growths.