Gautam Adani, the richest Asian tycoon, is planning to bolster his empire’s presence outside India with infrastructure projects as he sees his conglomerate’s growth gathering momentum.
“Several foreign governments are now approaching us to work in their geographies and help build their infrastructure,” Adani said in a virtual address to shareholders at the annual general meeting of Adani Enterprises Ltd. on Tuesday. “Therefore, in 2022, we also laid the foundation to seek a broader expansion beyond India’s boundaries.”
The billionaire’s global ambitions have been bolstered by recent successes, including winning a port deal in Israel and luring investments from overseas investors, including TotalEnergies SA, for its clean energy business. The group boosted its domestic infrastructure footprint recently by acquiring the Indian operations of Swiss building-materials firm Holcim Ltd., a deal that makes Adani the second-biggest cement maker in the country.
Adani hailed the country’s -- and his own group’s -- achievements in higher investments in green energy, despite recent challenges posed by the pandemic and the global energy crisis. India saw capital investments in renewable energy jump 125% in the year ended March, Adani said, adding 75% of the country’s incremental power demand is expected to be met with clean power over time.
Yet, while discussing achievements in clean energy installations, the billionaire avoided mentioning coal, the dirtiest fossil fuel, which has seen a demand rebound off late across many countries, including India, boosting Adani’s coal trading and mining operations.
Other highlights of Adani’s speech are below:
- Group expects India to emerge as a net exporter of clean energy, Adani said, echoing compatriot Mukesh Ambani
- Adani, now the largest airports operator in the country, plans to build “aero-tro-polises” around the facilities
- The group has forayed into sectors ranging from data centers, digital super apps, and industrial clouds to defense and aerospace, metals, and materials, aligning its strategies to the government’s goal of self-reliance
- The rising market value of the group has been supported by an increase in cash flows, and capacity additions are yielding wider profit margins
“While we may look back and feel content, it is only now that we are gathering real momentum,” Adani told shareholders.