New Delhi: Amitabh Gupta, the Chief Finance Officer of the Sesa Sterlite company Hindustan Zinc has been awarded by CNBC as the “Best CFO in the Metal Sector”. The award was presented to Amitabh Gupta by Shri K.V.Kamath, Chairman ICICI Bank, in a glittering function held in Mumbai in Hotel ITC on 28th June 2014.
Amitabh Gupta, while speaking at the award function informed that Hindustan Zinc is eyeing to increase the output to 36% in the next 4-5 years. We will be transitioning from 880 thousand tonne of metal today that we produce from our mines to about 1.2 million tonne in the next four-five years, he said. Hindustan Zinc also plans to maintain 50 percent EBITDA margins. On the much talked about Hindustan Zinc divestment plans, he adds that the inevitable divestment will take a few months to fall into place.
On being asked that Hindustan Zinc is the perfect example of a public sector company transforming into a private company, and from hereon what kind of operational challenges does company expect, Amitabh Gupta said “he thinks it’s a transition which happened in the last 14 years and the beauty of it is the Vedanta group did not bring a bunch of new managers and new people into the company, the same set of people delivered when given accountability, responsibility and the right incentive, the right motivation. I think it’s a case study.”
On business going forward and investors expectations over the next five-six years, Amitabh Gupta replied that “Hindustan Zinc biggest transition today is that we are an open pit mining company, so we get 85 percent of our metal from an open cast mine, that is transitioning to an underground mine. In the country, there is very little underground mining barring Uranium Corporation or couple of other copper mines, etc. We are actually pioneering underground mining in the country and that is our biggest challenge today. We believe that we will be able to hold our costs steady at today’s level. We will be transitioning from 880 thousand tonne of metal today that we produce from our mines to about 1.2 million in the next four-five years.”
When asked about top three wish list from the new government in the mining sector, Amitabh Gupta said, “in particular, there are large numbers of mining clearances that have been held up for the last five-seven years. This country is so rich in mining; it can be compared to the West coast of Australia. It is very similar in terrain, in metallurgy, but the potential has not been unleashed.”