“We are greatly enthused by the strong political will the government has displayed in pushing the reforms agenda,” said Jai Mavani, executive director at the $5-billion Shapoorji Pallonji Group (SP Group). “This gave us the confidence to accelerate our investment plans long before the recent Moody’s credit upgrade,” a top executive said.
Last Friday, credit rating agency Moody’s Investors Service had upgraded India’s sovereign rating by a notch for the first time in 14 years, after a series of reforms by the Narendra Modi government, including implementation of goods and services tax (GST) and last year’s demonetisation of high value notes to curb black money.
The 152-year-old SP Group, which built the iconic Reserve Bank of India headquarters and National Centre for Performing Arts in Mumbai, will invest Rs 8,900 crore to build a new port in Saurashtra in Gujarat and another Rs 6,500 crore to construct the Jammu-Udhampur highway and the Pandoh-Takoli highway.
Other big investments in the pipeline include expansion of Dharamtar port in Mumbai, and purchasing majority stake in Gopalpur port in Odisha adjacent to Tata Steel’s 3 million-tonne steel plant, Mavani said. Out of the Rs 25,000 crore, SP Group plans to invest Rs 3,000 crore overseas, mostly in Africa and Middle East, said Mavani who has been with the Mistry family-promoted group for more than a decade now.
Most of the investments would be routed through SP Infra, the group’s wholly-owned infrastructure asset ownership company, and various special purpose vehicles under the parent company.