Trying to minimise COVID-19 impact on company; Rs 678 crore export order to Africa finalised: RITES

NEW DELHI: Infrastructure consultancy and engineering company RITES on Friday said it has taken a number of initiatives to minimise the impact of COVID-19 on its functioning, and has finalised a Rs 678-crore export order from Africa. To the extent possible, company has tried to negate the impact of COVID-19 on its functioning through remote working, the company said in a statement.

“In a major export order from Africa in which RITES had emerged as successful bidder in February 2020, final price negotiations for export value of USD 89.2 million (Rs 678 crore approx) have been concluded during lockdown period through video conferencing.”

“The contract documentation is likely to be completed soon. Besides this, our order book is sufficient for execution in next 1-2 years,” the company said.

The 2019-20 financial year started well with strong business momentum and key project wins besides focus on timely execution, it said, adding that while the impact of COVID-19 on numbers for January-March period of FY20 is yet to be quantified, any significant impact is not likely on the topline for the financial year.

RITES Chairman and Managing Director Rajeev Mehrotra said, “We are trying our best to minimize COVID-19 impact on the company. Employees are being encouraged to work-from-home on pan-India basis except those handling essential services. ”

“Our investments in digitisation through ERP, e-office, e-tendering etc. are helping us to shift some of our operations to remote working environment, thus, keeping employees safety as top priority during this crisis,” he added.

The company said it is confident of achieving the outlook given for financial performance for FY’20, but some impact can be felt on new orders and collection performance, as last month of the financial year plays an important role towards improving collections.

“Soon after normal working is possible in our operations, we will attempt to reach full capacity at the earliest, as most of the engineering work by the company is done by in-house teams. ”

“We are also hopeful that fixed cost during lockdown period can be largely recovered in remaining part of the year and savings through cost reduction wherever possible,” it said.

RITES is committed to welfare of the society and in this emergency situation has contributed Rs 16 crore to PM-CARES Fund, it said.

Its employees have also volunteered to contribute two days’ pay for April 2020.

“Given the uncertainty, the overall impact in future on the operations of the company and on our clients, which may also affect us in turn, is not immediately assessable. Our business model will help us to navigate through these difficult times and gives us confidence to emerge stronger soon,” it added.

RITES Ltd is a miniratna public sector enterprise and a leading player in transport consultancy and engineering sector in India.

It is the only export arm of Indian Railways for providing rolling stock overseas (other than Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia).

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