August 2022, ETTelecom, by Ashutosh Kumar:
“The business has been sort of flat for us in the last four or five years and our consolidated revenue is actually stuck between Rs 260 crores to Rs 280 crores for the last five years. But this year, particularly, things are changing for us in India as well as internationally because a lot of investments are happening in the oil and gas and power (sectors), infra is being created from the backend which needs dedicated communication and unified critical communication systems,”
NEW DELHI: Commtel Networks, which provides unified critical communications services, is expecting to increase its revenue from around Rs 280 crores currently to Rs 500 crores by fiscal 2024 driven by large Indian and international contracts amidst rising demand for dedicated communications infrastructure in the critical national infrastructure (CNI) sectors.
“The business has been sort of flat for us in the last four or five years and our consolidated revenue is actually stuck between Rs 260 crores to Rs 280 crores for the last five years. But this year, particularly, things are changing for us in India as well as internationally because a lot of investments are happening in the oil and gas and power (sectors), infra is being created from the backend which needs dedicated communication and unified critical communication systems,” Shriprakash R. Pandey, CMD, Commtel, told ETTelecom.
The investments in these capital-heavy sectors are happening despite gloomy macroeconomic conditions. “But for us, the business and the infra spend are pretty much good and our order book is the highest ever in several years,” he added.
The executive said that Commtel has bagged a Rs 70-75 crores project from the Madhya Pradesh Electricity Board (MPEB) to build its communications backbone; a Rs 50 crores project from Indradhanush Gas Grid Limited (IGGL) to deploy a communication network in eastern India, and another contract of Rs 70 crores for an integrated solar power system to power the communications systems.
In North America, New Fortress Energy has awarded a $9 million contract to Commtel. “We are also negotiating the second base of that contract which will be around the same value,” the CMD said.
These deals have helped pushed the average order size from Rs 20-30 crores to about Rs 50 crores in 2022, he added.
“So, in March 2023, we are going to be around just under Rs 400 crores and in March 2024, we hope to cross Rs 500 crores. That is what we’re really looking at,” Pandey said.
Commtel works in India, Gulf Council Countries (GCC), and North America. Between India and the other two markets, the company’s revenue split is 50:50.
Outlining the business strategy, the executive remarked that Commtel is betting on value-added artificial intelligence (AI) solutions which will be a new vertical for deriving revenue.
Some of the planned AI solutions include an integrated detection and intelligence provisioning using CCTV, a security index that will be computed by AI based on the patterns of activity, and failure prediction which will be largely offered to industrial customers.
“We are aiming Rs 100 crore revenue from our AI solution by fiscal 2023-24 the reason being our product will be proven, we’ll have deployed these solutions with use cases already happening,” the executive said. “We are even talking to a couple of our existing customers because it’d be easy for us to go to our existing customer, we don’t have to find a new customer for this product.”
Commtel does some level of systems integration (SI) in Navi Mumbai where equipment from companies like Cisco, Infinera, Tejas Networks, and other OEMs are packed in a cabinet and shipped to customer’s site. In Sharjah, the company undertakes international projects. Technology comes from Nybl, in which Commtel has made an undisclosed investment.
The company has opened an SI center in North America for the local market, and in order to expand global presence. The company will increase its headcount from 320 to 350 by FY23- 24, and gradually, to 400. “We will be able to draw meet our revenue objectives with this headcount,” the executive said.