HSL’s Turnaround Man, SaratBabu

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Hindustan Shipyard Limited has been an iconic public sector undertaking for the state of Andhra Pradesh. Built in the pre independence era by the legendary industrialist Seth WalchandHirachand the shipyard came into being in 1941.

HSL was for long under the Ministry of Shipping and was later brought under the ambit of ministry of Defence in 2010.

Spread across 117 acres HSL is headquartered in Vizag and has been an important economic and social contributor to the region.

Albeit a crucial organization both for the state and country, HSL was a loss making unit for close to 4 decades.

‘When I took over employee morale was down, there was rampant corruption, and we weren’t getting orders it was a total mess’ says its CMD Rear Admiral LV SaratBabu, NM, IN (Retd) who took over the reins of HSL 3 years ago.

Today it is a totally different story, HSL for the first time in 40 years made an operating profit three years ago and since then has been making a profit year on year.

‘When I joined HSL’s turnover was Rs 290 crores with a staggering loss of Rs 220 crores today HSL’s turnover is Rs 650 crores with a profit of Rs 70 crores’ says an animated SaratBabu.

Having brought in revolutionary changes at the shipyard the rear admiral (Retd.) has brought in accountability to the yard from linking officer’s compensation to business results (order book position) to creating a new department specifically catering to business development.

‘Gone are the days when we would get orders on nomination basis, today if you don’t perform you will perish’ says the CMD.

Every officer at HSL is now given a KRA and a vision document thus making sure they are all aligned with the same goal.

The new business development department at HSL has people skilled to bid for tenders. It is informed that out of the 5 tenders that they bid for HSL has won 3 orders.

In the past three years the shipyard has won new orders worth Rs 3000 crores and in the next fiscal it is finalizing a TOT (transfer of technology) partner for an order size of Rs 10,000 crores.

Cost cutting

The CMD led a major drive on cost cutting beginning from himself ‘I have informed my organization that apart for my car and the house all other expenses shall be borne by me’ said the CMD.

Winning Accolades

In 75 years HSL had won no award. In the last 3 years the shipyard boasts of having won many awards. Some of these awards include the RakshaMantri’s innovation award in 2017, ‘Governance now’ award for resilient growth in 2019.

Green energy

HSL last year inaugurated the biggest rooftop solar plant in AP with an estimated per year savings of Rs 1 crore just in their power bill.

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