The international arm of Kirloskar Brothers Ltd. is planning to streamline operations of the business and aims to be debt-free soon, Alok Kirloskar, director at Kirloskar Brothers Ltd. (KBL) and MD, SPP Pumps Ltd., U.K., said in an interview. Edited excerpts:
How big is the international business and what is the focus?
The international business accounts for a little over 40-45% of KBL’s revenues. Our objective is not sales, but cash flow and profit. In these difficult times, we had focused on realigning the business. We plan to shrink the business and release the cash and enhance profitability. The focus is on improving the balance sheet. We have been doing that at KBL for the last 10 years. In March, at the net debt level, we [KBL] are almost debt-free and the next two quarters have shown similar improvements in our balance sheet position. The same focus is on the international side. We are focussing on bettering the balance sheet. We feel that stronger balance sheets in difficult times are more important. The international business had revenues of about ₹1,400 crore as on March 31, 2020. We are looking at pushing towards a debt-free position. We won’t get that this year, but we will make a huge improvement over last year from a balance sheet point of view. So, our focus is more on balance sheets than boosting revenues.
What is the debt now?
The debt on the overseas side at the end of March 2020 was a