We don’t work on targets, we work on the opportunity, said MD Suresh Goyal
After having invested half a billion dollars in the Indian infrastructure space,Macquaire India wants to invest further in the sector as it feels it has the appetite for investment, Macquaire Infrastructure and Real Assets Private Ltd India head and senior managing directorSuresh Goyal tells Megha Manchanda.
The company entered the Indian infrastructure space in 2013. What has the experience been like for Macquaire?
It has been a fairly good journey and that is the reason we have continued to invest more into the sector. While TOT (toll-operate-transfer) has grabbed the headlines now, we have continued to invest in the sector since 2013. So far, we have invested half a billion dollars ($500 million) into roads and TOT just comes on top of it. If we didn’t have the confidence, we wouldn’t have gone ahead and bid for these projects. To an extent, I will say it has really been a good journey for us.
Is Macquaire looking at wind energy assets?
We are a full-service infrastructure firm and we have the capital to invest in various infrastructure sectors. Our existing investments have been in telecom towers, airports, renewable and coal-fired energy. We have a fairly diversified portfolio. In terms of our total investment, road sector is the highest, followed by renewable energy and other sectors.
Are you also interested in the next round of TOT projects?
The size of the opportunity that TOT offers dwarfs everything else. We like the whole concept of TOT, not just in roads. If the government wants to bring in TOT in other sectors as well, we would be interested. We don’t work on targets, we work on the opportunity. We continue to remain investors.
Your investment in the TOT project is for the next 30 years, but the toll collection technology is changing with every passing day. Do you think staying invested in a project for a long duration is a challenge?
I think it is only becoming better. The road minister also mentioned about using e-tags, which will only make it more efficient, reduce leakages and make the traffic move fast. We will continue to see more of that. The concession requires us to maintain and operate the road and in lieu of these two things, we have the right to collect toll. The basic risk that we are taking in this business is that of traffic and we think that India is on a strong growth path and traffic has a very strong correlation with that. And with regard to tolling, operations and maintenance, we will continue to bring in the best that we have around the world.