STL eyes 20% biz growth in key markets in FY23 on 5G, digital network build outs

New Delhi: Digital networks integrator Sterlite Technologies expects about 20 percent growth in business across key markets of the US, Europe and India in FY2023 amid global scale-up of networks and 5G build outs, its managing director Ankit Agarwal has said. With a notable drop in COVID-19 cases and easing of curbs, the company is encouraging employees to ‘return to office’ and has seen positive responses across offices in both India and globally.

Its factories are running at 100 per cent capacity with all precautions in place, Agarwal said, adding that physical attendance at offices – currently on rotation basis – too will accelerate fully in the coming weeks with adequate safeguards.

The company, which has done a string of acquisitions in the past, continues to be on lookout for small buy outs for niche capabilities and technology “because the market itself is growing and expanding”, Agarwal told PTI.

On the business side, the company is seeing a positive momentum as markets like the US, Europe and India create mega networks of future, and build 5G infrastructure.

While growth will vary depending on the geography, overall, the company sees business growing at about 20 per cent in FY23 in these key markets, Agarwal informed.

“So far as growth is concerned, we continue to believe that towards the end of this quarter but equally going into next year, we see positive market momentum. We believe we will sign strong orders with customers,” he said.

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STL currently has an order book of about Rs 11,000 crore and hopes to build on that “both in India but especially in Europe and the US”.

Asked if the company is on the prowl for more acquisitions to fully capitalize on the charged market momentum, Agarwal said STL will certainly continue to evaluate niche buys.

“If you look at our past acquisitions … we were not looking to go after revenue, it was always about either capability or a technology. So, that works well for us. We like to look at small companies focused on certain niche technologies or capabilities, could be anywhere in the world and the whole thought is to acquire such companies, bring those capabilities onboard and grow it multifold, “he said.

The past acquisitions including Optotec, Metallurgica and Clearcomm, have all reflected this thinking, and STL will continue to be on lookout for such buys, he noted. However, there is no specific proposal to talk of, at this point, he said.

With its portfolio spanning optical fiber and cables, network design and deployment as well as network software, Pune-based STL positions itself as an integrated solutions provider for global data networks, with optical preform, fiber and cable manufacturing facilities in India, Italy, China and Brazil.

The company is also investing in OFC capacity in South Carolina, which will be ready in next six months.

Massive networks are being created globally in the areas of 5G, FTTx (a term used to describe various optical fiber delivery topologies), and Open RAN (Open Radio Access Network) with an increased focus on optical connectivity. This has led to rapid growth in fiber demand and a buoyant outlook by industry players.

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