Interview

Diversification: BECIL’s Expansion Mantra

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George Kuruvilla, BECIL

This year we have touched Rs 300 crores in revenue. We are growing nearly at the rate of 20 percent annually and have set a revenue target of Rs 400 crores by 2020, says George Kuruvilla, Chairman and Managing Director, Broadcast Engineering Consultants India Limited (BECIL), in conversation with Souvik Goswami of Elets News Network (ENN).

George Kuruvilla

George Kuruvilla, Chairman and Managing Director, BECIL

What role do you foresee for BECIL in India’s digital transformation process?

BECIL is into the broadcast engineering domain. We look after television and radio production besides transmission of TV, radio and satellite and cable television. Whatever we are doing has a lot of synergy with the telecom and IT domains. One of the areas where we see great opportunity is the last-mile connectivity through fiber, radio frequency, satellite communication technology and thereby provides ICT-based e-governance projects to various state and Central Government.

Besides connectivity there is a great need to archive the contents, networking, analytics, automation, and distribution of the content both at the state and central level. There is great need to provide cyber security, coding and encryption of content, create IPR wherever required, and monetise the content wherever possible.

Another opportunity is the digitisation of documents in each department, meta tagging of data, digital processing of files, dynamic website development, thus provide Office Automation and Information Management system and integrating the websites with payment gateways as per requirement. This would help in creating true paperless offices and help in digital transformation of Government Departments. Moreover through these dynamic websites Government departments can connect with citizens through social media and provide responsive governance.

BECIL has also expanded its base in the smart city ecosystem. Can you elaborate on this?

We are actively looking at the opportunities in smart cities space, especially when it comes to smart LED lighting, smart metering, smart garbage management, integrated traffic management system etc. The various functional areas of smart city require separate Command and control system and also an integrated command and control at the Apex level. Smart City management requires active engagement with the common citizen using appropriate listening tools and response using Customer Relationship Management tools. BECIL is developing all these capabilities by using specific products and solutions and strategic partnerships.

What has been the growth story of BECIL in recent past? Also shed some light on future road map.

In the last three-four years BECIL has diversified into various new areas, which has started bearing fruits now. Initially we were focusing more on broadcast related domain, but in the last few years we have ventured into new areas like smart lighting, smart electronic metering, point of sales machines besides CCTV, surveillance and access control etc. We are growing up in all these areas and building up our businesses, besides providing human resources to various government agencies.

BECIL is now entering into the fields of AI, Machine Learning and cyber security as these areas are of importance for various governments departments. On the other hand, platform as a service is also our focus area as we have realised the need for a media data centre.

In terms of financial growth, we are quite encouraged with the growth in the last few years. This year we have touched Rs 300 crores in revenue. We are growing nearly at the rate of 20 percent annually and have set a revenue target of Rs 400 crores by 2020. There are some challenges like the recovery of payments due to some of the Government departments, which has affected our cash flow and BECIL is incurring loss due to huge interest payment to banks. We are making concerted efforts to recover our due payment and are hopeful that things would improve soon in this regard.

How bright is BECIL’s future?

I see a very bright future for BECIL. The reason is simple – BECIL is a PSU which is working in a very niche domain with the required domain expertise. When you think of convergence of broadcast, telecommunication & IT, only BECIL fits the criteria in all the three domain. We are uniquely placed as we understand the technicalities and the wide spectrum of technology related to satellite communication, RF communication, managing audio visual transmission along with data analysis ,automation etc. According to me, BECIL can grow to become a Rs 1000-crore company in the next five years with business expanding in the Asia pacific region countries.

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