Economic Times - Dec 8, 2008

Date: 15-09-2013

Maloo's back with oil, core focus

Rajesh Unnikrishnan, ET Bureau Dec 8, 2008, 12.00am IST

MUMBAI: After he parted ways from Mahendra Nahata in 2006, industrialist and co-promoter of Himachal Futuristic Communications, Vinay Maloo is set to start his second innings with a new venture, Enso, which will focus on oil, infrastructure, surveillance and security systems and real estate.

The Maloo-Nahata duo, which scripted the meteoric rise of HFCL, one of the country's first private telecom companies to ride the liberalisation wave, parted ways due to differences of opinion, with Mr Maloo preferring to explore new ventures in India and abroad.

"Enso has already established a strong presence in oil and surveillance industries, while entering new segments such as infrastructure and real estate," Mr Maloo told ET in his first media interaction after the high-profile separation. "We are also considering to acquire majority stakes in listed oil producing firms in India and abroad, as we would like to

gain leadership position in whichever area we enter, be it an industry or a segment," he added.

Enso has acquired 16 oil blocks in Australia, Jordan, Nigeria, West Asia and India, and is one of the largest oil operators in Jordan, with more than 33% exploration and production rights. Mumbai-based Enso has already made huge investment in oil business, and is reliably learnt to have spoken to private equity firms to stand as financial investors in some oil blocks, although Mr Maloo declined to divulge details.

"Globalisation has been a challenge for Indian companies as we now see a lot more new players in the Indian market," said Mr Maloo. "This gives us the chance to capitalise on their working culture."

Enso has inked a joint venture with ITNL, part of IL&FS, to form ITNL-Enso Rail Systems for implementing rail transport systems.

The JV has appointed former Bombardier head Sanjiv Rai, as its CEO. The new firm has already bagged two railway projects in Asia and North America.

In the surveillance and tracking venture, Enso has bought out Tyche Peripherals, a BSE-listed mid-sized security system company and changed its name to Enso Secutrack.

The firm recently completed some projects in Kuala Lampur, and has tied up with DORS, Samsung, NCR, Bombardier and ETRA for currency counting machines and other automation devices. Mr Maloo's son Vaibhav Mallo, has also joined the group as a director of Enso Secutrack.

In real estate, the group is in the process of developing around 2,000 acres of land spread over Agra, Jaipur, Mysore and Bangalore. "We have plans to develop projects in all real estate verticals such as residential, commercial and hospitality," said Mr Maloo.

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