Following in the footsteps of Tata Group and Reliance Industries Ltd., Adani Group becomes the third Indian corporation to cross the USD 100 Billion mark. Much of Adani Group’s success can however be attributed to the foresight and remarkable business fortitude of the company’s founder, Gautam Adani. Starting off as a commodities trader in the late 80’s, Adani in a mere span of two decades had built an business empire encompassing every facet of modern life from mines and powerplants to airports and defence contracts.
The recent success of Adani Group can be traced back to the last two years as the group entered several government contract, notably bagging control of seven airports and a fourth of Air Traffic, invested heavily in renewable energy and won contracts to develop ports in India and in Sri-Lanka as parts of bi-lateral treaties.
One of the most prolific ventures undertaken by the group is easily its most recent stake in Gangavaram port, commissioning of wind power plants in Gujarat along with discoveries in natural gas reserves from the Mumbai coast, acquisition of solar projects and taking over of power transmission projects from its rival, Essel Infraprojects while signing a pact to develop a gigawatt data centre in India as well.
Adani Group’s diversification projects have been the center of a lot of discussion, from a purely corporate perspective, this is indeed a profitable way to scale one’s business. However, stones have been cast in Adani’s path towards corporate domination by allegations of anti-competitive behaviour and predatory business practices. Taking a look at Adani’s other ventures from an objectively quantifiable point of view may supply us with another perspective on the same.
Adani port is in control of about 30% of India’s port industry and has ties with global behemoths to the likes of Total as partner in it’s efforts to introduce renewable energy in India and for it’s city gas business. Recognising the tremendous potential of the green energy market in the emerging years, Adani group through it’s green initiatives has been targeting 25 Gigawatts of renewable capacity in 2025.
However, Adani’s erudite business practices have shown their mark in the capital market as well. According to publicly acccessible market data, Adani Enterprises has closed at a reccord high of INR 1,225.55 up by 7.67 percent over the last trading day lose. In a similar fashion, Adani Total Gas has reached a peak of INR 1,248 before settling at a moderate but impressive INR 1,204. The same was reverberated across the length and breadth of Adani’s stock listing.
So, what appears to be the bottom line here. As it stands, India is at a crossroads much like the one USA found itself in the late 19th century with the advent of charismatic individuals such as Carnegie and J.P. Morgan. Yes, great strides with an eye on the future is being made. Yes, an industry does indeed benefit from a centralised system allocating resources in the most effective manner, however the buck stops at when these corporations have formed a cartel, devoid of any competition and with a free reign to weild power and control as desired. Controlling that aspect of the free market would be a task India’s lawmakers and lawkeepers would have to be beholden to.