30 Fastest

Trial by fire

The EPC specialist opted for prudence over aggression to grow, but a Prolonged slowdown will test its mettle

Vishal Koul

Avinash Gupta isn’t really a risk taker. He’s conservative and cautious. But back in the 1950s, he took the first of two, life-changing bold decisions — on graduation, the young Gupta opted out of joining his family’s air-conditioning services business in Ludhiana and instead, moved to Bombay to work for infra major Gannon Dunkerley. “I was clear I wanted to work for a few years in a company before starting my own business,” recalls Gupta, now a sprightly 72 years.

More than a decade later, in 1971, Gupta took his second bold decision — he quit, borrowed ₹20,000 from his father-in-law and started Technofab Engineering, operating out of his father-in-law’s home in south Delhi. “I don’t remember if I ever returned the money,” he laughs. If he had offered a stake in the company in lieu of the loan, Gupta’s father-in-law would have been a happy man, indeed. In the past five years, Technofab has grown at an average 36%, from ₹81 crore in FY08 to ₹377 crore in FY12 (and ₹287 crore in the first nine months of FY13). Profits, too, have grown more than six times in the same period, from ₹5.3 crore in FY08 to ₹34 crore in FY12 and ₹19 crore in April-December 2012. All of which has led Technofab to become one of the fastest-growing companies in India. 

Getting started

When Gupta set up Technofab, he was very clear (thanks to his experience with Gannon) what his field of specialisation would be: mechanical construction, which involves building systems and machines at industrial plants. “Those were heady days of public sector and Planning Commission-driven projects. Many new industrial projects were coming up, requiring both civil and mechanical contractors,” he says. There weren’t too many of the latter around and, as a result, Technofab was a profitable company from the start. 

But given the field, the company ended up only doing the hard labour part of any job — most material for construction was imported and customers wanted contractors to merely supply labour. By 1979, Technofab switched from being a labour contractor to an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractor, serving the power, industr


You don’t want to be left behind. Do you?

Our work is exclusively for discerning readers. To read our edgy stories and access our archives, you’ve to subscribe