What comes to your mind when you think of Hyderabad? Banjara Hills, the famous biryani or the Charminar? For the average Joe on the street, the image could be any of the above. But ask the same question to someone from the financial community, and the one name that anyone would recall would be that of Ramalinga Raju — the tainted erstwhile founder of Satyam Computer Services who had to sell off his baby to Anand Mahindra. At the peak of the Satyam accounting scandal, there was a heated debate among investors and businessmen alike as to which state was home to the most corrupt promoters. Some said it was the erstwhile Andhra Pradesh, some said Gujarat, some felt it was New Delhi and for others it was Mumbai.
But my personal view is that corruption is a universal phenomenon; it’s not a geographical attribute but a human trait. Yet, my interactions with investors over the years have revealed that most of them continue to be circumspect about investing in companies that originate from erstwhile Andhra Pradesh, especially from Hyderabad, as these companies do not have an impressive track record in corporate governance. But then, barring a few, how many companies in India have an impeccable record to flaunt?
So, if one weeds out such prejudices and instead focuses on the basic tenets of investing, what would be of relevance is the quantum of wealth a company generates for its investors or shareholders. In other words, it does not matter if a company operates out of any place — may it be Hyderabad or Jhumri Telaiya.
That being the case, my pick this year is a reputed company from the dreaded capital city of Hyderabad. My stock pick for 2015 goes by the name of Shilpa Medicare (SML). The company started its journey in 1987 and went public in 1995, aided by an exceptional team headed by Vishnukant Bhutada. Since its listing, the company has compounded shareholder weal