/Tata Group firing on three, four cylinders now instead of just TCS: Ajay Bagga

Tata Group firing on three, four cylinders now instead of just TCS: Ajay Bagga

The Tata Group today has done really well versus the Tata Group of five years back, says market expert Ajay Bagga.

What is your outlook when it comes to the kind of rejig and new strategies that we have seen within the Tata Group of companies because N Chandra has been very focussed on that long term game plan of overall lowering of the debt and leveraging. Where do you stand when it comes to the Tata Group of companies?
It has been a spectacular four years under Chandra. The starting of the commodities super cycle has helped their commodity businesses emerge back into the limelight and we are seeing debt being reduced there.

Tata Motors is basically now a China play and an EV play. The other good thing is that the Indian passenger vehicle sales have increased for them. After a long time we are seeing some traction there. We are expecting the electric bus orders to help them apart from the defence transportation orders that they do get chosen for.

Tata Consumer has done a good cleanup in moving out certain brands and bringing in certain things. The beneficiaries have been both consumer and chemicals. Chemicals is also doing very well with the talk of the battery initiative coming through.

remains the perennial cash generator for the group. It is supporting all parts of the group and in Tata Communication also, some drivers are coming through. They have shed all the baggage and we are expecting moves there as well. Overall, I would say the Tata Group today versus the Tata Group five years back has really done well. They have been able to deleverage to some extent and there’s more to go but they have three, four cylinders firing now when earlier it used to be TCS carrying all the weight of the group.

Just Dial is back on the radar and has been buzzing after the launch of its B2B ecommerce portal. Would you say that this is a revival in the making for Just Dial?
There are two very easy ways to make money today. One is to announce that you are either a battery maker or an electric vehicle maker. Second is to do with digital transformation. Just Dial was very much there in the scheme of things but some positioning issues meant it was not catching the fancy of the markets and now we are seeing the repositioning. It has been serving this segment for years on end. They were very efficient overall. But we saw others coming in and grab that space, do IPOs, take very high valuations.

There was always this talk that some major will come in but that would not fructify. So we had these up and down moves. It had become traders’’favourite stock where at some level you short it and at some level you buy it. This move is promising and it is to do with the overall theme where big investors and funds are looking at anything digital to get in.

We are seeing that with the Zomatos and the Naukris, we are seeing that with Matrimony and the Affles and all these companies have really benefited. I think now Justdial’s time might be coming. I had a position, I exited it because I had got my levels. Right now I do not have it but I could be investing anytime.

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