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Mcneill plans foray into Sri Lankan market

By Our Special Correspondent

KOLKATA, MARCH 8. Mcneill Engineering Ltd (MEL) is planning to enter the Sri Lankan market by floating a joint venture with Shri Vasanthe Senanayeke.

A company release described its prospective joint venture partner as a leading industrial house in Sri Lanka with interest in shipping and material handling.

MEL, an erstwhile company in the Williamson Magor Group, is a Board for Industrial and Financial Reconstruction-referred company with an accumulated loss of Rs. 10 crores. It was taken over by Startrack International, a cold storage manufacturing company, last year. Pradip Churiwal, CEO, said that MEL was now on the recovery path and expected a Rs. 5 crore profit in 2005-06. It had settled its past dues through one-time schemes.

A manufacturer of forklift trucks and other material handling equipment, MEL is also reviving its business of making switchgears. Besides, it is developing battery-operated auto rickshaws, says the release.

As for the joint venture, the release said that forklift trucks and other material handling equipment would be exported to Sri Lanka in a CKD (completely knocked down) condition. Full-fledged operations would begin in phases. A Rs. 5 crore turnover is expected in 2005-06 itself. Mr. Chiriwal said the process of incorporating the company with an equity of Rs. 5 crores had already begun.

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