Sarma's overseas plan for L&T Hydrocarbon

Vol 19, PW 14 (24 Mar 16) People & Policy

Subramanian Sarma is an ambitious man.

Speaking to PETROWATCH from the company's HQ in the Powai suburb of Mumbai, the ex-Petrofac fifty-six year old managing director of L&T Hydrocarbon Engineering tells us he wants to almost double the company's turnover from $1.7bn where it stands today to $3bn within five years. Sarma's recipe for success is simple: overseas expansion, and lots of it.

"I call this Lakshya (target) 2021," says Sarma. "I originally set this vision in August 2015 and at that time wanted to reach the target by 2019." But falling oil prices and a sharp deterioration in the global business climate have made the job more challenging, he admits.

Despite this, adds Sarma, LTHE is working hard to expand and consolidate its presence in the Middle East where it has a world class yard at Sohar in Oman. "We've delivered projects in the UAE and are delivering the last project in Kuwait," says Sarma.

In Saudi Arabia, he says the company has bid for several large Aramco projects that if it wins will keep the Sohar yard busy for the next 18 months. In addition to the prized Saudi market, Sarma says LTHE is pursuing onshore/offshore oil and gas opportunities in the smaller UAE, Oman and Qatar markets worth a total $3bn.

"I might give you some good news in a month," he says, with a wry smile.