City-based Kerala Shipping and Inland Navigation Corporation (KSINC) has weathered COVID and increased its cash profit to ₹1.08 crore in 2021-22, an increase of 43% over the previous fiscal. Diversification and adoption of a slew of measures to lessen operational expense paid dividends, the agency said in a press release.
The public sector unit recorded profit for two consecutive fiscals, with a major share of its revenue coming from cruise operations. The agency beat the COVID-related reduction in business and a general lull in tourism consequent to the pandemic. Its performance figures were presented at its Board meeting held in Kochi recently.
The Managing Director of the agency Prasanth Nair said its cash profit increased by 125% in five years, from ₹41.75 lakh in 2017-18 to more than double the figure of ₹1.08 crore in 2021-22, despite pandemic curbs forcing the company to halt most of its passenger and tourism businesses. The company earned a profit of ₹65.82 lakh in 2020-21. The company was also able to bring down its operating expense through measures like implementation of e-office, e-tendering, e-mobility, use of solar energy and CNG/LNG. Apart from this, a ‘project cell’ was formed for monitoring and timely completion of projects, he said.
The company used the state-of-the-art fibre construction technology to manufacture boats having five to 25 seats, pedal boats and floating jetties. It also extended its operations to other businesses, to beat the slowdown in traditional sectors.
At present, the KSINC is executing nine major projects all over India. Projects executed outside Kerala include technical consultancy and FRP (Fibre Reinforced Plastic) boat manufacture for Chilika Lake Project executed by the Odisha Tourism Department. Agreements with Lakshadweep and Indian Oil Corporation are in the final stages. Its other projects include Malabar-Malanadu Cruise Project and Hop On Hop Off thematic boats for Kerala Tourism, boat construction for Ashtamudi Lake Circuit and for Thiruvananthapuram and ldukki DTPCs.
Besides the operation of Vypeen-Fort Kochi roll-on roll-off ferries, the company also operationalised new ro-ro boats, ‘Adishankara’ and ‘C V Raman’, for transporting containers of Kochi port through the waterway. Two vessels, solar boat ‘Sooryamshu’ and the oil barge ‘Amrutha’, will be ready for service by the end of this month.
The implementation of the 100% e-office system since March 2021 increased efficiency and lowered (operational) costs. The KSINC is the only PSU that initiates penal action against officials who fail to clear files within five days. Moreover, salaries were never held back even when revenue dried up during COVID. The company was able to provide advance to the employees to buy digital gadgets for online classes of their children. The discipline and commitment of the employees and the mutual trust between the management and employees are the key reasons behind the positive results, Mr Nair said.