In a place like Tamil Nadu, the incremental capacity can, at best, be one to 1.5 million tonnes because there's only that much limestone available in the state. There's very little limestone in South Karnataka, whereas in the western belt near Belgaum, it is available but that has now moved to serve Maharashtra.
CIO: How do you plan to change your image as a player in the South Indian market?
Dharmakrishnan A.V.: While we are pioneers in the adoption of technology, our promoter's philosophy with respect to expansion is to grow with internal accruals. In the south, we are able to control our costs and compete strongly.
Being a raw-materials-based industry, we are looking for availability of raw-materials in different areas. We are seriously considering one or two places outside our traditional market. If we are successful in getting to those, then we will go outside our market. Else, we will try to expand within our market.
That said, there is enough scope for growth in the south. Even though the capacity is higher than consumption, I am convinced there is scope for improvement in our market share here.
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