Public sector Bharat Electronics Ltd (BEL) plans to pursue business opportunities in solar energy, homeland security and micro ATMs.Giving the outlook for 2016-17, at a press conference to announce the company’s performance for the previous fiscal, SK Sharma, CMD, BEL, said “strategies and action plans are in place to face competition, maintain technological edge and retain leadership position in strategic electronics”.BEL ended 2015-16 with sales turnover of ₹7,522 crore, a growth of 12.35 per cent over the previous year’s ₹6,695 crore. Profit after tax was 16.36-per cent higher at ₹1,358 crore (₹1,167 crore). BEL achieved export turnover of $85 million ($58 million).In solar energy, the company is in talks with ISRO to manufacture space grade solar panels. “We are in discussions with ISRO and we want to work in 6-7 areas in this sector,” Sharma said.“With our own funds, we want to take up roof-top solar installations in the country. In the last 2-3 three years we have achieved 6-10 MW. We want to take this on a bigger scale,” he added. The company is exploring smaller plants through government schemes. With a capex of ₹600 crore, BEL plans a joint investment with other defence PSUs to build roof-top solar installations. In 2015-16, BEL, with a total capacity of 5.5-MW wind energy plants, generated and wheeled out 80 lakh units.The company designed and developed a micro ATM device which has multiple uses. So far, BEL has secured orders for about 4,500 devices from Haryana to be used on a pilot basis for its Public Distribution System. Karnataka and Sikkim too have shown interest. The micro ATM is looked at as an import substitute due to its cost which is significantly lower than the imported gadgets.
On the homeland security front, the company has developed citizen verification devices through customised tab PC. Currently about 5 lakh units are in use in various government schemes.