13th Construction World Annual Awards
Pratap Padode, Managing Director, ASAPP Media Information Group, in his welcome address revealed how the group company has always been at the forefront of developments in the building, construction and infrastructure sector. Updating the industry on some recent developments, he said, ´Our digital tool for home design called DesignGenie is working to fulfilling the needs of the community seeking assistance in that area. In a similar fashion, we have set up Smart Cities Council India, which has been providing a platform to our members, which include the likes from the IT world, such as IBM, Microsoft, CISCO; some from the EPC space such as Vector, Black & Veatch, Accel Infra; power utilities like Alstom; including telecommunication companies as well.´ He added, ´We have been appointed as technical experts for three cities-Ajmer, Allahabad and Vishakapatnam-to oversee the master planning of these cities, and we intend to extend our expertise to other local urban bodies across the country.´.
The selection process
To deliberate upon these winners in various categories of India´s largest and fastest growing companies, an esteemed panel of jury members came together on September 2, 2015, at the Indian Merchants Chamber of Commerce in Mumbai. Further, a presentation was made on the companies to be considered for India´s fastest growing companies across six categories: construction; equipment & allied equipment; cement; steel; paints; and tiles, ceramics and sanitary ware. As per practice, a report with quantitative analysis-data sourced from published annual reports and results published by companies-was submitted to the panel to assess. The data was sourced from the company directly by seeking audited figures. To ensure authenticity of data during compilation, various checks and balances were put into place. Companies not considered for the awards were those with insufficient data available; or those that suffered losses in FY2015; or whose figures derived mainly from ´in-house performance´.
As the evening celebrated the winning companies, the winners were in double celebration of their victory.
India´s largest construction company was L&T. Taking the award, MV Satish, Sr VP - Building, Minerals & Metals, L&T, said, ´Although the market is a lot more challenging, we hope that initiatives taken by the government shows results and much more. The government is sincere in its approach and that will really benefit India.´
In an optimistic mood was RA Krishnakumar, ED, Dalmia Bharat. A true competitor, he said, ´We would always like to be No. 2 so that we have somebody to chase upon.´ He was confident of a mega shift in another five years from using cement to using ready-mix concrete. In his words, ´A major turnaround is expected to take place.´
Paresh Mehta, CFO, Ashoka Buildcon, was positive about the roads sector. He said, ´The PPP programme till sometime back was a good breakthrough in all sectors û power, roads, and even ports. While PPP gave a big thrust, now is the time to see how it performs in future.´
Amandeep Gupta, Joint CEO, OCL India, shared the company´s success chart with pride. ´When the market was growing at about 8 per cent last year, we grew at 27 per cent, and this year, when the market is growing at a 13 per cent, we are growing at 30 per cent.´ Evidently, the numbers spoke louder the words.
NR Alluri, Promoter Director, NCC, credited the team for his achievement. He said, ´In the last 35 years, we have been building teams to do large projects and most of them are still with us. So it is this dedicated team that has helped us execute projects.´
For AK Lakhotia, Chairman & Managing Director, MBL Infrastructures, a breakthrough in the construction sector in recent times is the positive mindset that we need to grow. He believes that with this positive thought, change will automatically follow. He said, ´There will be huge order inflow, which will be followed by good growth opportunities.´
One among India´s Top Challengers, S Ramnath, CFO, ITD Cementation India Ltd, shared the company´s strategy applied in the year 2014-15: ´First was to have a diversified offering, as it helps minimise risks; second to be very selective in bidding; and third to focus on cash, not profits.´ For Ramnath, one key problem that needs to be addressed and controlled is inflation. While government initiatives like smart cities will open doors for new entrants in the sector, with projects like the dedicated freight corridors, there may be more participation in the railways. But as an industry person, he averred, ´Rather than knowing the government targets five years down the line, I want to know what is being done today and what will be done tomorrow to ensure sustainable growth and goals.´
Another among India´s Top Challengers for the second consecutive year, Mayur R Doshi, ED, Indian Hume Pipe Co Ltd, shared the company´s strategy to stay out of financial mess û something that mega construction companies have been battling in the present day: ´If we see opportunities which have a certain degree of risk, we have learnt to say no to them. If you learn to say ´no´ in this industry, half the battle is won.´ However, at the same time to succeed, you need to take some risk, ´We were able to identify certain opportunities and invested money in ramping up our capacities for manufacturing - luckily that played out well.´ Since the company is into the manufacturing of pipes, the vigour that has come about in the road infrastructure will be helpful for it in the long term.
Among other winners, Deepak Khetrapal, MD and CEO, Orient Cement Ltd, kept it simple - yet powerful - on what has helped the company grow most in a challenging year: ´Just remembering that we are still the challengers, not the winners.´ Manish Bhatia, President, HSIL Ltd, said on his part: ´We have always focused on two things: No compromise on quality, which has been our hallmark over the last 50 off years and a strong focus on consumer insights, to decide what would be relevant for the consumers today.´
Aditya V Somani, Chairman, Everest Industries Ltd, gave complete credit of his victory to the company´s focus on speed. ´We have constantly worked towards making construction faster and that has led us to this award.´
The keynote speaker Graham Robinson, Executive Director, Global Research Perspectives spoke on India´s upward trajectory.
´We expect India to be one of the fastest growing construction markets in Asia in the next 15-year period. Talking about the top 15 construGlobal Research Perspectives spoke on India´s upward trction markets, in 2014, China comprises 28.7 per cent of the construction market, whereas India comprises 5.9 per cent. Six of the top 10 contractors, globally, are Chinese. So China is the largest construction market by volume, followed by the US, which comprises 17 per cent of the market in the world. India stands fourth among the global construction markets. By 2030, we expect India to go ahead of Japan, which is third currently with 8.5 per cent.´