In an interview with Construction and Architecture Magazine, Chairman & Managing Director, Virendra Mhaiskar said “IRB Infrastructure is Committed to connect India with the World Class Highways Infrastructure”. IRB Infrastructure is leading with the best domain expertise, skills set, technology support and human resource for execution supported by the sound balance sheet, all making us to be ahead in the competition.
How do you feel after so many years of your career journey and maintaining big assets?
It was amazing. Almost 20 years back we started our journey with merely 38 lane KMs at our credit. Today, we have crossed 12000 lane KMs strength through 21 BOT projects across India; where we are maintaining assets more than Rs.35000 Crores.
Which is your benchmarking performance so far and why?
We have achieved a lot during last two decades. We have remained the benchmarking per-former for the entire Roads and Highways Infrastructure Sector. It would be more apt to say here that we are the pioneer in almost all the major developments in India’s Highway Infrastructure development. To mention here few of them are, we have been the first to build, operate, maintain and successfully transfer India’s first highway project under BOT model. This paved way for the sector as well as various players in the sector. It would not be wrong, if we could say that IRB Infrastructure has showed the sector ways and means to become self-sufficient in changing and more challenging economic scenario. Another success story for us is lion’s share in India’s most ambitious Golden Quadrilateral connectivity. We have contributed lion’s share by constructing 20% of the completed corridor across the country. Recent achievement is successful launching and listing of India’s first Infrastructure Investment Trust and raising of Rs.5032 Crores through an IPO. The TOT model has been recently formalized in the sector, however, IRB Infrastructure pioneered the model way back in 2004, when it won the bid for monetization of India’s first Express Highway, i.e., Mumbai — Pune Express Highway by making upfront payment of Rs.918 Crores.
Tell us how you see yourself in Market Leaders’ position in the future? Share what center decisions you plan to achieve your business prospects.
Today, we are managing 21 highway projects in all across India; out of which, 7 projects are purely under BOT segment, 7 projects are under various stages of construction, and rest under O & M portfolio as they have been transferred to IRB InvIT Fund. Being India’s most trusted brand in highway development under BOT sector and with hardly any competition in this segment, we see ourselves in Market Leaders’ position in future. Nevertheless, we are well geared up to explore opportunities in the other models, like HAM and/or TOT, etc. However, the Stakeholders’ interests would remain the center point of all decisions.
What situations are you facing with the coming of Demonetization and Goods and Services Tax (GST)? Are you considering any business policy and other changes due to this?
We did not face any ill effect of demonetization; except suspension of toll collection for few weeks; which was later on compensated by the Central as well as State Govt. As far as GST is concern, we witnessed some decline in traffic, which impacted our toll revenue in first part of Q2 of FY 2018. However, now the situation is quite improving and we foresee good growth in second half of FY 2018. As far as GST rate applicable for Roads Sector is concerned, it looks like a win-win situation for industry as well as Government.
What is your company’s business execution planning? How do you use it to lead in the competition?
As revealed above, Company, being pioneer in several developments in the sector, especially in the SOT segment, has always enjoyed the market leadership position. It needs to be appreciated that there are very few players in this segment to grab the ample opportunities available in the sector. To add, we have the best domain expertise, skills set, technology support and human resource for execution supported by the sound balance sheet. This would definitely keep us ahead of everyone in the competition.