Ashoka Buildcon - First Mover Advantage

Satish Parakh
Ashoka Buildcon, a leading highway developer in India, and an integrated EPC and BoT player, with a portfolio of 36 PPP projects, and a current Order Book of ₹11,895 crore, is looking to enter Smart Cities and Railways, informs Satish Parakh, Managing Director.

What best construction practices is Ashoka Buildcon following and what is your fleet strength?

We at Ashoka believe in Quality and Delivery ahead of time, and have a strong focus on Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. We have an in-house Highway Research facility, which takes care of the latest technical trends, use of best alternative available and advanced materials, developing sustainable construction practices and imparting them to our professionals.

The same philosophy is adopted when it comes to our equipment. We are one of the first construction industries to get a Green Certification. We have an advanced fleet of equipment, which not only has large production capacities, but is also eco-friendly. At present, we have equipment worth ₹4,000 million.

Despite laid down quality standards for road construction, we find that newly constructed roads get potholes within one year of their service; what are the reasons for a road's premature failure and how can such problems be resolved for a sustainable road infra?

Yes, there are many laid down quality standards for road construction, but effective implementation of these standards is equally important, which commonly does not happen in practice mainly due to restricted time period of the new projects. Following necessary actions at the planning, tendering and execution stages of the project can be helpful for a sustainable road infra. The following two points are also important:

  • Provision of a reasonable budget, reasonable time and adequate resources to maintain minimum acceptable quality of the works at various stages - from planning to execution.
  • Periodic independent assessment of the quality of the work done and the materials being used by a competent and reliable agency/authority, and timely corrective action against deficiencies observed, if any.
What is Ashoka Buildcon road map for sustainable growth and what is your current Order Book and major projects in hand?

The Government has fixed a target to award 20,000 km Road Projects in the current fiscal. Going by recent trends, it is likely that NHAI is going to continue with the current pace for awarding the new road projects. We feel that we have a good opportunity, going ahead. We will be selective in bidding (as we did in the past) and will focus on the viable projects for bidding, without compromising on our bottomline.

Currently, we are executing 2 Hybrid Annuity projects, 4/6 laning of Kharar Ludhiana section of NH 75 in Punjab, and 6 laning of Ranastalam Anandapuram section of NH 5 in Andhra Pradesh.

Ashoka Buildcon

The company has bagged 5 Hybrid Annuity projects in Q4 of FY 2017-18 of ₹5539.00 crores. Out of the five, the 3 HAM projects are in Karnataka (4 laning of Belgaum Khanapur Section of NH-4A and 4 laning of Tumkure Shivmogga Pkg-1 & 2 Section of NH206), and one each in Jharkhand (6-laning of Khairatunda Barwad section of NH-2) and in Gujarat (8 laning of Manubar to Ankaleshwar section of Vadodara Kim expressway). The current order book is ₹11895 crore.

What milestones has Ashoka Buildocn achieved to make it one of the largest infrastructure developers in India?

Ashoka Buildcon has enjoyed the advantage of being the first mover in the sector. As a strong EPC player, we have control on the entire value chain; right from bidding to operating and maintaining the asset. This makes us one of the largest and most trusted infrastructure developers in India.

The Government has fixed a target to award 20000-km Road Projects in the current fiscal. It is likely that NHAI is going to continue with the current pace for awarding the new road projects. We feel that we have a good opportunity, going ahead.

We are seen as a leading highway developer in India, and an integrated EPC and BOT player. We have a portfolio of 36 PPP projects, which is one of the largest in number by any private player in India. Besides construction of highways and bridges, the company is also engaged in Power Transmission and Distribution on EPC basis.

We have worked in over 20 states across the country and completed prestigious projects for the Central and State Governments. Overseas, we are constructing a road network for the Housing Development Corporation in the Republic of Maldives.

The company is one of the first Indian infrastructure companies to be certified for Integrated Management Systems, which encompasses ISO certification for Quality, Occupational Health and Safety and Environment.

Ashoka Buildcon

Ashoka Buildcon's strong financials give it the ability to bid and execute large scale projects. The company is listed on the National Stock Exchange (NSE) and the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE).

Any plan for diversification into other areas?

Yes. Change is the only constant thing and we respect it. We are definitely planning to add new segments to our business like Smart Cities and Railways.

NBM&CW July 2018

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