ISB: 'Go To' Place for Knowledge and Solutions for the Infrastructure Sector

Dr O P Agarwal


"The Punj Lloyd Institute of Infrastructure Management at the Mohali campus of the ISB is designed to be a specialist institute to support the infrastructure sector. It aspires to be the 'Go To' place for knowledge and solutions within this industry," says Dr. O.P. Agarwal, Executive Director, Punj Lloyd Institute of Infrastructure Management, Indian School of Business, in an interview with Maria R.

What is the objective of the Leadership Programme in Infrastructure Management (LIM)? How is this programme different from what other institutions offer?
There is a huge emphasis on infrastructure in India, Africa and other Asian countries. The infrastructure industry will need leaders who understand the multi-disciplinary challenges of the sector and drive the nation into future. To fulfill that pipeline, mid-career professionals in the industry need to be equipped with the necessary skills and competencies relating to multiple disciplines such as strategic planning, finance, economics, law, social and environmental issues, public policy, etc, which can be provided through a well structured programme. The Leadership programme in Infrastructure Management offered by ISB is designed to cater to this need.This programme is different from other programmes on two counts: It is not a fully residential course. The one year long course requires four weeks of residential stay on campus – a week per term. For the remaining period, an online interactive technology platform will be used to engage with participants, deliver courses and tutorials. This means that participants can study even as they continue to work, without any major disruption to their work schedules.

The other distinguishing factor is the world-class faculty – the programme will be taught by a combination of globally renowned faculty from the ISB and other premier educational and capacity-building institutions. In addition, participants will have several opportunities to learn from experienced industry practitioners regularly, who will share their practical perspectives and real-world experiences.

Who is the target audience of the programme? What are the key takeaways and benefits – for the participants as well as for their companies – of the programme?
This programme is suited for mid-career professionals aspiring to move up into a leadership role within their organizations. LIM is also beneficial for professionals keen on moving from other sectors into the infrastructure sector.

The programme will enable participants to develop strategic plans, understand multiple infrastructure linkages, evaluate and secure outcomes of different levels – finance, process, customers, uncertainty and risks. A clear understanding of these multi-disciplinary challenges will help participants to judiciously select, finance and execute projects.

The companies will stand to benefit with improved awareness and efficiency amongst its employees leading to better project execution. In addition to helping to create a leadership pipeline, it will also help organizations to build their brand among current and prospective employees.

What are the key features of the programme? What are the pedagogies and learning approaches that will be used?
The LIM is a 12 month course divided in four terms. It is offered in a blended format combining classroom as well as online learning. Participants can continue to work even as they study for this proramme. The course content is current, global and focused on managing various aspects of the infrastructure sector.

Indian School Of Business

The LIM programme teaching methodology lays emphasis on action and application rather than just theory and concepts. The pedagogy will involve integration of faculty lectures with case study discussions, simulations, group activities and other interactive sessions. In addition, participants will work on action learning projects from their own work place in all four terms.

Term 1 will focus on infrastructure economics, infrastructure finance, basic statistics, and business negotiations kills. Term 2 will dwell on strategic thinking and scenario planning, legal issues, contracting and dispute resolution, and contract management and project management. Term 3 will cover infrastructure finance, leadership and change management, risks analysis and management and health, safety and environment. Term 4 will focus on stakeholder management, public-private partnerships and global opportunities in infrastructure business.

How will the Punj Lloyd Institute of Infrastructure Management (Punj Lloyd Institute) help in addressing the challenges faced by the infrastructure sector today?
The Punj Lloyd Institute of Infrastructure Management located at the Mohali campus of the ISB, is designed to be a specialist institute to support the infrastructure industry. It aspires to be the 'Go To' place for knowledge and solutions within the infrastructure industry.

The Punj Lloyd Institute takes up a number of studies based on what it feels are the major problems of infrastructure sector, and then attempts to find solutions to them. Apart from building capacity, the Institute also tries to find solutions to problems such as: why PPPs do not work in infrastructure sectors, why are cases of arbitration on the rise, smart cities index, and others. We will take up these and more, time to time based on our assessment, and will try to find solutions to these problems.

Dr. O.P. Agarwal is currently Executive Director of the Punj Lloyd Institute at the Mohali campus of the Indian School of Business. For a brief period of 5 months, he was the Director General of the Institute of Urban Transport (India). He has also worked at the Urban Transport Adviser to the World Bank to advise urban transport projects and project teams across all regions.

He currently chairs the Committee on Transportation in Developing Countries of the Transport Research Board in the United States.

He has written several papers on urban transport policy and governance issues. He has a PhD from the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi, a Master's degree in Transportation from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, USA and a Bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Chennai.

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