"We currently have around 3 times of forward revenue guidance as order book, this is from a fact that most projects have an execution time frame of 3 years. The current order book will grow certainly for an achievable growth rate of 25%. Despite slowdown and recession, we are able to maintain our tempo of business and key to this fact is our risk management. We identify projects which could potentially be issues either in execution or receivables etc. These are handled differently by the central project monitoring department. For our sector it was not so pessimistic as need for infrastructure in India in any economic condition cannot be undermined" says Mr. E. Sudhir Reddy, Chairman and Managing Director, IVRCL Infrastructures & Projects Ltd, in an interview with Maria R.
A word about your business restructuring plans initiated recently.
As part of restructuring we have transferred all our assets into a single entity IVR Prime renamed as IVRCL Assets & Holdings. This entity will help us in building a asset portfolio without the parent company investing in the equity. The construction services will be done by IVRCL parent. Similarly the manufacturing and process equipment design and EPC business will continue to be in Hindustan Dorr-Oliver.
Business is all about people, Delegation of work and responsibility and sharing wealth with the team has been the key to our success.
IVRCL is strongly entrenched in executing important projects in irrigation, water supply, construction of roads and highways, bridges and tunnels, developing integrated townships, commercial and industrial structures. How their successful execution is paving way for similar projects being undertaken by the company on wards?
Pre qualification is critical for bidding for projects, over a period we have been building PQ in different sectors. And typically PQ based projects have been done in the last 3 to 5 years only.
We have built our PQ in Desal now. And with more Indian cities facing water shortage and power plants needing water, we see a big opportunity in desalination.
As we have built our PQ in water, we feel that it can comfortably execute large project internationally too.
Two important developments are creating waves. One relating to relaxations announced by the RBI to facilitate adequate flow of funds to the infrastructure sector and the other prescribing entry limits for bidding in mega road projects. What are your views on these?
End of the day it is Indian construction companies who need to do the construction, only funding comes from different sources including foreign companies. The entries limits will ensure that balance sheet lending to small developers are stopped.
What is the present status of IVRCL first venture in hydro power sector—21.5 mw capacity— Bhilanga Hydro Power Project located at Tehri Garwal District of Uttrakhand?
It has been long completed.
IVRCL dream project Desalination project at Minjure, Chennai has been a remarkable technical feat achieved by the company in providing water to the people of Chennai at economic price. What are company's plans to set up more such plants in other parts of the country near sea?
It is a BOT project and we would like various states to come out with similar BOT projects. The current plant is a 100MLD plant and the levalised tariff is around 4.8paise per liter of water.
What are the prospects of battery operated Desalination plants for draught hit areas in India, the new concept recently unveiled at the UN World Water Day? It is being said that side by side large desalination plants such medium sized battery operated plants can be economically installed.
Power cost is not a major cost or a constraint for a desalination plant, so we have no idea on the feasibitly of the battery operated plant.
The water from desalination should not be compared with subsidized municipal water. Also the fact is that the municipal water need huge pumping or transportation cost over 100- 200 KM, further storage also needs to be created as against that the desal water where the pumping/transportation cost can be minimized as the plant can be close to the cities (unless land is a constraint) and large storage capacity need is not be created.
How IVRCL acquisition of Hindustan Dorr-Oliver is a win-win proposition for the company in playing a strategic role in terms of offering specialized engineering and implementation services for IVRCL newer business areas?
It adds manufacturing, design and process industry capability to us. We have been doing well in terms of revenue growth and the future prospects seem to be good.
IVRCL has a larger parcel of land of over 3,000 acres. Are their plans to go in for real estate business more aggressively in the times to come?
As of now we have no major plans on real estate. We are also looking at sale of few parcels of land. Real estate is a opportunity where entry barrier is low and is location driven.
A word about IVRCL strategic alliances with reputed multinationals to fuel IVRCL growth through JVs.
Most Indian construction companies are first generation and have less technical qualifications, we all need JV's to PQ for larger projects as they come up. IVRCL will also need to look out for PQ through JV as needed. Our most successful is for Desal.
What is IVRCL's focus on HRD, particularly on acquiring new talent and updating the technical expertise of its existing personnel with global engineering advancements taking place in the field of design engineering to shore up its EPC and other businesses?
Our attrition rates are almost negligible at the senior level. We have instituted ESOP's for all employees in the company. We have regular training programmes for the employees.