“Our involvement in a project is holistic as we assess the initial feasibility and are actively engaged in concept development, detailed design, procurement, commissioning, and advisory services for long-term operation and maintenance,” informs Mr. Ajay Mishra, Managing Director, Segmental Consulting and Support Services (SCSS), in an interview with S D Khan.
Please brief us about your company and the services it offers.
SCSS is basically a consulting firm and specialises in a wide range of project management activities. The company was established in 2009 and is involved in engineering, procurement, construction management, and project management. With a dedicated team of 110 engineers and two full-time directors, SCSS has successfully carried out notable projects across the country.
What sectors are you catering to and what is the level of your involvement in a particular project?
We cater to various sectors such as highways, expressways, bridges, flyovers and interchanges, water resources, water and wastewater, sustainable irrigation development, waste management, environmental science, and urban development. Our involvement in a project is holistic as we assess the initial feasibility and are actively engaged in concept development, detailed design, procurement, commissioning and advisory services for long-term operation and maintenance.
What factors are boosting the fortunes of project consultants like you in India? Are there any challenges?
It's a well-known fact that India is on the threshold of an infrastructural boom and most of the projects coming up in the country are based on Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) basis. Such projects necessitate a structured approach right from inception to completion. Project management consultants like us play a vital role in this process. Speaking of challenges, the biggest concern is the delay in project awards, which is a direct consequence of lack in policy and framework. There is a dearth of transparency and policies keep changing. However, this can be improved if there is a structured and well-formulated policy by the government.
Out of all the sectors that SCSS is catering to, which in your opinion is the most promising?
Well, all the sectors are promising. But areas such as water management, sustainable irrigation and waste management demand utmost attention. For instance, the country generates millions of tonnes of waste everyday, but, unfortunately not much has been done to ensure proper garbage disposal. If you compare this with the developed countries, there's a stark difference. India, being a developing economy, needs to take this task seriously. If we can channelise latest machinery and technologies towards construction and infrastructural activities, then why can't we do the same for keeping the environment clean? Waste management comprises storage, handling, transport and disposal of dangerous goods and hazardous substances; solid waste collection, landfills, liquid waste collection, transport, treatment and disposal. SCSS is of the view that waste management will be crucial to the country's economic and social development in the years to come.
What is SCSS's USP?
We work according to a structured ethos and this reflects in SCSS's management and commitment to quality. We strive for excellence at every level through the Quality Management System which begins right at the initial levels of a project and moves progressively to the latter stages. We try to ensure that the project undertaken by the company embodies Integrated Quality Assurance Strategy, plan and procedures. All the activities pertaining to investigation, project design, specifications, procurement and documentation are strictly conducted. Meanwhile, audits and checks are carried out at a critical project milestone to ensure compliance with corporate quality norms.
A word about important projects where SCSS is involved.
We have provided services for the rehabilitation and four laning of the Chenani-Nashri Tunnel in Jammu & Kashmir. Other projects include six laning of the Golconda-Halol Expressway and the Panipat-Jalandhar Expessway. There are various other projects where SCSS is involved.
What are the company's future plans? Are you impacted by the recessionary trends in the construction sector?
We want to grow 40-50% every year and aim to touch Rs. 100 crores in the next 2-3 years. Moving on to recession, it is more of a hype than a reality. And even if there is a slowdown, it's because of fragile decision making. We are not impacted by the slowdown, in fact, we feel it's a time to give more impetus to our visibility.
A word about your professional background and the inspiration behind SCSS.
I am a Finance professional with a rich experience in India and the United States. I have been associated with the construction sector since 2003 and understand the nitty-gritty of this industry. Since my infancy, it was my dream to be an entrepreneur and SCSS is a realisation of the same.