J R Tanti
Synefra being an Integrated Infrastructure Provider has a focus to conceptualize, invest, develop & maintain hi-tech industrial infrastructure globally. The company hasbeen provided project management services to various other industrial and commercial projects such as Energy audit and improvisation for Serum Institute of India, brownfield projects for existing manufacturing units of Mercedes Benz, Volkswagen in Pune, a multi-specialty hospital project for Shree Dhramasthala Trust at Dharwad and a world class education institute for Global Discovery Academy at Vadodara. There are many other projects in pipeline, says Mr. J R Tanti, Managing Director, Synefra E & C Ltd., in an interview with Maria R.

Could you please introduce our readers to your company Synefra, the engineering and construction giant of great stature and describe the evolutions and successes achieved so far?
Synefra Engineering & Construction Ltd – A Tanti Group Company was established in 1998 with a focus to conceptualize, invest, develop & maintain Hi-Tech Industrial Infrastructure globally for Suzlon Group companies. With more than a decade of execution expertise, Synefra has today evolved to be an Integrated Infrastructure Solutions provider to different industrial business segments. With experienced professionals comprising engineers, architects, finance and management specialists, Synefra offers a wide array of specialized services in Efficient Project Management (ePM), Engineering & Construction (E&C), and Integrated Facility Management Services (IFMS).

Having made its mark as a Hi-tech Industrial Park Developer, Synefra has diversified its business operations to other infrastructure segments such as project management consultancy right from conceptualization to commissioning of industrial and commercial projects. In order to complete the value chain, Synefra provides end-to-end service to the clients, and offers its Facility Management Services (FMS) for post commissioning.

Let us have a sense of your company's project management and execution expertise, important tally of projects executed by the company in India covering various industries. Also describe what are the major business areas driving company's growth?
Synefra has executed world class industrial and commercial projects. The major projects include commissioning 62 acres of world's largest integrated wind turbine component manufacturing premises at Tianjin, China, executing a large component engineering product facility of 40 acres at Pipestone, USA, and development of around 1400 acres total Industrial SEZs one each in Gujarat, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. These are one of the fastest developed SEZs in India and have recently been awarded the International Property Asia Pacific Best Industrial Development Award 2012-13 and will compete at the World Awards this year end at UK with 5 other continent winners.

Synefra's Suzlon One Earth, Suzlon Group's global HQ in Pune, conceived and managed, is an exemplary structure in sustainable development and stands testimony to Synefra's vision of incorporating green building concepts and innovative project management skills in all its assignments. The campus is LEED Platinum and GRIHA 5 star rated is today world's greenest corporate campus.

Central Park with Deepstambh
Synefra has bagged many national as well as international awards for this flagship project including Realty Plus, GIREM Leadership, MIPIM Asia Gold Awards and International Property Asia Pacific Best Office Development Award 2011 for this project.

Synefra hasprovided project management services for various other industrial and commercial projects such as Energy audit and improvisation for Serum Institute of India, brownfield projects for existing manufacturing units of Mercedes Benz, Volkswagen in Pune, a multi-specialty hospital project for Shree Dhramasthala Trust at Dharwad and a world class education institute for Global Discovery Academy at Vadodara. There are many other projects in pipeline.

A word about your array of specialized services in ePM, E&C and IFMS and client's response to these services.
Synefra being an Integrated Infrastructure Provider has a focus to conceptualize, invest, develop & maintain hi-tech industrial infrastructure globally. With a team of experienced professionals comprising engineers, architects, finance and project management specialists, Synefra offers a wide array of specialized services like:

Excellence in Project Management (e-PM) The e-PM vertical of Synefra presents the infrastructure market with 'concept to completion' Project Management services. The company shares an experience in handling large scale projects for various countries such as China, Europe, India and USA which makes it an ideal project manager. Our Project Management teams are experienced and trained in terms of developing and implementing the best processes and systems customized in accordance with the client's requirements, delivering the desired results and achieving the project goals of Time, Cost and Scope.

Construction Project Management (CPM) The CPM vertical of Synefra provides expertise in managing the execution and construction of industrial and commercial projects at site with integrated approach as a single window service provider. It holds an internal team of subject experts who deliver the project to the client with defined cost and time parameters.

Integrated - Facilities Management Services (i-FMS) Facilities Management is one of the most important aspects in any company since it represents the integration of processes within an organization to maintain and develop the agreed/required services. These services in turn support and improve the effectiveness of the company's primary activities. i-FMS is crucial when it comes to meeting and supporting the client-specific requirements through strategic and cost-effective engineering solutions.

One Earth Project executed by Synefra

Synefra as a developer possesses a primary responsibility to offer Operation and Maintenance services to all unit holders within the SEZ. The i-FMS assist in meeting clients' specific requirements through strategic and cost-effective engineering solutions. This in turn helps the customers concentrate on their core business. The integrated Facilities Management Services also presents with a benefit of providing effective and world class solutions at an optimum price. Synefra's vision to provide reliable world class integrated facility management services through its i-FMS team is a cost-effective solution for all its customers. The company's i-FMS is presently offering services in four states of India viz. Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Gujarat, and Maharashtra for all its Engineering Special Economic Zones and a Corporate Office in Pune.

Over the years, your company has very successfully executed important projects. What is your assessment of reasonswhich usually bottleneck projects execution in the country, resulting in time and cost overruns, the current scenario being witnessed today in almost all projects being undertaken by expert project management and consultancy agencies? How are these issues factoredand resolved at your end maintaining timeline,project cost within original project cost?
Synefra's expertise lies in executing its project with an integrated approach. The entire philosophy of Project Management lies in detailing and precise planning, which Synefra holds having executed and managed over 170 projects globally. Bottlenecks arise with wrong or misplaced planning and we specialize in addressing issues right at the concept stage which helps us to carry forward the project in smooth manner. Client needs to clearly specify their needs in terms of scope, time and cost, the rest is Synefra to manage. We have delivered on time under cost projects to the delight of our customers setting industry benchmarks in many assignments. Risk mitigation is another aspect that our Project Management team factors right at the planning stage and we believe in factoring that as part of our management.

Your company is also engaged in providing services to SEZs. Do you think that the current policy with regard to the development of SEZs in the country is compatible with emerging business requirements? Also tell us that how a better enabling business environment for the healthy growth of SEZs can be created, rationalizing various financial, taxation and export regulations regarding the growth of SEZs in the country at present?
Special Economic Zones is a very viable option for industries and we believe that this is an excellent initiative to fuel nation's economy but it has not been thought of in terms of end-to-end policy. The current policy which is under review needs to be made more broad based and flexible. The synergy of policy implementation between States and Centre is unclear and hence various bottlenecks with unproductive results arise at ground zero. It should be made more lucrative for remote location SEZs while metro and city based SEZs should be treated separately. We still believe that SEZs in India, just like China, can be a huge success story but the entire SEZs framework needs a re-look especially with the learning in the past.

Please tell us about the business performance of the company in the last two years. What are the future plans to take the company to its next level of performance, including plans as a leading Integrated Infrastructure Solutions provider to participate in the growing infrastructure space more proactively taking due advantage of big business opportunities as infrastructure development unfolds for the Company?
Synefra is a closely held company and has been delivering consistently with niche projects in India and overseas. We have concentrated on quality solutions with a strong focus on sustainable development. Our mission line of Challenge to us is an attempt to provoke the client to think beyond the obvious and be ready to take solutions out of the box but this will bring them lasting effect with minimal global footprint.

Synefra is now poised on the threshold wherein it can offer solutions tailored for small, medium and large scale project. Alongwith our current line of business in Project and Construction Management, we are now gradually venturing into providing integrated services for infrastructure in the renewable energy sector. With the enthusiastic approach of various State governments to promote renewable energy, Synefra is entering into that space as developer and as service provider. It will tap into the huge potential that this sector holds and will leverage the immense knowledge it holds in providing renewable energy infrastructure globally.

What is your take for the development of infrastructure and construction sector for the next plan period?
There has been good positive news for the infrastructure space and we hope to see some robust development activities in coming years. Firstly, the investment in the 12th Plan period is expected to go up to Rs.50 lakh crore, which is promising. With half of this investment expected from the private sector, the targets and challenges are set for large developers and other players. Secondly, a great boost will come from the proposal for tax-free bonds of Rs.60,000cr. dedicated for funding infrastructure projects, which we expect will ease the financing pressures.

Urban infrastructure would be a large beneficiary of the above bonds automatically, with some promise for developers in affordable housing projects and some reduction in withholding tax in the External Commercial Borrowings (ECBs). The Real estate sector has not received as much as desired in this year's budget however good demands stimulated by overall growth forecasts and emphasis on urban infrastructure projects, we hope will have a cascading effect.
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