PRATAP PADODE, Managing Director, ASAPP Info Global Group, gave the perfect start to the celebratory evening as he welcomed Special Guest Pravin Darade, Additional Metropolitan Commissioner, Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority and Secretary to Chief Minister, Government of Maharashtra; Keynote Speaker Elias George, Managing Director, Kochi Metro Rail; captains of industry; members of the esteemed jury; and the winners of the coveted awards.
Expressing his views on India's economy and the construction industry, and the developments and opportunities in the pipeline, he said:
What a time, when everybody is thinking: 'Is India still galloping or not?', and here we are celebrating the fastest growing construction companies in India. Right here, we have people representing Rs 150,000 crore of market capitalisation, and that itself speaks about the power of this industry. If we can move Rs 150,000 crore of market capitalisation into an accelerated pace, I am sure the GDP growth that everyone is complaining about can change. And, change is already happening.
The first step is recognition that change is necessary, and the government is already acknowledging that steps need to be taken to move the economy at a greater speed. After roads, the real new big thing happening in India is metro.
The construction industry has an opportunity in the global scenario, but it also fulfils several challenges that India has as a country economically. We want to increase employment, we want to increase exports, we want to attract foreign investment, and become an international hub for R&D.
The global construction industry is worth $10.3 trillion and India is likely to be one of the fastest growing countries by 2030. Today, real estate and construction together are the second largest employers. There is an opportunity of $680 billion, which is the total turnover that the construction and engineering industry as a whole constitutes. And 25 per cent, ie nearly $170 billion of this, is going to move to Asia from western markets. India is best qualified to gather this opportunity. It will help enhance our export income and employ and build skill within our engineers, who will then be able to prepare for the mega projects India will take on.
We can definitely attract the global industry because India is currently in a hotspot. The other factor is the 90 cities of the 100 selected under the government's Smart Cities mission, for which a budget of Rs 190,000 crore has been allocated. Although up to April only Rs 1,000 crore had been spent, nearly 25,000 crore will be invested in the execution of these projects in 2018. The DPRs, bids, specifications...all these are already taking place with consultants, with pre-bid meetings; therefore, they will yield fruit in 2018.
To view his entire speech, log on to www.ConstructionWorld.in/pratappadode