´Bees saal pehle ki yeh baat hai.´ This dialogue resonated in my mind as I tapped on my Mac to bring this editorial to life. This dialogue from epic film Sholay was the best Indian version of ´long long ago´. Yes folks, we are 20 and set to take you to India 2020 with a revised menu of offerings to arm you with information to stay ahead in the business.
During the current regime of the NDA government, the narrative has shifted from unclogging, untangling and unblocking to easing, simplifying and digitising and is now in the process of shifting to acting within timelines. Laws have been deleted, rules have been tweaked and impetus to be proactive and business-friendly within the framework of the law provided. Road projects have been the first to accelerate, the Railways has restructured its orientation and airports are set for takeoff. Smart cities have replaced the urban renewal mission and Swachh Bharat has become the common code of call. India has been marketed globally like never before and this has been most timely as its growth in GDP is at its most feverish pace.
Oil prices have been favourable and so have the rain gods. The stage is set for a revival and the dewdrops of a new morning are glinting in the rays of the rising sun.
ASAPP Info Global Group, the publisher of your favourite magazine, CONSTRUCTION WORLD, is keeping in step with the various government initiatives. So while CW has interviewed ministers like Nitin Gadkari, Venkaiah Naidu, Devendra Fadnavis and Rajiv Pratap Rudy to ascertain their priorities and, therefore, the opportunities for readers much ahead of anyone else, it also introduced ´Top Challengers´ as a category of companies that need to be recognised for their ability to overcome trying times instead of the usual ´Most Admired´ companies category, which was marred by adverse business circumstances. Even as it brought forth the importance of ´Specialist Contractors´, it shone the spotlight on managing ´Construction Waste´, discovered new-age contractors under ´Bold Bidders´, and covered bridge collapses and other disasters. What´s more, our web stories, which do not feature in our print edition, are topical and continue to keep readers updated.
All in all, ASAPP Info Global Group has remained at the vanguard in setting new trends and citing new opportunities. It has also set up Smart Cities Council India, part of a global consortium of practitioners, solution providers, experts and academicians. Under this initiative, it is rganising workshops for state governments and cities and training city managers to design cities and take the smart cities mission forward. It has brought out the India Readiness Guide as a framework for Indian city managers and administrators. Meanwhile, our digital initiative www.DezignGenie.com provides a showcase for design professionals, architects and interior designers to source inspiration and products when remodelling homes. And, our events initiative is growing with a blockbuster 7th Cement Expo, Summit and awards on December 8-9 in Mumbai followed by the 4th SM@RT CITIES SUMMIT on March 15-17 in New Delhi. The financial results may not yet have entered positive territory but they have certainly moved in the right direction. The last quarter of 2016-17 should provide more conclusive evidence of growth. Government spending has remained high and a lot of money has been passed into the system for the 7th Pay Commission, arrears to defence personnel and OROP and a reduction in interest rates. With a good harvest after an ample rainfall, demand will perk up and bring momentum to economic growth.
Also, over this 20-year journey, we have observed a shift in the perception of this industry from a ´black money-infested muggers game´ to an institution engaged in ´nation building´. And our offerings, too, have grown in this period - from CW in India and the Middle East to Equipment India, Infrastructure Today, CW Interiors, Power Today, Indian Cement Review and, more recently, Solar Today. Our other offerings include the 44-year-old Industrial Products Finder, Indian Textile Journal and Automotive Products Finder. And most recently, with the digital world taking India by storm, we´ve extended our expertise into the wonderful world of digital. Do keep your eyes on www.ConstructionWorld.in and please like our page on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/constructionworldmagazine/ and follow us on Twitter www.twitter.com/cwindia) to stay updated. Our 20-year celebrations begin and will continue till the next annual as our economy embarks upon an upward trajectory. Stay tuned because, as they say in Bollywood, ´Abhi toh party shuru hui hai!´