- Sunil Kothari, Joint Managing Director, Om Metals Infraprojects Ltd
Om Metals Infraprojects is a pioneer in the field of turnkey execution for hydroelectric power and irrigation projects. Established in 1971, the company has completed over 40 projects in India and abroad, for design, manufacture, supply, erection, testing and commissioning of hydro-mechanical equipment. Further, its JV with SPML Infra has bagged the contract to set up a smart city named Vikram Udyogpuri near Ujjain in Madhya Pradesh. Sunil Kothari, Joint Managing Director, Om Metals Infraprojects Ltd, shares more on the company´s plans and offerings...
Please share some insights on current trends in the hydro-mechanical sector. What parameters do you consider before taking up a project?
After the new government has come to power in India, we are looking forward to a good number of hydropower projects and irrigation projects. Our government is keen to tap the 1 lakh MW of hydropower potential in India to have a better thermal-hydro ratio. We have been in this line of business for the past 45 years and have immense expertise. Our quality of work is prime and our project execution is much faster than our competitors. Project location, viability, working conditions and our capabilities to execute are the key parameters that we consider for any project.
What are the new solutions for sustainable development?
Designs, drawings and imported controlling equipment for gates, for example, hydraulic cylinders and SCADA systems, are the latest developments in hydropower projects.
From being a major EPC player in hydro projects for equipment, what made you foray into taking on civil works along with roads and other projects?
In any hydropower project, hydro-mechanical equipment is the smallest lot in terms of value. This made us foray into civil works, so that we could contribute a larger part to any project. Our foray into civil has helped us execute road projects and other civil structures.
What is the thought process and action plan behind the major smart city project of Vikram Udyogpuri near Ujjain in Madhya Pradesh? As part of the JV, what will your scope of work involve?
Our capabilities of civil construction for roads and dams were a morale booster for us to execute smart city projects.
Our scope in smart city projects includes construction of roads and other allied activities.
How much does the company invest in construction equipment and do you prefer to buy or rent equipment?
We have a good equipment fleet, which was bought by the company before the construction of dams, roads and civil construction. We keep buying and renting equipment as per our requirement.
Please introduce us to the technologies used in the projects you execute. What are their benefits, especially in terms of speeding up projects?
Efficient utilisation of resources such as equipment, machineries and raw materials is important. Also, channelling the 3 Ms (man, machine and materials) is the key to execute any project within the stipulated timeframe.
Which government projects are you looking at? How do you view opportunities in the Tier-II and Tier-III cities?
Smart city development in Tier-II and Tier-III cities, as per the government´s action plan, is on our radar for future government projects; this is apart from construction of dams and roads.
What are the challenges faced by the company and how do you manage to overcome them? Are there any recommendations you would like to make to the government?
Land acquisition, rehabilitation and civil structures being executed by civil contractors in any dam project are always a matter of concern and the government should work hard to mitigate these. Our execution of hydro-mechanical components often gets delayed owing to delay in the construction of civil structures.
What safety and environment-friendly measures do you implement in your projects? How much does the company invest in safety?
We go beyond the basic required safety requirements,as the safety of our employees and environment is of utmost importance to us. We implement solar technology on roof panels and plant trees and maintain greenery around our projects. One example is the thousand of trees that have been planted in our 212-km Bhilwara-to-Jaipur highway project.
You are aiming to bag a major oil-and-gas project. How will this contribute to the company´s track record?
Engineering capability is our major strength and we look to utilise it in any sector applicable, whether it is oil and gas, railways, etc. We shall keep eyeing projects to add to our order book.
How did the company perform in the last fiscal and what are your growth prospects for the next year? What is the strategy to move ahead?
The last fiscal was a little slow but we are positive about our continuous, uninterrupted growth in the years to come. We are also in the process of growing inorganically, with the means of acquisitions.
This would get us a wider perspective on execution in roads, dams, water projects, oil and gas, and other allied sectors.