History is created by victors – it was written in 1991 by Kishor V Viramgama, Bhupendra T Pachani and Bhovanbhai P Rangani, founders of Iron Triangle (formerly Backbone Enterprises). With an infrastructure presence across roads, building, solar, railways, water and sewerage-related sectors, this infrastructure development service provider has been a pioneer in diverse civil engineering projects with steadfast delivery. Kishor Viramgama, Chairman & Managing Director, Iron Triangle (formerly Backbone Enterprises), credits the company’s experience of over 25 years, specialised technical manpower, hi-tech construction equipment and proper planning for the ability to consistently execute high-quality works within the stipulated timeframe. He shares more on the company’s plans and investments in conversation with SERAPHINA D’SOUZA.
Which segment contributes the maximum to the company’s growth? Also, are you planning to diversify into other sectors?
Our main focus is on the implementation of projects in the highway sector, which also contribute maximum to the company’s business growth. EPC is our preferred mode of execution, which gives us an edge in adopting suitable technology with minimum risk. However, we may bid for HAM projects in the near future as well. As governments are giving prime importance to infrastructure development, we anticipate equal opportunity in all segments of infrastructure. In the near future, we are looking to target mainly the transport sector, which include rail, road, metro, etc. Although diversification is not our priority, we still cater to various water, wastewater and transport sector projects as the number of key players in these are quite low, and hence, we find ourselves appropriate to bid and win.
The company achieved a turnover of Rs.555.30 crore in FY2016-17 and is projecting a turnover of `850 crore for 2017-18. What key parameters will help the company achieve this?
With the execution plan of ongoing projects and overall progress of work, we are sure that our projected turnover of Rs 850 crore for FY2017-18 is easily achievable. To date, we have orders worth about Rs 3,000 crore to execute, and expect to cross Rs 1,000 crore in terms of turnover in the coming years. The key parameters that will help us achieve our targets are specialised technical manpower and a fleet of the latest branded construction equipment.
The company is carrying on works for 25 projects totalling a work order of about Rs.3,000 crore.
Tell us about your investment plans for these.
Our existing commitment and ongoing works include: Rs 629.70 crore rehabilitation and upgradation of the Jharpokharia-Baripada-Baleshwar section of NH-5 in Odisha under NHDP-Phase-1 on EPC mode for NHAI; Rs 229.41 crore worth of EPC projects including rehabilitation and upgradation to two-lanes of the Nabrangpur-Koksara section of NH-201 in Odisha under Phase-1 of NHIIP for MoRTH; Rs 190.40 crore EPC contract for infrastructure development works of SEZ Phase-1 at JNPT; Rs 258.11 crore construction of four-lane road including three flyovers and one elevated corridor on the existing Fafadih-Telibandha-Naya Raipur narrow gauge railway track in Chhattisgarh; Rs 344.79 crore upgradation of the Chikhali-Khamgaon section of NH-548C to two-lane in Maharashtra on EPC mode for MoRTH; among others.
We already have a good fleet with about 400 construction equipment. Of our total fixed assets, about Rs 200 crore (WDV) pertains to plant and machinery. We make use of innovative technologies with the support of our qualified technical team and labour force to ensure execution of quality work within the stipulated timeframe. Although our present equipment fleet is sufficient to achieve our targets, we plan to invest another 30-40 per cent in sourcing equipment in addition to the available fleet of machinery.
On an average, we invest 0.5 per cent of the total order value in plant and machinery, which is an added asset of our company.
What innovative technologies or materials has the company used in its recent projects?
We have constructed rigid pavement road using hi-tech machinery including slip-form paver model SP94/9.5M. We have also used crumb rubber modified bitumen (CRMB) for one of our Odisha projects, which was manufactured by a well-known manufacturer at site itself. In terms of benefits, we are sure about the quality of materials being used at our site.
Large players are reportedly believed to be in the race to buy your solar power assets…
Proposals and negotiations are going on. We propose to reduce our bank borrowings and project finances; hence, we are looking to sell our 20 MW solar plant in Gujarat.
What execution-related bottlenecks do you face in project execution? Any recommendations for a smoother process?
We have successfully completed projects for the Centre and state governments in Gujarat, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Haryana, Jammu and Kashmir, Karnataka, etc. Major hurdles include land acquisition and other clearances from clients for road projects. If the project is awarded with hindrance-free land and all clearances and exact specifications, there is no major challenge in execution as we already have dedicated manpower, construction equipment and experienced subcontractors to carry out quality works within the scheduled timeframe. Also, the identification of quarry in some states is a big hurdle in the execution of projects.
Year of establishment: 1991 as partnership firm, converted into limited company in 2002.
Top management: Kishor Viramgama, Chairman & Managing Director; Hupendra Pachani, Director-Technical; Bhovan Rangani, Director-Finance.
No. of employees: 1,300.
Centre of operation: Ahmedabad.
Completed projects: 26.
On-going projects: 32.
Upcoming projects: 7.
Turnover: Rs.555.30 crore (FY 2016-17).
Expected turnover: Rs.850 crore (FY 2017-18).
Order book: About Rs.3,000 crore.
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