Our jury panel came together on September 6, 2017, at Hotel Four Seasons in Mumbai to discuss and deliberate upon India's fastest growing companies.
For the 15th consecutive year, the CW team rolled up its sleeves to plan for the Oscars of the construction industry: The CONSTRUCTION WORLD Annual Awards 2017. It's that time of year when the trophies get into shape for India's Fastest Growing Construction Companies to receive, the Top Challengers are recognised, and the CONSTRUCTION WORLD (CW) Man of the Year takes centre-stage.
Such momentous decisions are not arrived at lightly! Thus, our seven-member jury panel, comprising eminent people from the industry, came together at noon on September 6 to discuss, deliberate upon and select the winners of India's largest and fastest growing construction companies, as well as select the CW Man of the Year.
Akin to the process in recent years, the jury meet was initiated by pulling out a list of nominations for the 'CW Man of the Year 2017'. Compiled by the CW editorial team, the nominations included construction heroes who have made remarkable achievements this year and, through their efforts, have propelled the company, organisation and industry forward.
Further, going by the rules of the game, a report with quantitative analysis of construction companies - data sourced from published annual reports and results published by companies - was presented to the panel to allow them to assess the numbers associated with the companies in each category (of fastest growing large, medium or small). Even in the case of non-listed firms, such data was sourced from the company directly by seeking their audited figures. To ensure authenticity of data during compilation, various checks and balances were put into place. The jury was informed that the data was further audited selectively to ensure it was error-free.
This data has been collated and compiled by research-partner FIRST (Foundation of Infrastructure Research Studies Training), a not-for-profit social trust that publishes sector reports that provide credible information, and is timely and useful for accessing and disseminating business opportunities. The institution also engages in researching information and ranking construction and infrastructure companies.
As a prelude to the discussion of selecting India's fastest growing companies, a presentation on the parameters of the model was made by Pratap Padode, Managing Director, ASAPP Info Global Group. This included the definition of large, medium and small companies, and the rationale for the choice of companies along with criteria such as cut-off levels for selecting companies in various categories. Companies not considered for the awards were those with insufficient data available; those that suffered losses in FY2016; and those whose figures were derived mainly from 'in-house performance'.
While deliberating upon the data provided in the 'Fastest Growing Construction Company-Large' category, the panel discussed the two metrics of 'leveraging' and 'liquidity' in addition to the ranking, citing these as the main aspects in the industry at present. Companies that were in deep stress or where an evident level of stress was visible were disregarded. Some members of the panel thought differently about companies that do a lot of captive government work; as a result, these companies did not win majority support from the jury.
As for the category of 'Fastest Growing Construction Company-Medium', last year's jury panel was optimistic that 2017 would bring a turnaround and companies would come up. However, stress levels were evident once again with several companies being listed negative by the panel. This also included companies that have diversified over the years but have not recorded considerable numbers from the perspective of being profitable. Further, companies where the revenue declined compared to last year were not considered.
In the third and last category of 'Fastest Growing Construction Company-Small', companies on which qualitative data was not available made their way down the ranks. At the same time, companies that may have had a smaller base but were pegged to grow faster climbed up the ranking ladder. Additionally, the jury decided not to consider companies that were major suppliers and did not generate a huge share of the business from contracting activities.
All in all, the panel focused more on top-line and bottom-line growth; they discussed all-round performance and shared their perceptions and findings on areas of concern of some companies during the period under review.
This certainly had an overall impact on the final report card. Eventually, it was well worth the wait when the panel arrived at its list of the winning companies for 2017: India's Fastest Growing Companies.