Cover Story

10th Annual Construction World Global Awards 2012

October 2012
It was an evening to remember. The 10th ANNUAL CONSTRUCTION WORLD GLOBAL AWARDS 2012 held on September 12, 2012, in New Delhi, was a glittering event. Part of the India Construction Festival, which ran from September 12 to 15, it was held on the evening of the first day of the conference. (For details of the four-day conference, which comprised the Infrastructure Today Leadership Summit and 4th Equipment India Conference, see page 68).

Global Awards 2012

Held for the 10th year in a row, the awards served a forum to bring the industry together, celebrate mutual achievements and set benchmarks for achievement and excellence. What's more, this year marked the first global awards ceremony by ASAPP Media, where international contracting companies were also awarded. This was done on the basis of CONSTRUCTION WORLD's tie-up with McGraw Hill's 138-year-old magazine Engineering News-Record (ENR), which had formulated a list of international contractors, based on each company's work executed overseas.

With the hall filled to capacity with 250 'power' people from the industry, the event served as a perfect networking opportunity for building material suppliers, equipment companies, financiers and contracting companies. Apart from International Global Contractors, other categories included Building Material Companies, India's Most Admired Companies, Equipment Companies and India's Top Construction Companies. The awards – except for India's Most Admired Companies and International Global Contractors – were given on the basis of audited results of five-year profits and sales figures. An eminent jury comprising Anuj Puri, Chairman & Country Head, Jones Lang LaSalle; Daksesh Parikh, Executive Editor, Business India; JD Stuart Macaskie, Project Director, Masters Management Consultants; Manikkan Sangameswaran, President-Infrastructure, ICICI Venture Funds Management; Mukund Sapre, Executive Director, IL&FS Transportation Networks; Rakesh Sharma, Managing Director, Tishman Speyer India; Sanjay Palve, Group President & Senior Managing Director-Corporate Finance, Yes Bank; and Sunil Damania, Investment Expert, deliberated over the findings at a jury meeting in July to arrive at the final list of winners.

The pre-function VIP room at the venue, where the guest of honour, special guest and winners congregated, had its own buzz. Contemporaries exchanged notes, while heads of material and equipment companies hobnobbed with those of contracting companies. For instance, we overheard Vikas Sharma, Director, Supreme Infrastructure, telling Vinita Singhania, Managing Director, JK Lakshmi Cement, that his company used only JK Lakshmi Cement in all its projects and mandated its use for its JVs as well – the ultimate validation from a customer! Asit Patel, Managing Director, Gujarat Apollo, which won an award for the Second Fastest Growing Construction Equipment Company, was accompanied by his wife Naina. And VS Ramana, General Manager & Head-Corporate Communications, L&T, exhorted CONSTRUCTION WORLD to report on what little work was being done on skill training, a significant need in present times.

On the stage, our speakers served up considerable food for thought – and a keen insight into the industry. Guest of honour Pronab Sen, Principal Advisor, Planning Commission, Government of India, commented on the changing face of construction in his opening remarks when he said, "Twenty years ago, to have a room full of people in construction would have been unimaginable. Construction was never seen as an activity to be proud of!" Also present on the dais was Raghav Chandra, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Road Transport & Highways, who said that though the roads sector was nascent, the next few years would see the expressways and highways coming about. For his part, Tudor Van Hampton, Deputy Editor, ENR, spoke about the magazine's tie-up with CONSTRUCTION WORLD and the opportunity that India represents to the rest of the world.

The CONSTRUCTION WORLD 'Woman of the Year' award, instituted last year, went to Vinita Singhania, Managing Director, JK Lakshmi Cement and President of Cement Manufacturers' Association. Humility personified, in her acceptanhce speech she remarked that she was humbled to be in the presence of such large players in the construction segment. (Read her speech on page 84). The National Buildings Construction Corporation (NBCC) was honoured for 50 years of its rewarding service to the sector.

Meanwhile, Vikas Sharma, Director of Supreme Infrastructure, which won in the Fastest Growing Construction Company (Medium Category), spoke with emotion on the significance of the award for the firm, calling it, "The ultimate recognition for work done, from an august organisation". MV Satish, Executive Vice President and Head-Buildings & Factories IC, L&T, which received the award for being one amongst India's Most Admired Companies, said, "This award is a special one because we do not send any nominations for it; it comes from the readers." These are certainly trying times, as Satish pointed out, adding that it was great to celebrate in the prevailing atmosphere of pessimism. And celebrate our winners did – while raising a toast to a better tomorrow forged by the continued pursuit of excellence!