On Contract

We are investing about Rs.4,000 crore in road projects.

November 2014
- Devendra Jain, Director, Dilip Buildcon Ltd

Did you know that Dilip Buildcon Ltd (DBL) is currently the largest private-sector, road-focused EPC player in the country, executing projects worth over Rs 6,000 crore? What´s more, DBL is the fastest growing infrastructure development company of India, with about 100-per-cent continuous year-on-year growth for the past seven years. It is developing infrastructure across the country in diverse areas such as roads, bridges, water sanitation and sewage, irrigation, etc. The company has successfully completed some of the most complex and challenging highway development projects and it has also won numerous awards and recognition with the most recent accolade from the World Bank for its Ahmedabad-Godhra project. Devendra Jain, Director, Dilip Buildcon Ltd, shares his company´s plans and views on the industry in conversation with AHLAM RAIS.

Dilip Buildcon has recently acquired the 500th Hamm 311 soil compactor. Apart from this, are you planning any new purchases? What is your current equipment bank?
We are continuously procuring equipment such as graders, rollers, crushers, batch mix plants and concrete batch mix plants. Currently, we have almost 60 batch-in plants and are procuring almost 20 more. We purchase our equipment from Wirtgen, Caterpillar, Gemco, TIPL, Volvo, Metso, etc. Our current equipment bank is almost Rs 1,200 crore. Of the total equipment purchase, 20 per cent is investment and 80 per cent debt. This financial year, we are going to have procurement plans of almost Rs 1,700 crore and most of the procurement will be done for road projects.

Your company is one of the largest private-sector, road-focused EPC players in the country. Tell us more about your projects.
We mainly specialise in road projects. However, at present, we have one dam project worth Rs 500 crore and a Rs 1,000 crore canal project in Madhya Pradesh. We are also carrying out projects in the irrigation and water supply segment. Other than Madhya Pradesh, we are carrying out projects in Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh. We have recently completed two projects in Gujarat too. Of the total amount, we are investing about Rs 4,000 crore in road projects and the remaining Rs 2,000 crore in irrigation and water supply projects. We are also continuously bidding for EPC contracts of National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) and Ministry of Roads Transport and Highways (MORTH).

Have you used any innovative materials in any of your recent projects? If yes, please highlight the technology and its advantages.
We use innovative technologies, one being the Tech Feb technology for our project in Madhya Pradesh. In terms of innovative machines, we use soil stabilising to increase the soil properties. We employ milling machines to reuse existing crushed sand and the sand classifier that converts the material from the crusher into sand. This technology helps reduce cost and time.

Projects often face delay owing to lack of land, environment or forest clearance or funds. Share your experience on these. How do you strategise to ensure hassle-free completion?
The biggest challenge is land acquisition and environment clearance of mines in our country. In the past three to four years, owing to the unviable bidding carried out by players, bankers have also reduced their rates of interest. The new government is taking steps to bring unviable projects back into EPC, the projects where there was less traffic and that were unnecessary put into BOT. If the government also pays attention to challenges faced on field such as land acquisition, environment clearance and forest approvals, the industry will flourish. There is a strategy for every project. We have our own clearance team that works along with the government. But in the matter of government policies, we cannot do anything. This is a big challenge.

According to reports, Nitin Gadkari will release Rs 2 lakh crore of infra projects. Also, state governments now have the authority to clear projects up to Rs 1,000 crore. What opportunities do you foresee?
There are many opportunities but the Government will have to provide early clearances and bankers too will have to cooperate. There is a lot of potential for our company in the background of these infra projects getting clearance as we specialise in the road segment and have carried out projects across the country. As the company is largely based in Madhya Pradesh, we are very aggressive bidders in the state. However, in other states where we are already mobilised, we bid for the project on a cluster approach.

Year of establishment: 1980
Top management: Dilip Suryavanshi (Managing Director) and Devendra Jain (Director)
No. of employees: 12,000
Centre of operation: Madhya Pradesh
No of ongoing projects: 37 (Expected to be complete between 2014-2018)
Total value of ongoing contracts: Rs 7805.29 crore
No. of completed projects: 60
Turnover: Rs 2,500 crore last year; targeting Rs 3,500 crore this year