We stayed focused on the highway sector

01 Jul 2020 Long Read

- Satish Parakh, Managing Director, AshokaBuildcon

Leading highway developer Ashoka Buildcon is an integrated EPC and BOT player with a portfolio of 38 PPP projects—one of the largest by number in India.Besides construction of highways and bridges, the company is also engaged in power transmission and distribution on EPC basis, railways and city gas distribution. Ithas worked in over 21 states across the country and overseas, constructing a road network for the Housing Development Corporation in the Republic of Maldives. It is one of the first Indian infrastructure companies to be certified for Integrated Management Systems, which encompasses ISO certification for Quality, Occupational Health and Safety and Environment. Satish Parakh, Managing Director, Ashoka Buildcon, shares more….

  • Major challenge faced in FY2019-20 and the company’s approach to it:This year, we were confronted with the challenge of acquiring quality human resources at our project sites. For example, we are a technology-driven organisation and we believe in deploying world-class equipment for our construction and related activities.Operating this equipment requiresa skilled workforce, which is not easily available, especially considering that we focus on generating employment for local citizens.To overcome this challenge, we have put in place a dedicated skill development programme that provides training to staff members so they can gain expertise in their job responsibilities.This initiative has helped us develop a strong talent pool; as a result, almost all our projects are being completed ahead of schedule.
  • Biggest contributor to the company’s growth in FY2020:One major decision was to stay focused on the highway sector as it continues to remain one of the top priorities in the nation’s development. This decision has helped us maintain our position among the top highway developers of the country.
  • A decision avoided that helped impact the topline and bottomline:The most important factor is that we avoid ambitious bidding. When we bid for projects, we avoid the market chase and offer quotes that are reasonable and financially viable. We can see that several highway development companies have succumbed to the consequences of their aggressive bidding. We pride ourselves on the fact that we have maintained the quality of our portfolio, which in turn has kept our financials in good health.
  • Plans for growth in FY2020-21 amid the uncertainties the COVID-19 pandemic has brought about:This year, the challenge came in the form of COVID-19. But we suffered low levels of migration issues at our camps and were also quick to adapt to the work-from-home culture. We continue to have a positive outlook for highway development in the future and one can expect the momentum to reach full swing soon. Also, we have stepped into railways, which will contribute positively to the company’s growth. We will continue to expand our horizons in the infrastructure sector.


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