Achievers from the world of construction, contracting, engineering and building materials were felicitated for their outstanding contribution at the India Construction Festival (ICF) 2019 held recently in New Delhi.
The 2019 financial year was a challenging time for India Inc. The issues confronting the industry ranged from a liquidity crunch, rising bad loans, loan defaults, slowdown in Capex, decline in automobile sales to project delays and insolvencies. Despite these obstacles and uncertainties, a few entities managed to persevere and prevail, posting growth and exhibiting excellence. And these achievers from the universe of construction, contracting, engineering and building materials were honoured for their outstanding work at the India Construction Festival 2019 in Delhi.
The India Construction Festival (ICF), organised by FIRST Construction Council on October 15 and 16, comprised four sub-events: The India Roads Conference; CONSTRUCTION WORLD Global Awards; CONSTRUCTION WORLD Leadership Summit; and the EQUIPMENT INDIA Awards.
Also, for the second consecutive year, CONSTRUCTION WORLD associated with New York-based Engineering News-Record, popularly known as ENR, the world's oldest and largest circulated engineering magazine, to recognise top international design and contracting firms.
Explore New Turfs
Delivering the inaugural address at the India Construction Festival, Pratap Padode, Founder & President, FIRST Construction Council said, "The Indian construction industry is one of the fastest-growing sectors and will continue to invite new investments. And, India will have to explore new turfs to enhance investments in infrastructure. The country needs a strong project pipeline to attract leading global engineering firms."
While laying emphasis on the need to examine ways in which technology could be leveraged to improve the Indian construction industry, Padode stated, "FCC will share an extensive report with National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) on proposed resolutions of impediments based on suggestions received from stakeholders at the India Construction Festival."
Need to Come Out of Silos
The India Roads Conference was inaugurated by the event guest and keynote speaker Nagendra Nath Sinha, Chairman, National Highways Authority of India (NHAI). In his address, the outgoing head of the agency gave a perfect start to the conference. Sinha said, "The highways sector will contribute significantly to robust infrastructure development. Ministries and departments need to come out of silos and explore inter-modalities to address India's transportation needs. We are looking at financial returns before investing in roads and highways projects, and at rationalising land requirements in future projects."
He also pointed out that to squeeze more out of highway projects the government had decided to do 100 per cent tolling electronically. The Ministry of Road Transport & Highways and NHAI would work with eight state governments on 'One Nation, One (RFID) Tag' to enhance toll collection on highways.
"All HAM bids brought out by NHAI in FY19 and FY 20 have succeeded and NHAI will continue with the model," asserted Sinha.
The guest of honour at the CONSTRUCTION WORLD Leadership Summit was Dr. Anup Wadhawan, Secretary, Ministry of Commerce & Industry, Govt. of India. In his address, Dr Wadhawan remarked"The construction sector is critical to various goals of the economy and there is a need to introspect the reasons behind construction projects being stuck."
Higher Benchmarks He also Urging construction companies, associations and media entities to introspect on reasons behind project delays and misuse of investor money, he also emphasised on the need for the Indian construction industry to set high benchmarks to be recognised globally."
On his part, Steve Jones, Senior Director, Industry Insights Research, Dodge Data & Analytics, said, "The construction industry is at one of the most remarkable points in its history."
Elaborating on the various technology trends that can be adopted by the Indian construction industry, he said, "Project modelling helps consolidate costs into a single source."
ICF 2019 was also a celebration of excellence. More than 60 awards were conferred upon leading construction companies, design and engineering firms and building materials and equipment companies.
While the assessment criterion for the EQUIPMENT INDIA Awards was based on sales, the CONSTRUCTION WORLD Global Awards followed a statistical model developed by FIRST Construction Council to analyse and present India's Fastest Growing Construction Companies. The model used financial data of last six years and the companies were categorised under 'Large Category' if the turnover for the current year was exceeding Rs 75 billion, under 'Medium Category' if the turnover exceeded Rs 20 billion but under Rs 75 billion, and under 'Small Category' if the turnover was under Rs 20 billion, but over Rs 2 billion. The analysis for both awards was then presented to independent jury panels consisting of eminent individuals to finalise the set of winners from among the shortlisted companies.
CONSTRUCTION WORLD Global Awards recognised Kumar Keshav, Managing Director, Lucknow Metro Rail Corporation, as the 'CONSTRUCTION WORLD Person of the Year 2019 in the Public Sector', and Chinta Sridhar, Managing Director, Navayuga Engineering Company, as the 'CONSTRUCTION WORLD Person of the Year 2019 in the Private Sector'. The celebration continued through day two of the event, when the EQUIPMENT INDIA Awards recognised Sumit Mazumder, Chairman and Managing Director, TIL, with the 'EQUIPMENT INDIA Lifetime Achievement Award 2019' and Vijay Agarwal, Chairman & Managing Director, Action Construction Equipment, with the 'EQUIPMENT INDIA Person of the Year 2019' title.
FIRST has also created another model for the 'Top Challengers' Awards where companies, including infrastructure developers, building materials and construction equipment, are also considered and selected based on their ability to grow over the previous year despite challenging circumstances. These companies, too, were recognised at the CONSTRUCTION WORLD Global Awards.
India Construction Festival 2019 was supported by the Department of Commerce, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Govt. of India, Sagarmala, Skill India, and National Highways Authority of India. Partners for the event included Apollo Tyres (Presenting Partner), APCO Infratech, CDE, L&T Construction, Afcons, and Dilip Buildcon (Gold Partners), Turner, Dineshchandra R Agrawal Infracon, Tata Projects, Welspun Enterprises, and SANY (Silver Partners), Shyam Steel, Wirtgen Group, J Kumar Infraprojects, Escorts Construction Equipment, Action Construction Equipment, and Gayatri Projects (Associate Partners), Off-Highway Research (Knowledge Partner), NAREDCO, Builders Association of India, EEPC India, National Highways Builders Federation, PMA India, Smart Cities Council India, UAE-India Business Council, PEPC (Supporting Partners) and CNN News 18 (TV Partner).