Chief Executive Officer, Essel Infra & Smart Utilities, Essel Infra
1) What growth potential do you see for ever-growing Infrastructure sector in India?
In one word, my response would be “Infinite”. At another level, the growth potential for Infrastructure in India is that of “Limitless Opportunities” for the resilient and the faithful, but “Unknown and full of pitfalls” for the weak-hearted and doubting Thomas(es)!
Let us accept one thing – we are currently a two trillion-dollar economy giving us ~USD 1500 Per Capita Income for our 130+ Crores Population. This at a time, when most developed countries of the world have per capita incomes in excess of USD 30,000, if not more. In other words, our per capita income has to grow 20 times, if not more. India has to plan to be a 50 Trillion Dollar Economy. It is for us to decide “When” and “How” we reach there. It will not happen in a hurry, unless we dramatically alter the pace and quantum of Infrastructure Investment, along with associated improvements in Health, Education & Embracement of Technology, which shall then determine the pace and timing of when we become a (if not the World’s First) 50 Trillion Dollar Economy.
2) What are the qualities you look for in your vendor/suppliers before choosing them for any project?
“Reliability, Dependability, Ability & Capability, Trust-worthiness and Integrity” would be the qualities that most of us would choose in our Partners, Employees and /or Vendors/Suppliers. Some would add beauty and glamour, and we can read it as “Attractiveness, Name & Fame, and/or Past Track Record”. Others may add “Value for Money”, or we can define as “Win-Win Partnerships”. Essentially we are looking for long-term relationships and All-Weather Friends!
3) What are your views on “The Economic Times Infra Focus Summit” and how important do you to feel is the need of organizing such summits?
I would have shortened the theme of this year’s summit to: “Transition towards Futuristic and Resilient Infrastructure”, because we essentially operate in a continuum. I believe the direction of our Infrastructure Journey is a given and undisputed. The variables are Speed, Quantum and Composition, which in turn are shaped and affected in a large manner by Public Policy, ideological positions of the dominant players and external macro-economic environment.
Conferences like this provide useful pit-stops to take stock of ‘How’ we are doing, ‘Where’ are we going and ‘What’ needs to be attended to. At a time, when there is major push towards building the overall infrastructure of the country, the summit provides much needed impetus to the sector by bringing in the best minds on one platform - to discuss policy, strategy, challenges and much more. It is also a great forum for networking and building partnerships.