MBA in Infrastructure Development Management will help students to enhance leadership, learn the ability to adapt to change and to recognise emerging trends in the infrastructure development sector, says Dr Pratima Sheorey
Infrastructure is the bedrock of structures, services, and systems that are required for any operation. Infrastructure is the main driver for GDP growth. This is the foundation on which the nation is built. Some of the sectors in infrastructure are: railways, roads, highways, expressway, power lines and power projects (solar, hydro, nuclear, coal). Similarly, infrastructure that shapes organisations across the globe can be termed as business and technology infrastructure. These could include operating systems, security systems, and communication lines, data centres or upgrading existing consumer management systems.
With the facet of infrastructure being classified broadly into different sectors, with all of them bearing numerous similarities, it is quintessential for one to understand that there are considerable differences among the three too. For example, a project in technological infrastructure could follow the software development life cycle along with implementing an agile approach, both of which are unlikely to be used across economic or business infrastructure projects.
Owing to these varied categories, it is imperative for individuals wishing to pursue an MBA in Infrastructure Development Management to choose the category they would like to specialise in. By pursuing a specialised category, individuals develop project planning, execution and monitoring skills. Their ability to resolve issues, managing stakeholder expectations lead to a successful project: within time budget and delivering required results.
Over the last few years, India has seen tremendous growth in infrastructure. According to a World Bank (World bank annual report, 2018 for the period July 2017 to June 2018): World Bank Group committed almost $ 67 billion in investments, investments and guarantees, MIGA (Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency) financed $ 17.9 billion and IDA (International Development Agency) provided $24 billion to poorest countries. This is a fair indication of support provided by World Bank to projects in developing nations. This helps improvements in project execution leading to significant savings and will impact the world economy. Hence, this topic is of significance for project management profession in general and in particular for developing economies like India, where any savings in project costs, both in terms of through put time and money, can be employed usefully elsewhere. With such massive investments, the sector is in dire need of adept leaders with specialised expertise to drive this motion forward. Leaders who understand strategic planning, social, legal and environmental issues, public policies along with their designated specialisation to hold a steady command. Through the MBA in Infrastructure Development Management, individuals can build leadership, learn the ability to adapt to change, develop a strong business acumen that is crucial for decision making, understand scientific and data-driven facets to understand business risks and recognise emerging trends in the infrastructure development sector. The course also deals with experiential learning through real-life situations, along with showcasing pivotal aspects of digital transformation and public-private partnerships and understanding the holistic infrastructure ecosystem.
While the magnitude of infrastructure development cannot be emphasised enough, the infrastructural development in the country both in terms of quality and quantity has not matched up to the standards or the requirements.
Governments do not have the financial capacity to build infrastructure on their own. Private enterprises are invited to be a part of the process. Public Private Partnership (PPP) model of infrastructure development is, now, way forward. This results in employment opportunities in private sector. In addition to opportunities, PPP projects throw up challenges. This course enable the students to study the ‘how’ of leading a PPP project to success. In addition, the course identifies the enablers that ensures effective contract management, stakeholder engagement to name a few.
India expects 300 million new urban occupants constantly to the previously existing base of 377 million urban inhabitants. The administration of such an extraordinary size of the populace in urban zones is a test which includes adapting to the disintegrating urban framework, urban transportation, financial constraints faced by local bodies, administration issues and a stress on existing infrastructure. The challenge lies in maintaining existing infrastructure and adding new to meet the continuously increased demand.
The MBA Infrastructure Development and Management programme prepares the students to: structure projects technically, commercially, socially and environmentally feasible projects within regulatory framework, ensure projects are completed within given constraints of time and money and manage contractual and stakeholder relationships.
The writer is Director, Symbiosis Centre for Management and Human Resource Development