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How IRB chief Virendra D Mhaiskar built his highway to success in India’s road developing business
There are very few leaders who can envision the future, and change the directionof a sector almost single handedly. Mr Virendra D Mhaiskar, the MD of IRB Infrastructure, is one such leader who took incredible risks and gigantic stepsto transform the roads and highways across India.
Post acquiring a professional engineering qualification to shoulder the ever growing business, and with the dream of making IRB’s name a trusted one in the roads and highways infrastructure development world, in year 1998, Virendra D. Mhaiskar promoted IRB Infrastructure Developers Ltd. and expanded the business to leave his footprints across India. Since then he has been attaining new victories with each step he is taking.
Under the supervision of Virendra D Mhaiskar, the company now operates one of the largest portfolios in India with more than 12,000 lane Kms along with an aggregate assets value of more than Rs35,000 crores, comprising a portfolio of 17 owned projects and 7 projects under O&M contracts as a project manager for IRB InvIT. Of the 17 owned projects, 7 projects are under operational BOT space; 3 under HAM space; 4 projects under Tolling & Construction, another 2 projects under advanced stages of construction and 1 project under development stage. The Company has successfully completed 7 concessions till date.
Foraying deeper into the infrastructure industry, the company now has three Hybrid Annuity Model (HAM) projects to its name as well.The first two projects are in Tamil Nadu, and the third project is in Gujarat.The total value of IRB Infrastructure’s construction order book now stands at Rs 12,000-cr mark.
Shri Virendra D Mhaiskar has achieved unmatchable milestones en-route his quest for excellence. He was chosen as the ‘Young Turk’ of the year’ at the 6th Edition of CNBCTV18 India Business Leader Awards. The award was presented by the finance minister on December 11, 2010 inMumbai. He is the most sought-after person in this sectorhavingan experience of more than 25 years.
Under his able leadership, IRB Infrastructure hasbeen associated with NHAI’s Golden Quadrilateral project, which is considered to be one of the most ambitious and prestigious road plans. He hasa never-ending zest toconnect every part of India through world class highways for an unmatched commuting experience.
Mr Mhaiskar’s wonderful efforts have not only shaped the roads of India, buthavealso taken him to the 96th position asIndia's Richest (2012), and 937th position among Billionaires (2010), according to Forbes list.He has successfully launched India’s first InvIT Fund. To make this fund attractive, he has transferred seven of IRB’s best revenue generating projects to the fund, thus creating a better value proposition for its stakeholders.
Mr Mhaiskar believes that never before has the scope of road sector been enhanced like now. For the first time in decades, the entire process of land acquisition is being dealtaggressively. The National Highways,which accounted for anywhere between 55,000-70,000 km out of 3.5 million km of roadways, have been expanded to account for around 2 lakh km in India.According to him, the present government’sdecision to set up norms in deciding which road should be treated as a national highway, and which as a state roadway, has helped a lot in turning the tables.
The infrastructuresector has seen its ups and downs in India over the last couple of decades. The journey has been full of roadblocks, but thereis also a scope of growth. Mr Mhaiskar reiterates that it can grow by using concepts like PPPs (public-private partnerships), BOT and TOT (toll-operate-and-transfer).
“I am certain that the government will have to further fine-tune its concessionaire agreements and re-introduce BOT. If the government doesn’tdo this, it will end up taking the liability on itself and on future governments,”explained Virendra D Mhaiskar in a recent interview.
Indian roads are now matching the international standards, and every community has benefited from the same. Commenting on his journey of transforming the Indian roads, Virendra D Mhaiskar stated that one needs to show determination, discipline and courage to take a risk that can prove to be instrumental in making the difference.
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