The infrastructure sector is the cornerstone of our economy and plays a pivotal role in accelerating and fortifying India’s overall development and global competitiveness. The world over, the true hallmark of development is measured in terms of a country’s prowess in infrastructure. For India too, the story is no different. In 2019, the Government of India launched a massive infrastructure program – the National Infrastructure Pipeline (NIP), which aims to invest close to ₹ 111 lakh crore on infrastructure projects by 2024-25.
Today, as urban centers continue to mushroom rapidly across the country, they have rapidly emerged as the engines that fuel economic growth. This has however led to various gaps in urban and transport infrastructure. In the next decade, India will require huge private investments and overseas funding in this sector, as cities become highly connected, districts located within cities become accessible, and the urban-rural connectivity improves.
In line with its diversification strategy, RPG Group’s flagship infrastructure company KEC International, forayed into the fast-expanding urban infrastructure sector last year, and is currently executing several projects for marquee clients across India. These include five large orders in the elevated viaduct segment for clients such as Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC), National Capital Region Transport Corporation (NCRTC) for the construction of the Delhi-Meerut Regional Rapid Transit System (RRTS), and Kochi Metro Rail Corporation (KMRL). The company has also recently secured its first order for the construction of a depot-cum workshop for the Delhi-Meerut RRTS corridor.
In addition to these orders in the civil works space, KEC has also successfully enhanced its portfolio to include several projects in the technology-enabled and emerging segments of Metro, Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation of India (DFCCIL) and high-speed trains. The company has recently secured orders in the metro electrification and ballast-less track works from DMRC and KMRL respectively, marking its foray into these new areas. The infrastructure major is also executing a breakthrough order in Signalling & Telecommunication (S&T), secured recently from DFCCIL, and is L1 in a Metro S&T order from a new client.
These orders have catapulted KEC into a league of elite players capable of executing large, complex and technology intensive projects in the urban infra sector. KEC continues to bid for varied projects in this fast-growing sector and expects it to be a major growth driver for the company in the coming years.
We have an early mover advantage in this sector. There are not too many large-sized, credible players today who have the ability and expertise to execute and deliver technology-intensive projects on time. Our vast experience in project management, execution and technical capabilities from the Transmission & Distribution, Railways and Civil businesses enable us to drive innovation and operational efficiency in this sector.”
Vimal Kejriwal, Managing Director &
CEO of KEC International
The Government of India continues to be committed to upgrade and develop India’s fast evolving transport infrastructure in a bid to accommodate the growing urban populace and provide safer and faster transport solutions. In fact, the governments of several major states have announced new metro/elevated corridor projects, in addition to the central government’s budgetary outlay of ₹ 1.7 lakh crore for transport infrastructure in 2020-21. Over 60 percent of this investment will be utilised in making elevated metros and the remaining for the construction of underground metro lines. It is also estimated that an investment of close to ₹ 3 trillion will be made over the next five years to build a robust network of 1,500 km of MRTS/ RRTS projects across various cities.
Vimal is certain that these investments will bode well for the company. “We expect significant opportunities for the company’s urban infrastructure business in the coming years, especially in areas such as track-laying, signalling & telecommunication, civil works, etc. We continue to be leaders in the Railway EPC business. In fact, KEC accounts for nearly 40 percent of the government’s programme for electrification of overhead lines. Given our expertise and leadership in the industry, we are poised for success in the urban infrastructure space too.”
The company has successfully created a niche by integrating advanced construction technologies and equipment with its extensive project management expertise and capabilities to deliver best-in-class construction to its clients. KEC’s integrated project management competencies have been a key enabler for it to deliver our projects on or ahead of schedule – a feat not many can boast of in the industry.
Today, KEC has an overall order book + L1 position of over ₹ 24,000 crore, with urban infra contributing around 11%, at ~₹ 2,600 crore. The company is excited and geared up to venture into this new area of growth. It’s currently focussing on the ahead of time execution of the projects secured during the year, while continuing to build its people, assets and technology capabilities for the sector.