India's Leading Infrastructure Companies

India's Leading Infrastructure Companies 2015

Q. Please give us a brief profile of the company.
A. Ashoka Buildcon Ltd. is the flagship company of the Ashoka Group. Our origin can be traced back to 1976, when we were a civil engineering company handling small time contractual works for government and semi government bodies. Today we are established as one of the leading highway developers in the country with a portfolio of prestigious National and State highway projects. We are strengthened with EPC as well as BOT capabilities. Ashoka Buildcon Ltd. is listed on the Bombay Stock Exchange and on the National Stock Exchange. Being one of the pioneers in the BOT based highways construction segment, the company boasts of an impressive portfolio of over 29 BOT based projects across India. As of March 2014, the company’s order book stood at ` 3,500 crore and it recorded a turnover of ` 1,900 crore for the year 2013-14. Our company has built over 6,000 lane kms of highways. The company is also well established in the Power Transmission & Distribution sector, with projects across Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Bihar and Tamil Nadu. Our power T&D projects are proudly illuminating over 26,000 villages.

Q. What are the major challenges faced by the construction sector? What steps will help overcome these challenges?
A. Being a Highways Infrastructure developer, I would like to mention the challenges that our highway construction sector faces. Our country seriously needs to revisit its bureaucratic set up. The whole sector needs to be put on a fast forward mode when it comes to securing approvals, settling disputes and addressing major issues which require government intervention.
Land acquisition, requisite approvals and uncertainties with regards to escalation in prices of raw material, manpower and other resources continue to hamper the industry’s growth.
We also feel that the new Land Acquisition Act is going to be a challenge for the government because it may lead to increase in land prices without addressing the issue of dispute resolutions and time for acquisitions.

Q. What regulatory changes do you foresee in the infrastructure sector in the near future?
A. India’s rapid growth in the recent years has proved that infrastructural strength is the primary ingredient for the development of any country. We are positive on the fact that the governments at central as well as state level will soon establish a body that will focus on settling matters that delay the completion of the project. We are also hopeful that Public Private Partnerships will find new avenues in Annuity Based Projects which are likely to be the future of Infrastructure development. We also look forward to projects that will empower the developer with land development rights that can ease the burden on toll based road projects.

Q. What opportunities do you see for the infrastructure sector in the next five years? How is your company planning to tap those opportunities?
A. We continue to be pursuant in the EPC and BOT based highways development projects. Also, we will strengthen our Power T&D projects. We see a good potential for growth in these sectors and are certain the opportunities are just around the corner. The new government at the central level has given us hope that it will focus on introducing fresh momentum in the infra segment and we are gearing up to make our contribution to the same.
We are also happy to see that even the state governments have increased their focus on state highways and power supply. This opens up new opportunities for big as well as medium sized players in the segment.
We find ourselves well-poised to capitalise on the upcoming opportunities as we are well funded and work on a fully integrated business model. This gives us an edge over our competitors and ensures that we remain a consistent performer.