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The story of Indian infrastructure is evolving in leaps and bounds, says Sandeep Gulati, MD, India and South Asia, Egis

The story of Indian infrastructure is evolving in leaps and bounds, says Sandeep Gulati, MD, India and South Asia, Egis

Please share with us your views on the transformative phase of Indian infrastructure?
Infrastructure is an important aspect of the economic development of a country, which cannot achieve rapid economic growth unless it has the appropriate infrastructure. The story of Indian infrastructure is evolving in leaps and bounds. One of the key verticals fuelling India’s ambitious growth story is infrastructure. It is one of the key drivers of the Indian economy and in the last 10 years, India has witnessed a rapid transformation in the introduction & execution of world-class infrastructure. As the country’s overall development is primarily pivoted on its infrastructural prowess, the sector enjoys intense focus from the Government which has been introducing viable policies targeted at ensuring creation of a sustainable world class infrastructure in the country. India’s infrastructure sector typically comprises of power, bridges, dams, roads, smart cities development, water, and other public utilities.

Can we say that Indian infra space has achieved and is on a never before envious path since the past 5 years?
India has enhanced its infrastructure landscape over the past two decades, much remains to be done to meet demands now and, in the years, ahead. The Government has set aside Rs. 111 crore under the National Infrastructure Pipeline (NIP) for FY2019 – 25, with sectors such as energy, roads, urban and railways amounting to a whopping 71% of the projected infrastructure investment. Additionally, the online “holistic governance” system - PM Gati Shakti connects 16 ministries - such as Roads and Highways, Railways, Shipping, Petroleum and Gas, Power, Telecom, Shipping, and Aviation - with the objective to ensure holistic planning and execution of infrastructure projects, by reducing implementation costs. PM Gati Shakti will enable multiple government departments to harmonise their efforts into a multi-modal network. Also, several other Government initiatives such as Asset Monetization Scheme and New Guidelines on Procurement, etc, are currently pushing the Indian infrastructure sector in the right direction. Government’s focus on infra is witnessing a sharp surge over the years.

In your opinion, which is the key infrastructure segment propelling the country's growth?
India’s infrastructure sector typically comprises of rail/metro, roads/highways, power, bridges, dams, smart cities development, water, and other public utilities. This infrastructure development is crucial to achieve the India 2047 vision for a $40 trillion economy and be reclassified from a developing economy to a developed economy. Cumulatively, the collective development of India’s infrastructure propels India’s economic growth.

What has been your organisation's role in contributing towards this phase of infra-transformation?
Egis is an international player active in the consulting, construction engineering and mobility services sector. Egis design and operate intelligent infrastructure and buildings capable of responding to the climate emergency and helping to achieve more balanced and sustainable development. Brand Egis is associated with excellence in delivering best in the class project management processes through expert manpower and tools. Egis in India is associated with most of the marquee infrastructure projects – be it – Rail, Metros, Expressways, Airports, Smart Cities, Water and Ports and in emerging sectors like Climate Change and Sustainability. We take pride to contribute to the larger cause of Nation Building.

How much is the role of technology in shaping this phase in an effective manner?
As a critical infrastructure, technology is becoming a more important part of the infrastructure discussion in developed and developing countries alike. In their quest to improve infrastructure, governments and companies are increasingly applying and adopting technology in diverse areas, ranging from smart grids and smart lighting, urban mobility, and transport infrastructure. Smart infrastructure employs technologies such as IoT, which connects various elements of infrastructure and provides a platform to review different situations. Technology is offering opportunities that provide complex solutions that help address the booming demand, and not at the expense of a sustainable future. But technology alone is insufficient. It must be adopted as part of a long-term, broad strategy that also takes into consideration affordability, usability, and sustainability.

Tell us about the key challenges still faced and strategies to overcome the same?
Challenges can be many starting from policy, funding, technology, inadequate planning, and implementation, etc. The possible way forward can be investment in social infrastructure, increased public-private partnerships, improved project planning and implementation, implementation of innovative financing solutions, encouraging foreign direct investment (FDI), building human capital and effective regulation to name a few.

Can you share your views on how the sector will shape up in the near future?
The infrastructure sector is one of the key drivers of the economy globally and India is no exception. The aggressive approach of the Indian government towards strengthening the country’s infrastructure sector is, therefore, well placed. The sector enjoys intense focus from the government, which has been introducing various favourable policies targeted at ensuring the creation of sustainable world-class infrastructure in the country. I strongly believe that the infrastructure vertical is catalysing India’s ambitious growth story.


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