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Paving the way: Vasistha Patel

Vasistha Patel, Director Sadbhav Engineering and Managing Director, Sadbhav Infrastructure Project Limited of Sadbhav Infrastructure Project

Sadbhav Engineering Director and Managing Director of Sadbhav Infrastructure Project Limited (SIPL) Vasistha Patel has been a part of the Sadbhav Group for the past 20 years. The company was founded by Vasistha’s father-in-law, Vishnubhai Patel, in 1988 and has grown to incorporate several business verticals.

It has an engineering, procurement and construction business, which specialises in transport, mining and irrigation; while its subsidiary, SIPL, mainly conducts roadworks.

Over time, the company has broadened its operations to 19 states in India. It has completed more than 4,500 lane kilometres of road and highway construction. The CEO Magazine spoke with Vasistha about his role in the business and the company plans for the future.

Vasistha Patel, Director Sadbhav Engineering and Managing Director, Sadbhav Infrastructure Project Limited of Sadbhav Infrastructure Project

The CEO Magazine: You have been involved with Sadbhav Group for the past 20 years. What motivated you to join the business

Vasistha: Being a civil engineer by profession, the roads and infrastructure sector has always been an inspiration for me. It fascinated me to create exemplary infrastructure that has become a crucial part of Nation Building here in India. Since its inception, Sadbhav provided me with opportunities in my field of interest and thus helped me deliver my best.

“The roads and infrastructure sector has always been an inspiration for me.”

What are some of the biggest changes you have noticed in the company during that time?

During the past several years, there has been a paradigm shift in the construction industry in that it has shifted towards digitalisation. There have been changes in the various technologies used in the construction of roads, highways and related structures in order to enhance the construction quality and achieve timely completion. I have also observed upgrades in accounting systems during my tenure.

What have been the highlights for Sadbhav Engineering over the past two to three years?

In the past couple of years, we have secured many EPC and Hybrid Annuity Model projects from the government for road development. We specialise in delivering projects within the stipulated time and our recent feat was completing the Eastern Peripheral Expressway, which goes through the states of Haryana and Uttar Pradesh. It was completed in under 500 construction days compared with the stipulated 900 days. This shows our ability and commitment towards successfully delivering infrastructure projects.

Sadbhav Engineering recently secured a Letter of Acceptance (LOA) from the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation to conduct road project works. Do you have any updates on how these projects are progressing?

We recently received an LOA for construction of Access Control Nagpur–Mumbai Super Communication Expressway (Maharashtra Samruddhi Mahamarg) in the State of Maharashtra from the government, for which the agreement is expected to be signed shortly. Considering its national importance, we are prioritising and planning to complete this project well within the scheduled completion period.

What are some of the business benefits of working in a family-owned business?

The construction business is vast and it is necessary to have an efficient team in order to focus on and tackle each area of operation. Having family members in the same business enhances levels of trust and integrity.

It also helps to synchronise our energies; the ideas and direction of top management smoothly and effectively channel down to other levels of management and employees. It helps us in achieving one common goal for the organisation.

What have been some of the biggest challenges for the company and how do you plan to overcome them?

Sadbhav Engineering has secured many significant projects in road infrastructure. But infrastructure is very young in growing the economy of our nation. There are many more infrastructure projects we have in our pipeline, particularly metro rail and bullet train projects. It will be a challenge for us to penetrate that segment in coming months.

The Eastern Peripheral Highway – a 135-kilometre-long expressway travelling through Kundli–Ghaziabad–Palwal – is India’s first smart and green highway. It is lit by solar power, has rainwater harvesting on both sides, and uses an intelligent traffic management system. It was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in May 2018.

What are your tips for increasing productivity within the business?

It is indeed crucial for every business to optimise its productivity in order to generate maximum revenue. My years of experience in the business have taught me that it is important to adopt technological advances and upgrades in each system. These projects will be more effective if each aspect is taken care of right from the design and tendering stages.

The introduction of new technology has high costs initially, but it gives high returns in the form of fast execution and smooth processes. Thus, it leads to value creation for the company. It also helps in completing the project on or before the scheduled time.

What are your current areas of focus for growing the business?

Infrastructure is contributing a great deal to the current GDP, as the present government emphasises the need for better public infrastructure and its importance in growth of the nation.

Further, a solid and stable growth is envisaged in the road and urban transportation sector. Thus, we are mainly focused on growing our business towards the roads/highway sector and the urban metro transportation sector.

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