How Virendra D Mhaiskar’s journey with IRB Infrastructure changed the Indian roads forever
Indian roads have witnessed massive changes in the last couple of decades. Not too long ago, they were only famous for all the wrong reasons, such as potholes, sub-standard material and below par maintenance. The road sector witnessed tremendous improvement when Virendra Mhaiskar stepped into the industry.
It all started when Virendra Mhaiskar acquired a professional engineering qualification and decided to enter into the family business in 1990. He went on to establish IRB Infrastructure in 1998. He took great risks and gigantic steps to transform the roads and highways across the country. He envisioned the transformation of Indian roads, with IRB as a trusted name in the sector.
Mhaiskar began by successfully executing the first BOT (Built Operate Transfer) project in 1995. The company soon constructed some of the biggest projects in the country, including the Mumbai-Pune expressway.
Today, the company operates one of the largest portfolios in India with more than 12,000 lane km, along with an aggregate assets value of more than Rs 35,000 crore. It recently forayed into HAM (Hybrid Annuity Model) space and also launched the country’s first infrastructure investment trust (InvIT).
With a portfolio of 17 owned projects and seven projects under O&M contracts as a project manager for IRB InvIT, IRB has played a huge part in developing and maintaining some of the important roads and highways in the country.
Virendra D Mhaiskar is known for taking great decisions that often prove to be the difference between IRB infrastructure and other companies. He is the most sought-after person in this sector, with an experience of more than 25 years. 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 in Mumbai.
Under his bright leadership, IRB Infrastructure has had the privilege of working on India’s most prestigious project, the ‘Golden Quadrilateral project’. Mhaiskar dreams of connecting even the remotest parts of the country through world class roads, offering a great experience to the commuters.
The unwavering efforts of the IRB Chief have not only changed the Indian road sector, but have also taken him to the 96th position as India’s Richest (2012), and 937th position among Billionaires (2010), according to Forbes. While reflecting on his journey with IRB Infrastructure, Virendra Mhaiskar states that the key is to show determination, discipline and courage, the results will automatically show up.
He is upbeat about the future prospects of Indian roads and believes that the scope of road sector has been enhanced like never before. According to him, the government’s decision to deal aggressively with the entire process of land acquisition is an important development. He feels that in a sector, which is extremely regulated, things don’t happen easily, but it is important to have the confidence and an ability to make tough decisions, to reap the rewards.