Virendra Mhaiskar’s ideologies, and how he changed the future of Indian roads
Only a select few have the capability to single-handedly transform the face of an entire sector. Virendra Mhaiskar, the MD of IRB Infrastructure, is one such visionary. He led the company with far-sightedness and took large risks to remodel highways and roads in India.
With an aim to enlist IRB Infrastructure amongst the top development and infrastructure companies, Mhaiskar took the initial step of acquiring an engineering degree. After completing his studies, he started promoting IRB Infrastructure Developers Ltd in 1998. Since then, the company has been scaling new heights.
Under the guidance of Virendra Mhaiskar, the company now has more than 12,000 lane km under its portfolio. The aggregate value of these assets is Rs 35,000 crore. With 17 owned projects under its belt, seven under O&M contracts as a project manager for IRB InvIT. The 17 owned projects comprise of seven projects under operational BOT space; three under Hybrid Annuity Model (HAM) space; four under Tolling and Construction, another two under advanced stages of construction and one is in the development phase. The count for completed projects stands at seven as of now.
Out of the three HAM projects, the first two projects are in Tamil Nadu and the third project has been acquired in Gujarat. The order book now stands at a mark of Rs 12,000-crore.
On the quest for excellence, Virendra Mhaiskar has given IRB Infrastructure a new reputation. Also, he has unlocked various achievements personally. He was chosen as the ‘Young Turk of The Year’ at the 6th Edition of CNBCTV18 India Business Leader Awards. He received the award from the Finance Minister on December 11, 2010 in Mumbai. With an experience of more than 25 years in this sector, Mhaiskar is amongst the most sought-after people in the industry.
IRB Infrastructure, under his able guidance, is now a part of one of the most prestigious and ambitious, Golden Quadrilateral Project. Virendra Mhaiskar is passionate about building world-class highways that connect all parts of India.
With his dedication to working closely on the infrastructure sector, he has been featured as one of India’s richest at the 96th position (2012) and at the 937th position (2010) amongst Billionaires, according to Forbes. He also started India’s first InvIT fund and included seven of the best revenue generating IRB projects, thereby helping the stakeholders make the most of it.
The road development sector has been enhanced like never before, and the land acquisition process has been dealt with seriously. Out of the 3.5 million km of roadways, the highways which accounted for nearly 55,000 – 70,000 Km, have now been increased to around 2 lakh km in India.
The infrastructure development sector has witnessed various ups and downs in the last 20 years. Virendra Mhaiskar believes that concepts like PPPs (public-private partnerships), BOT and TOT (toll-operate-and-transfer) can bring about the growth needed in the sector.
“I am certain that the government will have to further fine-tune its concessionaire agreements and re-introduce BOT. If the government doesn’t do this, it will end up taking the liability on itself and on future governments,” expressed Virendra Mhaiskar in a recent interview.
The Indian roads are now competing with international roads. The journey of transformation of the Indian roads is a gradual process that is proving to be instrumental in making the much-needed difference.