The standard of Indian roads and highways has improved significantly over the last 20 years. From pot-holed roads to world-class lanes, the transformation of the road network has been nothing short of impeccable. Many firms and renowned industry leaders have played their part in changing the landscape of the sector. One such leader is Virendra Mhaiskar, the Chairman and MD of IRB Infrastructure.
After acquiring a professional engineering degree, Virendra Mhaiskar has embarked on a journey to change the paradigm of the Indian roads and highways. The juggernaut started in 1990, when he entered into his family business. Mhaiskar soon established his own firm ‘IRB Infrastructure Developers Ltd’ in 1998 to foray into the industry.
Virendra Mhaiskar took great risks and shepherded IRB Infra to execute India’s first BOT (Built Operate Transfer) project successfully. The company soon constructed some of the biggest projects in the country, including the Mumbai-Pune Expressway.
Achieving new milestones under the leadership of Virendra Mhaiskar, IRB Infrastructure operates one of the largest portfolios in India. The company boasts of 17 owned projects with a cumulative length of 12,800 kms. It also has an asset value of Rs 35,000 crores with 20 per cent share in the Golden Quadrilateral project.
Well-known for setting new benchmarks in the road infrastructure world, Virendra Mhaiskar guided IRB Infrastructure to launch the country’s first Infrastructure Investment Fund (InvIT), changing the landscape of India’s road developing business. Under the aegis of Virendra Mhaiskar, the company has also forayed into HAM (Hybrid Annuity Model) space and acquired 3 projects.
Taking major strides in the field of road development world, Mhaiskar is upbeat about connecting all the major and remote parts of the country through world-class roads. Known as the most sought-after person in the infrastructure world, Virendra D Mhaiskar had once stated that the government will have to fine-tune its concessionaire agreements and re-introduce BOT to avoid taking the liability on itself. Today, the government is looking to follow the suit and revive the BOT model after a gap of 4 years.
Having accomplished various milestones till date, Mhaiskar’s knowledge about the industry is impeccable. He has received several awards and accolades for his exemplary work in a challenging industry, amidst a slowdown. He was chosen as the ‘Young Turk of the year’ at the 6th edition of CNBC-TV 18 India Business Leader Awards. He was also honored with ‘Infrastructure Man of the Year’ at Maharashtra Achievers Award 2017, initiated by ET edge of Economic Times.
Even after witnessing a decent makeover in the last 20 years, the journey of India’s road developing business and a number of companies associated with it has been full of highs and lows. Having sailed through the recent slowdown, Virendra Mhaiskar is all geared up for the upcoming challenges.
“The infrastructure sector has seen its ups and downs in India over the last couple of decades. The journey has been full of roadblocks, but there is also a scope of growth. The sector can grow by a long way with concepts like PPPs (public-private partnerships), BOT and TOT (toll-operate-and-transfer),” says Virendra D Mhaiskar.
With a wealth of experience about the current state of the road and highway developing business, Mhaiskar believes that the sector can play a pivotal role in boosting the economy by creating a number of opportunities for the Indian youth, while constructing world-class roads and highways in the years to come.