NBCC is utilizing digital technologies to the maximum
This is perhaps a turbulent time for Indian PSU’s as the Niti Aayog has very recently submitted a list of 74 sick and loss making public sector undertakings (PSUs) to the government for the purpose of shutting down and restructuring. In such a scenario, NBCC (India) Limited, formerly known as National Buildings Construction Corporation Ltd is standing out as a leader in its own right.
In an exclusive interview with Ankush Kumar, Dr. Anoop Kumar Mittal, CMD, NBCC (India) Limited who has been associated with the company for more than three decades, shares his leadership style, mantra for optimising revenue for PSUs, expansion plans and the role of IT in bringing efficiency and transparency in the entire system.
Some edited excerpts:
You have been associated with NBCC with more than three decades now. How do you evaluate the growth of the company so far and can you highlight few of the major achievements under your leadership?
I took charge as the Chairman-cum-Managing Director (CMD) on April 1, 2013. I joined NBCC (India) Limited as an Assistant Engineer and since day one I have always focused on contributing my best to keep the company growing. After successful implementation of redevelopment of Govt.’s New Moti Bagh, GPRA Complex in Delhi, now certified as the largest Green Home Complex of its kind in India, NBCC (India) Limited has started getting huge work orders in this segment one after the other. This has been followed by the on-going Rs.5000 Crore, East Kidwai Nagar Redevelopment Project, another Zero Waste Disposal Project of its kind. In fact 2014 was a great turning point for the company. It was in this year that the company rose to great heights by attaining the coveted status of Navratna Enterprise.
According to you what are the key leadership and managerial skills that are required to make a PSU generate optimum profit along with its main aim of providing services to the Government or Society?
The system should not put you in rigidity. Performance should be enhanced through strengthening of accountability. To lead a PSU in order to generate optimum profit, it is without a doubt that one must have the required skills and experience to deal with challenging times. Regular meetings and discussions help keeping a check on the progress of projects and thus, promote transparency which in turn helps in providing excellent services to the Government/ society. I am running this company as a private company’s CEO with a focus on persuasion skills.
Please tell us about the NBCC’s plan for the development of Smart Cities in the country? How crucial will be the company’s role?
With respect to the smart city initiative, we recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with IBM India, for strategic co-operation & joint exploration to develop sustainable smart city and green building technology. We have also signed a MoU with DDA for development of East Delhi Hub at Karkardooma, New Delhi, under TOD norms. This will be the first smart city in Delhi based on the concept of smart mobility, smart living and smart infrastructure. This is a huge project, which shall include a 100 storey tower, a roof-top revolving restaurant, a helipad and discotheques. NBCC’s exclusive expertise in the areas of redevelopment of govt. properties makes it a company that has an edge over others. The recent setting up of Innovation and R&D Centre by us, in association with IIT Roorkee, is also a step forward in this direction, which would facilitate innovation, technology up-gradation and impact smart city implementation. So yes, we are prepared and are optimistic that we will do the country proud with our smart city projects.
As the county aims to move towards smart infrastructure, how do you assess the present status of building construction norms in India? How do you think we can ensure its effective implementation?
Looking at the current scenario, numerous buildings are coming up in a short span of time and most of these buildings are built haphazardly with no proper design. Most of them are built without keeping in mind sustainability concerns thereby posing a great threat to the environment. However, the Government of India is making sure that all constructions fall within the green building construction guidelines. A focus on the smart city implementation, will only further the cause of a sustainable environment. NBCC (India) Limited strongly follows these guidelines in all aspects of construction.
NBCC has earned a niche for itself in construction of green buildings. Office of The Indian Institute of Corporate Affairs at Manesar (Haryana) constructed by the company has received the prestigious Gold Rating under LEED India for new construction, awarded by Indian Green Building Council (IGBC) in the year 2012. Other Green Building projects by the company that followed thereafter include CSOI, New Delhi; Aayakar Bhawan, Noida (UP); SIB, Kolkata; Coal India Building, Kolkata, CBI HQ Building, New Delhi; 5-Star Rated National Institute for Solar Energy, Gurgaon (Haryana) etc.
How is IT being used by NBCC for bringing efficiency and productivity in the company’s system and process?
IT is the backbone that helps in the smooth functioning of the company. All departments are integrated with ERP/DMS/ e-Office for internal process. ERP enables employees to access information concerning their leaves, salaries, circulars, office orders etc. DMS on the other hand encourages the importance of environment sustainability by supporting a paperless environment. It also helps in promoting transparency as the information is stored in a digital format. This has helped in earning a reputation of being a company that runs on cutting edge technology and also promoting our Honourable Prime Minister’s vision of Digital India. In the initiatives towards transparency and corporate governance, NBCC has, under the umbrella of Digital India, introduced vendor grievance and online annual property return portals to effectively address the issues of these respective areas. The process of implementation of document management system for online tracking of official files are also under progress which after implementation will reduce the paper consumption and enhance the green footprint of NBCC. The company shall also launch a new business venture of e-commerce which shall cater to the sale of built-up properties of NBCC’s real estate, government departments, financial institutions and private developers.
Do you think IT is important in ensuring that the infrastructure projects can be completed on time? Please share some use cases?
Our company utilizes digital technologies to the maximum. Understanding the importance of social media and the crucial role the technology plays in sending across messages, the company practices the daily usage of such interaction, making NBCC an interactive company with global visibility. In the next 12 months, we see ourselves achieving 100% penetration through e-Office and moving towards a paperless company. With digitalization coming into the picture, the company’s way of functioning has been totally revolutionized. Easy access to data stored, digital archiving of records has also helped in faster transaction of records, thereby helping in further completing the projects well before time. In addition, we have started e-tendering three years ago and within three months of its implementation, the ratio of complaints has come down remarkably.
Our online PMS system which started in the year 2013 has been a huge success for gaining employee faith. Through this initiative, employees can now see their final ratings and assess their performance in a more objective manner. The conducting of annual DPC has been made regular without any deviation in the timeline. We have also designed ‘Interact with CMD’ – an online section which is specially designed to give suggestion to CMD directly. For handling grievances, an online vendor grievance lodging and monitoring system, has been created.
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