Category Archives: VIL Team

Transport and VIL

Roads, the prime mode of transportation in India carry almost 80 percent of the country’s passenger traffic and 65 percent of its freight. With a density of 0.66 km of highway per square kilometer of land India’s highway network is similar to that of the United States (0.65) and much greater than China’s (0.16) or Brazil’s (0.20). India boasts of 3.3 million Kms of highways, with 80,000 Kms of National highways and 1, 31,000 Kms of State highways. Indian roads experienced a 10.16% CAGR of growth of vehicles in the last five years. Arun Lakhani spotted this opportunity way back in 2000 and incorporated it in the projects for Vishvaraj Infrastructure limited (VIL) and tactically decided to stay focused on BOT projects. It made a modest start with the development of 8.3 Km Bypass road on BOT basis, which was one of the first BOT concessions awarded at that time. Those were tough times for the industry with stiff resistance from key stakeholders i.e. the commuters for paying toll for using the road. However, the concept matured well over time and VIL completed 4 projects well within stipulated construction time, the concession period for these range from 15 to 30 years. Mr. Arun Lakhani says keeping company with the nation on move is extremely important and hence we need to develop good transport in India.

For instance take the Warora – Chandrapur – Ballarpur Project that has been a forerunner in the transport sector at Vishvaraj Infra (VIL). It is a four laning 64 km of Warora to Chandrapur to Ballarpur to Bamni in the Chandrapur district of Maharashtra , under a Design, Build, Finance, Operate and Transfer (“DBFOT”) model. The Project SPV: Warora Chandrapur Ballarpur Toll Road Ltd jointly sponsored by , Vishvaraj Infrastructure Ltd. IL&FS Transportation Networks Ltd. and Diva Media Pvt. Ltd. It is a Public Works Department, Maharashtra. The project value is USD 115 Mn and the project has been active since January, 2015.

Other projects at Vishavaraj Infrastructure Limited with the transport sector are Chandwad – Manmad – Nandgaon Project, Malegaon – Manmad – Kopergaon Project and Fekri and VAPI over bridge Projects.

 

 

 

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Sustainability & CSR By Mr. Arun Lakhani

Vishvaraj Infrastructure Ltd. (VIL) specializes in three Infrastructure sectors – Water, Waste Water and Transportation. VIL has been ground-breaking innovative PPP models in water infrastructure sector. VIL philosophy of creating value by removal of inefficiencies and ensuring win-win for all the stakeholders is in tune with the social nature of water projects. Understanding and focus on implementation details and awareness of last mile problems and their mitigation is strength of VIL to create value by removing inefficiencies from the system.

Arun Lakhani says it’s ‘People’- the fourth P that makes the critical difference to PPP (Public –Private Partnership).It’s the 4th P that powers PPP – PPP to 4P Model. Ever since the Indian economy was opened and the process of liberalization was set in, various private players added their might partnering with public enterprises in various sectors. PPP as a concept on paper brings in very good synergy of Private enterprise efficiency with Public ownership of assets. But in reality we see a trust deficit between the ultimate stakeholders, People on one hand and Government & Private 30 years can be a risk unless people are on boarded. Our answer to this situation is Involve / Integrate the Fourth P – People – citizens in the PPP Model enhancing its credibility. PPP can be very successful if the fourth P- People are integrated in the structure with openness and responsibility of communicating with larger masses. People as largest stakeholders in any PPP must participate to monitor the contracts done between the two Ps.

With the fourth P of People, PPP is enriched with a completely new dimension of a more humane face & greater sensitivity towards its largest stakeholder- the people. Every PPP project is conceived to benefit the People, but often in the dry domain of numbers this fact is lost sight of. The factoring in of this fourth P as a central focus has a completely transformative impact on the long-term success of the project. An analysis of failed PPP projects will bear out that the major cause of failure was the ‘People’ dimension being ignored. Without the active involvement of ‘People’ from conceptualization to the final execution no PPP project can hope for long-term success. In the current context taking ‘People’ on-board with open communication & transparency is a business imperative for the Private Partner rather than a CSR initiative. Water PPPs are Social Projects and for them to succeed, the roles of the stakeholders with People as integral part of the project shall be: P – Public – Policy Maker, P – Private – Efficiency improvement with investment, P – People – Communication & Monitoring. Communication, Transparency and On-boarding of the largest stakeholders “People” are more of a business need and mitigates many risks. Arun Lakhani goes on to say that in any project people’s voices matter and that’s a major reason as to why we need to filter in their take on any projects. We understand the problem through first hand source its better and gives authentic insight.

 

 

 

 

The Social Entrepreneur Arun Lakhani

A company that is truly ahead of its time, it needs a man who will take the company there. Mr. Arun Lakhani, chairman and managing director of Vishvaraj Infrastructure Limited (VIL) has had such a vision.

In his own words, his vision for VIL India is

“Making positive changes to the lives of individuals, society and environment at large, by creating a socially responsible enterprise”.

A positive alteration is seen not only through the leadership but also one which is clearly visible with their works is depicted from its varied water project portfolio. Mr. Arun Lakhani pursues water projects, as he realise by its very nature such projects will have a far greater social impact.

In the water sector VIL is proposing a unique win-win model which will create great value to stakeholders, governments and locals by eliminating any forms of inefficiencies from the current system. Our greatest fear in relation to water management is not inefficiencies rather the resource’s very scarcity.

His vision has seen to the execution and creation of innovation system solutions to bring about better water and waste water management. Over the years, VIL is trying to address some of these issues by creating water value chains across the user groups.  One of its major goals is to create cities that can receive water around the clock.

Going forward Vishvaraj Pvt Ltd. will thrive on waste water reuse and urban efficiency improvement projects similar to Nagpur, Magadi, Bidar, Basavakalyan, Shahabad and Yadgir. VIL, a leader in Urban Water reforms in India through has always looked to find ways of improving the livelihood of cities.

The project has been awarded including Nagpur 24×7 project was recognized with “Best Water Practices” award by the Prime Minister Narandra Modi during inauguration of Smart City program.  Arun Lakhani’s company has received global “Water deal of the year” award by GWI, London and also recognition from IFC, Washington DC, as “Top 10 emerging PPP projects in Asia Pacific” region for Nagpur project.

An indication of its attitude towards the industries is its recognition by many in the field. The firm won two major awards in the sector at the recent World Water Leadership Congress & Awards may play a huge role in the privatisation of water. The company won the prestigious Water Reuse Project of the Year and Mr Arun Lakhani, VIL’s chairman and managing director won the award for Outstanding Contribution to Water.

It sees great potential for reuse of treated waste water and in the process not only addresses urban treatment issue but also creates additional fresh water by way of diverting fresh water reservation of industries to urban users and agriculture.

As said, for a company to truly be ahead of its time, it needs a man who will take them there and Mr Arun Lakhani is reaching them there.

 

Arun Lakhani and Corporate Social Responsibility

It’s ‘People’- the fourth P that makes the significant difference to PPP (Public –Private Partnership). Ever since the Indian market was opened and the process of liberlisation was set in, various private players added their might partnering with public enterprises in various sectors. PPP as a concept on paper brings in very good synergy of Private enterprise efficiency with Public ownership of assets. But in reality we see a trust deficit between the ultimate stakeholders, People on one hand and Government & Private 30 years can be a risk unless people are on boarded. Our answer to this situation is Involve / Integrate the Fourth P – People – citizens in the PPP Model enhancing its credibility. PPP can be very successful if the fourth P- People are integrated in the structure with openness and responsibility of communicating with larger masses. People as largest stakeholders in any PPP must participate to monitor the contracts done between the two Ps. In the current context taking ‘People’ on-board with open communication & transparency is a business imperative for the Private Partner rather than a CSR initiative. Nagpur 24×7 and Nagpur 200 MLD STP Treatment and Reuse started out as business models but they have the essence of CSR as people were involved in the projects and their opinions were taken into consideration for the growth and development for the Water and Waste water projects.

 

Corporate social responsibility (CSR, also called corporate conscience, corporate citizenship or responsible business) is an outline of corporate self-regulation integrated into a business model. CSR policy functions as a self-regulatory mechanism whereby a business monitors and ensures its active conformity with the spirit of the law, ethical standards and national or international norms. With some models, a firm’s implementation of CSR goes beyond compliance and engages in “actions that appear to further some social good, beyond the interests of the firm and that which is necessary by law.” The aim is to increase long-term profits and shareholder trust through positive public relations and high ethical standards to reduce business and legal risk by taking responsibility for corporate actions. CSR strategies encourage the company to make a positive impact on the environment and stakeholders including consumers, employees, investors, communities, and others. CSR is titled to aid an organization’s mission as well as serve as a guide to what the company represents for its consumers. Business ethics is the part of applied ethics that examines ethical principles and moral or ethical problems that can arise in a business environment. ISO 26000 is the recognized international standard for CSR. Public sector organizations (the United Nations for example) adhere to the triple bottom line (TBL). It is widely accepted that CSR adheres to similar principles, but with no formal act of legislation. Chairman and Managing Director of Vishvaraj Infrastructure Limited (VIL India) Mr. Arun Lakhani says as a social entrepreneur I always believed being socially responsible and having a business that not only improves India’s development but also benefits the citizens of the nation is extremely important.

 

24x7-Water-Supply1-Vishvaraj Infrastructure Limited

Veolia France & Arun Lakhani -Orange City Water

Orange City Water (OCW) will invest 18 million euros in the project to renovate the city’s six water production plants and repair the 2,500 km of network. The production capacity of the system managed by OCW will eventually be close to 750 million liters a day and leakage from the network, which is currently 60%, will gradually be lowered to international standards. This will be a first in India.

Arun Lakhani says India has vast prerequisite of Infrastructure building and development. The PPP route was established in last decade also saw some lean time. With New government initiative the PPP has again come with better risk sharing medium between private and public. Vishvaraj Infrastructure Limited saw this opportunity and decided to have a model for 24×7 water supply. Orange City Water also popularly known as the Nagpur 24×7 Water supply along with Veoila France made this happen.

Vishvaraj Environment Pvt. Ltd. (VEL) is a subsidiary of Vishvaraj Infrastructure Ltd. (VIL), a transportation infrastructure development company from India. With a humble start over a decade ago with development of road project on BOT model, today VIL is successfully managing four concession contracts in transportation (road) sector and the fifth contract is under execution. Over this decade long journey, VIL has acquired knowledge to evolve systems in sectors where society at large is involved and all stakeholder’s interests need to be understood and addressed, ensuring a win-win situation for all, more so in a developing and culturally diverse country like India. VIL proposes to put to use this knowledge in few more sectors, water being a major focus area through its subsidiary Vishvaraj Environment. Vishvaraj Environment foresees a great opportunity for the private sector to participate in financing, building and maintaining urban water supply infrastructure projects and has geared itself to build the capacities for the future.

Veolia Water India is a wholly owned subsidiary of Veolia Water India Africa, which covers Africa, the Middle East and the Indian subcontinent. Veolia Water India Africa is 80.55% held by Veolia Water, with the remainder being held by the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the World Bank Group institution in charge of operations with the private sector, and by PROPARCO, a subsidiary of the French development aid agency with a similar role. Veolia Water India Africa provides 3.16 million people with water and 1.42 million with electricity. It employs 2,191 people and offers partners its technical and managerial expertise to supply specific solutions in regions affected by water stress. Veolia Water, the water division of Veolia Environnement, is the world leader in water and wastewater services. Specialized in outsourcing services for municipal authorities, as well as industrial and service companies, it is also one of the world’s major designers of technological solutions and constructor of facilities needed in water and wastewater services. With 96,651 employees in 69 countries, Veolia Water provides water service to 103 million people and wastewater service to 73 million. Its 2011 revenue amounted to € 12.617 billion.

 

Arun Lakhani and the VIL Team

Vishvaraj Infrastructure Ltd. (VIL) specializes in three Infrastructure sectors – Water, Waste Water and Transportation. VIL has been pioneering innovative PPP models in water infrastructure sector. VIL philosophy of creating value by removal of inefficiencies and ensuring win-win for all the stakeholders is in tune with the social nature of water projects. Understanding and focus on implementation details and awareness of last mile problems and their mitigation is strength of VIL to create value by removing inefficiencies from the system.

At VIL we have a very diverse culture and that is seen in the people on the VIL team. The advisory team has:

Nitin Raichura. Executive Director, BE (Mech.) Nitin brings more than 30 years of rich experience in the fields of operations management and strategy. Prior to VIL he has worked for well known Corporations like Gammon Tunkeys Limited, Jyoti Ltd, Kidde India Ltd. and Gunnebo India Ltd.

Dr. Olivia Jensen. Senior Research Fellow, Institute of Water Policy at Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy Olivia Jensen, an economist specializing in the water sector with seventeen years professional experience as a consultant and academic. Dr. Jensen holds a PhD and MSc in Development from the London School of Economics, MA in International Relations and BA in Politics, Philosophy and Economics from Oxford University (Magdalen College). She is currently working as senior research fellow at the Institute of Water Policy at Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy. Dr. Jensen was the Asia Editor of Global Water Intelligence before joining LKY. She has worked as a consultant for both public and private clients including the World Bank, OECD and UNEP. She is also the author of numerous authoritative reports, academic papers and articles on the Asian water sector, Public Private Partnership (PPP) contracts, and economic and environmental regulation.

Prof V. Srinivas Chary. Dean of Research and Management Studies, Administrative Staff College of India (ASCI), Hyderabad. Prof V. Srinivas Chary is the Dean of Research and Management Studies at Administrative Staff College of India (ASCI), Hyderabad, India, specialises in governance, institutional reforms and capacity building for improvement in urban service delivery. He has over 23 years of professional experience in the areas of urban infrastructure and has extensively worked on water and sanitation sectors, urban environmental management, PPP etc. An engineer, urban planner and management professional by training, Prof Chary has led over 150 advisory, consulting and research assignments in the areas of policy development, municipal reforms, city development planning, 24-7 Water Supply, Universal Sanitation, PPP, Urban Poverty Reduction, Tariffs And Cost Recovery Strategies, Benchmarking, Capacity Enhancement Strategies, Change Management and Urban Environmental Management – both in India and South Asia. Prof Chary led urban service level benchmarking programme of the Government of India involving over 1500 municipalities. As a member of the urban sanitation taskforce of the MoUD, he played a catalytic role in the formulation of the National Urban Sanitation Policy of the Government of India.