Geared for growth

Geared for growth

Infrastructure projects will continue to be our key focus area, says Jitendra Jain, CEO & MD of the Neev Group

Please tell us something about the origin of your company?
The Neev group of companies was established in the year 1978, by my father Chandulal V Jain in Mumbai. Within a span of seven years, we successfully executed real estate projects with an estimated area of 2 million sq ft. We currently have over 2.5 million sq. ft land in the development phase.
The Neev Group comprises of a team of skilled professionals who are well trained to execute challenging projects and attain organizational goals within specified timelines. The research and development team has played an integral role in assisting the group to deliver best value across its projects and customers.
The group is well recognized for its use of the modern technologies and cost effective construction methods for the completion of its projects. In addition to harnessing the latest technology, Neev has always focused on ensuring the preservation of the environment.

What have been the highlights of your company’s journey so far?
Neev Group has undertaken major work across healthcare, industrial development, slum rehabilitation and redevelopment. We have completed over a hundred projects in the infrastructure space ranging from hospitals (Bhabha Hospital, Nair Hospital), road development, slum redevelopment, development of water supply network, sewage and storm water drainage projects.
We are also in talks with government agencies like the MCGM for future projects. Currently our team is executing an Rs130 crore water infrastructure project which will cover most parts of Mumbai, from suburbs like Colaba to Andheri.
Some of the major works undertaken as part of this project include improving the water supply, replacement of various diameters, water mains and the connection to live mains. We are also working on another Rs120 crore restoration project for the KEM hospital in the city.

What is your assessment of the existing infrastructure scenario in the country?
Developing the infrastructure facilities in our country needs to be given top priority by the government atleast for the next five years. This is vital for the assured economic growth of our country. This year’s budget has done just that with the increased allocations for key infra programmes, which is a step in the right direction.
This is also likely to improve demand for key raw materials like steel, cement and also create more job opportunities in this sector.

How has your company evolved vis-a-vis the infrastructural growth in the last 10-15 years? How geared up is your company to take advantage of the opportunities?
Our group currently has orders worth approximately Rs3,000 crore. Some of our key projects include the installation and upgradation of a new drinking water supply network, construction of new industrial buildings, a slum rehabilitation project at Dombivali, development of the first phase of the Centenary hospital, the largest municipal hospital in the western suburbs of Mumbai and the renovation of the main heritage building of KEM hospital.
As a group, we have already completed development of approximately 3.8 million sq ft in the infrastructure development space till date. Given our over three decades of experience in developing projects in this space, I think we are well placed to leverage all the relevant opportunities that this sector has to offer.

What have been the key challenges faced by your company? How are you addressing them?
The key challenges in real estate and infra development are in getting the required approvals which is a very tedious and time consuming process that ultimately impacts the timely project completion. There is a serious need for the state and central government authorities to look into this issue and set up a single window clearance system.
Specifically in the infrastructure domain, the main challenge is the competitive scenario given the fragmented industry scenario, which interferes with project acquisition through the tender process.

Name some of your major completed projects in the infrastructure development space?
Our group has executed more than 2.5 lakh sq ft of road projects across Mumbai. The concrete road at Shahid Bhagat Singh Marg, near Regal cinema in South Mumbai, was one of the biggest road projects undertaken by our group in 2001.
It was also the first time ready mix concrete (RMC) was used for a road infrastructure project. The other key road infra project executed by our group is concretising of the Ghatkopar-Andheri Link road from Saki Naka junction till the new 90DP road at Kurla. Our company is also currently in the process of executing slum rehabilitation projects measuring approximately 14 lakh sq ft.

Some of your key ongoing infra projects
KDMC project – It’s a project under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) to provide basic services for urban poor (BSUP) under the aegis of the Kalyan Dombivali Municipal Corporation (KDMC).
Centenary hospital project: A project spanning 3,00,000 sq ft at Kandivali, for the first hi-tech municipal hospital in the western suburbs owned by the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM).
PCMC project: One of the largest projects awarded by the Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC). It involves the construction of two industrial buildings of Gr. + 2 upper floors & basement, each having 152 workshop units. The project also includes SWD work and concrete road work in the premises.
KEM Hospital project: The main objective is to renovate the heritage building of the hospital on behalf of the MCGM. It presents a huge challenge for us to work on the stone masonry walls and repair the structure which is severely damaged. Spread across 5,23,400 sq ft, the project has to be completed in 36 months starting from October 2009.

What is your outlook for the future?
Though our group’s operations are still largely concentrated in and around Mumbai presently, we are striving to enter new markets across states like Maharashtra, Karnataka and Gujarat.
Participating in infrastructure development projects across the country will continue to be our core focus domain, since it offers a huge potential more so after the last budget which has brought it into the spotlight.

Interview by Rajesh Kulkarni

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