Why some men are leaders…
It takes something special to be winner. And Mr Ajit Gulabchand certainly is special. It was not surprising therefore to see him bag the ‘Infrastructure Leader of the year’ at the Essar Steel Infrastructure Excellence Awards
Ajit Gulabchand is the Chairman and Managing Director of HCC (Hindustan Construction Company) – one of India’s leading construction companies, founded by industrialist Seth Walchand Hirachand in 1926. A catalytic factor in the infrastructure growth of India, HCC has accomplished various pioneering achievements in the engineering and construction industry under his leadership.
A graduate from Mumbai University, prior to HCC, he was the CEO of Indian Hume Pipe Co Ltd and there after, Managing Director with Ravalgaon Sugar Farm Ltd. As the Managing Director, steering the company towards a fast-track growth. At the helm of affairs in HCC since 1983, Mr Gulabchand has been credited with a slew of path-breaking strategic management initiatives. Today, HCC is an acknowledged leader in the engineering and construction in India.
Taking his vision further, Mr Gulabchand continues to spearhead the transformation of HCC into an integrated group spanning Construction, Real Estate and Infrastructure development. The HCC Group of companies now comprises of HCC Construction, HCC Infrastructure, HCC Real Estate, Lavasa Corporation and HCC Capital. The group specializes in technically complex, new-age construction in infrastructure projects, as well as EPC, BOT, Integrated projects and townships.
With Mr Gulabchand’s endeavors, HCC leads in several fields in India’s engineering construction industry, such as acquiring international certifications for three management systems – Quality, Occupational Health & Safety and Environment. Simultaneously, HCC established robust Corporate Governance norms, well before it was mandated by law. The Company is also setting global benchmarks in the construction industry worldwide with the fastest implementation of SAP-ERP coupled with high levels of complexity. 26 project sites and offices are now SAP live and this includes implementation at Chutak HEP in Kargil at an attitude of 11,000 feet, the highest location of SAP operations in the world.
Acknowledged for his visionary leadership in the industry, Mr Gulabchand plays an important role in key national and international industry bodies. He is a member of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) National Council and the Chairman of CII’s National Committee on Construction and Projects. He has also served as a founding permanent member of the Board of Governors of the Construction Industry Development Council of India (CIDC).
Mr Ajit Gulabchand initiated to set up the Construction Federation of India (CFI) with other construction companies and is the Founder President since its inception in 2001. Mr Gulabchand is the Governor of the World Economic and Construction Forum, Geneva and a member of the CII-World Economic Forum Infrastructure Task Force. He is also a founder member of the Geneva-based Disaster Resource Network (DRN) in collaboration with the World Economic Forum, the United Nations and International Red Cross. Mr Gulabchand has recently endowed a new ‘Ajit Gulabchand Chair’ on Indian Business Studies being set up at Oxford University. Also, he is a member of the Oxford Executive Education International Advisory Board.
Corporate Social Responsibility remains intrinsic to Mr Gulabchand’s vision for the group encompassing Health, Education, Water, and Disaster Management initiatives. With a view to create a greater AIDS awareness in the industry, he has been instrumental in launching a Work Place Intervention (WPI) program, covering more than 16,000 construction workers at HCC.