Hindustan Prefab Limited (HPL) was incorporated in 1953. In the past 58 years, it has built a wide spectrum of civil engineering structures using both conventional and prefab techniques. It has also supplied components for the building industry and Railways. Its chairman and managing director Jaiveer Srivastavaa spoke to Hindustan Times on a range of issues. Excerpts:
Please elaborate on the company's recent achievements?
The company has turned around and has been consistently making profits since the past three consecutive financial years with positive net worth for the corresponding period. The order book of the company stands at more than Rs. 2,000 crore. Among others, its notable projects include completion of war memorial for Assam Rifles in Shillong.
Another was completion of 440 units of prefab expandable one-room houses in Leh-Ladakh in a record time of 85 days in sub-zero temperatures for those affected people by the August 2010 cloudburst. Also, industrial relations of the company have improved considerably.
The government has extended your term as chairman by another five years. What are your future plans?
The company is looking beyond India. It has made a beginning with a pilot project of constructing 1,000 houses for internally displaced people (IDPs) in northern Sri Lanka sponsored by the Indian government. The construction work in Sri Lanka is in progress.
Moreover, HPL expects to get more overseas projects. The strategy will be two-pronged - strengthen further activities as an executing agency on one hand, and to restart core activity of prefab on the other.
After the company's profits in the last three consecutive years, HPL now qualifies to get a mini-ratna status. Steps in this direction will be taken at an appropriate time.
What is the latest on your plans to restart the prefab and precast activities?
HPL has decided to restart prefab concrete and steel activities of its own and a memorandum of understanding has already been signed with SAIL. Necessary formalities on the techno-economical feasibility study report, which has already been developed, are being completed to start manufacturing at the earliest.
Will prefab and precast construction be economically viable and sustainable in long term?
We are looking for manufacturing of prefab concrete components as well as pre-engineered building in prefab steel category. It is bound to be economically viable as the economy is booming. In such a scenario, there is a possibility of non-availability of enough skilled manpower. The future of the country, therefore, depends upon prefab construction for achieving faster, better and high quality construction output.
What are your corporate social responsibility (CSR) plans, especially for far-flung regions?
We are discussing the idea of holding a national conclave for central public sector enterprises (CPSEs) in September this year on CSR in Leh. Follow-up measures have already been taken. It is likely to get good response at the strategically important locations.
A few Public Sector Enterprises have already voluntarily to fund the construction of much-needed projects in this region like trauma centre and bus stands.