Patel Engineering Ltd.: Paving a Way towards Growth and Development

Patel Engineering Ltd
Ms. Kavita Shirvaikar, Whole Time Director and CFO, Patel Engineering Ltd

The COVID-19 has left its traces in all the sectors including the infrastructure industry, which is a key driver of the Indian economy. During the pandemic, overcoming the challenges of supply chain, restricted travelling, and protecting the workforce became the foremost task for the entire industry.

The government of India played an important role in tackling these challenges and getting the industry to its pre-pandemic state. Many companies have worked in harmony with the government to overcome the financial crisis in the country.

The company, which utilised the government policies and overcame the challenges of COVID-19 pandemic is Patel Engineering Ltd. It has carved a niche for itself and is building excellence in the infrastructure industry.

Patel Engineering Ltd., founded in 1949 is one of the most integrated infrastructure and construction services conglomerates in India. The company has been awarded IMS Certificates (ISO 9001:2008 Quality Management System, ISO 14001: 2004 Environmental Management System, and OHSAS 18001:2007 Occupational, Health and Safety Management System) by UK based BSI, and is committed to the highest standards of quality, safety, health, and environment. It is a public company whose stock is publicly traded on the Mumbai Stock Exchange (BSE) as well as National Stock Exchange (NSE) in India.

Patel Engineering’s mission is to be the pioneer in the industry and a market-driven organization known for its commitment towards excellence, quality, performance, and reliability.

An Exemplified Financier

An industry veteran, Ms. Kavita Shirvaikar, Whole Time Director and CFO, with passion for her profession and over 20 years of experience in the fields of finance, accountancy, tax, audit, banking, fund management, and implementation of long-term resolution plan. She has worked for various leading listed organizations and executed various complex assignments with ease.

Known for her prowess at successfully completing complex debt restructuring and fund-raising proposals in varied capacity across companies, Kavita is arguably the first women professional in finance field, who has been felicitated with CFO Awards in 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019. The bona fide finance wiz was also among the top 100 finance professionals in India, according to an annual CFO100 Program organized by CFO India.

Kavita Shirvaikar came on board Patel Engineering Ltd., as the Vice President, Finance in 2014 and was later promoted as Joint Chief Financial Officer in 2015 and eventually as the CFO. Within a short span of nearly three years, she was also elevated to the Board of Management in 2017.

Over these years, Kavita’s core responsibilities have gone beyond just managing accounts and finance and have expanded to include overall project monitoring and review, risk management, investor relations, implementation of debt realignment plans of Patel Group and review and implementation of operational best practices. She has also been a helping hand to the board members in terms of formulating the company’s future direction and implementation of a strategic business plan.

Recently she was bestowed with the additional responsibility to spearhead project operations for certain projects under the execution of Patel Engineering Ltd. The task involves project reviews, budgeting, cash flow management, equipment planning, liasioning with project authorities and pushing for construction schedule to achieve set milestones. She has also positively got involved in all these additional assignments as she believes being at her position, it is not about only managing finance and closing accounts but also getting involved in overall operations of company at ground level to understand in-depth company matters and works towards suitable improvements in various areas.

Excellent Services

Patel Engineering Ltd. has been providing clients with reliable solutions to their most complex construction challenges. Today, the company is recognized as a leading company in the industry for its strength in traditional construction methods and for its creative, fresh approach to cutting-edge technologies and delivery systems.

It specializes in hydro-electric projects, transportation projects, water treatment projects as well as real estate such as buildings, townships, malls, and structures. Patel Engineering Ltd. find solutions to the challenges of its time and create the infrastructure for modern societies.

While it works for governments and commercial customers, its projects have helped grow local economies and improve the quality of life for communities and people around the world. Its sub-contractors have now worked with the company for a good number of years and have proved their reliability and dedication to quality workmanship. Over the years, the company has grown from strength to strength, having successfully completed over 250 projects.

The company supports its clients from project inception to the commissioning of the fully operational facility and its network of local offices that enables it to offer the clients the dual advantage of a strong local presence and broad geographic reach.

Each project is managed by the team of highly experienced personnel, incorporating the services of various professionals in the geographical surveying and other related fields with whom it has established an excellent working relationship.

An Energetic Work Culture

At Patel Engineering Ltd., the team believes that an individual’s career is a journey, and they strive hard to make the journey more varied and rewarding by giving each one an opportunity to help make a positive change in the world. The dreams of creative, challenging, and passionate individuals are being realized here.

The company operates across continents virtually in every time zone and employs about 5,000 people worldwide. It reflects the rich mix of cultural connection both with the local communities it serves and the people with whom it deals with. The team at Patel Engineering Ltd. is creative blend of youth and experience. They see diversity and inclusiveness as an essential part of their productivity, creativity, innovation, and competitive advantage.

Patel Engineering Ltd. offers a fantastic work environment with rich culture that is naturally curious, open, dynamic, and always stimulating. Employee performance can only flourish in a sound work environment. That’s why it is committed to supporting the employees through systems and policies that foster open communication, maintain privacy, and assure health and safety.

“We provide the right opportunities, the questions, the training, the tools, the coaching, mentoring and skills like networking to take our employees to the next level,” says the team of Patel Engineering.

Acing the Pandemic Challenges

The Covid-19 pandemic has impacted one and all, both on an individual level as well as at the corporate level.  It has been more than a year now since the entire world has been battling this dreaded virus and it has surely made us realize the power of mother nature. At this point of time, it is essential to take utmost precaution and take all necessary safety measure to keep ourselves and our loved ones strong and healthy both mentally and physically. The team at Patel Engineering has strived hard to take care of all their employees and their families and have rolled out vaccination drives for all, who are associated with the company including the extended contract workers at all their sites.

The last one and a half years has had its share of ups and downs. Various lockdowns and restrictions, which were enforced had an impact on the economy at large. However, the government of India has been focusing and has set many policies in favour of the infrastructure sector in order to ensure world class infrastructure is set up in the country.

To stay on top of the game in these times, Patel Engineering Ltd. always believed to work with very stringent timelines for executing works and mobilizing funds. Moreover, dealing with the pressing requirements of clients and bankers has helped the company tide through the pandemic.

“We as the company have strived towards achieving all our targets and goals within the specific time limits that we set out for us. We have also strived to keep up to the market trends and keep ourselves up to date to stay relevant in such testing times,” states the team of Patel Engineering.

Vision Ahead

First and foremost, the most important goal for the company is to continue to build on to its order book, which currently stands at Rs.14467/- crores as on 31st March 2021. The company focuses on improving on its order booking going forward and continue bidding for all major projects.

In view of the recent government initiatives and the introduction of the National Infrastructure Pipeline (NIP) are very likely to give a boost to the infrastructure industry in the country and Patel Engineering looks forward to making the most of this opportunity. The new orders shall give a good boost to overall growth of the company and hence, improve its profitability.

The other goal for the company is to reduce the debt burden further. It has managed to reduce the total debt by more than Rs.3,500 crores in the last few years. The company is one of the few entities to come out and stand tall after undergoing debt restructuring schemes of SDR and S4A. It is continuously looking to sell its real estate and other non-core assets to repay and reduce debt further apart from possible reduction of Rs.300-400 crore debt over next 4-5 years. This would further help increase liquidity for the company.

It also has plans to merge some of its subsidiaries with itself, which will help reduce costs and ensure that the company get synergies of operations throughout the group.

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