T.P. Prakasan Ster­ling & Wil­son

T.P. Prakasan, COO – MEP busi­ness, Ster­ling & Wil­son, speaks to Maria R on the com­pany’s EPC ex­per­tise and the fac­tors driv­ing its sus­tained growth.


With over 9 decades of ex­pe­ri­ence in the in­fra sec­tor, how do you view the past two decades of in­fra de­vel­op­ment in In­dia?

In the past two decades, the in­fra­struc­ture sec­tor in In­dia has wit­nessed a ma­jor trans­for­ma­tion. The Gov­ern­ment of In­dia has been in­vest­ing heav­ily in in­fra­struc­ture, ow­ing to this year’s Union Bud­get. With con­tin­ued fo­cus on in­fra­struc­ture to drive eco­nomic growth, the gov­ern­ment has com­mit­ted close to $1 tril­lion in­vest­ment by 2020. Re­cent re­search in­di­cates that In­dia’s in­fra­struc­ture mar­ket will grow larger than Ja­pan’s (in terms of nom­i­nal value) and is set to sur­pass its cur­rent po­si­tion of be­ing third-largest in Asia.

As a lead­ing EPC player in In­dia, Ster­ling & Wil­son (S&W) has been play­ing a key role in the in­dus­try. On the back of grow­ing ur­ban in­fra­struc­ture, sig­nif­i­cant in­vest­ments are ex­pected to fur­ther boost EPC com­pa­nies across the globe. Fur­ther­more, an in­creased need to stan­dard­ize de­sign and strengthen op­er­a­tions and pro­cesses will con­tinue to raise the po­ten­tial not only for S&W but also for the in­fra­struc­ture in­dus­try as a whole.

S&W has es­tab­lished it­self as a trusted EPC so­lu­tion provider in the in­fra­struc­ture and en­ergy space. What fac­tors are driv­ing the com­pany’s growth?

S&W has con­sis­tently aimed for a pro­gres­sive out­look in the de­liv­ery of com­plex and chal­leng­ing projects. The com­pany has tran­si­tioned from be­ing a pre­dom­i­nantly In­dia-based MEP­fo­cused com­pany till 2010 to a global, di­ver­si­fied con­glom­er­ate with a pres­ence across more than 28 coun­tries.

In line with the in­dus­try’s de­mand, to­day, S&W is con­tribut­ing to more than 25% of the pas­sive in­fra­struc­ture seg­ment in In­dia. The com­pany’s multi-ser­vice in­te­gra­tion un­der a sin­gle MEP di­vi­sion as well as its in­tro­duc­tion of five new ser­vices: In­dus­trial Fire & Safety, Fuel-gas De­sul­fu­r­iza­tion, Process Con­trol & In­stru­men­ta­tion, In­dus­trial Clean Room EPC and IBMS Spe­cial Projects (Smart Cities & Defence Seg­ments) is ex­pected to take its ₹1,600 crore busi­ness to ₹3,000 crore by 2020.

The com­pany has also seen ma­jor de­vel­op­ments across all its key busi­nesses and re­mains In­dia’s lead­ing EPC Data Cen­ter com­pany (based on or­der book­ing), the world’s No.1 So­lar EPC com­pany (out­side China) and is cur­rently eye­ing ₹1,300 crore topline for its Diesel Gen­er­a­tors busi­ness. With its re­cent foray into En­ergy Stor­age, the com­pany is poised to play a vi­tal role in the global trend of mov­ing away from ther­mal plants to a fu­ture of re­new­able en­ergy with stor­age.

Please tell us about your MEP Busi­ness, its cur­rent or­der book, and growth driv­ers.

As the Gov­ern­ment of In­dia con­tin­ues its fo­cus on in­fra­struc­ture de­vel­op­ment, lead­ing com­pa­nies like S&W will con­tinue to keep in line with the in­dus­try’s growth and sub­se­quent de­mand. In fact, in re­cent years, we have wit­nessed an up­surge in com­mer­cial and in­dus­trial projects, which has trig­gered de­mand for in­te­grated MEP ser­vices across the coun­try. In this re­gard, S&W re­al­ized the op­por­tu­nity early. Es­tab­lished in 2008, the turnkey MEP busi­ness has come a long way, hav­ing in­te­grated a host of ser­vices such as Elec­tri­cal, HVAC, Fire­fight­ing, Plumb­ing and IBMS for seam­less de­liv­ery of projects. More re­cently, it has added five new ser­vices, as men­tioned above.

It is im­por­tant to have strong ex­per­tise and knowl­edge in many ar­eas of EPC busi­ness to have a sus­tain­able growth. S&W from the be­gin­ning, has been fo­cus­ing on ac­quir­ing the skill sets/knowl­edge on En­gi­neer­ing, Pro­cure­ment, Con­struc­tion and com­mis­sion­ing of var­i­ous types of MEP projects in dif­fer­ent in­dus­trial ver­ti­cals and ge­o­graph­i­cal re­gions. To­day, we have a very strong team of tech­ni­cally and com­mer­cially strong in­di­vid­u­als at all

An in­creased need to stan­dard­ize de­sign and strengthen op­er­a­tions and pro­cesses will con­tinue to raise the po­ten­tial of EPC com­pa­nies in the in­fra­struc­ture in­dus­try

strate­gic lo­ca­tions who are con­fi­dent of se­cur­ing very large or­ders and ex­e­cut­ing them prof­itably to the sat­is­fac­tion of our cus­tomers. Such con­sis­tent suc­cess sto­ries en­sure re­peat or­ders and busi­ness sus­tain­abil­ity.

What ad­vanced tech­nolo­gies are you us­ing in your projects?

We are us­ing var­i­ous process au­to­ma­tion soft­ware for ef­fi­cient run­ning of the busi­ness, which en­sure timely de­ci­sions and ac­tions on var­i­ous ac­tiv­i­ties such as SAP, ARIBA, Pri­mav­era, MS Project etc. On the project front, we have de­ployed 3D MEP Re­vit soft­ware, which en­ables us to do clash de­tec­tion dur­ing the en­gi­neer­ing stages it­self and avoid re­work and du­pli­ca­tion of ef­forts.

Please elab­o­rate on S&W’s skill and man­power de­vel­op­ment pro­grams.

Started in 1927, S&W has de­vel­oped from a home-grown com­pany to a global, di­ver­si­fied con­glom­er­ate with ex­cep­tional ex­per­tise and re­mark­able tech­nolo­gies to ad­here to in­ter­na­tional en­gi­neer­ing stan­dards. The in­te­gra­tion of the five key MEP ser­vices is tes­ta­ment to the MistryDaru­vala part­ner­ship and the sus­tained ded­i­ca­tion of our em­ploy­ees. It also ben­e­fits ma­jor­ity of our in­ter­nal and ex­ter­nal stake­hold­ers and sup­ple­ments other crit­i­cal busi­nesses such as Data Cen­ters (70-80% of a data cen­ter or­der for S&W con­sti­tutes of MEP ser­vices).

We con­duct pe­ri­odic train­ing pro­grams to im­prove the skills and knowl­edge lev­els of our em­ploy­ees. Sub­se­quent to our de­ci­sion to in­te­grate all MEP ser­vices into a sin­gle MEP di­vi­sion, we came out with a “One MEP” train­ing program that cov­ers change man­age­ment, cul­ture change, tech­ni­cal and project man­age­ment. We also have a Knowl­edge Man­age­ment on­line por­tal and iLink - a train­ing ini­tia­tive to im­prove the over­all de­vel­op­ment of em­ploy­ees.

What are the com­pany’s plans for the next 3-4 years?

S&W is look­ing to ex­pand its MEP busi­ness in In­dia, in­clud­ing a mar­ket share of 15% and pen­e­tra­tion into for­eign ge­ogra­phies such as Bangladesh, Bhutan and Nepal. The com­pany has al­ways worked in line with Gov­ern­ment of In­dia’s ef­forts to en­sure achiev­ing the coun­try’s am­bi­tious goals in the com­ing years. Cou­pled with our key busi­ness ver­ti­cals of Re­new­ables, Data Cen­ter, Diesel Gen­er­a­tors, we have crossed our cur­rent turnover of INR 9000 crores and are ex­pected to touch INR 20,000 crores by 2020.

In the near fu­ture, S&W is plan­ning to foray into the Wind En­ergy busi­ness to be­come an in­te­grated clean en­ergy player.

What about S&W’s global op­er­a­tions?

S&W op­er­ates across a mul­ti­tude of sec­tors in 28+ coun­tries across ge­ogra­phies such as Mid­dle East, Africa, Australia, Europe, USA, and South Amer­ica. Now in our 91st year, the cul­mi­na­tion of the Mistry and Daru­vala fam­i­lies has re­sulted in a ro­bust foun­da­tion, en­abling ex­po­nen­tial growth and de­vel­op­ment for our mul­ti­ple busi­ness seg­ments. As we en­ter a new busi­ness junc­ture, it is im­per­a­tive that we con­tinue to ex­plore new and cut­ting-edge so­lu­tions to fos­ter our role as path break­ers in the in­dus­try.

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