Exclusive Interview with Harshita Jain, Director, Consulting Engineers Group

Vinod Shah Posted on: 2024-05-14 07:50:00 Viewer: 3,322 Comments: 0 Country: India City: Jaipur

Exclusive Interview with Harshita Jain, Director, Consulting Engineers Group

In the ever-evolving landscape of corporate leadership, Ms. Harshita Jain, the Director of CEG Ltd., emerges as a trailblazer, steering the company towards unprecedented growth and global recognition. With a vision set on international markets, Ms. Harshita leads a team of seasoned professionals in crafting meticulous techno-commercial proposals, leveraging her profound expertise in civil engineering. Her strategic prowess is evident in her relentless pursuit of increased revenue streams, both nationally and internationally, aligning with the company's ambitious growth objectives.

Drawing from a wealth of experience cultivated through collaborations with global enterprises, Ms. Harshita excels in orchestrating comprehensive business plans with precision and foresight. Her role extends beyond mere coordination; she is the driving force behind the development of new business sectors, laying the foundation for sustainable expansion and diversification. As CEG Ltd. ventures into uncharted territories, Ms. Harshita’s leadership promises to redefine the industry standards and propel the company to new heights of success.

Ms. Harshita Jain's journey epitomizes the convergence of expertise, innovation, and unwavering determination, reflecting the essence of a true leader poised to shape the future of CEG Ltd. and leave an indelible mark on the global business landscape.

Can you share with us your vision for Consulting Engineers Group Ltd. (CEG) and how it aligns with the company's overall goals and objectives?

Certainly! Consulting Engineers Group Ltd. (CEG) is one of India’s largest Indian-owned consultancy companies providing services across diverse sectors like metros, rail, highways, water, irrigation, urban development, etc. At CEG, our vision is to pioneer transformative engineering solutions that shape the future of infrastructure, technology, and sustainability. Through our relentless pursuit of excellence, creativity, and collaboration, we aim to exceed client expectations and drive positive change in communities worldwide by providing the best quality infrastructure. Aligning itself to this vision, CEG as a whole has invested in creating an ecosystem within the company that promotes innovation in infrastructure solutions by expanding into new market revenue streams, geographies, technologies, etc. Recognizing that its greatest asset is its people, CEG continues to invest in talent development and expertise enhancement. By fostering a culture of continuous learning and innovation, CEG empowers its employees to tackle complex challenges and deliver exceptional results for clients. Our commitment to integrity and ethics guides us as we strive for excellence in every project we undertake, allowing our clients to succeed and thrive in a rapidly evolving world. Above all, CEG remains committed to exceeding client expectations by delivering high-quality, cost-effective solutions tailored to their specific needs. At CEG we build long-term partnerships based on trust and reliability. CEG encompasses a strategic blend of innovation, expansion, sustainability, talent development, and client-centricity, all aimed at solidifying its position as a leader in the infrastructure consulting industry.

As a key leader within CEG, what are some of the latest developments or achievements that you are particularly proud of?

Every work undertaken by CEG big or small brings me great pride and joy as I treat every work to be equal. Before my joining, CEG was known as the best Highway Consultant in India in the transportation consultancy domain. Working in Business  Development, my role was strategic planning of the company and diversification into new sectors, generating new clientele while retaining the old ones. I helped push CEG aggressively into the metro/railways segment. CEG achieved a breakthrough in the metro sector with the General Consultancy Contract for Line 7& 2B in Mumbai Metro in 2016- 17. Since then, it has become the only Indian company working as a General Consultant for 8 Metro rail projects in India, becoming the highest stakeholder in the metro segment in India. CEG is now associated directly with different Metros in India namely the Mumbai Metro, Pune Metro, Surat Metro, Nagpur Metro, Navi Mumbai Metro, Chennai Metro, and Bengaluru Metro. However, the biggest achievement has been CEG being appointed as Project Management Consultant for India’s first Bullet Train Project between Mumbai and Ahmedabad. It is an iconic project with a design speed of 320 Km per hour that will cover a distance of 508 km in 2 hours. The train will cover a 21 Km distance below the sea. It is the largest construction project undertaken in Indian history that will bring enormous efficiency to the movement of people between these regions.

I focused extensively on foraying into new international markets such as in SAARC, Africa, and CIS regions. CEG became the first Indian infrastructure consultancy company to set a footprint in the CIS region working in three countries Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and Kazakhstan. In Africa, CEG has bagged multiple projects in more than 10 countries including Tanzania, Ethiopia, Mozambique, Kenya, Sierra Leone, Gabon, etc. Strengthening its international presence CEG, established its international subsidiaries in the UK and Dubai.

How do you see CEG contributing to the evolving landscape of infrastructure consulting in the coming years?

In the rapidly evolving landscape of modern infrastructure development, Engineering Consultants like CEG have emerged as indispensable players, contributing their expertise to shape the world we live in. As societies grow more interconnected, cities expand, and technological advancements reshape industries, the role of engineering consultants becomes ever more crucial. We play a multifaceted role in driving sustainable, innovative, and efficient infrastructure development that meets the demands of the 21st century and the future to come. At CEG we are continuously adapting to the changing demands and are equipped to provide a wide bouquet of premium services that cover the entire life cycle of the project from pre-project, project execution, and post-project, broadly covering functions such as project identification/ evaluation; environmental impact assessment, development, sourcing of technologies; preparation of feasibility reports, market studies; designing of projects; engineering design services, project management services, architectural/construction engineering services; and project commissioning, operations and maintenance. CEG is well-equipped to handle all the challenges of the evolving landscape of the infrastructure industry by focusing on the two characteristics that make us unique in the industry. The first is the customized solutions we offer to our clients which are specifically tailored for each client regardless of tools, services model, or data. Second, we are successful in cultivating long-term client relationships through trust and reliability.

Can you provide insights into any innovative projects or initiatives that CEG is currently undertaking or planning for the future?

CEG works on the principle that for every project we do, we add value to the project through our experience and expertise. As a result, we are a part of many innovative and unique projects. CEG is associated with Construction Supervision for monitoring of the Intelligent Transport System for the Central Asia Regional Economic Corridor in Uzbekistan while in Tajikistan we are preparing the transport master plan for the whole country of Tajikistan which includes rail, road, metro, aviation and any other form of transport. In Kazakhstan, we are appointed as Road Sector Reform Consultants on the development of new Road Lifecycle Contracts. We are one of the first Indian companies to enter the CIS Balkan region of Asia. In Kenya and Mozambique, we are associated with writing of the codes, specifications and design manuals of roads and bridges. We believe in nation-building and being associated with one of the most technologically advanced projects of India, the Mumbai Ahmedabad High-Speed Rail Project brings a sense of deep satisfaction in serving our nation with our expertise.

In what ways do you envision CEG expanding its global footprint and reaching new markets?

CEG has undertaken several strategic initiatives to strengthen its global footprints and new markets. First and foremost being one of the few CEG has undertaken several strategic initiatives to strengthen its global footprints and new markets. First and foremost being one of the few Indian consulting companies establishing an office in the UK and Dubai to cater to different geographies. With these two new offices, we plan to cater to the Latin, European, Middle East, Balkan, and South Asia Pacific markets. Operating from over 52 offices with a presence in over 15 countries, CEG’s physical presence enhances its visibility and accessibility to clients. Regional offices also enable closer collaboration with local stakeholders and facilitate project management and execution. We are also looking forward to the acquisition of an International organization preferably from Europe to strengthen our footprint in the area.

CEG today has grown to be a brand in the transportation sector and is recognized as a synonym for quality. We have been continuously growing and expanding in other sectors and are currently focusing on expanding our business in sectors like Ports, Power, Sustainable Environment and Building Information Modelling in coming years while at the same time focusing on incorporating the latest technologies.

With the rapid advancements in technology and sustainability, how is CEG adapting its strategies to stay ahead in the industry?

CEG recognizes the fact that digitization is the need of the hour. It plays a crucial role in saving costs & environment (by going paperless), provides secure and constant accessibility of data, and enhances information preservation. CEG is continuously investing its resources to improve its in-house capabilities, reduce time consumption, better monitoring of projects and personnel, and cater to its own needs. To this end, CEG has adopted several digital solutions to improve its day-to-day performance and seamless connectivity across its various project locations and offices. A few prominent examples of digitalization at CEG include CV Manager, Timesheet and HRMS, DocTrol, C-Link, etc. CV Manager is a personnel search and database portal to cater to the requirements of our HR Department to search for personnel in various fields. Time Sheet helps us improve our resource planning for future projects by linking the amount of effort put in by the personnel to the financial aspects. HRMS manages all existing employee-related data and information, such as enrolment, benefits, status changes, etc. DocTrol plays an important role in the management and monitoring of project implementation by providing project reports and daily corresponding letters at the site for project leads. C-Link is a tender search portal to make the bidding procedure easy and transparent and remove duplicity and errors. These digital products have been extremely helpful in performing our job and fulfilling our goal of delivering quality services.

What role do you believe CEG plays in driving sustainable infrastructure development, both locally and globally?

CEG plays a pivotal role in driving sustainable infrastructure development, both locally and globally, through several key avenues:

  • Innovative Design and Engineering: CEG integrates sustainable design principles into its infrastructure projects, prioritizing energy efficiency, resource conservation, and environmental stewardship. By leveraging innovative engineering solutions and technologies, CEG develops infrastructure that minimizes environmental impact while maximizing long-term sustainability.
  • Promotion of Renewable Energy and Green Technologies: CEG advocates for the adoption of renewable energy sources and green technologies in infrastructure development. Whether it's incorporating waste in road design, designing energy-efficient transportation systems, or implementing green building practices, CEG actively promotes sustainability across its projects.
  • Community Engagement and Stakeholder Collaboration: CEG recognizes the importance of engaging local communities and collaborating with stakeholders in the planning and execution of infrastructure projects. By soliciting input from community members, government agencies, and other stakeholders, CEG ensures that projects address local needs, concerns, and priorities while promoting social equity and inclusivity.
  • Capacity Building and Knowledge Sharing: CEG contributes to sustainable infrastructure development by sharing its expertise, best practices, and lessons learned with industry peers, clients, and policymakers. Through capacity-building initiatives, training programs, and knowledge-sharing platforms, CEG empowers stakeholders to implement sustainable infrastructure solutions and foster innovation in the field.
  • Adoption of Sustainable Construction Practices: CEG promotes sustainable construction practices that minimize waste, reduce carbon emissions, and enhance resilience to climate change. By employing eco-friendly materials, implementing construction waste management strategies, and prioritizing low-impact construction methods, CEG ensures that its projects are built to last while minimizing their environmental footprint.
  • Policy Advocacy and Thought Leadership: CEG engages in policy advocacy and thought leadership activities to advance sustainable infrastructure development at the local, national, and global levels. Through participation in industry forums, research collaborations, and advocacy campaigns, CEG influences policy decisions, promotes regulatory reforms, and drives the adoption of sustainable infrastructure practices.

Overall, CEG's commitment to sustainable infrastructure development is reflected in its holistic approach to project planning, design, and implementation. By integrating sustainability principles into its core business practices and collaborating with stakeholders, CEG contributes to building a more resilient, equitable, and environmentally sustainable future for communities around the world.

As a leader, how do you foster a culture of innovation and collaboration within CEG to ensure continued growth and success?

As a leader within CEG, fostering a culture of innovation and collaboration is essential for ensuring the company's continued growth and success. I believe in leading by example. I demonstrate a commitment to innovation and collaboration in my actions and decision-making processes. By embracing new ideas, seeking out diverse perspectives, and encouraging open communication, I set the tone for a culture that values creativity and teamwork.

At CEG, we believe in creating an environment where employees feel empowered to share their ideas, experiment with new approaches, and take calculated risks. This may involve implementing feedback mechanisms, hosting brainstorming sessions, or establishing innovation labs where employees can explore innovative solutions without fear of failure. We also encourage collaboration across different teams, departments, and disciplines within CEG. By fostering cross-functional collaboration, we leverage diverse expertise, perspectives, and skill sets to tackle complex challenges and drive innovation across all aspects of the business.

We also ensure that employees have access to the resources, training, and support they need to innovate and succeed. Whether it's investing in professional development programs, providing access to cutting-edge technologies, or allocating dedicated time for skill development projects, we prioritize enabling employees to unleash their full potential.

A crucial key to success is the growth mindset within CEG, emphasizing the importance of learning, adaptability, and resilience. By encouraging employees to embrace challenges, seek feedback, and pursue personal and professional growth, we foster a culture that thrives on innovation and continuous learning.

Overall, fostering a culture of innovation and collaboration requires leadership commitment, empowerment of employees, and a supportive environment that encourages creativity, experimentation, and teamwork. By championing these values and initiatives, I ensure that CEG remains at the forefront of innovation and continues to thrive in a rapidly evolving industry.

Can you discuss any upcoming challenges or opportunities that you foresee for CEG in the near future?

If we talk about the Indian context, in any developing country, investment in infrastructure and construction directly adds to GDP growth. To achieve a 5 trillion economy in India, infrastructure will be one of the highest contributors. National Infrastructure pipeline has already identified a project worth Rs. 110 Lakh Crore in the next 5 years. CEG firmly stands with the policy of providing best-in-class services locally through   ‘Make in       India’     and drastically reducing the country’s dependency on imported services. We are fully supportive of the government of India’s initiatives and will do our best to contribute to Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan. If we talk about the world, Governments around the world are prioritizing infrastructure development to stimulate economic growth, improve connectivity, and address urbanization challenges.

CEG stands to benefit from increased infrastructure investment by securing new projects and expanding its client base. Emerging economies offer significant growth opportunities for infrastructure consulting firms like CEG. Rapid urbanization, population growth, and rising demand for modern infrastructure present opportunities to participate in large-scale projects and establish a foothold in new markets.

By staying agile, innovative, and client-focused, CEG can continue to thrive in a dynamic and evolving industry landscape.

Finally, what message would you like to convey to clients, stakeholders, and aspiring professionals who are interested in the work of Consulting Engineers Group Ltd.?

My advice to all aspiring engineers would be ‘Have faith in yourself and never give up on your dreams.’ If you are passionate and talented enough to bring a change, nothing can stop you. Age & gender do not define your chance at success, but you as an individual do. Also, in my opinion, learning & growth go hand in hand. Therefore, it is always essential to keep updating your knowledge and skills to carve a niche for yourself. Our world is going through a monumental shift, and people are opening up and willing to have those tough conversations about diversity. People need to be their advocates and remember that no one can stand up for you better than yourself. We need to learn how to verbalize what we need and what we deserve. Engineering does not discriminate between males and females, it is us as a society that discriminate. The question that every engineer should ask is not who is going to let me, but who is going to stop me.

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