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AJIT GULABCHAND: The Chairman of Administrative Council

Shri. Ajit Gulabchand is Chairman and Managing Director of HCC - 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, he began his career as the Chief Executive of Indian Hume Pipe Co Ltd and subsequently moved on to Ravalgaon Sugar Farm Ltd as 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 sector in India. A modern and vibrant construction company, it has kept pace with modern technology, is committed to quality and boasts of a knowledge asset of more 3,000 people. Having laid solid foundations for growth, Mr Gulabchand strategically grew HCC’s business portfolio to include all key infrastructure sectors by undertaking challenging mega projects.

With Mr Gulabchand’s endeavours, HCC has executed a majority of India’s landmark infrastructure projects, having constructed more than 25% of India’s hydel and over 50% of India’s nuclear generation capacities, 2,300 lane-kms of Roads & Expressways and over 170 kms of complex tunneling in addition to hundreds of Bridges, Dams and Barrages.

At HCC, he has ensured the speedy adaptation of the latest technologies and global best practices by investing in ultra-modern equipment fleet in an otherwise labor-intensive sector, and by joining hands with international construction majors to form tactical joint ventures. Bearing fruits to his efforts, HCC’s turnover grew at an impressive CAGR of 22% FY 2008-09.

He has also ensured that HCC remains at the forefront of India’s engineering construction industry with global management practices which include acquiring international ISO certifications for management systems in Quality, Occupational Health & Safety and Environment. Having established robust Corporate Governance norms, he spurred HCC to set global benchmarks in the construction industry with the fastest implementation of SAP-ERP coupled with high levels of complexity across diverse project locations.

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 comprises of HCC Ltd (Engg & Construction), HCC Infrastructure Ltd, HCC Real Estate Ltd (HREL) and Lavasa Corporation Ltd. The group specializes in technically complex, new-age construction in infrastructure projects, E.P.C,

B.O.T, Integrated projects, as well as urban development and management. Mr Gulabchand is the visionary behind free India’s largest Hill City, Lavasa, near Pune. Lavasa is spread across a picturesque landscape of 12,500 acres, set amidst 7 hills and 60 kms of lakefront.

Recognizing the importance of knowledge assets for building world class infrastructure, Mr Gulabchand has the taken lead in ideating new concepts by investing in technical education and skills enhancement for HCC’s manpower and other training and technical institutions in the country such as NICMAR and the Walchand College of Engineering.

Corporate Social Responsibility remains intrinsic to Mr Gulabchand’s vision for the group encompassing HIV, 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 21,000 construction workers across HCC’s project locations.

Acknowledged for his visionary leadership in the industry, Mr Gulabchand plays an important role in key industry bodies in India. 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). He initiated the formation of 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 and steering board member of Engineering and Construction community at World Economic 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. As Chairman of DRN India, he has been involved in disaster management during a number of natural disasters in India and abroad.

He has also recently endowed a new ‘Ajit Gulabchand Chair’ on Indian Business Studies being set up at Oxford University and is a member of the Oxford International Advisory Board for Executive Education. He is also a signatory member of the United Nations Global Compact’s CEO Water Mandate.

Mr. Gulabchand’s other associations with industry bodies include -

  • Chairman for the Projects Exports Promotion Council (PEPC).
  • Past President and Permanent Member of the Governing Council of the Builders Association of India (BAI).
  • Chairman of the Board of Governors and Member of the Board of Trustees at the National Institute of Construction Management and Research (NICMAR), Pune.
  • Chairman of the Administrative Council of Walchand College of Engineering, Sangli.

Mr. Gulabchand, a keen follower of sports and an ardent philanthropist has been conferred with the Infrastructure Leader Award for 2009 by CNBC TV 18.

In 1947, WCE was founded in Sangli with just over 60 students. Today, it has more than 4,000 students taking various courses in Engineering and Technology. We create opportunities not just for young minds to learn, but also for them to experience the fulfillment that comes from sharing this learning with others. At WCE, we are always focused on delivering education that will help create the leaders of tomorrow’s world – our students will not just be successful in their individual capacities, but will in turn, contribute to and nurture the world they live in.

Ajit Gulabchand
Chairman, Administrative Council.

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