Author: Akshaj Singh

Infrastructure Management – the need of a financial superpower – India

Infrastructure Management – the need of a financial superpower – India

Infrastructure development is a vital component in encouraging a country’s economic growth. Developing infrastructure enhances a country’s productivity, consequently making firms more competitive and boosting a region’s economy. Not only does infrastructure in itself enhance the efficiency of production, transportation, and communication, but it also helps provide economic incentives to public and private sector participants. The accessibility and quality of infrastructure in a region help shape domestic firms’ investment decisions and determines the region’s attractiveness to foreign investors.

India is considered as an emerging economic superpower. The Indian economy, which has weathered global economic crises better than most other countries, continues to boom. But there is still a pressing need to sustain the pace of growth and to achieve even higher rate of development so that the fruits of liberalization and economic progress percolate down to the poorest sections of the society. In order to create livelihood opportunities for the large unemployed population of the country, the need for double-digit growth of the economy as a target cannot be overemphasized.

As it has been noticed India’s manufacturing sector is held back by relatively inefficient and high-cost infrastructure—roads, railways, airports, ports, and electricity. The lack of adequate infrastructure is constraining not only foreign trade but domestic trade as well. For example, with little refrigeration available, 40 percent of India’s fruits and vegetables spoil before reaching markets.                                                                                                                    In my opinion, to become an economic superpower India needs to focus on:-

  •  Achieving long-term manufacturing growth
  • Creating world class infrastructure
  • Education
  • Develop skills to boost employment
  • Conducive labour policy to create employment
  • Improving government delivery systems
Qualities of an Infrastructure Manager

Qualities of an Infrastructure Manager

Attitude

There are items that can help you improve yourself, and enhance your interactions with others. Desirable personal characteristics make a manager someone that others can look up to, and feel comfortable following:

An effective manager can’t motivate others if he or she can’t self-motivate. Self-motivation is the ability to get yourself going and take charge of what’s next for you it is a vital personal characteristic for a manager. You have to keep yourself going and motivate those who work with you. People trust a good manager because they know he or she has personal integrity. Workers need to know that he will fight for them and will follow the rules. As a person he should be dependable and reliable. Others in the organization should be able to rely on you. He should have an optimistic attitude so that can help build morale in the employees positive attitude can inspire others, and help them feel good about getting things done. Keep confidence in yourself.  An infra manager can’t afford to break down when the pressure is on. The ability to remain calm and do what needs to be done is essential in a good manager. A certain amount of flexibility is needed since he or she may need to adapt to changing situations.

Some level of business acumen is important for a infra manager. Even though he may not need to be on the level of a professional dealmaker, familiarity with basic business principles and practices can be helpful such as

Industry Knowledge: What do you know about the industry you are in? It helps understand your industry so that you can answer questions and perform your work more effectively. Workers may not need industry knowledge, but a manager should have some. An effective manager knows that some tasks need to be delegated. You should be able to identify workers who will do well, and give them tasks they can succeed at while helping the project. One needs to be organized in order to be a good manager. Keep track of projects, employees and assignments so that you are on top of what needs to happen in the business. Understand basic financial concepts so that you understand how to manage money as part of a project you have been given. Should know how the hierarchy works at your business, and follow the chain of command. Make sure that you understand your duties, and to whom you report. You should also know how the organization affects your subordinates. You need to be a law expert, you should have a grasp of the legal implications of sexual harassment, proper hiring and firing practices, confidentiality, and more.

Communication

The manager should be able to communicate effectively in writing. A good manager should be able to write professionally and with correct grammar, expressing him or herself in email, memos, and thank you notes. As a good manager he should know how to speak publicly, enunciating your words, and concisely communicating your ideas, whether in an interview, or addressing workers. Learn how to provide feedback in a way that is helpful to workers and others. One of the most important communication skills is listening. Make sure you are listening to your workers, superiors and customers, and that you acknowledge them. Organize and practice your presentations before giving them so that you are clear and concise, and so that your presentation flows well.

Relationships

Characteristics such as you build relationships matters are a manager. He should know how to manage relationships between yourself and your subordinates, as well as manage the relationships among those who work under you. You should also know how to develop relationships with your superiors, and coordinate relationships between those above you and below you in the hierarchy.

Mediator: Often, a good manager needs to be able to act as a mediator between workers, between a worker and a client, or between a superior and a worker. Brush up on your mediation qualities, and learn conflict resolution techniques to be a good manager.

Team Player: Should function as part of a team if he want to succeed as an effective manager. Make sure that you are willing to work with others, and that you will hold up your end.

Respect: You need to be respectful of your workers if you are to have respect as a manager in return. It’s up to you to set the example and build relationships of respect.

Collaboration: You’ll need to set up collaborations with others, and with your team. You should also be able to work well with others, and understand how to integrate ideas and personalities.

Value Others: A good manager helps employees feel valued. Surveys show that employees want recognition from their superiors, and you need to make sure to recognize contributions from your workers.

The future for Infrastructure Management Education in India

The future for Infrastructure Management Education in India

The word ‘infrastructure’ immediately brings to mind images of roads and construction – but this is a common misconception. The field of infrastructure is vast; it encompasses roads, railways, power, water supply, airways to telecommunications, oil and gas, and so on. Infrastructure is considered as the backbone of a nation’s economy and tackling infrastructure problems is a key requirement for leveraging growth especially in developing economies like India. Amidst the changing global and domestic economic order, investments in infrastructure have become crucial in order to sustain the pace of economic growth. This has created a need for managers to lead and sustain organizations involved in infrastructure business.

Currently India is growing at a healthy rate of 8-9% per year. For a higher inclusive-growth we need to connect the 6, 00,000 villages and its 700 million rural population. Urban infrastructure needs proper housing facility, bridges, roads, business premises, water supply, drainage system, airports, railways etc.The Planning Commission of India, Govt. of India has stressed on the need and requirement of infrastructural development in India through a number of policies and initiatives for a growing economy of India. The initial projections for infrastructure in the 12th Five Year Plan (FY13-17) is at US $ 1 trillion. This indicates that there is huge investment potential in infrastructure and this certainly translates into a huge scope for careers and employment in this sector. Infrastructure is truly a dynamic sector where, exciting job openings are coming up like never before, which has started to surpass the IT boom witnessed 10 years ago.

With the government’s focus on the infrastructure sector there is going to be a need for educated professionals trained specifically in this field. The MBA (Infrastructure) programmes at most universities cover all traditional business administration disciplines such as marketing, finance, and strategy. In addition, these programmes cater to the need for a cadre of professionals with training for operation, management, and financing of infrastructure services. These provide knowledge on influencing public policy and regulatory practice in infrastructure industries. The courses are needed to be designed specifically to provide specialized training in the concepts and skills involved in the infrastructure service delivery, regulatory process, and competition policies, as well as helping the managers understand regulation from technical, economic, social, legal and political perspectives. The program not only imparts managerial skills in core subjects, but also the specialized domain related expertise in infrastructure management, contract administration and non-conventional methods of infrastructure creation. One must also learn about the financing of infrastructure projects, IT applications as well as accounting, specifically in the context of infrastructure sector.