“India is a country with diverse cultures, with a lot of contradictions. Instead of comparing it with things at home, foreign companies planning to set up in India should try to accept and adapt to Indian conditions, ways..”
This month we are interviewing Kiran Jagtap who takes care of the industrial set up projects in INDOLINK Consulting. Kiran was born in Karwadi, a small town in Ahmadnagar district in Maharashtra, India. He is a Civil Enginnering Graduate from Pune University with a Post Graduate in Project Management and has been working in industrial and institutional construction projects for the last 10 years.
He’s 35 years old, is married and has a son and has been working with INDOLINK since 2008.
IL: What activities do you carry out in INDOLINK?
KJ: I work as Project Manager for industrial set up projects. I take care of most of the plant construction related activities like: Planning, layout design & finalization, estimation, budgeting, tendering, contracting, liaisoning for construction related permissions/ approvals, scheduling, quality control, supervision and review, budget control, certification of bills, erection, project closure and project handover to client.
IL: What do you like the most of your job?
KJ: Well, what I like most of my job is when we complete the project successfully and then hand it over to the client. It’s very satisfying.
IL: And the least?
KJ: Sometimes you come across situations when you are responsible for the results but you don’t have the required authority to handle it appropriately. This is very stressful, sometime situation may become really tense.
IL: In which projects have you worked so far?
KJ: till date I have handled industrial, residential, institutional as well as infrastructure development projects. Like medical and engineering universities, infrastructure for food industry like a wine park, a cold storage facility, etc. During my tenure in INDOLINK, I have handled the construction management of the industrial sites of BELLOTA in Nasik, GAMESA-MADE and HINE in Chennai and WINDAR in Vadodara.
IL: You’ve already worked few years along with our foreign customers, especially Spanish, do you see a lot of difference on the way we are/we work (Indian vs Spanish/Western)?
KJ: Yes, I see lot of differences, mostly cultural. India is a country with different local cultures, habits, languages, traditions, politics and also the government policies and laws. Many of the things are unpredictable here. Western people expect everything to be scheduled, which sometimes is impossible to do. This is annoying for them. For example, the time required to obtain license/permissions from government authorities is difficult to predict, whereas customers want to know the date.
IL: What are the main difficulties from your point of view when a foreign company wants to set up a production plant in India?
KJ: The major difficulties I have observed from the foreigners at personal levels are problems with the interaction with the local people, different perception of what’s happening and adjustment to the local social life style.
For the companies the most difficult aspects are to find the right place for the plant, to find the right people (employees) at the place chosen, to understand the local government policies, laws, rules and taxation (there are different authorities for different permissions, approval and taxes) and get the things moving.
IL: What advice would you give to the foreign companies that are thinking of setting up a plant in India?
KJ: India has very good opportunities for the investment and business set ups. It is not an easy task but also not such a difficult or impossible one. The most important thing is to be careful while selecting the local partner, consultant and/or people on key positions. Those right choices at the beginning will help them to set up the operations smoothly in spite of the challenges and difficulties.
IL: Any interesting experience during execution of the projects that you would like to share with us?
KJ: Each project executed is unique and full of challenges. However, the most interesting for me was Gamesa set-up. After identifying the factory we just had 4 months to start the production, which initially we said it was impossible. But, when it was clear that deadline couldn’t be postponed, we tried hard and did it on schedule.
IL: What would you suggest to your suggestion to Spanish companies planning to construct its factory in India?
KJ: India is acountry with diverse cultures, with a lot of contradictions. Instead of comparing it with things at home, foreign companies planning to set up in India should try to accept and adapt to Indian conditions, ways…This will make their life much more comfortable.
IL: Any interesting book or movie you advice us to read/watch?
KJ: I liked the book “you can win” by Shiv Khera and the movie “Chak de! India”.
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