Rakesh Verma is the Chief Executive Officer of Simon India Ltd., Adventz Group, a diversified multi-business conglomerate with revenue of approximately USD 3.5 bllion. Simon India executes EPCC (Engineering, Procurement, Construction, Commissioning) projects in Oil & Gas, Chemical / Petrochemical, Cement and Power sectors.
Rakesh has previously worked as CTO with Samsung Heavy Industries, a South Korean conglomerate, with net sales of USD 15 billion, puts its main focus on the Shipbuilding and Offshore business. He has also handled very significant assignments in India’s giant Larsen & Toubro. Rakesh, upon joining Simon India in January, 2017 has been working relentlessly to introduce smart work processes, strengthening EPC capabilities and has been successful in acquiring a very prestigious EPC contract of LPG Import terminal at Mundra port from Adani.
Rakesh is a Mechanical Engineer from IIT, Roorkee. He has vast experience in Engineering Management, Construction Management, Business Development, Project Management and General Management for Oil and Gas Processing Complex (Offshore and Onshore), Refineries, Petrochemical and Power Projects. Previous work association includes Engineers India Ltd (EIL), Larsen & Toubro (L&T), Saipem Triune, Daewoo Shipbuilding Marine Engineering (DSME), Hyundai Heavy Ind (HHI) and Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI) etc.
Q- Thanks for sparing some of your most valuable time for us. We are keen to know how you were able to shape up your rich career journey?
Clear vision, focused approach, hard work and passion are most essential for shaping up a successful career. I have been very keen in contributing to strengthen India’s Heavy Industry. I made right decisions in choosing my roles and organizations at right times and put in my 100 percent in realizing my vision. And the rest followed automatically.
Q- As a CEO, what is your vision for Simon India for next 5 years?
Simon India will be a renowned and respected EPC company for mid-size projects in Oil & Gas, Specialty chemicals, Fertilizers, Cement, Power and Cross country pipelines with about a 300% growth.
Q- What are the challenges the Indian EPC sector is currently facing and how can we improve the scenario?
There are a few sectors which are facing great difficulties. Lack of enough projects in Oil & Gas sector, Delays in projects implementation, new tax regime, skilled manpower are a few challenges which Indian EPC industry is facing. PM’s ‘Make in India’ program is bringing in a lot of relief. India might see a huge Industrial growth in coming years. EPC Industry should prepare itself well and equip themselves with world class processes and skill development.
Q- How has Simon India made a mark globally and is there a focus to further expand the global footprint?
Simon India has its presence in KSA and has been working with prestigious clients like SABIC and Chemtrol. Currently we have been focusing on neighboring countries, South East Asia and Russia for upcoming projects and strategic tie-ups. While Simon India is pursuing few Projects in Bangladesh, Srilanka, Vietnam and Indonesia, it has made a few strategic tie-ups in new business areas with partners from Russia, Indonesia and South Korea.
Q- How do you think the Human Resource Function has contributed to the success story of Simon India so far? Where do you see improvement needed in HR Function?
A sudden leap in Simon’s business in 2017-18 could not have been handled without a very valuable contribution of Human Resources function. Apart from acquiring skilled resources, HR is successfully implementing skill management program. It is also helping in creating synergy and a conducive working environment. projects needs experienced and dedicated workforce. HR in Simon India has successfully acquired Senior as well as working level manpower resources in very short time with Oil & Gas experience to cater to Adani LPG Project.
Q- Do you think HR as business partner has evolved in EPC Industry if not then, what are the reasons and your advice?
Certainly HR has evolved as business partner in EPC Industry. Off course, there is a lot more which can be done. Working on smart and updated database, tracking and constant communication may help in improvement in manpower acquisition. Making a smart skill development program is another possibility.
EPC business in India tends to be more spontaneous than regular variation in Project workload demands for rapid Manpower Resource Mobilization. HR of EPC companies need to work on live database and maintain continuous communication with target resources in order to reduce the manpower acquisition time.
Q- What would have been your alternate career option had you not gotten into the engineering field?
Alternative career option for me would have been Indian Administrative Services which I had forgone for making my career in Engineering.
Thank you Rakesh!