Terracon Ecotech will play a bigger role in consultancy for Indian Smart Cities, says Ashok Jain, Director
Mumbai-based Terracon Ecotech Pvt. Ltd. is a pioneering company that offers ecology based advisory services and turnkey solutions. It is committed to the concept that “Enhancing biodiversity promotes business.” With Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s initiative to groom hundreds of smart cities in India, is in progress, the company is also getting busy with consultancy assignments from many state and local governments besides international agencies for projects on sustainable urban development. Ashok Jain, Director, co-promoter and strategist of Terracon Ecotech brings to table his vast experience from diverse industries such as financial services, urban planning, agribusiness and retail, He was associated with many MNCs and Indian corporate houses and has been a consultant for many foreign governments. He holds qualifications in management and Law and is also a Chartered Financial Analyst and a Certified Investment Banker. In an interview with Business Views Managing Editor, G. Kalyan Kumar, Jain speaks about his company’s role, vision and future plans. Excerpts…. Q. How do you view the smart city initiative as an opportunity? A. It is a big opportunity considering the size, the scale and duration of the initiative. Moreover, it is in line with global movement to improve Cities’ infrastructure and governance. We have devised a package for smart cities for improving its ecology, environment and carbon footprint. We strongly believe that Cities need to first become “Sustainable” and then move on to become “Smart”. Q. Is the concept of Green building expanding in India? Is it an opportunity for you? A. Yes. The concept of green building is expanding due to increased awareness and commitment from the developers and demand from the buyers and gentle push from the regulatory bodies. However, Terracon Ecotech does not focus on green building as a market segment. We are a natural resource management company that focuses on preservation and enhancement of these resources for improved ecology, better environment and seamless flow of ecosystem services. Company aims to address climate change risks and environmental issues by focusing on developing soft or green infrastructure for the governments and corporates. Q. Can you mention some of the clients? A. We have worked with some of the large Corporates and Houses such as Tata, Vedanta, ACC, JSW, L&T, Reliance, Godrej, Piramal, Mahindra etc. Moreover, we have also worked with PSUs such as Mumbai Port Trust, JNPT, Paradip Port Trust, HPCL, MECON etc. Company has also worked with various departments of State governments of Assam, Kerala, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka. Q. Are you working mainly with real estate and infrastructure projects? A. Our aim is to assist all entities that have a problem with managing pollution and natural resources. Hence, we do work with some real estate and infrastructure projects to ensure natural resources are protected and ecosystem services are not compromised. Q. What is the average cost of your consultancy for a project? The cost of our services depends on the size and duration of projects undertaken. Moreover, it also depends on the nature of activity such as preparing inventory, consultancy or execution services. Typically, the average cost of consultancy will be about Rs 10-15 lacs while execution works would be around a couple of crores. Q. What kind of projects can seek your company’s assistance? A. Following categories of projects can seek our expert advice, assistance and execution services: • Infrastructure such as roads, ports, power plants, large scale manufacturing and mining. • Existing infrastructure projects for greenbelt assessment & upgradation, biodiversity assessment and action plan, restoration of lands / water bodies etc. • Municipal Corporations for tree census, city biodiversity index (CBI) and local biodiversity strategy & action plan (LBSAP), tree plantation & transplantation, lake restoration etc.