11 July 2020

Interaction-Mangesh Wadaje, Director & CEO, Highbar Technocrat Ltd

The implementation of Digital Project Management platform at Maha Metro has opened many opportunities to explore in Mega infrastructure projects

Highbar Technocrat an associate company of Highbar Technologies (An HCC Group Company) is positioned to be the most preferred Information Technology (IT) solutions provider for the infrastructure industry. The Company’s portfolio of enterprise business solutions, line of business IT solutions, process consulting & IT infrastructure services  is aimed at increasing efficiencies for Roads, Metros, Ports, Real-Estate, Airports, Railways, Irrigation  and  Water supply, as well as urban and industrial infrastructure (telecom, mining), in the private, public and government sectors.  MANGESH WADAJE, DIRECTOR & CEO, HIGHBAR TECHNOCRAT LTD, spoke to CONSTRUCTION OPPORTUNITIES on his company’s unique solutions in the metro rail space and opportunities going forward.


Could you brief us on your range of product or solutions and their applications in the metro rail space?

Highbar Technocrat is an end-to-end IT solution provider with its portfolio of enterprise business solutions, line of business IT solutions, process consulting & IT Infrastructure services aiming at increasing efficiencies for infrastructure industry. The enterprise business solutions include majorly products from SAP like SAP ERP, SAP S/4 HANA, Business Intelligence Dashboards & Analytics, SAP Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Business Planning and Consolidation (BPC), Document Management Solution (DMS), SAP File Lifecycle Management, SAP CPM; Bentley range of products for engineering purposes specially used in 2D & 3D Drawings & Engineering Applications; RIB for estimation; Primavera for scheduling; Line of business IT solutions include Re-optimisation of Steel Bars, GST implementation, Estimation; Business Process Consulting & IT infrastructure services including security solutions, etc.

Recently Highbar has facilitated the next generation project management platform especially in metro rail space which consists of 5D BIM (5 Dimensional Building Information Modelling) integrated with SAP ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) supported by OSO (Owner’s Support Office). This is 1st of its kind platform implemented across India for efficient project management at Nagpur Metro Rail Corporation Ltd. This platform is integration of four world class products including SAP, Primavera, Bentley and RIB. SAP offers the enterprise wide core transactional system integrating all business functions & provides business analytics. Bentley’s solution provides the engineering drawings in 2D & intelligent 3D drawing formats, Primavera is used for project scheduling and RIB is front end tool which integrates all these software seamlessly and provide enterprise wide reporting.   


Any advanced products introduced in the market – and how have they been received? Tell us about the geographies/projects in which they are being targeted?

Our new offerings for infrastructure & real estate industry include following:

Digital Project Management Platform (5D BIM Integrated with SAP ERP): With implementation of Digital Project Management platform, we have started focusing on Mega construction projects to adopt this platform and consider for efficient project management at respective projects. With implementation of Digital platform at Nagpur Metro Rail Corporation, Highbar has introduced advanced technologies like Open Text ECM, Linear Asset Management, Re-Land, SRM (Supplier Relationship Management),FLM (File Lifecycle Management) first time in India for a linear Mega project.  Maha Metro is using these technologies efficiently for the Nagpur metro project.

SAP S/4 HANA infrastructure industry best practices: With new wave of innovative solutions  from SAP, we are offering SAP S/4 HANA solution specially designed for infrastructure and real estate industry. Our First implementation at Kunal Structures (India) Limited is award wining project as both- Highbar and KSIPL received SAP ACE Awards 2016 for this unique project.

SAP CPM (Commercial Project Management): Highbar is at the forefront of providing advanced technologies in construction industry. First time an Indian company has implemented SAP Commercial Project Management for construction company in Middle east.

GST implementation especially for Infrastructure and real estate industries: With new tax reforms by Indian Government, we are helping the construction & real estate companies to adopt their businesses with GST.


As a company, give us a sense of the emphasis you place on R&D and innovation? Provide the USP’s of your offerings vis-a-vis  competition?

Highbar Technocrat is an offshoot of HCC group’s IT department into a separate entity. Highbar carries legacy of HCC with nine decades of construction project experience. With Asia’s first comprehensive SAP ERP implementation at HCC, Highbar decided to provide the industry best practices to other construction companies. Highbar Technocrat is always at the forefront of offering latest technologies to its customers. E.g. The technologies like SAP ETM (Equipment & Tools Management), SAP CPM (Commercial Project Management), BPC (Business Planning & Consolidation), SAP S/4 HANA, Digital Project Management Platform for Metro Rails are introduced first by Highbar to its customers to adopt the latest technologies for their business transformation. In last seven years Highbar has provided solutions to 110+ customers with 11 business transformation case studies published globally. Without the focus on R&D, it’s not possible for Highbar to reach to the level where it stands now. Highbar’s USP is Technical excellence backed by very solid domain expertise. It differentiates Highbar amongst competitors as preferred partner for IT initiatives for infrastructure industry. By providing our IT & SAP consultation to Customers from infrastructure and real estate industry, we have developed the industry best practices. Many construction companies use standalone software at their construction projects which work well for them. A complex construction project demands these standalone software to be integrated seamlessly & provide output as desired for the project. Integration of these software with a single technology platform specific to construction industry is the challenging part in implementation. Here our domain expertise plays important role. We design the platform as per industry requirements.


You mentioned about Digital Project Management Platform at Nagpur Metro, give some brief information about this projects?

We have implemented recently Digital Project Management Platform at Nagpur Metro which is formed under Maha Metro a joint-venture of the Govt. of India and Govt. of Maharashtra. Large infrastructure projects like Metro rails normally take 5-10 years because of procedural formalities, technical and financial requirements. Technology solutions are being explored to bring in financial efficiency, time efficiency and reduce spends on such large mega infrastructure projects. With same vision, Maha Metro decided to adopt such digital platform for efficient execution of Nagpur Metro Rail Project.  The development of Digital Platform for Nagpur Metro is a pioneering effort - first time happening in India. In line with the global best practices, Maha Metro has adopted this pioneering approach of digital project management on 5-Dimensional Building Information Modelling (5D BIM) integrated with SAP ERP supported by Owner’s Support Office (OSO). This platform has now gone live & project team has started using information technology to visualize project virtually and monitor efficiently using 5 Dimensions (intelligent 3D Drawings with Time as 4th Dimension and Cost as 5th Dimension). We have set OSO (Owner’s Support Office) for efficient utilization of the digital project management platform. Use of this digital platform will help the metro project in mitigating risk of time & cost overruns, effective document management, quality adherence and effective asset management. 


What are the opportunities you are seeking in the metro space going forward? Tell us of the metro projects in which you are looking to contribute?

Going forward the way urbanization is happening in India, Indian cities are heading for need of efficient public transports. Metro rails are going to be the backbone of efficient urban public transportation. The implementation of Digital Project Management platform at Maha Metro has opened many opportunities to explore in Mega infrastructure projects. It can benefit each of many such metro projects coming up in India. It will even help the other mega infrastructure projects of different level of complexity like Airports, Ports, Railways, Roads & highways, Tunnel projects, etc. Currently we have implemented the digital platform at Nagpur Metro which is formed under Maha Metro. Going forward this digital platform can be taken to all other metro projects in Maharashtra.

With Indian government’s support for urban development through public utility transportation, Road and Highways development and other infrastructure developments, we are looking forward to approach these projects and provide information on how the digital project management platform has started creating value to such mega projects. This project has set industry benchmark of one of the innovative usage of information technology for infrastructure industry and we are keen to flag it off to other metro & infrastructure projects in India and abroad.


Provide us a brief idea of the existing market opportunities and your strategy to tap those going forward? 

Information Technology has already started adding value to construction & infrastructure industry. With efficient use of information technology for infrastructure industry, it opens up lots of opportunities for IT service providers. Huge opportunity lies ahead not only in india but across globe. Many countries which had not thought of going for rail network/ metro transportation have started moving towards rail transport. Many Middle East counties have started planning towards the rail transportation which provides tremendous opportunities for implementation of digital project management platform in India and Middle East.  As a strategy to tap these opportunities, Highbar will look at natural extension of its abilities e.g. Taking new innovative products across India which is established market and exploring new territories like Europe, Middle East with its existing product portfolio. 

The Digital Project Management platform is scalable to use at other Mega infrastructure projects with variation in the nature and complexity of those projects. Being innovative technology in the market, the diffusion of this technology may take time to reach to other Mega Infrastructure projects. But as the project teams realize the benefits of implementation of such platform, the adoption will increase exponentially. We can foresee greater acceptance of such platform by other mega projects when it starts delivering benefits to the current projects. Early adoption of technology for construction projects is the key towards improving project efficiencies. The construction companies have now started looking at Information Technology as part of their strategic business initiatives to improve their project efficiencies. Being first to implement such digital platform in India, we would like to replicate our solutions to other mega projects like Roads & highways, Tunnel projects etc.

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