05 April 2020

Table of Contents for Techvantage

Interview - Atanu Pattanayak (Bentley Systems India)

There are multiple opportunities coming up in different areas

ATANU PATTANAYAK, MANAGING DIRECTOR – BENTLEY SYSTEMS INDIA PVT LTD spoke to SHRIKANT RAO on the impact made by his company on the Indian infrastructure scene.


Tell us about your firm’s performance from an India standpoint?

Our baseline is small so we are expected to grow at a faster pace than the company average. We have been doing well and our calendar year ends on 31st December. Even though growth in India this year was not that good in terms of GDP we have managed to get substantial growth.


The last few years have been bad for the infrastructure industry?

Yes, we were affected as there were no road or highway projects which were awarded. Our strength is design software and during that phase we were not that successful in selling our design tools. But that gave us an opportunity towards operation and maintenance of roads. We fought for the tender of Road Information Management System for Odisha PWD and won it. Almost 95 percent of that project is already complete. With that success we bagged the Andhra PWD project. In Assetwise for transportation we have multiple opportunities coming up from different PWDs throughout India. So along with design tools we are concentrating on operations and maintenance. We are also concentrated on metros and have got a share of revenue from there. In metros, DMRC is using our tools. So is Hyderabad metro by L&T, and there are other opportunities which are coming up in the metro segment. Building Information Modelling (BIM) is a big driver for that. Metro projects in Doha, Qatar and Riyadh, Saudi Arabia will be implementing BIM and India can’t be looked behind.


Do you discern urgency on the authorities to implement tools like BIM?

If we talk only to consultants it becomes a challenge because they don’t place an immediate value to the operational maintenance phase. They will only look at construction and commissioning phase. But when you get owners also on board and the consultant also agrees then it becomes a healthy situation because the consultant can then transfer the intelligent model to the owners who can use it for operation and maintenance and save a lot.


Are you doing anything consciously to get both the stake holders on a single platform?

We have just started off. I can talk about Hyderabad metro where L&T is the owner and consultant, too. They have thought about it and are giving us a chance to showcase our products. We feel we will be successful doing such activities with major owner operators like the Indian Railways. They were using tools but for design and alignment purpose only. Now they want to see how an integrated solution can be built using third party applications.


What is the latest technology you are applying in the Indian environment?

MicroStation and STAAD were the products which have found tremendous success. They were known as the main Bentley brands. Today most of our revenue comes from other solutions like operation and maintenance as well as off-shore platform design and installation. In that we have acquired a company and the product is called as SACS and MOSES. That gives us huge revenue. MicroStation is the platform for most of our BIM solutions and that goes hand in hand with all our technology. ProjectWise is also another brand. Reliance uses ProjectWise for all its projects.


Who are your main users in India?

Tata Consulting Engineers, Larsen &Toubro, Survey of India, Indian Defence, Maharashtra Jeevan Pradhikaran (MJP).

Which are the infrastructure areas which need to be focused on more?

The focus needs to be more on water -- potable water and non-revenue water because of leakage, theft, ageing pipes. When you are doing a remodelling of the city water you should use tools to finds out the problems and minimise non-revenue water so that they can make more money out of it.


Which are the areas where you your presence growing in India?

We have identified segments like Metro, Airport and Water. In the airport segment L&T uses our tools.


What is the extent of awareness regarding using of technology in the areas of infrastructure?

Since events on BIM are regularly happening there is increasing awareness among people in the infrastructure sector. Awareness will come if not today then tomorrow. So we need to be ready for it. It is not only us but media and other companies are that engaged with BIM software today.


What is your outlook for the coming year?

I believe the Modi government will perform. We will see some major projects that have been mentioned like the Diamond Quadrilateral Project, the high speed rail or the Ganga clean-up action plan coming up. We can contribute to that. We have solutions which cater to the linear network so whether it is road, a cross-country pipeline, rail or river. River is also a linear network so when you have to clean up the river you have to segment it and move on to the next. You can move with a plan there. It will be just an extension of what we did in Orissa for road.


What are the solutions you offer when it comes to urban development?

We are also into the geospatial field. In fact when you go to the Survey of India they will give you map in MicroStation format. We are very strong in the mapping segment. In the case of water even though there is loss you get revenue for it but people have not thought of sewer and that could handicap the city. So we are talking to the concerned agencies to implement sewer network design as well.


How your solutions can bring discipline to urban zones?

New cities like the GIFT City Gujarat which are BIM inspired will be quite simpler to handle. If such type of city comes up then we can help them with the water, sewer, tunnelling, buildings, and energy analysis. So the solutions can be used there. For new upcoming cities we can help them completely in terms of road and building design, traffic management, energy analysis, and bridge design analysis.


Are you engaging with the Government in some form?

There are some state governments like Gujarat which are very receptive. I also feel the North-East is more receptive than other states. There is lot of funding coming up from the World Bank which is giving a lot of impetus to infrastructure activities there.


Can you cite cases of remarkably successful projects in India?

The Jamnagar refinery by Reliance is one of our signature projects as they used a lot of our tools. They had nine offices which were supposed to collaborate with three continents and using ProjectWise they managed that. After the Mumbai rains of 2005 the civic authorities made a conscious decision to redesign the water network in Mumbai to reduce floods. They implemented our solutions and we consider it a successful project we have done. Most of the Secretaries and Principal Secretaries in the Water and Irrigation departments understand that, so we have a good response.


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