Mr. Harsh Dhingra
Management Consultant – Rail and Metro
Former Chief Country Representative – India,
Rail Analysis : Please tell our readers about your journey in Indian Railways and how did you start?
Mr. Harsh Dhingra : My engagement with Indian Railways commenced in 1991, when I took responsibility of Product Development for Crompton Greaves Ltd. I took pride, as a team member, to get various products in field of Railway Electrification, Locomotive, Traction, Coaches and Signalling developed over next 16 years. When I left Crompton Greaves, I was leading Sales and Business Development activities for Railway segment on all India level.
During my stay in Bombardier from 2010 onwards, I was actively involved in Locomotives / EMUs and their Systems / Subsystems and Components.
My professional journey over last over 28 years in Rail and Metro segment has been in Business Development, Product Development, Sales and Marketing, Project Management, Relationship management, Interface on Policy Development, Active Involvement on new areas like PPP , Project Financing as well as Introduction of New technology in field of Electrical , Mechanical and Signalling.
I am fortunate to get associated with top class Engineers from Railways during my journey and I am glad to see overall stepped up development that has taken place in the field of Railways over the last 5 years.
Railways being the lifeline of the country has built up their current strategy to be amongst the best service provider to commuters.
This has resulted in the increased efforts to develop new products with higher level of engagements with suppliers along with the introduction and absorption of new technologies.
Rail Analysis : What was your most challenging project as Chief Country Representative of Bombardier?
Mr. Harsh Dhingra : I am proud to get associated and subsequently leading a technology driven company like Bombardier Transportation in India from 2010 onwards for around 8 years. Fortunately for me, I had an excellent support of dedicated and passionate Engineers and Staff, who worked as a great team to develop and supply products to Rail and Metro segment.
Bombardier Transportation is very actively involved as a reliable supplier of various items like Metro Coaches / Electrical Propulsion for Locomotives and EMUs and Signalling for Railways and Metros.
Each project in Railways or Metro is unique and comes with its own challenges. I strongly believe, if you keep the company objectives and customer expectations on top of your execution plan, the challenges will always be met.
Bombardier supplied metro cars to Delhi Metro
Rail Analysis : What was your biggest achievement while you were in office?
Mr. Harsh Dhingra : My achievement during my days in Bombardier Transportation, is the achievement of my team. Successful timely execution of Delhi Metro Rolling Stock and Signalling contracts and Indian Railways Locomotive and EMU propulsion contracts can be considered as the success story of Bombardier in India .
I am happy since even today, when I engage with the Customer in my new role as a Management Consultant, I get very positive feedback on the capabilities of contract execution and performance of Bombardier products.
Rail Analysis : What was your experience working on the project of Delhi Metro?
Mr. Harsh Dhingra : Delhi Metro is one of the best professionally managed Publicsector company and who so ever got associated with them as supplier would have enriched his or her experience.
My professional engagement with Delhi Metro has three different phases :
- First phase commenced in 2007 , when I was leading a consortium of Mitsubishi Corporation , Japan ; Mitsubishi Electric , Japan ; Hyundai Rotem , Korea and Beml , Bangalore for execution of Rolling stock contracts for Line 1 , 2 , 5 and 6 . It was a great consortium to lead and work for. The consortium has Multi Cultural people with Multi-locational companies , who have come together to successfully execute important DMRC contracts.
- Second phase commenced in 2011 , when through Bombardier Transportation , I got associated with DMRC for supply of Rolling Stock for Line 2 , 3 and 4 and Signalling for Line 5 , 6 and 7 .
- Third phase commenced in 2018 , when as a Consultant I am now associated to develop innovative Financing model for Line 5 Rolling stock supplies and also Introduce newer concepts of Data Processing and Management.
With over 12 years of my engagement with Delhi Metro, I personally feel proud since I have been associated for majority of Rolling stock supplied and running and for Signalling system installed.
Delhi metro cars supplied by consortium of Rotem, Mitsubishi and BEML
Rail Analysis : Please tell us about your views for PPP Model in Metro against capital Purchase?
Mr. Harsh Dhingra : I am somehow not in favour of Full PPP model for Metros in India. Metros remains as subsidised social development infra structure activity and such risks will be difficult to be transferred to developers.
No developer will be ready to absorb during the construction phase, the cost overrun due to project execution delays resulting from uncertainty linked to land acquisition. In addition, during Operational phase, no developer shall be able take the ridership risk since major part of revenue gets generated from fare box collections.
We therefore have to develop a mixed PPP model where part of Fixed asset acquisition can be converted to Operational asset management to bring down the Initial project cost
Rail Analysis : You are well aware that the Metros are growing very rapidly and where do you see India reach by the year 2030, in terms of Metros and High Speed Trains ?
Mr. Harsh Dhingra : I am bullish on Infrastructure development in the field of Rail and Metro segment in India. This shall continue to be high potential growth segments over the next two decades. Indian economical growth is linked to this infrastructure development and with high aspiration levels of public to get a better commuter services, Government will explore proper funding options and solutions for this segment.
Metros needs to be introduced in all cities with over 2 Million population and potential exist to have at least 25 new metro networks in such cities and I expect around 500 km of metro network to come up in next 10 years . This is in addition to over 500 km currently under planning for Major metro cities.
With emphasis on bringing in new technology in Rail and improving the current infrastructure, the investment is going to be huge for all suppliers to take advantage.
I am a strong promoter of High Speed Segment. We have a great potential for both Semi high Speed segment ( upto 160kmph ) and High Speed segment ( above 250 kmph ) and Indian Railways are moving towards introduction of that in phased manner .
I can foresee over 15000 km of Semi high speed segment and around 3000 km of High speed segment by year 2030.
Rail Analysis : What was your experience at award event?
Mr. Harsh Dhingra : Rail Analysis has taken a great initiative in 2019 by introducing Awards for various categories which recognises the Industry and their efforts to become a technology provider and supplier to Railways and Metros Organisations.
The participation of Industry through the nomination process and selection of winners through a professional evaluation mechanism has resulted in the event becoming highly successful. My sincere compliments to the Rail Analysis leadership and team for such a great and successful event.
This interview is a part of our June 2019 Edition Magazine. Click Here to advertise in our upcoming magazine or know more on the same .