An Exclusive Interview With Mr. John Ottiviani – Egis Rail

John Carlo Ottaviani

Automatic Fare Collection Specialist, International Projects Director, International Sales

Industry : Transportation/Trucking/Railroad




An Exclusive Interview With Mr. John Ottiviani – Egis Rail

Rail Analysis – Hello Mr. John, Could you please Tell us Something about yourself . How did you get started in this industry ?

Mr. John Ottiviani: I used to work in the banking sector many years ago and in 1999 was offered an important position on a big Automatic Fare Collection project in my home city, Rome (Italy). The project was a tough one, but I dedicated great passion to the tasks assigned to me and worked side by side with some fantastic people. I have been involved in public transport projects (both rail and bus) ever since and hope to continue doing so in the future. It is a challenging but interesting industry, always evolving.

Rail Analysis – Great! We understand that you are working with Egis Rail. What are the projects on which you have worked till now and which among these is the most challenging one ?

Mr. John Ottiviani: I have been working for Egis Rail for over two years now, full time on the King Abdulaziz Project for Public Transport in Riyadh (Saudi Arabia). So, at the moment it’s easy to say that it’s the most challenging one. There are however other projects in the pipeline, we shall see what comes next.

Image Credit 

Rail Analysis – You are also a Technical Author, apart from the above, for various publications. Any Recent Articles you would like to share with our readers ?

Mr. John Ottiviani: Well, the one published by Rail Analysis earlier this year (“Exciting Times Ahead for India”) was very much a sign of the times: public transport will play a key role in keeping our cities livable in the 21st century and India has planned carefully and is implementing very well.

Rail Analysis – In the Worldwide Rail and Metro Industry, Which are the countries you foresee growth in this industry ? Any projects coming up in the near future expected for bidding ?

Mr. John Ottiviani: In terms of market growth China is currently dominating and dragging Southeast Asia behind it; Arab gulf countries are investing heavily and India is following. Also Russia, Turkey and Iran shouldn’t be underestimated. Countries like Brazil, the USA and Canada have huge potential and need to catch up.

Image Credit : Egis Rail

Rail Analysis – As the Global Financing and Multi Lateral Agencies invest in such projects, Would you be able to give us some insight into how a Metro Project is initiated and the process it follows until the investment is finalized ? What is the typical duration for such a project ?

Mr. John Ottiviani: The process normally begins with a Project Preparation phase, in which a preparatory survey is carried out and detailed government discussions take place. An Official Request is then presented, normally a questionnaire is filled in and supporting documentation is attached. A full appraisal is then conducted and a decision to fund/not fund the proposed project is made. If the decision is to fund then a grant agreement is reached and the project is implemented. Clearly the project is monitored closely during implementation and payments are made when certain milestone targets are reached. The time required to obtain funding, when application is successful, can vary considerably depending on many factors: e.g. evaluation results, sums required, country applying for funding, political stability, other applications. Throughout the whole process a very strong government presence and backing is crucial for success.

Rail Analysis – From the Global perspective , Could you tell us what opportunities Indian Companies have in Worldwide rail and metro projects in terms of supply chain and civil work ?

Mr. John Ottiviani: There are plenty of opportunities for Indian companies to participate in international rail and metro projects. Larsen & Toubro is playing an important role in Riyadh and in Doha, and has very recently been awarded a contract by Metro Express Limited to design and build an Urban Transit System on the island of Mauritius. India is ahead in the rail and metro sector and is already exporting its professional know-how and field expertise.

Image Credit : Egis Rail

Rail Analysis – Lastly , Any suggestions for us on our attempt to Engage The Rail and Metro Industry in India with International Companies ?

Mr. John Ottiviani: I don’t need to make any suggestions, the Indian government is handling the matter very well. For instance funding agencies and design companies from Europe, China and Japan have been involved for the high speed projects and the Mumbai – Ahmedabad corridor will be just the first of a series of implementations that will rewrite medium to long distance public transport in the country.