India Club MeetingMumbai, October 4th

Revisiting dispute resolution mechanisms in Indian infrastructure

Dispute Resolution & Arbitration in India

On October 4, GRI Club Infra India hosted a club meeting to address the most pressing issues related to Dispute Resolution and Arbitration in the country. Manish Agarwal, Partner, PWC moderated the lively discussion and GRI Club members actively participated in addressing the various challenges facing the sector. See a summary of discussions below:

When weighing up the pros and cons of institutional arbitration, members saw an increasingly significant amount of professionalism creeping into the sector and viewed it as a progressive measure against traditional ad hoc arbitration. Such merits of this could be seen in amendments to the ACT and Niti Aayog laws that were leading to a faster closure of long open contracts. However, members unanimously believed that there could be no ‘one size fits all’ solution to simplifying and standardising arbitration policies.

It was pointed out that were continuing challenges within the long term nature of contracts that were affecting competitive biddings. Most were anxious of how this might contribute to the appetite for investors, developers and contractors to commit to large scale projects. On this point, many felt  that subscribing value to the disputes being raised was extremely critical in the Indian environment, many were not considering the risks involved. Investors felt the return on investment was low, considering the time taken and volatile market. As over estimation will not lead to realisation at the end of the term.

The environment and policy regarding PPP arbitrations was a hotly contested topic.On the issues of what can work for PPP arbitrations, most felt it should be avoided altogether,, as time and resources are precious.  It was agreed that arbitration as a dispute mechanism works more for the construction sectors, because it has less tricky time consuming characteristics than infra style PPP products. Of course, it was noted that most infra contracts in India are still not yet robust enough despite recent law changes and government incentivisation. Until there is a consistent and fair structure to contracts, global investors are not ready to dig into their wallets, this might impact some large scale projects and the institutional players willing to get involved in india infra.

In conclusion, our room were optimistic for the near future impacts of dispute resolution and arbitration on the infra sectors in India. Most agreed that by defining a clear risk matrix in pricing will help in a flux of global investors invest in the sector and government guidelines relating to contracts can only help improve confidence. However,  the government might be playing with fire by seemingly mixing politics and economics and over-regulating the sectors.

Advisory Board Members
Aditya AggarwalAditya AggarwalPartner - India, Global Infra PartnersGlobal Infrastructure Partners
Ashok AgarwalAshok AgarwalDirector & CEOEssel Infra Projects
Avinash SuleAvinash SuleDirectorQatar Investment Authority
Boon Chin HauBoon Chin HauSenior Vice President and Head of Emerging Markets Investments – Infrastructure GroupGIC
Krishna KumarKrishna KumarCEOIL&FS Investment Managers
Krishna Prakash MaheshwariKrishna Prakash MaheshwariChief Executive OfficerAdani Group
Pawan KantPawan KantChief Executive OfficerTRIL Roads Pvt Ltd
Rajiv AgarwalRajiv AgarwalCEO and Managing DirectorEssar Ports Limited (EPL)
Satish D ParakhSatish D ParakhManaging DirectorAshoka Buildcon Ltd
Saurabh AgarwalSaurabh AgarwalRegional Director, InfrastructureCDPQ - Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec
Aditya Aggarwal
Partner - India, Global Infra Partners
Global Infrastructure Partners
Biography:

Mr. Aggarwal is a founding member of the private infrastructure equities team at IDFC Alternatives. He is a member of the Investment Committee and represents the Funds on various Portfolio Companies Boards. As a part of the leadership team, his current specific responsibilities include fund raising, origination, evaluation and capital deployment across infrastructure sectors along with managing the portfolio and creating exits. He has over 20 years of experience across banking and financial services. Previously, Mr. Aggarwal was with IDFC as a senior member of the project finance team. Prior to IDFC, he was with Standard Chartered Bank where he primarily worked on structured finance and project finance transactions.

Ashok Agarwal
Director & CEO
Essel Infra Projects
Biography:

Leading Essel Group’s Infra and Utilities business over the last 3 years, Mr. Ashok has been responsible for rapid growth of group’s new ventures & key business verticals of Smart Cities, Integrated Utilities (Power, Water, City Gas Distribution, Solid Waste Management and Cable & Broadband), Core Infrastructure and Green Solutions (Environment & Renewable Energy). With his sharp acumen, Mr.Ashok is instrumental in Essel Group’s foray in Integrated Utilities space and has lead the company in demonstrating executional capability to transform India’s mass utilities sector.

Avinash Sule
Director
Qatar Investment Authority
India
Segment: Sovereign Wealth Fund
Biography:
Avinash has been associated with the Qatar Investment Authority (Advisory Pvt Ltd) for the past 9 years, heading their India Office. He leads the investment efforts in Private Equity and Public Equities across sectors and has been actively involved in Real Estate investment strategies such as residential equity, debt and commercial office.
Boon Chin Hau
Senior Vice President and Head of Emerging Markets Investments – Infrastructure Group
Singapura | Singapura
Segment: Pension Fund / SWF / Endowment - Foundation
Biography:

Chin Hau joined the GIC Infrastructure Group in 2008 and currently has lead coverage responsibility for the Emerging Markets. Prior to joining GIC, Chin Hau was an Investment Manager at Pulsar Energy Capital where he invested in projects across the energy sector in Europe and the Americas. Before Pulsar, Chin Hau was a member of the Infrastructure advisory team at Credit Suisse covering a range of projects in transport, logistics and aerospace. He began his career at Singapore Power where he managed natural gas pipeline projects. Chin Hau has a MEng degree from Imperial College London and an MBA from the University of Chicago.

Krishna Kumar
CEO
IL&FS Investment Managers
India
Segment: Private Equity, Infra & Real Estate
Biography:
Mr Krishna Kumar has over 25 years’ experience in the financial services and infrastructure business. His focus is in private equity, project finance and financial structuring. He has led and advised marquee infrastructure transactions including Gujarat Pipavav Port, IL&FS Transportation, Ramky Enviro Engineers and Maharashtra Natural Gas. He joined the IL&FS Group in 1995 and is one of the founding members of the IL&FS Private Equity practice. He is also the founding member & Principal of the SCI Asia Fund which closed on US$ 658 mn in December 2009. He has participated in divesting 16 investments achieving a gross IRR of 28% with a 2.8x cash multiple. In his present role he leads an investment team of 45 professionals.
Krishna Prakash Maheshwari
Chief Executive Officer
Adani Group
Pawan Kant
Chief Executive Officer
TRIL Roads Pvt Ltd
Biography:

Mr. Pawan Kant joined the company since its inception in 2007. He has spearheaded multiple functions in the company,as Business Head - SEZ division; the Project Management division and is currently mandated to grow TRIL Roads Private Limited, the road holding platform of TRIL, as CEO.

Rajiv Agarwal
CEO and Managing Director
Essar Ports Limited (EPL)
India
Segment: Port Operator
Satish D Parakh
Managing Director
Ashoka Buildcon Ltd
Biography:
As the Promoter & MD of Ashoka Buildcon, Satish's association with Ashoka Buildcon Ltd. began in 1982. Under his leadership, the company entered into the National Level infrastructure development space specialising in highways, bridges & power T&D. Today, Ashoka Buildcon Ltd. Is one of the top five highway developers. Satish has been honoured &felicitated by various forums including the ‘Industry Doyen’ award by Construction Industry Development Council. He has earlier carried out responsibilities as Vice President of National Highways Builders Federation (NHBF)and Chairman of Institution of Engineers (Nashik Chapter).
Saurabh Agarwal
Regional Director, Infrastructure
CDPQ - Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec
Timetable

Thursday, October 4th

09:30 - 10:00 Registration 


10:00 - 11:00 Discussion


11:00 - 11:30 Hi Tea Network

Registration

Membership is by invitation and reserved exclusively for investors, lenders and developers*. 

Qualified individuals (C / Director Level) that believe they could benefit from being part of such a global community are welcome to further details. If you want to find out on how to become a club member get in touch with Pedro Nicolau.

*Some leniency is given to those outside this category up to a maximum of 10% ratio of the Club.

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Venue

TBD Mumbai
Pedro Nicolau

Pedro Nicolau

Global Head of Infrastructure & Portfolio Director for India

+55 (19) 3203-0645

[email protected]
Pedro Nicolau
+55 (19) 3203-0645
Global Head of Infrastructure & Portfolio Director for India
GRI Club
About:

Pedro Nicolau is the global head of Infrastructure of the GRI Club, which brings together the core players in both this sector and the real estate industry in more than 20 countries. He manages the entire platform of conferences and member-exclusive activities active in infrastructure sectors worldwide. He is also in charge of the club division focused on real estate in India.

A multicultural professional, Pedro has an extensive network of global relationships and a broad experience in the transportation infrastructure, mobility, sanitation and events industries. He holds a degree in Foreign Affairs from the renowned Brazilian university Unesp.

Sectoral Club Partner

PwC

Industry Partner

Global Infrastructure Hub

PwC

At PwC, our purpose is to build trust in society and solve important problems. We’re a network of firms in 158 countries with more than 2,36,000 people who are committed to delivering quality in assurance, advisory and tax services. Find out more and tell us what matters to you by visiting us at www.pwc.com

In India, PwC has offices in these cities: Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi NCR, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Mumbai and Pune. For more information about PwC India’s service offerings, visit www.pwc.com/in

PwC refers to the PwC International network and/or one or more of its member firms, each of which is a separate, independent and distinct legal entity. Please see www.pwc.com/structure for further details.

Global Infrastructure Hub

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