Infra Kontempore, Mumbai held on 24th April 2019 was the 1st Edition in the series for Infrastructure domain. The event was organized with an objective to deliberate sustainable approach to Talent Management issues in the Infrastructure Sector with views from various Industry stalwarts and senior leaders. It provided a common platform to identify the challenges faced by Infrastructure sector and brainstorm the possible remedial actions. The participants finally dwelled upon some bold solutions for the talent management subject being faced by the concerned industry.


Infra Kontempore event started by context setting by Mr. Vimal Kejriwal, Managing Director & CEO and a Member of the Board of KEC International Limited. The keynote address was followed by Large Scale Interactive Process
(LSIP) process. The event witnessed successful execution of a true crowd-sourcing platform for ideation and generation of innovative answers to the most imposing questions on talent issues in form of LSIP. The participants were divided into six groups, i.e. each group on a separate meeting table with a senior facilitator/leader. The intent was to perform a ‘5-Steps’ deliberation process wherein the initial steps were to record the talent-related concerns / challenges and possible remedial actions faced by the industry individually. This was followed by discussion among the group members facilitated by the team lead to collate all the points as a representation from the team on the subject. 4th step was ‘Open Café’ session wherein members were allowed to visit other tables and observe / discuss the points listed by other groups. Once each group was aware of discussions of all the groups; each group identified 3 key challenges along with the proposed unique solutions for these challenges. Finally, the group lead shared their learnings with all the stakeholders of Kontempore via a ‘Panel discussion’ leading to an enriching experience for all the participants. The uniqueness of the entire process was that it encouraged lively debate amongst participants, raised many incisive questions and still kept the discussion on track without influencing the individual opinion of the members.


Mr. Vimal Kejriwal during his Keynote lucidly narrated the story behind turnaround of KEC International in last two decades to a largest tower manufacturing company globally with multi-lingual workforce (talent pool from 29 diverse cultures across borders) highlighting the challenges faced and mitigation strategy adopted successfully. He attributed this success to ‘Eight Pillars’ which led the Company to establish business across 100 plus countries across Africa, Americas, Central Asia, Middle East, South Asia and South East Asia in the verticals of Power Transmission & Distribution, Cables, Railways, Civil, Smart Infrastructure and Solar:

  • Clear Vison of the Company
  • Strong Emphasis on Talent Issues
  • Employee’s Capability Development
  • International Exposure Enablement of Young Workforce
  • Retaining & Pushing Talent
  • Automation (Contemporary Practices)
  • Strong Campus Connect


Discussion summary of the highly participative and iterative process:

Challenge Actions
1. Talent Management Issues

  • Attracting & retaining right talent (with right experience within budget)
  • Knowledge retention, i.e. knowledge drain with exiting employees
  •  Peer Comparison with Contemporaries in other
  • Perception of having rotten-offer (low ball offer)
  • Lack of transparent contract, i.e. Terms of Service
  • Change in mind-set, i.e. sticking with old-fashioned
    industry mind-set
  • Hire best-fit candidates, i.e. hiring strategy relevant to the business
  • Best Compensation & Benefits (C&B)
  • Clear ‘Terms of Service’, i.e. Job clarity
  • Effective performance appraisal & recognition system
  • Policy for R+R (Rest & Recreation)
  • Proper working conditions & employee engagement
  • Opportunities to showcase talent, interests & ideas
  • Healthy relations with ex-employees
2. LnD & Technological Adoption

  • Capability development issues
  • Employee productivity, ownership & leadership vis-a-vis skill gaps
  • Adaptability, adoption & oneness of corporate culture
  • Accountability, client perspective & casual approach, i.e.low focus on quality & safety
  • Sensitization on local customs, social behaviour (of other regions / nations)
  • Adoption to changing business reality & new technology
  • Building competency for new business
  • Learnability, re-skilling & technology update
  • Effective on-board training, coaching, mentoring &
    feedback to engage employees
  • Grooming & optimizing leadership pipeline
  • Structured target, orientation & cadre building
  • Building Ethics & accountability into corporate culture
  • Sensitization of manager with current culture and
  • Multi-skilling of the employees with efficient technology usage (to increase efficiency and reduce dependency)
  • Creation of CSTI (Construction Skill Training Institute), TEA (Technology & Engineering Academy) & FLS (Front line supervisor) Training
  • Provision for e-learning programs at self-pace
  • Ensuring ability to innovate and re-skill quickly
3. Sector-Driven Disquiets

  • Poor compensation and lack of long-time ROI for a
    fresher, i.e. Civil / Infra sectors NOT a career-of-choice
  • Poor working conditions & remote project locations
    Mobility issues (including frequent dislocation) & lack of willingness to undertake hardship
  • Complexity of Project Management, e.g. project-based work hinder career planning
  • Paucity of mid-level management people for leadership position, i.e. limited talent pool and same keep floating between the companies
  • Lack of local talent (especially in countries abroad)
  • Inadequate management capability for managing huge workforce
  • Lack of good corporate governance model
  • Inadequate policies, e.g. safety, environment mind-set
  • Increasing procedure by Govt. to follow compliances
  • Mind-set change through sensitization, i.e. creating
    attractive career, mobility / dislocation & welfare policies for employees, family and career progression
  • Creation of appropriate social infra @ sites with adequate wealth creation or fiscal incentives (ESOPs, Rewards & Recognition etc)
  • Providing better infrastructure & working environment / conditions, i.e. engagement opportunities @ sites with provision for bifurcated career paths
  • Strategy for ‘Moving up the Value Chain’ & cross
    functional exposure
  • Effective project management through industry veteran mentorship & in-house KM
  • Inculcate culture of safety, health, sustainability and ethics @ sites
  • Brand building of organizations as well as industry as a whole, e.g. ‘Walk-the-Talk’ programs with experts
  • Proper regulatory framework and policy support from the Govt. (possibility of self-regulation by the industry)
  • Increase compliance awareness through internal
4. Evocation of Academia

  • Academia unable to visualize & sync with the changing needs of industry
  • Scarcity of skilled workforce in construction industry
  • Deficiency of knowledge and trained persons in key
  • Unavailability of techno-commercial and entrepreneurial skills
  • Academics need to update on new / latest technology
  • Students lacks fire to learn in-depth and joins industry with minimal practical exposure
  • Provision for co-creating & deliver curriculum by the industry experts
  • Long-term association with institute for training-cumhiring model for continuous supply of manpower
  • Policy for immersive internship (min 6-months) and involvement in live projects till completion
    Teach relevant and latest technology in curriculum, e.g. inclusion of courses on managerial & business
  • Experiential learning to students by practising
    professionals an vis-a-vis faculty sabbatical with industry to augment the overall knowledge