Story of a Civil Consultant, who is providing services in 48 countries across the globe…
After completing a Civil Engineering degree in 1968, he started his professional journey in year 1969 as a graduate section office in Municipal Corporation of Delhi, from there he moved to the International Airport Authority of India and headed Engineering Establishment at Mumbai airport between 1981 and 1984. In the year 1985, he took a plunge into uncharted waters of entrepreneurship and set up an Engineering consultancy company organization “Consultants International”, which was converted in February 1987 to a Private Limited Company under the name “Intercontinental Consultants and Technocrats Private Limited (ICT)”. Started with a meager seed capital of Rs. 2 Lacs, this Delhi headquartered company has grown into a leading global consultancy firm in the infrastructure sector, with a presence in over 48 countries around the world, giving employment to more than 1500 Engineers, Architects, and other professionals. Our today’s story is about Chairman & Managing Director of ICT group, immensely talented and successful Er. Kiran Kumar Kapila.
Early Life and Schooling :
Born and brought up in Delhi, Er. Kapila did his schooling from various schools in Delhi and Gwalior. In Gwalior, he got a chance to study in prestigious Scindia School, where late Madhavrao Scindia was his classmate and a good friend. ” Hindu festival Holi used to be a grand affair at Scindia’s Jai Vilas Palace. I vividly remember playing colorful Holi at Palace with Madhavrao and his family members. It was such a memorable experience of school days” Er. Kapila recalls.
Professional Journey :
After completing Bachelors in Civil Engineering in 1968, Er. Kapila started his professional career in 1969 as Graduate Section Officer with the Municipal Corporation of Delhi from there he moved on to the International Airport Authority of India, where he headed the Engineering Establishment at Mumbai Airport between 1981 and 1984. In August 1985, he set up an engineering consultancy company organization “Consultants International”, which was converted in February 1987 to a Private Limited Company under the name,”Intercontinental Consultants and Technocrats Private Limited (ICT)”. With relentless efforts and with the support of a good team, ICT has grown into a leading global consultancy firm in the infrastructure sector. It is rated as Number 1 Consultants out of India by the Asian Development Bank for the last 5 consecutive years.
ICT : Growth by leaps and bounds :
It was a big decision for Er. Kapila to quit the secured government job to start a consultancy firm. In India, the concept of Infrastructure consultancy was very new at that time and getting success in such ventures was not guaranteed. However Er. Kapila had different ideas in his mind, he took calculated risk and with the meagre seed capital of 2 Lacs, he started his modest set up “Intercontinental Consultants and Technocrats Pvt Ltd” in the year 1987. Over the last 34 years , ICT has been achieving phenomenal growth and clocked a turnover of Rs 2.45 Billion in 2019-20 with a ~5.42% CAGR, over the last 10 years. ICT was one of the first to take up infrastructure projects in developing countries under difficult geographical and political conditions, e.g., Mongolia, Afghanistan, Sierra Leone, etc. The Company has achieved significant diversification on sectoral basis with highways being the core and a strong presence in other infrastructure sectors. It has undertaken 700+ consultancy assignments in 48 countries across the globe. The specialization of ICT includes, Roads & Highways, Structures, Airports, Urban & Regional Infrastructure Development, Water Supply, Water Resources Development and Management, Traffic and Transportation, Power, Ports, Metro, Railways, GIS, Institutional Strengthening & Capacity Building, and Socio-Economic and EIA, etc.
Tryst with social Causes :
“Over 1.48 lakh people across the country succumb to injuries from road accidents every year, which translates into 15 people dying every hour. This is appalling, and fatalities need to be reduced on a war-footing .The cost to the Indian economy on account of road accidents is around 3% of the country’s GDP.” Says Er. Kapila. He has been championing for this cause since long and had the privilege of being the first Non-European Chairman of the International Road Federation (IRF), a not-for-profit, non-governmental organization, headquartered in Geneva, for 3 successive terms (9 years). He is currently the President (Emeritus) of IRF.
The IRF plays a leadership role in encouraging and promoting, development and maintenance of better, safer and more forgiving roads and related infrastructure for the vulnerable road users. The IRF has a special consultative status at the United Nations Economic and Social Council and is institutional partner with UN, WHO, World Bank, European Union etc.
Er. Kapila,had the privilege of hosting IRF’s flagship event – the 18th World Road Meeting 2017 – Delhi during November 14 to 17, 2017, for the first time since its launch 60 years ago. The deliberations at the Conference focused on finding sustainable solutions for managing increased vehicular traffic, pollution and safety related issues, together with safe road mobility. This is testament of IRF’s commitment for bringing about necessary focus on road safety scenario across the globe, with particular reference to India.
“Other cause which is close to my heart with regard to improving procurement methods for goods, services and works in the country. I have been relentlessly working to bid goodbye to L1 or low cost as it costs the country heavily in terms of quality, reliability and most often unfinished works leading to arbitration and time delays” Er. Kapila shares his pain.
Down memory lane : Golden days of MBM Engineering College:
“I fondly remember the First year of college when legendry Professor V. G. Garde was the principal. He was strict disciplinarian whose word was law, the college door used to be shut at 8.00 a.m. sharp and a prayer was recited. The late comers were supposed to stop wherever they were, get down from the bicycles and stand in attention till the prayer was over. Values and ethics which were inculcated during college days are still relevant today . Apart from Prof. Garde, Professor Advani, Prof. Alam Singh ( Civil), Prof. S.Diwakaran ( Structural ), Prof. M.L. Mathur (HOD- Mechanical ), Prof Theophylis ( HOD- Electrical ) were other luminary professors , who brought laurels to Institution with their exemplary dedication, high academic & technical standards and missionary work spirits.” says Er. Kapila with pride.
Er. Kapila was interested in participating in debates from School day and his passion continued in College also, where he represented Jodhpur University in Inter University Competitions and won various prizes. He was also General Secretary of Young Engineers’ Association and Chief Editor of ‘Beacon’ – the College magazine. He enjoys Sher-O-Shayri and loves Urdu language immensely.
“I recall an incident when we were celebrating one of the Annual Day function and for a Prize to the outstanding comedian a bunch of lollypops were given and soon senior professors alongwith some of us were chewing the lollypop on the stage at the time of Prize Distribution. Such was the pleasure and warmth of relationship between the then teachers and the students.” Says Er. Kapila mischievously.
He still cherishes the bonding which developed during the college days with his friends. He has been in regular touch with his close friends like Er. K.B. Rajoria ( 1960 Civil ), Er. Aanad Diwan ( 1964 Civil ), Er. Balraj Bhanot ( 1965 Electrical ), Er. Inder Khanna ( 1965 Electrical ), Prof Sharad Sarin ( 1967 Electrical ), Dr. Gautam Kothari ( 1968, Electrical ), Er. Tej Prakash Garg ( 1968 Civil ), Er. Arun Kumar ( 1968 Electrical ) and Prof. Girdhari Lal Asawa ( 1967 Civil ). Roommate and friend Late Prof. Narinder Puri was more like a younger brother to him.
Er. Kapila is married to Mrs. Poonam and have two children Vandana and Prashant. Mrs. Poonam is a home maker and actively engaged in working for various causes for the well being of the Society. Daughter Vandana runs an NGO called Prabhaav which caters to Value Education, for the cause of underprivileged children and Empowerment of Woman by imparting life skills. Vandana is married to Captain Ashish Lakhanpal and they have a Son Tushar. Son Prashant completed his Masters in Engineering from Carnegie Melon, Pittsburgh in Civil and Environmental Engineering and is supporting Er. Kapila, at ICT as Chief Operating Officer. Grand Daughter Keira is appearing for 9 th standard.
Awards and accolades
Er. Kapila has authored a large number of papers published in various journals and is the recipient of a number of national and International awards. Some notable ones include – Who is Who of the World in 1999-2000 ( USA Publication ): New Century Award as Member of ” the Global 500″ , Global Road Achievement Award for Road Safety instituted by Indian Road Federation ( IRF – Year 2007), ” Star CEO of the year ( Medium Enterprises- 2010) by ” “Business Today” and ” Yes Bank”, Pride of India Award ( 2011) and Meri Dilli Award 2010 for the best professional services. He was also awarded the prestigious ” Niryat Shree” Award ( 2009-10) for outstanding achievement in export consultancy Services from Honorable President of India.
Message to Youngsters :
His message to youngsters is simple and crisp – Follow the golden rule “Never do anything in secret or that you would wish to hide”. Work and try to gain as much knowledge as possible. Go into the depth of designs and not merely what the formulas give you. Develop good understanding of the rationale behind the analysis when you are solving a problem. Remember hard work and perseverance always pay.
Giving back to Alma Mater
Er. Kapila cherishes a vision of nurturing exceptional talents in the field of Engineering and undertakes these through his active role in the MBM Alumni Association NCR Chapter called JECOSA. Apart from nurturing talents, he is also working relentlessly for creating a place for the Engineering Profession in India through ” Enactment of the Engineers Bills”. In his personal capacity, Er. Kapila has contributed for 2 rooms in MBM girls Hostel and also given sponsorships for the scholarships of MBM students. His generosity towards alma-mater is phenomenon and he is always available for giving time and resources for the betterment of College.
It is such an inspirational and motivational journey of Er. K.K.Kapila, we wish him good health and happiness in life.
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About Author :
Er. Maoj Gattani: Er.Manoj is graduate of 2004 in Civil Engineering and Energy Engineering design specialist. He has 14 Patents at various stages. He is mentoring and heading 3 Start ups and Business ventures and authored total 3 books, 2 of them are high impacting and business bestselling Books, including “The Journey from Idea to Organisation”.