New Delhi: Bullish on India, US-based infrastructure design and consultancy giant AECOM has offered to provide advisory services and prepare blueprints for various projects under the government's Make in India, Smart Cities, Clean India and Clean Ganga initiatives.
The USD 20-billion group, which currently has 2,500 employees in India and plans to take it to 4,000 soon, is looking to actively participate in these initiatives of Prime Minister Narendra Modi across various sectors.
"It is the right time to be in India when the administration is taking all right steps to grow the economy," said AECOM Chairman and CEO Michael S Burke, who was here last week to meet top government officials with regard to its interest in various government and P-3 (Public-Private Partnership) programmes for infrastructure and other sectors.
Burke said AECOM sees huge opportunities in the area of skill development and Make in India initiatives here.
Speaking about AECOM's plans for India, he said the company would initially focus on design and advisory parts for all the projects in India, although it can progress further to other areas like building, financing and operating the projects at a later stage.
"As of now, the scale is huge on the design and advisory front alone and we want to work on that," he said at a select media interaction.
When asked whether issues like land acquisition problems and other factors were creating problems in India, Burke replied in negative and said that some or other problems were there in all parts of the world and the investors take that into account when taking business decisions.
"The sense I get from CEOs of our Fortune 500 clients is that it is a new-age India and the Prime Minister is reaching out to the global community. The global investors need better certainty on regulatory environment and they hope that the same will be given to them by the new administration."
On whether there have been some positive changes since the new government came to power last year, Burke said there have been developments including on opening of FDI in sectors like Defence and those were "significant positive moves".
"A lot of little and simple things have been happening and all those put together can make things much better," he added.
Observing that "India is moving in the right direction", Burke said AECOM business is growing rapidly in India and the group has big aspirations from this market.
Burke said that AECOM is already involved in some capacity with all of the ten biggest infrastructure projects in India.
AECOM, which has eminent banker Deepak Parekh on its global advisory board, is providing consultancy services for various mega projects in India with total construction cost of over USD 22.5 billion.
Globally, it has nearly 1,00,000 employees and is ranked as the world's biggest engineering design firm by revenue. It has been involved in providing its services for mega projects like Ground Zero reconstruction in New York and Olymics in Rio, Tokyo and London.