Economic Research India Pvt. Ltd. – a trustworthy name among project fraternity
The advancement in Data collection is the biggest thing going to happen to us, with powerful digitization drive all over the world, a very large amount of data became available for analysis and compilation. To cater such market needs, Economic Research India Private Limited (ERIL) came into formal online existence in the form of a premium service, projectstoday.com in 2000, ensuring a substantial presence in online and digital print media. The website emerged coincidentally after the smokescreen of the Dotcom bubble cleared. The firm's online initiative– projectstoday.com remains India's largest databank for new and ongoing projects in India, and was launched on 8 September 2000 by Shri. Vallabhbhai Katharia, the then Union Minister of State for Heavy Industries, for project monitoring both at micro and macro levels. As of September 2018, the website is carrying information on over 68,000 live projects that are in various stages of execution. The database has additional information on over 23,000 completed and around 3,500 projects left stalled or deferred projects of hitherto journey. A dedicated project team of researchers, experts, and analysts meticulously monitor the flow of information from the origin to the point of dissemination. The objective of projectstoday.com is to provide business opportunities to the project fraternity out of new and ongoing projects and help the information sharing companies, especially the project promotes, in getting better deals. By creating a win-win situation for both the project executors and the goods and services providers, the website acts as a bridge helping in faster execution of projects, saving time and cost.
Services, offerings and challenges faced
Since the inception, Projects Today empowered thousands of businesses across the project fraternity by providing a continuous stream of well-researched and authenticated businesses opportunities and helping clients in mapping projects that belonged to the sectors of their choice. Projects today helps the Sales dept. of respective clients to identify opportunities of their choice and explore the business closure opportunities and also the government agencies in identifying projects of their choice. The firm's biggest challenge is to upkeep the growing database and catch up with the changing technology. In India, there is a basic inertia when it comes to sharing project information, generally more visible in the government departments. Project promoters and government agencies do not realize that timely sharing of information about their projects with a vast platform like Projects Today will benefit them in the optimized execution of their projects. As far as technology is considered, the firm seems well-equipped to face the challenges. The services can be summed up in the following: Analytical reports, Alerts, Workspace, Market Intelligence, KPO, Digital Marketing, etc.
The firm's clientele spans across the entire gamut of project fraternity consisting of Project Architects, Consultants, Contractors, Sub-contractors, Project Goods Vendors, Service Providers, Banks, Financial Institutes, General Insurance companies. Projects Today is also referred to by Foreign Companies, Share Brokers, Equity Analysts, International Trade Agencies and Government Departments.
The Road Ahead
The firm plans to expand its monitoring territory to the projects and business opportunities arising out of project investment in SAARC countries, Middle East and Africa. They plan to enhance the usability of the website to help their clients in identifying more business opportunities and widening the reach of their KPO service to the state level and assist monitoring agencies in better project tracking and monitoring. Projects Today plans to provide customized and effective business solution to its clients through the "PT-Market Intelligence" and "PT-Project Mapping Solutions" services. While the Company's PT-Market Intelligence service is picking up, they hope to expand their newly launched PT-PMS service at full speed during 2019-20. Projects Today – Project Mapping Solutions (PT-PMS) aims to empower the business development efforts of Projects Today subscribers by mapping projects in the sectors of their choice.
Inside the Organization
The firm has a very open corporate culture with less emphasis on hierarchy. Staff members can directly communicate with senior management and air his/her opinions. Every quarter, the leadership meets to discuss the past performance and set the future course of actions.
The firm's team successfully assisted PwC-IPE Global in up-keeping the infrastructure databank of Department of Economic Affairs. The company contacted over 3,400 project authorities and visited 1,880 agencies across India, to accomplish the task of identifying 7,500 new projects and updating 4,000 projects. Invest India, of Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion selected the company to create, and up-keep a database of investible projects in 26 sectors across India.
Director and CEO
Shashikant Hegde started his career as a corporate analyst at the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE), Mumbai and later took over the project investment monitoring division. As the head of project investment division, he perfected the methodology to monitor the complete flow of investment at the project level and built CMIE's capital investment database "CAPEX" along with his small research team. Shashi joined ERIL as Director and CEO in May 2000 with the aim of building largest online project database of India. The internet meltdown and the Dotcom bubble burst made it a daunting and challenging task. The trust was eroding, and the companies were unwilling to subscribe to this newborn service fearing of disappearance like other internet firms. The website soon overcomes this trust situation in a couple of years due to sheer dedication of Shashi & the team.
Enhancing the learning curve and the dream of life
Shashi likes upgrading his existing knowledge through reading and interaction with clients and colleagues. His dream is to make Projects Today the most trusted project information service for the Indian project fraternity and making the database on projects the largest in India. The biggest bane today in building infrastructure in India is the inordinate delays in projects executed by government agencies. These delays postpone the fructification of capital assets and put a strain on the scarce financial resources in the form cost increase. Shashi's dream is very much aligned with the firm's values and vision of becoming the project monitoring cell for government agencies and help them execute projects timely with little or no cost escalations. The chairman of AdfactorsPR and ERIL, Madan Bahal is the guiding and motivating force behind the firm's performance in the market.
Advice for young guns
First of all, you have to have the passion for research. Project research is an arduous and thankless job. Second and the most important thing is one has to have a lot of patience as the database takes years to build and equally years to get the expected returns. Don't leave anything for tomorrow. In this fast-changing world, it would be a very risky thing to do!