Hari Prasad Pidikiti: Building Innovative Equipment Solutions | CEOInsights Vendor
Hari Prasad Pidikiti: Building Innovative Equipment Solutions

Hari Prasad Pidikiti: Building Innovative Equipment Solutions

Hari Prasad Pidikiti,  Director- Technical

Hari Prasad Pidikiti

Director- Technical

NIT has been producing thousands of courageous and intellectual minds who are setting new benchmarks in the technology and business ecosystem globally. One among such achievers and change makers, Hari Prasad Pidikiti, describes his journey with NIT to be phenomenal and enduring, which ultimately helped him to evolve into the individual that he is today. Owing to his association with technology, he is an ardent problem solver driving DCS in the right trajectory as the Technical Director.

It is indeed a pleasure for CEO Insights to engage in an exclusive conversation with Hari Prasad. Appreciating his leadership traits and continuous learning journey, we bring to you insightful snippets of the interaction. We sincerely hope that our endeavour will motivate several youngsters to promote leadership bound to innovation.

Give a brief account of your professional journey.
After completing my bachelor’s degree from NIT Rourkela in 1986, I subsequently pursued M.Tech (Machine Design) from IIT Delhi.Post this I entered the construction industry through our family owned business called West Coast Construction Company. The company faced headwinds and we had a major setback, almost shutting down the shutters. I wouldn’t call it a failure but a steep learning curve. In 1994, we laid the foundation of DCS with six promoters, including me.

We started off with an open excavation for a hydroelectric project in Nagaland. Since then, we have scaled the business by leaps and bounds and then entered into the mining business. We got into surface mining because we have been always trying to find a different niche for ourselves as I was also very passionate about machines. We were one of the early pioneers to deploy surface miners in limestone mining and the first in coal mining
through a joint venture. We could reach up to a production rate of almost one lakh tons of coal production per day by surface miners in the early 2000s. We then moved into promoting Highwall mining and then entered into underground mining.

Hari Prasad brings his experience in technology absorption, innovative equipment solutions, and the latest maintenance techniques required for the successful execution of projects

We found that our niche could be under ground mining as several opportunities were emerging and requiring customized engineered solutions resulting in a value proposition for both us and our clients. We started working in that direction and completed a complex underground mine construction project for The Singareni Collieries, which was a major break through for our reputation. We then explored the shaft sinking segment, where there were not many players. We could Pioneer, expand and establish ourselves as the market leader in the country for shaft sinking, while striving to reach international standards in the next five years.

How would you describe the learning experience at NIT Rourkela? What are the most important lessons you have inoculated from the institute and carried in your journey so far?
NIT has made us competent engineers. I often find people not having the basic engineering skills, we witness them a lot during recruitment processes. I was actually fortunate to be in Rourkela because we learned everything practically, in fact, we had a super mini computer Vax 11/780, when I was in the final year, imported from the US. Whatever learned back then is helping me even today.

Share about the growth journey of your brainchild in different segments of construction and mining.
As mentioned, the company has grown from strength to strength proving its project management & execution capabilities in terms of nurturing, developing, and retaining
project management personnel at all levels from senior project managers to field engineering supervisory staff to Heavy duty drivers, construction machinery operators, maintenance engineers/ technicians. We have acquired a vast array of construction and underground mining equipment and a large fleet of heavy-duty vehicles, and more, in varying capacities. We have also obtained qualifications and extensive experience in the underground mine infrastructure and were instrumental in introducing ecofriendly mining methods in the mining industry in the country.

What are the measures you have implemented to ensure a sustainable business, despite being in the mining space that is not renewable?
We felt possibly coal mining is not a sustainable business from a really long-term perspective, but we have always wanted to build a sustainable business model. For this, we have begun to focus more on hard rock underground mines than coal as the business growth was taking all our available resources. We have signed on for projects in Manganese, Copper, Uran ium, and Chromite underground mining with PSUs as well.

However, we are still continuing tofocus on sinking shafts for coal mines because some of the coal blocks are being privatized bringing a lot of opportunities in that space. We continue to innovate but most of the major developments are already adopted and we are continuously making our services more satisfactory and reliable. Along with sustainability, our focus is majorly on the safety of people who are working in the mines. For this, we have developed machines at 25 percent cost of imported alternatives available, but on par with the efficiency.

Hari Prasad Pidikiti, Director-Technical, D C S
Hari Prasad has extensive experience in the mechanical excavation of rock without blasting. He was involved in a very successful development of an Indigenous surface miner and was instrumental in promoting high wall mining technology in India.

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