With over three and a half decades of experience in infrastructure engineering and development, Subhash Sethi is the chairman of SPML Infra Limited.
Sethi started his entrepreneurial journey with a small water pumps business in north-east India at a time when the development of water assets in the country was undertaken solely by the government and only component procurement was outsourced to private agencies. From the very beginning, Sethi was a firm believer in the project execution capability of an incentivised private sector and viewed the ideal role of the government to be restricted to that of a long-term planning and monitoring agency. Based on such beliefs, he has led and built SPML Infra into a multifaceted conglomerate today.
Foreseeing an imminent water crisis, Sethi has guided the firm towards identifying opportunities for recycling and reusing wastewater for potable purposes. With a passion for technological advancement, he has created global alliances to bring novel treatment technologies to the country. Over the years, through dialogue with the government, Sethi has been instrumental in the adoption of the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) model in the execution of water, sewage and power projects. SPML Infra has taken up a wide array of EPC projects, which also focus on operation and maintenance of the constructed assets.
Though the company’s core focus area has been water and wastewater infrastructure creation, Sethi has strategically diversified its operations to other verticals such as smart cities, urban infrastructure, power transmission and distribution, and renewable energy. While the company continues to grow by leaps and bounds, Sethi remains grounded in the belief of hard and quality work.
He also plays a leading role in several national councils and committees focused on sustainable infrastructure development. Among these, he serves as chairman of the Expert Committee on Infrastructure and Smart Cities of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), Eastern Region; director of the Kolkata chapter of the International Project Management Association; and as a steering committee member of CII’s Urbanization and Future Cities Council. He has also been honoured with several accolades, such as the Infrastructure Person of the Year 2017 at the Construction Week India Awards, ICME’s Award for Management 1994 and the Melvin Jones Award.