Coming from a family of Civil Engineers and entrepreneurs, Harshita was exposed to the world of business and entrepreneurship since her early childhood. Dinner conversations in her family used to revolve around bridges and highways being built. Following their footsteps, it was natural for her to step into civil engineering. She completed her graduation in Civil Engineering from University of Bath, UK in 2014 followed by an Executive Management Course from London School of Economics. Soon after graduation, she stepped into the world of infrastructure and joined her family owned organisation, Consulting Engineers Group Ltd, with a dream to contribute towards nation building and take CEG to great heights.
CEG is one of the most reputed Infrastructure Consultancy Company in India providing services in the ambit of infrastructure for various fields like Metro, Highways, Railways Urban Development, Tunnels, Sanitation, Airports and Water Supply & Water Resources. Taking the legacy of being a second-generation entrepreneur, Harshita started working in one of the most important department of the company i.e. Business Development. However, wanting to a create a name and space for herself, she started at the bottom and let her work take her through the advancement in the company. With her contribution today, CEG has transformed to being one of the largest Indian owned transport sector consultancy company in the country, currently operating from 52 offices globally with a workforce of over 1500 employees. Spreading their global footprints, CEG currently operates from over 11 countries globally like Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Gabon, Zambia, Nepal, Liberia, Ethiopia, etc. CEG has seen tremendous growth since 2014, when Harshita joined and has been associated with some of the biggest projects in the country like the Mumbai Ahmedabad High-Speed Bullet Train (India’s first Bullet Train Project), Mumbai Metro, Chennai Metro, Surat Metro, Nasik Neo metro, Navi Mumbai Metro, Nagpur Metro, Bangalore Metro Dwarka Expressway, Nagpur Mumbai Super Communication Expressway, and many other prestigious projects.
Mr. Kunal Guha, Founder and Editor-In-Chief of Global Business Line hosted Ms. Harshita Jain for an interesting conversation about her entrepreneurial journey and the role of women in engineering.
The conversation was started by Mr. Guha by asking how she started her career in Infrastructure Consultancy? She answered that Civil engineering has been a major part of childhood. Harshita’s father Mr. Vishwas who is the Founder and MD of CEG is a civil engineer and her mother did Ph.D. in engineering she was the first woman in Rajasthan who did Ph.D. in Civil engineering. Her sister is also a civil engineer. So it’s very obvious for her to step into this field of engineering.
The second question the speaker asked her that Infrastructure Consultancy is a niche sector that has male dominance. How did Harshita make their way to Infrastructure Consultancy, what are the challenges, and what has she sacrificed along the way has she experienced any barriers in the journey?
Regarding this question Harshita gave a beautiful answer that generally the term engineering is a man’s domain and the girls are predominated and a social norm is made that women, first of all, look after their house and have to set back their career. Even when we are small it goes as a trend that we will be given dolls and boys will be given blocks to build. It became a mindset of the society that building something is the work of boys and not the girls. But in this matter, Harshita feels lucky as her sister was allowed to follow her passion and never was taught that you are a girl and you cannot do these things. Harshita emphasized that women need to follow their dreams be it in engineering or any other field and we need to consciously take decisions that does not discriminate between boys and girls right from the childhood.
In the second part of the question, she answered that India is a country with the highest percentage of family-run businesses. Working for a company that is already established gave her a great platform but her aim was to be known by her name and not by the owner’s daughter. So, eventually, Harshita wanted to be known by her work and people should accept her as a leader of their own. She started from scratch and learned the nitty gritty of business and taking one step every day. Eventually her hard word and passion made her a leader looked up to her fellow colleagues. She stressed that being a leader does not mean earning money but a bond with your teammates, commitment, and how you overcame the failures to finally triumph. Being a leader Harshita is responsible towards her employees to provide them new challenges with a career growth and a positive work environment.
In the third part of the questions, she answered that sacrifices and barriers are just a mindset that limits us. As long as you work with a positive mindset and love what you do, these words won’t become a hurdle. With her conviction, Harshita has been able to demonstrate that if we follow our passion, we shall be able to reach our destination.
Harshita also spoke about the Make in India initiative and affirmed that CEG firmly stands with the policy of providing best-in-class services locally through ‘Make in India’ and drastically reducing country’s dependency on imported services. We are fully supportive of the government of India’s initiatives and will do our best to contribute to Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan. With her contribution, CEG today is associated with projects with an aggregate construction cost of 2.5 Lakhs Crores and is pioneering India to be self-reliant in the infrastructure consultancy sector. CEG has been contributing for all key engineering and technological developments in the country and were fully committed to achieving self–reliance in the infrastructure sector of the country.
When asked about her vision of CEG in the next 5 years, Harshita said that CEG’s value proposition has always been based on four core principles; Ethics, Integrity and Timely Delivery and quality which forms the very foundation of the company. CEG has been continuously growing and expanding in other sectors and she is currently focusing on expanding our business in sectors like Ports, Power, Sustainable Environment and Building Information Modeling in coming years while at the same time focusing on incorporating the latest technologies. She also wishes to further expand CEG’s footprint globally in infrastructure filed and looking forward for acquisition of International organization preferably from Europe. In terms of revenue, CEG has been witnessing an exponential growth during the last few years and are expecting a 25% year on year growth in terms of our revenue in the next 5 years.
Harshita concluded by saying that every woman should be independent to follow their own dream. If you are passionate and talented enough to bring a change, nothing can stop you. Age & gender do not define your chance at success, but you as an individual do. After Harshita congratulated the Wonder Woman Magazine for promoting the women entrepreneurs and thanked the speaker for calling her on the show.
Consultancy Engineers Group Ltd. (CEG) is an ISO 9001:2015 certified, multidisciplinary international organization, providing comprehensive professional consultancy services in the field of civil engineering. It specializes in providing services for planning, detailed design, techno-economic feasibility studies, cost appraisal reports, environmental impact assessment, project management, and construction supervision. CEG is a proud team of over 1300.