Technical Resource Centre - A CMD initiative for KIIFB 

One of the major objectives of Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board is the capability development of various departments in public sector and Special Purpose Vehicles associated with KIIFB. In the earlier publications, we have discussed about several technical advisory and new technology initiatives taken up by KIIFB for better project implementation management, including design, cost and performance optimisation in the post appraisal phase, to be implemented in our projects such as Building Information Modelling, Virtual Design and Construction, Geographic Information System, Work Breakdown Structure, etc.In fact, we are glad that this may be the first time that a government organization is attempting to implement these technologies for infrastructure development projects. To add on, KIIFB’s coreobjective isto develop the capability of SPVs to adapt to these technologies effectively.

For the effective implementation of the aforesaid technologies including hands-on training and technical advisory support, KIIFB has entrusted Centre for Management Development to open a Technical Resource Centre (TRC). CMD would maintain a highly eminent technical team in TRC, guided by resource persons from various domains who has proved their excellence in their respective domains.  The major areas in which the technical resource centre would provide support services to KIIFB would be:

WBS clinic – The proposed TRC would operate a helpdesk / clinic which would handhold SPVs to upload the Work Breakdown Structure in Microsoft Project, a widely accepted tool for project management and monitoring. CMD has already provided training to candidates from various SPVs on MSP. The purpose of this clinic / helpdesk would be to support SPVs till such time they become competent enough to independently handle uploading WBS.

Building Information Modelling –BIM based project management is a flagship initiative of KIIFB and if effectively implemented KIIFB would win laurels from across the world for having changed the face of project management in infrastructure industry. The proposed TRC would have BIM modellers and engineers who would cater to the BIM requirements of KIIFB and SPVs andalso a team of experts / consultants in this domain who would hand hold the SPVs in implementing BIM in their live projects. TRC would conduct extensive training programmes in BIM, to candidates from SPVs and KIIFB until they are fully equipped to handle BIM based project monitoring independently.

Post processing of visual data – TRC proposes tohave a dedicated team responsible for post processing of all the data collected during KIIFB / SPVs drone survey, video data collected from project sites and data pertaining to Quality Monitoring Studio.This not only helps live monitoring and quality management but also helps to track back and retrospect.

New Technology Incubator – This initiative of TRC shall work on identifying new technologies / developments in infrastructure development across the globe and would support KIIFB in identifying its scope / viability in projects funded by KIIFB. TRC would also draft technical documentation of these identified technologies. 

GIS for infrastructure management – The proposed TRC will have a dedicated GIS team who would be responsible for GIS modelling and filed data collection. TRC would help KIIFB develop a GIS based infrastructure mapping of projects funded by KIIFB which would include maximum geographical features of KIIFB projects.

Manuals and Technical documents – All technical manuals on planning, design, implementation and quality control of various sectors identified by KIIFB would be issued by TRC and would also draft the quarterly updates of these manuals. These manuals would be technically vet by resource persons of eminence in the respective domain.

Training – The proposed TRC shall provide for hands on training and capability development of KIIFB and SPVs. TRC will be equipped with all the state-of-the-art facilities to provide effective training to SPVs and KIIFB and shall undertake the extended responsibility of ensuring that the SPVs put to use what they learned from TRC. 

Design upgradation cell – TRC shall focus on KIIFB’s initiative to develop roads and highways to world class standards and to create sustainable infrastructure and will have a dedicated team who would work for functional design upgradation and value engineering of KIIFB funded projects.TRC shall also provide the technical documentation support to confirm to the functional design of KIIFB funded roads & highways, as per the planning and design guidelines issued.

KIIFB aims to accomplish its dream of implementing technologies in vogue across the world for progress monitoring and project management through this Technical Resource Centre, initiated and managed through Centre for Management Development.

Kerala, the first state in India to issue Masala Bond

Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board (KIIFB), the primary agency of the Government of Kerala for financing large and critical infrastructure projects in Kerala has successfully established INR 50 Billion(Rs 5000 cr) Guaranteed Medium Term Note (MTN) Programme. The MTN Programme is dual listed on the International Securities Market of the London Stock Exchange (LSE) and the Singapore Stock Exchange (SGX) and will  enable KIIFB to access the international  bond market through the issuance of Masala Bonds of up to INR 50 Billion in one or more tranches. 

KIIFB is uniquely positioned to access international bond markets owing to the strong support it enjoys from the Government of Kerala, its ring fenced stream of cash flows, comfortable liquidity position and the high governance standards that are legislated under the KIIF Act.

With a view to establishing its  credit profile and market standing KIIFB had also undertaken a detailed rating exercise through two international credit rating agencies – Standard and Poor’s (S&P) and Fitch Ratings (Fitch). The ratings for KIIFB have been equalized with the rating agencies’ assessment of the credit profile of the State of Kerala. Both S&P and Fitch have assigned KIIFB a long term foreign currency rating of BB with Stable outlook. The MTN Programme has also been rated BB with Stable outlook by both rating agencies. Axis Bank and Standard Chartered Bank are the Dealers for the MTN Programme while DLA Piper and Cyril AmarchandMangaldas are the International Legal Counsel and Domestic Legal Counsel for this transaction. 

This is a significant milestone for not only the State of Kerala and KIIFB, but also for India and the International Debt Capital Markets. Kerala its role as the guarantor to debt issuances of KIIFB has become the first State from India to secure a public international credit rating while KIIFB enjoys the unique distinction of being the first State Government public sector enterprise from India to establish an MTN Programme for raising offshore bonds. 

The State Government is extremely proud and pleased with Kerala being assigned the highest public international credit rating for any State in India. This is a significant achievement. The Masala Bonds that KIIFB would raise through the MTN Programme listed in London and Singapore would be a pioneering initiative for Kerala and other States in India could also emulate this to attract global debt capital investors to participate in meaningful and focused infrastructure development in their respective States.

On the back of the international rating and establishment of the MTN Programme, we expect KIIFB to be able to raise Masala Bonds worth up to INR 50 Billion from global investors in one or more tranches in the upcoming months. This would provide KIIFB with an additional stream of capital to finance critical infrastructure projects in the State of Kerala. KIIFB will also try to tap the Middle East market given the strong connection with the State apart from the international finance centres like London, Singapore and Hong Kong.