A Boost to The Project Economy: One Project at a Time
Potshangbam July

Manage South Asia features two outstanding projects that won the PMI South Asia Awards in 2022. These projects demonstrate exemplary project management standards and practices to address the world’s pressing problems and yield positive organizational outcomes.

Mission to Achieve Oxygen Self-Sufficiency

Project: Medical Oxygen Plant

The COVID-19 pandemic hit India in an unprecedented manner, pushing the healthcare infrastructure to a breaking point. The pressing need of the hour was to augment the infrastructure, bridge the supply-and-demand gap and save people’s lives.

Tata Advanced Systems Ltd. (TASL) was awarded a contract by the Government of India to rapidly deploy 309 medical oxygen plants at 278 government hospitals across the country in about 100 days.

The project was funded by PM CARES Fund (the Prime Minister’s Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations Fund), a relief fund for emergency situations created in March 2020, following the onset of COVID-19 pandemic in India. The sole purpose of the project was to make life-saving medical oxygen readily available at hospitals so they could become self-sufficient and help India steer out of the medical emergency.

For this project, TASL received the Project of the Year Award in the medium category at both the PMI Professional Awards and PMI South Asia Awards 2022.

With restrictions on movement in place, the project encountered unique challenges to set up oxygen plants on location, given the spread of COVID-19 across India. Discussions with key stakeholders, including government bodies such as Defence Bioengineering and Electromedical Laboratory of the Defence Research and Development Organisation, PM CARES, the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs and the National Highways Authority of India, took place virtually, which left a lot of room for communication gaps due to the number of stakeholders whose needs and expectations had to be met.

Before 2020, medical oxygen plants were produced with a standard configuration using only one type of zeolite. Given the urgency of the situation, the required raw materials were not available and certain equipment or components needed to be imported. Concurrent engineering, with the help of local experts from academia/industry, was initiated. It enabled TASL to identify alternate materials that could be used. Nevertheless, technical issues still emerged once the plant was deployed.

Given the number of stakeholders and the pressure from various states and central ministries, the project’s priorities required frequent recalibration.

Another concern was to gain the trust of the end users, especially hospitals and doctors who were working under extremely stressful conditions. Doctors doubted the quality of the oxygen produced and refused to provide it to the patients directly from the plant. They had more confidence in oxygen cylinders as they had been using this source for multiple years. To allay the apprehensions, TASL hired agencies under the National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories (NABL) to test the purity of the manufactured gas and certify that the oxygen purity was within design tolerance (90±3 %).

Another stumbling block was a shortage of skilled hands to install and maintain these new plants.

"More than commercial benefits, this project aimed to save the lives of people directly by making medical oxygen available abundantly at hospitals. The Tata Group, since its inception, has been continuously contributing to nation-building initiatives. This project was in line with our vision of giving back to the community."

Suresh Baroth, Senior Vice President, Project Management, TASL


Procurement strategy

More than 50 micro, small and medium enterprises were brought on board to minimize the risk of resource shortages caused by the disrupted global supply chain.

A global source was identified to procure critical items as per the specifications and on a stringent schedule.

Stakeholder engagement

A structured approach to stakeholder engagement and identification was applied, as recommended by PMI.

A detailed stakeholder mapping and communication strategy was created for seamless project execution.

Technological innovation

The project involved employing the Internet of Things (IoT) with SIM card technology and collection of remote critical parameters/data from plants to gauge performance.

Data analytics, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) were used, and real-time monitoring of the dashboards was done to identify trends, improve efficiency and reduce downtime.

A work breakdown structure (WBS)-based schedule was developed to deliver the project on time and within budget.

Risk management

A risk register tool was used to identify and mitigate risks at various stages of the project.

Reputation risk was managed by assessing inbound and outbound quality assurance for all sourced components and conducting NABL testing after plant installation.

Technical skills

Extensive training was provided online and in person to plant operators, technicians and biomedical engineers

Key highlights:

309 plants installed in 287 districts across India.
Dedicated the plants to the nation on 7 October 2021 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
140 patients per plant supported with consumption capacity of 5 to 7 liters per minute.
Reduced dependency on liquid medical oxygen.
Followed PMI standards for project management, tailored to suit the project’s needs.

Powering Systems for Tomorrow’s Technologies

Project: Engine Management System Development

In 2015, a leading Korea-based car manufacturer planned to update its entire diesel vehicles portfolio with future-ready, advanced technologies and add cutting-edge features to vehicles in the light commercial to ultra-luxury categories. Weighed down by obsolete technologies, the existing hardware was not scalable to accommodate advanced features.

The Bosch development center in India created a future-ready engine management system. The single system enables the introduction of state-of-the-art functions, such as remote smart park assist and smart cruise control, while making it “plug-and-play” and reusable across different projects.

The project was a significant milestone for the organization in India, and showcased the acquisition, software development and complete product and project management of the team.

Bosch Global Software Technologies won the Project of the Year Award in the small category for this project at the PMI South Asia Awards 2022.


Varied requirements, one system:

The revamp extended to a large portfolio of vehicles that would be marketed in seven countries or regions — Korea, India, Europe, Australia, Taiwan, Russia and Latin America. Each country had its own emission regulations. It was therefore a challenge to design a single system that would meet the different requirements.

Cross-country coordination:

The project was executed from four countries — Germany, Korea, India and Vietnam — amid pandemic-induced movement restrictions and remote work. The different time zones of these countries made it difficult to communicate with the stakeholders, regular business hours, which caused delays. Cultural and language differences made it even harder.

Scope creep:

The client added additional functions during software releases that were not originally planned. In some cases, ad hoc requirements were included, which caused confusion during system testing.

Futuristic approach:

The customer wanted a future-ready, connected platform that would adapt to technological changes in the future. On top of that, the teams needed to balance specific needs of different vehicles with cost considerations.


Technological innovation:

The team focused on plug-and-play function development, so that any software or hardware components can be integrated into any vehicle

Key highlights:

More than 1.2 million vehicles on the road with new Bosch technology systems.
The DfE (designed for environment) approach has been used, which means no harmful substances have been used.
The project’s success led to Bosch being awarded three new projects from the customer.
Enabled an overall 33% savings on development costs.
Won the Best Managed Project (Global) at the Bosch Global Project Management Awards.

platform with minimal user intervention. It significantly saved time and cost. To ensure the safety of the connected system, data security and new encryption algorithms were implemented to prevent unauthorized access to data.

Transparent communication:

Conducted open communication with all parties involved, which made it possible to coordinate, manage deliveries and keep all the stakeholders informed about the project’s status and constraints.

Procurement management:

Initiated contracts and service level agreements (SLAs) with suppliers at the beginning of the project so they were aware of their responsibilities. The approach enabled suppliers to deliver on time and within the estimated cost. This saved money with minimal deviations from the project time line.

Stakeholder management:

Implemented a stakeholder identification matrix of direct and indirect stakeholders and prioritized stakeholders based on their interest and influence. Stakeholders across countries regularly discussed project updates, and financial, technical and managerial implications to align with the project goals.

Human resources:

Identified and trained the right talent during the planning phase, so they were prepared on the project necessities in advance. This helped improve their efficiency and the overall performance of the project.

"At Bosch, we believe that our products are invented for life. We want our products to spark enthusiasm, improve quality of life and help conserve natural resources. We always strive for excellence while adapting to the changes and seizing opportunities. The project team stayed true to the Bosch values, while using state-of-the-art technologies and not deviating from project management principles."

Mallikarjuna Rao M, Program Director