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Design & Construction Management

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Turner Project Management India Pvt. Ltd. based in Mumbai is an Indian arm of Turner International, USA, a global Project Management consultancy firm, founded in 1965. Jairam Panch, Vice President & Managing Director – India in conversation with Buildotech explains the changing scenario and scope of construction and project planning in India.

Headquartered in New York, Turner International manages projects in excess of 40 million square meters in building area and structures that shape the skylines of major cities. The firm provides professional building services in Southeast Asia, Europe, Latin America, the Caribbean and the Middle East. In 2007. Turner entered the Indian real estate market and with the growing presence expects India operations to contribute nearly 25% of total sales in next three years.

Turner India operations

As a strategy, Turner enters a new market with a project. The firm made its entry in India to provide program management services for real estate developer, Hirco for its mixed-use
development project Hiranandani Palace Gardens in chennai. We bagged some other projects as well but during 2008 recession period, the operations slowed down. The journey had been rollercoaster but today the company is well positioned, scaling up and is offering services to local and international developers in Hyderabad, Chennai and Mumbai.

We are working on six niche projects where we know Turner can make a value addition for a client. The assignments range from projects by developers like Piramal Realty, Hirco, DLF, Tata Housing, Reliance, Neptune, Orbit Corporation, Lodha, Sofitel among others and the Gujarat government Statue of Unity, a 182-meter-tall statue (to be tallest in the world) dedicated to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel where the firm is assisting.

The role of a Project Management Consultancy (PMC)

Compared to global market where developers do not have an in-house contracting or management division, in India, the concept of project management has still not penetrated. Traditionally, the developers are used to managing projects in-house. Part of the problem are the PMCs themselves who have not stepped up to bring the change.

An outside consultant serves different clients so it has an extensive exposure and can bring the experience or learning from one project to another to offer a novel solution. For instance, a developer planning to construct a hotel may not have the requisite experience but the outsourced PMC may have done many hospitality projects and thus will benefit the client.

However, with the growing scale and complexity of projects, the Indian developers and corporate are realizing the need for outsourcing project management. A developer who has constructed 20-30 storey building does not have the expertise for tall building 50-100 storey and thus bringing a project management consultancy who have done such works on board becomes necessary. Few years from now, in Indian real estate too only PMC will be involved for project implementation.

Services offered by the firm

Turner provides pre construction and construction management services within a wide array of market segments. This diversity of experience reinforces a project management strategy that is applicable for projects of many different size and type. We provide services comprising Project development and planning, Design management and Construction management.

As a consultant we bring to the client international construction & program management, innovation in terms of working in real time using technologies like BIM, iPad on site and global expertise of working on all categories of projects.

The Indian real-estate challenges

In the project management space there is a lot of growth opportunity in India as very few PMCs are present. The biggest challenge is that the PMC is brought in the project at the construction stage while, they should be part of the project very early so as to add real value to the project. Another shortcoming is the low priority to planning before execution. Skill development is another area of improvement.

Turner International is the largest general contractor in the US and therefore we think like a builder. The company knows how to construct, it has a hands on approach and plans elaborately before the implementation. To expedite work, collaborative approach between the contractor, consultant, client and PMC team is essential which not only assists the client but also all the other stakeholders. Turner trains its resources and focuses on skill development of employees from varying backgrounds so they can contribute as a team to the project, client, company and benefiting the entire ecosystem.

Similarly, some contractors and developers do have training schools for their workers but we need to further develop industry interface and interaction with educational institutes for imparting practical training to young engineers. They are fresh minds has with innovative solutions. Turner recently hired10- 15 students from colleges like CEPT, SPA Delhi, Delhi college of Engineering and NICMAR.

The potential of project management segment

Turner has an optimistic view and the company is here for a long term. We plan to double our present staff of 150 in next three years. Going forward, we would like to be associated with select government projects where the consultancy can make a difference. With the real estate market maturing in India and international players entering the sector, we see a huge growth opportunity for project management segment. Government policies and taking-off of about 6-10 smart cities in the near future will also create the right environment for growth.

The company is strengthening its presence in India and foresees geographical, segmental and value proposition growth in next few years. Given India’s strong IT skills, our President & CEO Abrar Sheriff has the vision to develop India as the hub for Asia operations.

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