The Big Decider
Decisions. While they govern all the important aspects of our lives, in the case of business, they often have a cascading effect on the lives of many. It is, after all, these very decisions, whether big or small, impulsive or well-thought out, informed or born of partial ignorance that dictate how a business is conducted, and more importantly, the course it will take towards success or failure. And the future of many people, companies and, quite often, the nation at large, is at stake. We, as industry observers, realise this only too well. We also understand the significance of rewarding good decisions and the people who see them through to fruition.
Therefore, when it came to the vital task of determining who would be crowned winners at the Construction Week India Awards 2017, we knew we had to put a stellar jury in place to make those tough calls. The search for our Grand Jury was initiated a few months ago. After approaching some of the most eminent persons in the industry, we were satisfied that we had the best group for the task at hand.
These 16 men are all stalwarts in their respective fields, and when they came together on August 23, we learnt exactly why. Once the methodology for awarding points was explained to them, they set to work in four teams. Each of them had dedicated their day to scan the entries, and as they poured through nomination after nomination – deliberating on the merits and shortfalls of each admission – their passion for the industry was amply evident. Given how thorough and fair the jury was, we are rest assured that only the best among this year’s nominees have emerged victorious.
Of course, one must commend those who sent in nominations too. While our team began making calls and writing emails inviting nominations way back in June, we were receiving forms till the day before the jury meet. The process was long – contenders had to comply with strict parameters and support their nominations with evidence – but it was well worth the wait. We ended up with a plethora of nominations, across categories.
Our efforts to bring to the fore those who toil in the background, were also met with much enthusiasm, with our new categories – Procurement Person of the Year, Project Manager of the Year, and MEP Person of the Year – garnering a lot of interest. The jury too applauded this effort to recognise the men and women who work behind the scenes. Here’s what they had to say to us during the jury meet.
Anuj Puri, chairman, ANAROCK Property Consultants, spoke of the relevance of this platform, “Awards are very important. Firstly, they bring in best practices for other players; and secondly, they bring the person or the organisation who’s receiving an award great recognition within the industry, within the fraternity. Thirdly, if it is being done by a credible organisation like Construction Week, which is transparent; follows a huge amount of governance, a lot of debate, a thought process, and has different stakeholders coming in from various parts of the industry as jury members, it brings in a huge amount of satisfaction to those who are receiving the award.”
Pankaj Dharkar, founder, Pankaj Dharkar & Associates, offered his take: “We need to inspire builders, developers and end-users to do a better job. And these awards contribute towards that goal. Going forward, RERA is also going to hugely impact how developers think about MEP services and fire services, needing them to have a detailed, integrated plan before construction starts.”
This year, the awards seem to have encouraged new entrants to participate. Vikram Goel, CEO, HDFC Realty, observed that, “We have lots of developers, who are first-timers or small developers, but doing a very good job. These people and companies have also applied, which is very encouraging.”
It was heartening to see that companies were striving to do better. “There is a mix of companies, who have worked hard to ensure that the presentation of their candidature is done well and is relevant,” agreed Rajeev Antony, MD, Schüco India.
“The awards act as a big morale booster for both individuals and companies to reach for the next level in the industry,” said VS Ravi, president and founder, Façade India Testing Inc.
And this was reflected in the quality of entries received. Sarosh Bala, vice-president, projects, EPC Academy, Reliance Industries, felt that, “The quality of nominations this year was much better than what we’ve seen in the last five years. Also, the new categories that have been introduced are going to encourage other people, who so far were in the shadows.”
Ashutosh Limaye, national director, research, JLL India, added this about the introduction of the new categories: “It’s a very good step that due recognition and respect is being given to those who have worked very hard behind the scenes. We all know and appreciate the designs, aesthetics etc., but to actually execute the project as per the design, and make it livable and enjoyable, requires a great contribution from these faculties, which sometimes goes unnoticed. So, it’s a great decision to add three specialised categories to reward them. They truly deserve so.”
First-time jury member Ashish Rakheja, managing partner, Aeon Integrated Building Design Consultants LLP, confessed, “It’s been a great experience going through the nominations. Short listing them was tough, because there were a lot of deserving companies and candidates.”
The number and variety of entries was also huge. “In terms of nominations, it was a complete bouquet. There was a fair participation from across the country. And the jury was quite balanced and mature enough to decide on who deserves the prize,” suggested Raman Sapru, president, EPC, Omkar Realtors & Developers.
“As far as the nominations are concerned, we had plenty of options to pick from and the jury criteria was also set out clearly. As a result, I really enjoyed being a part of this year’s jury,” professed Naveen Kumar, associate, BES Consultants.
Regarding the judging process, Puran Kumar, principal, Studio PKA, explained, “When assessing entries, we looked at the basic information provided. Then, of course, we had a group discussion within the panel and ensured that the jury arrived at a certain consensus on the parameters, which helped decide how the judging would be done. Once we arrived at a broad parameter box, we were in a better position to judge the nominations to ensure that the process of judging was fair and thorough. It had to justify the time that has gone into not only building the projects, but also presenting them and for them to be pre-qualified to come to the judges’ table.”
In fact, this meticulous approach is one of the reasons that the awards have today become such a prestigious platform. “Although this is our first association with Construction Week, we are elated to be connected with this platform. These awards have become the top honour for people from the construction industry,” stated Jayanth Jain, CEO, GM Modular.
Speaking of the industry at large, Kalhan Mattoo, director, Planet 3 Studios Architecture, spoke on the current state of affairs: “We are a noble profession; we build shelters for people. I think while the government is right in implementing some systems in place, which in the long term would benefit the industry, in the near term, I think the government is falling short in terms of the support that it has to provide for this industry to be as vibrant as it should be.”
Jimmy Mistry, principal designer & MD, Della Group, concluded by saying, “The industry is dynamic and changing. It has gone from a disorganised segment to an organised segment. Some people are really doing great work and awards are a way and means to constantly motivate them to do better.”