Hitting the Right Notes – Construction Week India Awards 2018
The 8th Construction Week India Awards had elements of style, charm, and wit, all rolled in one.
By Jayashree Kini Mendes
The inaugural panel discussion was a runaway hit with the audience and kept them enthralled and glued to their seat.
With each passing year, the Construction Week India Awards keeps getting bigger and better. In its 8th year held on September 28 at Hotel Sahara Star, Mumbai, the Awards evening had real estate and infrastructure tycoons turn out in full strength to commemorate the gala function. An awards function is only as successful as the people attending it, is something we realised some years ago. If an industry has to acknowledge the best, who better than their counterparts?
With each passing year, we have strived to better the annual awards show with additions, thus making the industry sit up and take notice. Last year, we introduced three categories; this year we bettered ther equation and introduced Architectural Design of the Year.
For a process that started in June, the team had the formidable task of seeking nominations from across the country, not to forget seeking out industry heads to be part of the Jury (see list on Page 36). The Jury meet, held on August 31, was the testing ground for all the efforts taken by more than 130 companies from across 46 cities who had sent in a total of 800+ nominations.
The Procurement panel discussion has been a hot favourite with the delegates.
One of the reasons for our success last year that continued its run this year was the panel discussion for Procurement Heads of real estate and infrastructure companies. Held prior to the main awards evening, the panel discussion was moderated by Anil Haldipur, senior associate director, CBRE South Asia. The panellists comprised procurement heads of from across 17 companies. Haldipur began asking the panellists on how they are looking at efficient procurement post-RERA and new methodologies. Cyrus Pithawalla, director, engineering, Hiranandani Construction, began with saying post-RERA it has become imperative to ensure timely delivery of products to the site and complete the project on time. This means a strong back-end planning and ensuring that all products purchased and delivered are linked to a strong software so that the team can keep track and deal sternly with it.
Tikam Jain, President & group head, procurement, Lodha Group, said that a strong strategy for procurement is necessary. It calls for big thinking among stakeholders, which involves considering the logistics, budget, schedule, among other things.
Ninad Tipnis, Principal Architect, JTCPL Designs, said that companies should look at the process of procurement. Design and detailed designs hogs timelines and then procurement feels the heat because the project needs to be launched.
Haldipur the posed the questions about long lead equipment and materials that need to be sourced and lack of quick mobilisaiton could lead to delays. To this Shabbir Kanchwala, Sr. VP, K Raheja Corp, said that his company believes that in his company an entire team is in charge of procurement, instead of relying only on one person. Standardisation of materials helps in procuring faster, he added.
Hari Easwaran, head, contracts & procurement, L&T Realty, said that digitisation of data and products for over 350 sites and using drones and standardised taxonomy has helped streamline the entire process.
Aditya Malpani, head, procurement, Mantri Developers, said that his company has increased the DLP to five years and though it’s initially costly, it pays off in the long run. Post-RERA there is still a wait-and-watch period before clarity sets in.
Ashish Kapoor, Sales director, Schüco India, said that developers should look at designs keenly. However, drawings are made and by the time we go through the entire process of approval, we realise the materials are needed in a month’s time. This needs to be change.
Anurag Shukla, head, project sales, Fundermax India, said that much time is lost from sourcing to delivery. It also increases cost and if specification changes makes things worse.
Sundar Rajan, head of project development, Shree Naman Group, said that no more can developers be fussy about waking up one morning and deciding to purchase wholesale. There is a need to involve product manufacturers from Day One. With costs becoming critical, there is a need to identify what we are offering buyers.
Ashish Shah, COO, Radius Developers, said that integrated planning can help an entire project show certainty. RERA wants this and this strategy can help.
Pramod Hegde, GM, key accounts, Jaquar Group, highlighted that most real estate companies do not build up a brand. Few procurement heads are engaged in technical details of the products they are buying.
Dignitaries at the lighting of the lamp.
Aseem Kumar of GM Modular said that the advantages of its large manufacturing units helps in quickly meeting the demands of buyers who require large quantities.
Neerav Parmar, VP, procurement, Shapoorji Pallonji, pointed out that getting in materials at the right time is key. If the team functions in sync, then there will be no issues. Long term contracts must be managed more minutely and monitored.
Vivekanand Kundle, VP, procurement, Kalpataru, said that recent changes in policies maintain that all materials must comply with IS Code. He threw back the question to the other panellists about their knowledge in these aspects.
Srikanth Srinivasan, Head, procurement & contracts, Puravankara, said that his company is trying to underwrite the risks by taking out a policy by paying a premium. There is a need to balance costs and time.
Niraj Borikar, Chief Marketing Officer, ISOTRACK Innovative Infrastructure Solutions, said that stakeholders need to meet and understand the issues. Procurement is not the only team to take the onus of making a project a success.
The discussion ended with much bonhomie among the participants and networking.
It was time to move to the Awards evening.
The hall was packed to capacity as people from across the country attended the gala evening.
Meeting of minds
The evening began with a performance that had much flair. It was followed by the lighting of the lamp. Bibhor Srivastava, group publishing director, and Indrajeet Saoji, director, ITP Media Group (India), welcomed the dignitaries while highlighting the journey of Construction Week. Partnerships are what makes any venture a success, added Srivastava. Saoji spoke about the vast number of nominations and the number of people in the room is a testimony to that.
A video message from Suresh Prabhu, Minister of Commerce & Industry and Civil Aviation, congratulated Construction Week on its success and his inability to be present.
Abhinay Jain, CFO, GM Modular, elucidated that the grandness of the evening has overwhelmed him. The real estate industry has brought in a transformation and that is what matters to an industry like his.
Rajeev Antony, MD, Schueco India, said that the construction and infrastructure industry are the foundations of an economy. Better quality buildings can be delivered faster in an environmental-friendly way. He also highlighted some of the commendable efforts made by his company for the country and for the world.
The inaugural panel discussion was another highlight of the evening. Moderated by Anuj Puri, chairman, ANAROCK, the panellists comprised Barun Pal Chowdhury, director, Design Build, Shapoorji Pallonji; Om Ahuja, COO, residential business, K Raheja Corp; Parvez Amin, president, sales & marketing, Jaquar Group; Pravin Darade, Additional Metropolitan Commissioner of MMRDA; Ar Prem Nath, principal architect, Prem Nath & Associates; Dhaval Ajmera, director, Ajmera Realty; and Kashyap Patwa of Classique Touch Electricals, certified partner of GM Modular. The topic for the discussion was Designed to Build: Sustain or Scale.
Anuj began by asking the Ar Prem Nath on his take on designed to build. Prem Nath said that architects do plenty of turnkey jobs an architect is required to look at a project in its entirety. Contractors and developers want someone responsible to look and understand a project thoroughly.
Barun Pal Chowdhury pointed out that projects in US are very complicated and there are too many experts needed to complete the job. A single point responsibility is not something that is familiar to them. Design Build is changing that and the contractor has the onus of start to finish of a project.
Parvez Amin spoke about how sustain and scale are contrasting terms. If talking about value, then what his company brings to the table is the ability to sustain the design and build on it. It’s not about cost-effectiveness all the time.
Anuj asked Darade his take on designing and building large infrastructure projects. Darade said that the government workd methodically to understand the depth of the large projects and then design build is what is helping take these projects forward. Having a single agency to oversee the project in terms of cost, time, procurement, etc. is what is important for multi-million dollar projects. Ajmera’s reply to their ability to sustain and take projects international was that the right key to sustenance is the unity in the family. The plentiful resources has helped easy diversification. His team of architects and consultants have also helped his company grow to a new level.
Find it hard to comprehend the diverse portfolios and verticals that K Raheja Corp has been handling, Anuj asked Ahuja to explain the juggling act. Ahuja said that the DNA of his organisation is delegation and much trust is instilled in the people. Importantly, quality is another aspect of the entire organisation. There’s no need to market much if the quality is superior.
Patwa said that technology is a key enabler to the business and that his company has been constantly bringing in new products that are innovative in nature.
The discussion ended with a general agreement that technology, knowledge of the industry, partnerships, and clean deals is the only way forward.
Jayashree Mendes, editor, Construction Week India, explained the Jury process and along with Indrajeet Saoji felicitated the Grand Jury. We then continued with the awards. The day ended with much compliments and camaraderie among the dignitaries and delegates.
Bibhor Srivastava delivered the Vote of Thanks and spoke about his gratitude to the industry that has supported Construction Week in its endeavours.
With cocktails and dinner ready, there was a general sense of satisfaction.