Men of mettle
What CW Awards 2015 jury member say. BY TEAM MT
Any meeting that invites people to take a critical decision is always a moment of apprehension for all parties involved. One wonders at the outcome and the cascading effect it will have. And so when Construction Week India decided to announce its awards and invite nominations, the team first had to have a jury in place. The hunt for appropriate members to fill the Grand Jury began early this year. We had to scout the country for persons of stature that would understand the criticality of the Awards, discern through the paperwork and make a right decision. Yes, decision is the key word here. Not everyone can boldly and rightly stand up to a decision they have taken, even when others argue otherwise.
Ultimately, Construction Week India settled on 15 eminent persons of repute in the industry they work. The jury had their work cut out for them. Right from the beginning, they were involved in the entire process of the nominations to suggesting companies and projects that are eligible and should send in their nominations. The entire process of drawing up the parameters for each category was also closely monitored and compartmentalising companies in terms of various categories.
It was in early June that our events team began calling out to the industry for nominations. The stringent guidelines had to be adhered to and much time was spent convincing companies of the process and the relevant documents that needed to accompany the nomination forms. The team had set a deadline of August 10 for sending in the last of the forms. Most industry people complied, though reluctantly.
Considering that last year had not gone too well for the real estate and infrastructure sectors, we had made allowances in terms of the time period for submission of projects. The grateful industry had also willingly been too eager to send in as many projects as could be fit in within the particular category. While real estate found a large number of nominations (a developer could submit projects and activities in seven categories), there were strong contenders for the others as well.
Going by the intense number of calls and clarifications, it looks like Real Estate Person of the Year, Real Estate Company of the Year and Infrastructure Person of the Year are the most popular categories and find many takers. The same is with facade projects, not to forget Corporate Social Responsibility Activity of the Year.
So finally, having exhausted the set deadline, the jury meet was fixed for August 21. Members of the jury arrived at Sofitel Bandra Kurla Complex in the morning. They had decided to dedicate an entire day for the meet. The Construction Week team had formed three teams and set aside categories for each table. The methodology of allotting the points was explained to the Grand Jury who then set to work. After much discussion, and verifying facts and figures, the jury put pen to paper and awarded points on their respective score sheets.
After the hectic day, Construction Week spoke to the jury members to gather feedback on the process and on what could be made better going forward. Here’s what they had to say:
Prem Nath: As an Architect, this is a good opportunity for me to assess the nominations. I come to understand exactly what developers across the country have done on projects. I noticed that there were some very good projects ranging from commercial, retail, IT parks, residential, etc coming up. With green buildings and affordable housing projects becoming the norm, Construction Week has swooped on some decent categories.
Pankaj Dharkar: Having MEP as one of the categories has a feel good factor. Most often, this part of the building activity is something that few recognise. I am happy to see Green Project of the Year as sustainable construction is getting increasingly popular. Quality of workmanship showed by developers is extraordinary.
Ashutosh Limaye: The entire process is interesting and offers variety to the jury. An enthusiastic participation from the industry is a must if one is to judge justly. I see lots of companies that have participated for the first time this year. What is even more interesting is that nominations came from beyond the usual cities and metros.
Vikram Goel: I was here last year as well. And the quality of nominations has vastly improved. I have also been active in helping Construction Week with the nominations and parameters. This year, considering that the real estate market was a little low, has been an eye-opener in terms of innovations in real estate projects. At times, it’s tough to assess the best of the lot. Most of them are neck-and-neck in terms of winning.
Barun Pal Chowdhury: The forms were a mix of large and small projects with much innovation and new technologies. Sometimes, it’s hard to segregate projects in terms of scale as small companies bag large projects and vice versa.
Sarosh Bala: The process is fair and transparent. The jury is the full authority and decision maker. The real estate developers are already beleaguered and it’s good that they are adopting technology at a faster pace as that will bring down the cost of construction.
Mangesh Korgaonker: I have been on the jury of Construction Week since the inception of the awards. I have seen a stupendous growth in terms of scale and also the number of nominations that come in. While there are plenty of projects of projects that come from large companies, I am also surprised that smaller and lesser known companies too are keen to be a part of these awards. As an academic, I also look forward to see some novel ideas coming forth from the industry. I see that real estate and infrastructure companies are facing stressful situations. And to come up with novel ideas to work their way around the situation is heartening. Their greater concern is to see that the ongoing projects are completed.
Mahesh Arumugam: In terms of facade projects, companies must send in more details. They have a tendency to send in projects that are incomplete and this they must avoid.
Rajan Govind: Companies want to send in their best projects. However, what they miss out on is that even a smaller project could have more technicalities than their larger and well-known projects.
Neerav Parmar: The awards are way of recognising industry players. It brings in a competitiveness spirit. The industry needs to be educated and vigilant in terms of sending in their entries. Most of them send out trivial details that the jury doesn’t need to know.
Reshu Singh: This is a good platform for companies to talk about their work. Also, it allows the smaller companies a chance to get into the bigger league through sheer effort of their work.