The ninth edition of the CONSTRUCTION WORLD ARCHITECT AND BUILDER (CWAB) Awards was bigger and brighter than ever! Indias top architects and builders were in attendance to celebrate InnoVision, the theme for the second year running. With an audience that included over 300 CEOs from the industry, a huge round of applause and celebration rent the air as awardees walked up the stage to receive the felicitation. Gilding the event were the illustrious special guests who enthralled the gathering: Chief guest Dr Sudhir Krishna, Former Secretary, Ministry of Urban Development, Government of India; and keynote speaker architect Michael Jansen, Chairman & CEO, CityZenith.
In its innovative spree this year, ASAPP Media Information Group launched a unique web portal, DezignGenie, at the event. Helping architects, builders and designers in moving away from the onerous manual method of keeping files of product information, DezignGenie is the next level of product innovation and architectural design with over 20,000 products from more than 50 categories and over 175 brands.
Further, the CWAB awards comprised two categories within the winning builders this year: Indias Most Admired Builders and Top Innovisionary Builders. The CWAB 2014 Most Admired Builders were Godrej Properties Ltd, Hiranandani Constructions, Lodha Group and Sobha Ltd. For Indias Top Innovisionary Builders, the award went to Ambuja Neotia Group, Kalpataru Group, Mahindra Lifespace Developers, Mantri Developers, Paranjape Schemes (Construction) Ltd, Rustomjee, and Tata Housing Development Company.
How it works
Indias Most Admired Builders were chosen through a nationwide voting process where we put 101 pan-India builders to vote to an elite, handpicked audience within the industry. The absolutely clear winners in this exercise were selected as Indias Most Admired.
For Indias Top Innovisionary Builders, we selected the top 20 builders to send in their profiles with two completed innovative projects, or one completed and one nearing completion. These projects were then presented for evaluation to a jury that comprised Ravi Sarangan, Director, Edifice Consultants; Rajat Malhotra, COO-West Asia, Integrated Facilities Management, Jones Lang LaSalle Property Consultant (India); Chetan R Raikar, Chairman & Managing Director, Structwel; Dr HM Raje, Director, Raje Structural Consultants; Sunil MK, Country Manager, AEC-India and SAARC, Autodesk India; Antony Parokaran, CEO, Schindler India; Mala Singh, Founder Chairman & Managing Director, PEC Solutions Green Design and Member Executive Committee (IGBC); Rajeev Antony, Managing Director, Schueco India Solar & Windows; and Sanjay Puri, Principal Architect, Sanjay Puri Architects. They selected the winners.
Innovation was certainly the buzzword of the evening. While celebrated author Devika Deviah, whose book Orbit Shifting Innovation has become hugely successful, urged the audience (read speech on page 58) to create and innovate for the love of the country and to take it on the world map, Indias leading developer Niranjan Hiranandani, Managing Director, Hiranandani Constructions, agreed with her, saying, "The architects and builders of India have not created history, but geography." As Hiranandani walked up the stage in acceptance of his award, he exhorted other architects and builders to vow to innovate and change the face of the country in the next five years! Also, taking inspiration from Devaiahs words, Baboosingh Rajguru, Director, Lodha Group, laid emphasis on a vision for Indian architecture: To create more legendary icons like the Taj Mahal that will be part of Indias historical treasures.
A shared platform
What really made the awards unique this year was that it did not just bring together winners, but a family of winners who, in acceptance of their reward, chose this platform to voice their thoughts. Once again, we were the medium! Architect Sanjay Puri spoke of the inane Maharashtra laws that stifled innovation and highlighted the need for a forum. "It is the only state that has different rules for different cities," he said. "And even more, Mumbai has six sets of rules alone." And Arjun Malik, Principal Architect, Malik Architecture, pointed out, "We sow what we reap." Averring that it is habitual of our regulatory bodies to pass new laws as a reaction to existing laws, he asserted, "We as a community have brought this upon ourselves and, hence, we need to correct it. It is essential to consider changing our work and the manner in which we implement it." Experienced developer Mofatraj P Munot, Chairman, Kalpataru Group, brought the discussion to a positive end. Agreeing that Mumbai is the first city to have misused the rules, he affirmed, "Innovation lies with the community and we will adhere to the existing laws and assure the government that these laws will be amended."
Baboosingh Rajguru and Shashank Paranjape, Managing Director, Paranjpe Schemes (Construction) Ltd expressed wonder at the largest gathering of developers and architects as did Dr Sudhir Krishna. While Pirojsha Godrej, Managing Director & CEO, Godrej Properties, was sure of "Acche din aane wale hai", he pointed to this being an exciting time for real-estate developers in India. Boman Irani, Chairman & Managing Director, Rustomjee, agreed with Godrej further re-emphasising what Mahatma Gandhi once said: "Find the purpose and the means will follow." Paranjape, innovative in his thought of creating homes for senior living, seemed the luckiest one as he smiled on stage, thanking his 3,000 parents.
Differentiators or not, in todays competitive landscape, the power of brand equity for a developer is a critical asset to stand tall amid the clutter. To have an expert perspective on real-estate branding opportunities, refer to page 156.
Now take your own ringside seat at the CWAB Awards 2014! Enjoy the images that bring the event to life, reflect upon the insights of our special guests, and learn about our winners and their projects....