Jairam Panch, Managing Director, Turner Project Management India
With construction activities surging rapidly, there is a growing need for efficient project management services in the country. Turner Project Management India, a reputed North America-based consultant has been serving the Indian market since the last five years. Jairam Panch, Managing Director dilates on his company's projects in conversation with SHRIYAL SETHUMADHAVAN.
Your firm has been in India for about five years now. What drew you here?
As an emerging market, India offers plenty of opportunities in project, programme and management. We entered the market in 2007 with the Hiranandani Palace Gardens project in Chennai. Herein, we provided the entire project management and construction management services.
Highlight the other projects that you are working on?
We are currently working on the Statue of Unity project in Gujarat and one commercial building in Mumbai for Neptune and Piramal Realtors. We are also involved in the Mall of India project and a group of residential towers for DLF.
Any one of those you found particularly challenging?
We are doing the Statue of Unity project, which relates to construction of a 192 m statue of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, and intended to be the world's tallest, for the Government of Gujarat. That is challenging. We are the team leaders and our partners are Meinhardt Engineering and Michael Greaves.
Any challenges faced by you in India...
Construction companies here are not aware of the importance of a project manager; the building is usually managed by the developer himself. The second challenge involves getting the work done on time, that too adhering to quality and safety standards. Workers here need to be trained in construction processes.
Any government projects in the offing?
We do not participate in many government jobs. We have been mainly involved in high-rise projects such as Burj Khalifa and Taipei 101. We are involved in the top 10 buildings in the world.
Expound on Turner's operations in the Middle East?
We have been active in the Middle East for the last 35 years. We are currently involved in major projects in Doha which is being managed by TiME - the Middle East branch of Turner International. In the past, we have been involved in landmark projects such as the seven-star Emirates Palace Hotel in Abu Dhabi, Emirates Towers, Etisalat buildings and the Dubai Mall, Burj Khalifa and Taipei 101 (Taiwan).
What is your offering for India?
We are offering time-tested international project management processes, systems, and training program that have succeeded over the last 35 to 40 years across different nations to our esteemed clients. We believe that over years the Indian construction market will further mature and do away with old fashioned management practices.
What is your take on environment-friendly construction?
Turner is a part of the USGBC. The first USGBC-certified residential Building in New York was developed by us. Our current projects in Kurla and another one for DLF can also be labelled as green projects.
Have you been able to discern any change in the Indian construction mindset?
The industry is slowly changing - we have mechanisation, precast, prefab, low-cost, superior construction chemical products, better technology, equipment are all available in the country and being used on major projects.
What is the foreign consultant's view of India?
Overseas consultants are seriously considering India as an emerging business destination. Many international design consultants used recession as an opportunity to start their operations in India and are successful. We also see better designs being implemented here today.
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