- Jairam Panch, Managing Director, Turner Project Management India Pvt Ltd
Turner Project Management India has earned recognition for undertaking large, complex projects, fostering innovation, embracing emerging technologies, and making a difference to their clients, employees and community. With iconic projects such as the Statue of Unity (slated to be the tallest statue in the world on completion) and the Mall of India (the largest mall in India), the company has signalled its intent to push the envelope even further. Jairam Panch, Managing Director, Turner Project Management India Pvt Ltd, talks to CW about the company´s plans and offerings.
As one of the largest project management companies in India, what are the major market segments you cover?
We are currently positioned in the residential, commercial, retail, aviation, tourism and iconic project segments. Our expertise is in tall and iconic buildings and also managing complex projects. Going forward, we are exploring the healthcare and hospitality segments. We will continue our focus on private developers, corporate clients, FDIs and select government projects.
What per cent of your business is driven by these segments?
At the moment, the majority, about 70 per cent, is from the residential segment.
How has the journey been in India since 2008?
The journey so far has been very interesting; we started off with township projects in Chennai and Hyderabad, but are currently active in Mumbai, Delhi and Gujarat (Kevadia) as well. With the company's head office in Mumbai, we are now looking at a geographical expansion into Bengaluru and Hyderabad in 2015.
Going forward, what will your business focus be, especially with the launch of Smart Cities and Housing for All by 2022?
Smart cities are gaining momentum now, and some projects are getting into designing and implementation. We are looking at select smart city options as the opportunity is presented to us and would participate in the tendering process. We are also considering some large-scale development projects that certain government initiatives can present such as ´Make in India´ and ´Digital India´, wherein our international expertise would bring value to the table.
Please highlight your contribution to ongoing and upcoming projects in India.
What we offer is good international practices such as planning the job right, bringing the team together through a collaborative approach, conducting efficient meetings and innovations. We are customer-centric and have developed an efficient staffing and training model, which adds value to the project and benefits the clients. We will continue our focus on clients, contractors and other stakeholders by adopting a collaborative approach that will benefit all projects.
Tell us about your role as a project management consultant in the Statue of Unity. When is it likely to be ready?
Turner is a lead member of the consortium providing comprehensive concept design and engineering, project management and construction management consultancy services. The project is into its construction stage now and is likely to be completed in early 2018.
What is the one thing you would like to change in the Indian market scenario drawing from Turner´s vast experience in the global space?
First, we need to spend a lot of time on planning projects right; second, we need to encourage contractors to adopt good international practices, which are relevant to India; third, we must focus on skill development of labourers; and last but not the least, imparting training to staff, which is extremely important. We need to create awareness among the community, which will create an ecosystem.
What innovative solutions and technologies do you use in your projects?
We are using Building Information Modelling (BIM) and LEAN concepts on our projects. We have a ´strategy room´ on every site, wherein, the objective is to meet on a daily basis and prioritise issues, and ensure that they are resolved on the same day. We believe in having result-oriented meetings where only the key stakeholders are present. As a good practice, we follow a collaborative approach; when it´s about the project, it´s all about teamwork!
What solutions do you offer to save costs in construction?
First, planning the project right from day one; second, embrace innovation; third, perform value engineering tasks at the pre-construction stage; and fourth, understand that time is money too.
In the international market, Turner is committed to green building and sustainability. Do you plan to bring your experience to India?
Yes. Turner is a founder member of the US Green Building Council (USGBC) and our India unit is engaged with the Indian Green Building Council (IGBC) as well. Currently, some of our projects are green buildings. Going forward, we would definitely like to encourage this concept and contribute a lot to this particular segment.
Do you think there has been a breakthrough in new construction technologies used in India?
In terms of construction technologies, there are many recent happenings, but notable among these is 3D printing. Currently, it does not have a significant presence in the construction sector in India, but I know that it has the potential to expand into affordable and mass housing. It can provide quick solutions in a much needed segment and create an impact in a short period of time.
What major challenges do you face in India as a project management consultancy?
Clients must understand the benefits of outsourcing project management consultancy services as opposed to self-performing.Contractors must understand the role of project managers better, and the value-addition they bring to the projects, as well as the need for a collaborative approach among stakeholders, further empowering the project management consultants (PMC) to lead and take decisions for the benefit of the project.