India is rapidly urbanizing to accommodate the rising population in its cities. As per RICS’ estimates, India’s urban population is likely to be at 600 million by the end of year 2030. The emergence of new cities and towns every year impels us to develop urban and rural infrastructure including housing at a rapid pace. While the government has announced its target to provide housing for all by the year 2022, much has to be done on ground to implement this dream. But there are challenges – regulatory bottlenecks, lack of funding and skills shortage will continue to delay the process. The industry is particularly aware of the problem of skills shortage.
To execute the mammoth task of construction and development there is a constant need for qualified and skilled professionals. Reducing massive demand-supply gap of skilled professionals is fundamental for the industry to be able to deliver projects of highest quality, on time and on cost. And this shortage provides tremendous employment opportunities for country’s youth.
Infrastructure, construction and real estate sectors have been driving the employment in the last one decade. According to industry estimates, construction has provided eight million new jobs between 1999-2000 and 2004-05. By the end of year 2011-2012, the employment in construction sector alone rose three times of that number. It is noticeable that during the boom period of construction and real estate sector (period between 2006 and 2012), a significant share was added to the overall pie. The current requirement of skilled professionals demands for more. According to estimates, every year the industry needs around 5 million skilled professionals.
Variety of roles available
The three sectors, real estate, construction and infrastructure offer more than 20 different kinds of employment opportunities for a fresher across streams such as investment banking, mortgage, corporate real estate, consultancy, advisory, quantity surveying, construction project management and facilities management etc. These sectors will have millions of jobs that will be created every year. But students acquiring relevant skills will only be able to grow in their professional careers.
Opportunities also demands for specialized skills, as the variety of jobs demand for skills beyond the normal management job. Moreover, a number of technological advancements achieved over the last one decade as an outcome of the continued growth within sectors have made the arena even more challenging! Thus, a student aspiring to join a particular segment should be well versed with the nuances of the profession or should have the subject knowledge and relevant skill set. A limited number of institutions have started offering courses on these specialized streams. Some specialized Schools have also been set up that aim to fulfill the industry need for skilled professionals.
To meet the target, it is thus imperative that more and more institutions are set up that offer specialized courses on various streams across real estate and construction sectors. This can only be achieved by creating synergy with the requirements of the industry and setting up schools of learning for the sector to fulfill requirement of a skilled workforce. Collectively, educational institutions, large corporates and the government can prepare a roadmap for bringing such a framework in the country.
Anil Sawhney is the Associate Dean, Director and Professor of School of
Construction. He was previously teaching at Indian Institute of
Technology (IIT), Delhi as Professor of Civil Engineering.
He was also an Adjunct Professor in the School of Built Environment, University of Technology Sydney. Prof. Sawhney is a Fellow of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and a member of the Project Management Institute.
From June 2010 to June 2011, he held the position of Chair in Construction Project Management at University of Technology Sydney. With a Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering (1988) and a Master’s degree in Building Engineering Management (1990) from India, he completed his doctoral studies in construction engineering and management from the University of Alberta, Canada in 1994. He started his academic and consulting career in the US in 1994.
Prof. Sawhney has a rich mix of academic, research, industry and consulting experience gathered working in India, Canada, USA, and Australia. Over the last 20 years, he has built a substantial record of academic leadership and created a strong education, research, consulting, and service program in the area of construction project management and construction management education.
Prof. Sawhney performed consulting assignments for a large number of organizations including the World Bank under the International Comparison Program from 2002 to 2006. As part of this work, he co-developed a spatial and temporal comparison methodology for the comparison-resistant construction sector. In 2009, he was appointed to the Bureau of Indian Standards panel on construction project management. Prof. Sawhney also serves on the executive committee of the India Design Innovation Education Forum.
Prof. Sawhney is well published with over 70 publications in refereed technical journals and conferences. He serves on the International Editorial Board of the Journal of Civil Engineering and Environmental Systems published by Taylor and Francis and the Journal of Information Technology in Construction.