Various issues that affect infrastructure development have taken a toll on 60 per cent of the country’s companies functioning in the field, thus warranting urgent redressal of the situation, a high-level symposium noted on Saturday.
Indifference and appeasement have led to a delay of projects and draining of public funds, the top bureaucrats observed at the day-long deliberations organised by the Asian School of Business near here.
The series of talks and presentations on ‘Management Challenges Facing the Construction Industry’ also stressed the need for the industry to have managers with calibre and commitment.
Anil Kumar Pandala, Project Director of Thiruvananthapuram Road Development Company Ltd (TRDCL), said people do not consider management as essential in the construction industry.
Highlighting the shortage of quality manpower in the industry, he said that inadequate motivation is another limitation the sector faces.
Fellow experts and delegates noted that industry construction project management was as much challenging as it was rewarding. They expressed distress over lack of qualified and experienced hands in the construction industry.
Jipu Jose James, National director, Construction Management Project and Development Services, said a project manager was like a glue that would hold together a long, expensive and complex project.
‘’In most projects, the manager acts as the principal agent. We keep the client apprised of the project’s progress; we have the responsibility for managing the professional teams and ensuring timely execution of the project,’’ he said. ‘’There is risk management throughout in the project’s life span where the managers track and identify risks besides assess and mitigate them. Therefore there is a tremendous need for project managers in construction industries,’’ James said.
S N Raghuchandran Nair, Chairman of CREDAI Kerala, expressed concerns over the challenges in the sector, and took up issues such as lack of consultant’s interdependence and overall coordination.
“Anyone with common sense can get in to it. The role of a qualified manager is to forward planning, examine the cost and quality of the materials and teams and handle the everyday planning of the minutia on a site,’’ he said. ‘’Clearly, the role of project management within the construction industry is multi-faceted and extremely challenging.’’
The symposium discussed the varied challenges both within the industry and outside. The speakers expressed concern over lack of skilled labourers and attributed lack of top-management support as one of the major reasons for the failure of a project.
Asian School of Business member-secretary G Vijayaraghavan stressed the need to have experts in the construction industry so as to meet the challenges.