India's Construction Evolution

Simon Chivers
The acquisition of Confluence has allowed Faithful+Gould to take confident steps into expanding our global project management services and expertise into India.

The property market in India is progressively evolving in response to investors and their tenants’ needs. Cities such as Mumbai, Bangalore and Delhi have become global commercial centres with increasing demand for quality buildings. Design standards, quality finishes, reliability of utilities (power, water and telecoms) and sustainability with accreditations such as LEED are becoming essential attributes for long-term building value. Investors and tenants are also demanding higher standards of health and safety during both construction and operation, in line with the corporate social responsibility requirements of global companies.

Cities such as Mumbai, Bangalore and Delhi have become global commercial centres with increasing demand for quality buildings.

India is a unique market with its own characteristics, challenges and pitfalls. Project delivery in India has typically been characterised by a lack of confidence in delivery timescales, low quality and safety standards, and cost overruns. These aspects occur particularly when clients employ the delegated light touch approach and systems used in Europe and North America, which depend upon mature and integrated supply chains.

Construction costs in India are between 40 and 60 per cent of those in Europe and North America. The local variance is driven by the use of imported materials, because the specification materials and typical detailing commonplace and economic in the West are not cost effective in India. Recent devaluation of the Indian rupee by 20 per cent has led to significant increased costs in imported materials, while local labour and materials costs have lagged slightly behind the Indian inflation rate.

Project success in India requires property owners, investors and tenants to rethink their delivery approach, seeking greater efficiencies and aiming for global best practice standards. There is a lack of general contractors to provide project expertise from project initiation to completion, and this is driving demand for global best practice project/construction management services.

There is a lack of general contractors to provide project expertise from project initiation to completion, and this is driving demand for global best practice project/construction management services.

Faithful+Gould’s acquisition of Confluence enables further expansion of project management services in India. Confluence has built an established business covering the major regional centres, including Delhi, Bangalore, Mumbai and Kolkata. Our new joint operation has more than 4,000,000 sq ft of projects under way on site, ranging from five-star hotels, highquality residential and retail developments to commercial offices, client fit-outs and manufacturing facilities.

By combining global experience with local knowledge, quality, safety and scheduling can be improved and real value can be delivered.

We are experiencing demand for expert skills in design co-ordination, value engineering, procurement and schedule control, project logistics, site safety planning, construction implementation and control. By combining global experience with local knowledge, quality, safety and scheduling can be improved and real value can be delivered.

The Indian economy continues to expand as it catches up with the rest of Asia, creating demand for public and private infrastructure. Its growth is also attracting investment from multinational manufacturing companies keen to take advantage of India’s relative stability, inexpensive labour, large population and rising middle class consumer market. The combination of these factors creates an environment that we anticipate will underpin our continued growth in India.

Written by