The big infrastructure push promises a boom for the engineering consulting sector
Infrastructure is one of the key verticals fueling India’s ambitious growth story. It is one of the main drivers of the Indian economy. As the overall development of the country is mainly based on its infrastructural prowess, the sector is enjoying intense attention from the government which has introduced workable policies aimed at ensuring the creation of a world-class sustainable infrastructure in the country. India’s infrastructure sector generally includes power, bridges, dams, roads, smart city development, water and other utilities.
In the end, the government set aside Rs 111 crore under the National Infrastructure Pipeline (NIP) for the financial year 2019-25, with sectors including power, roads, urban and utilities railways representing 71% of planned investment in infrastructure. In addition, the online “holistic governance” system – PM Gati Shakti connects 16 ministries – such as roads and highways, railways, shipping, oil and gas, electricity, telecommunications, shipping and aviation – with the aim of ensuring holistic planning and execution of infrastructure projects, reducing implementation costs.
PM Gati Shakti will enable multiple government departments to harmonize their efforts in a multi-modal network. In addition, several other government initiatives such as asset monetization program and new procurement guidelines etc. are pushing India’s infrastructure sector in the right direction. The government’s focus on infrastructure has seen a sharp increase over the years.
With this increased focus on the infrastructure sector, the discipline of engineering consulting services, one of the many consulting fields, is also seeing massive demand, especially in developing countries like India. The government’s unwavering emphasis on self-reliance or aatmanirbharata in the socio-economic development of the country has enabled India to come together in a broad and versatile cadre of professionals with expertise and skills in a vast and branching range of skills.
Engineering and technical consultancy services, as the term suggests, include a wide range of high-end services categorized into pre-project, project execution and post-project, broadly coveting functions such as identification/ project evaluation; environmental impact assessment, technology development/procurement; preparation of feasibility reports, market studies; project design, equipment acquisition and assembly; technical design services, project management services, architectural/construction engineering services; and the commissioning, operation and maintenance of the project. The need for specialists with experience and expertise is needed to deliver sustainable solutions to Indian infrastructure needs.
The demand for the aforementioned services is expected to explode in India, driving the growth of the consulting industry. As we all know, innovation is the engine of economic growth and encompasses the creation and commercialization of “new for the world” knowledge as well as the dispersion and absorption of “new for the market” knowledge. As “innovation” translates into abandoning conventional approaches and replacing them with more viable and effective modern solutions, many practicing professionals, including consultants, need to be skilled to meet changing demands. .
The infrastructure industry must place innovation at the heart of its future development goals to address many of the current and impending national and global challenges such as climate change, energy intensity of the economy, effective and efficient infrastructure , in line with the accelerated pace of urbanization. in developing countries. As the infrastructure sector continues to grow in India, there is a growing demand for many new technologies in the ever-growing construction industry. Many of these technologies are either locally developed or imported from abroad. With this, the scope and role of engineering consultants is also increasing.
The Smart Cities mission is to drive economic growth and improve people’s quality of life by enabling local development and harnessing technology, especially technology that drives smart outcomes. As sustainability and eco-friendly construction become the need of the hour, green buildings are in increasing demand. Many international standards have been developed for green buildings. In India however, from just 20,000 square feet of green buildings in 2003, the country now has over 20 million square feet of green buildings. What is needed now is a comprehensive green building code. The Green Building Code in India is a blend of codes and standards contained in state regulations, the National Building Code, the Energy Conservation Building Code (ECBC) and in standards set by rating programs, such as Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design-India (LEED-India), the standards and guidelines established for the residential sector by the Indian Green Building Council (IGBC), TERI-GRIHA and other similar certifications.
Jal Jeevan governments mission is to provide safe and adequate drinking water through individual tap connections by 2024 to all households in rural India. Here too, engineering consulting services will see a demand. The workload of consulting engineers is going to be huge in all construction industries viz. smart cities, smart mobility, healthcare, electricity, water, bridges, infrastructure, security-related services, among others.
The government recently reviewed infrastructure projects in India and gave a mega boost to roads, power, coal, civil aviation, railways, smart city development, dams and water, etc. by announcing several new projects that will generate new challenges and opportunities for consultants. and engineers to work with, bringing stellar innovation and creativity.
The author is Regional Managing Director, South Asia and Managing Director, Egis India
February 16, 2022