Sachin Sandhir, Global Managing Director-Emerging Business, RICS shares his view with Sandeep Sharma about his organisation, core competencies, benefits of becoming RICS accredited professional, need and importance of project management consultancy (PMC) in large capital projects and how RICS certified professional can add more value to the projects, challenges and opportunities before the project proponents in India and emerging global trends in the project management space.

Jul 15 2017 | Q&A

Sachin Sandhir, Global Managing Director-Emerging Business, RICS

Since 2013, RICS has been working with more than 100 other professional and standards-setting organisations throughout the world to develop high-level international standards. Collectively, these organisations own the standards such as International Ethics Standards, International Property Measurement Standards: Residential and International Property Measurement Standards: Office Buildings which are implemented by each organisation through their own professional guidelines.

Sachin Sandhir, Global Managing Director-Emerging Business, RICS
shares his view with Sandeep Sharma about his organisation, core competencies, benefits of becoming RICS accredited professional, need and importance of project management consultancy (PMC) in large capital projects and how RICS certified professional can add more value to the projects, challenges and opportunities before the project proponents in India and emerging global trends in the project management space.

Could you tell us about your organisation, mission, and core competencies?
RICS is a professional body that accredits professionals within the land, property and construction sectors worldwide. We regulate and promote the profession; maintain the highest educational and professional standards; protect clients and consumers via a strict code of ethics and provide impartial advice and guidance.
We accredit 125,000 qualified and trainee professionals and any individual or firm registered with us is subject to our quality assurance.

RICS also sets ethical and professional standards globally. We have been at the forefront of developing and embedding international standards which are recognised throughout the world. These high level standards sit across the built environment profession, providing a common framework for all practitioners. Since 2013, RICS has been working with more than 100 other professional and standards-setting organisations throughout the world to develop high-level international standards. Collectively, these organisations own the standards such as International Ethics Standards, International Property Measurement Standards: Residential and International Property Measurement Standards: Office Buildings which are implemented by each organisation through their own professional guidelines.

What's the process, cost involved and the accrued benefits to RICS accredited professional in the Real Estate and Construction segment?
RICS has three chartered qualifications- Associate (AssocRICS), Member (MRICS) and Fellow (FRICS). Associate (AssocRICS):Associate qualification is suitable for those who have work-based experience or vocational qualifications. The eligibility criteria for this are:a relevant vocational qualification (HND/HNC/NVQ3/BTEC/foundation degree) with two years’ experience four years’ experience a relevant degree with 12 months’ experience Member (MRICS)MRICS demonstrates to colleagues, clients and peers that you have a chartered qualification and work to the highest industry standards.
To achieve MRICS, the candidate must undertake the Assessment of Professional Competence (APC). The level of assessment will depend on the candidate’s professional work experience and education.Fellow (FRICS)
All RICS members (MRICS) are eligible to apply for fellowship subject to the rules of conduct for members. Professional standards have never been more important. Clients around the world are demanding greater certainty and seeking professionals who work to the highest standards.
An RICS professional qualification demonstrates that the certified professional works to the highest standard of excellence and integrity. It also offers them a genuine competitive advantage.

In what way the RICS accredited professional can add more value in managing or implementing large construction projects?
RICS accredited professionals are typically experts in their respective fields so they would have superior knowledge of implementing large construction projects if it is their field of choice. In addition, RICS offers certificate course in construction project management for RICS accredited professionals who have less than five years of experience in the area of project management. The course provides participating candidates with knowledge and understanding required to undertake project management tasks.

What is the need and importance of project management consultancy (PMC) in large capital projects? Do you have any programme catering to the PMC segment?
Project management is the management of people, time and costs by an individual or a team to ensure the efficient commencement, progress and conclusion of a project. All these elements apply to construction projects.
Project Management Consultants manage projects by using their knowledge, skills and experience. There is a need for project management consultancy because most organisations face shortage of specialized staff and consultants can help execute projects in a short time frame.

Chartered surveyors are often responsible for managing construction projects - quantity surveyors manage the cost of a construction project, for example. RICS is the professional body for chartered surveyors, hence the involvement of RICS with project management. We also have many courses in construction project management. For instance, we have a Certificate Course in Construction Project Management (CPM) for candidates with less than five years of experience in the area of project management.

The course provides participating candidates with knowledge and understanding required to undertake project management tasks. This course introduces candidates to the fundamentals of project management, roles and responsibilities of the project manager, project planning and tools and techniques used in project planning, identification of risks and management of the same, quality control, E-procurement, Green project management, health and safety related issues, project metrics, value management and issues related to project management.

What are the challenges and opportunities before the project proponents in India?
When the project proponent is a contractor (in the construction space):
Challenges: A contractor in the construction space faces many challenges such as obtaining land on time, receiving advances from clients; clarity on scope of work, cost miscalculation, changes after project is underway, delay in receiving payment from vendors, disputes over projects, and lack of clarity on defect liability period.
When the project proponent is a client of the government:
Challenges: Government clients can face many challenges with regard to government regulations, safety laws, finance availability and multiplicity of taxes.
Opportunities: There are several opportunities for both proponents if they streamline their operations. They can get more value for their services and can have an edge over others.

Based on your experience, how far the key performance indicators (KPIs) change once RICS accredited professionals are involved?
We do not measure this as such but RICS accredited professionals are considered as experts in their respective fields so it does make a significant difference.

Have you done any study on how large projects are managed in India? Could you share with us some actionable insights about your findings?
We do studies from time to time but we do not share the findings unless it is a published report.
The Government of India is laying emphasis on building 100 smart cities in India. What is your take about the demand/supply scenario for project management professionals in the changing realty and infrastructure space?
It is a well-documented fact that the real estate and construction sectors face the highest shortfall in skilled professionals partly because there are not many educational institutions that offer specialised courses on real estate and construction sector. Meeting the demand for skilled professionals will be quite challenging.

Could you provide us insight about the emerging global trends in the project management space?
Project managers in the construction industry are responsible for planning and managing building projects, such as refurbishing a house or building a skyscraper. Their responsibilities include design, procurement, planning authorities, budget, contractors, clients, change, the lifecycle of the project, document management and other areas, to ensure that the construction project reaches a desired conclusion.
The trends in project management are across verticals such as people and IT systems, machinery/equipment.
People: Organisations are looking for people with project control skills, value engineering skills, and use of alternate sustainable materials, multi-disciplinary approach and knowledge.
IT systems: Knowledge of IT systems such as Enterprise Resource Planning, project management software such as Candy, Primavera, use of computer systems such as Geographic Information System, 3D/5D modelling, virtual walkthroughs and holographics.
Machinery/Equipment: Formwork system reducing cycle time of buildings. It can speed up construction and is time/cost effective.

Who are your major corporate clientele in India?
DLF, Lodha, JLL, Cushman, Oberoi, Tata Housing, Mahindra Lifespaces, L&T among others.

What kind of future do you see for RICS in India?
We see a steady demand for RICS professional chartered qualification (MRICS) going forward. In the last eight years, the total number of applicants for chartered qualification has reached 30,000 with close to 3,000 chartered members and trainees operating in the region.

RICS has also extended its training business and trained more than 5,000 professionals in 2016. RICS has been working to deliver training programs with a large number of key contractors and developers such as like L &T, Mahindra Life spaces, Tata Housing, K Raheja, Prestige and many more. RICS has also launched a number of training products including executive management programs to suit the training needs of working professionals in the industry. More and more companies are now demanding the RICS qualification (MRICS) in hiring candidates and in selecting service providers and we will be working to create a culture of end user demand to ensure that the 5 letters MRICS spells confidence in the real estate and construction industry in India.

Sachin has been a part of the real estate industry for close to 17 years, and has worked with leading organizations like DLF, Jones Lang LaSalle, Blackrock solutions (erstwhile Helix Financial) and Ansal Properties. Sachin has looked at real estate from a development, consulting and lending perspective as a part of his professional experience.

Prior to joining RICS India, Sachin was the CEO of a fast-growing UK-based knowledge process outsourcing firm, providing research and analytics solutions to global corporations. Sachin has been responsible for building organizations and taking them through the growth phase and building scale and creating value for all stakeholders, and has done this a few times in his career. As an advocate of institutionalizing best practices and standards in the real estate and construction sector, he is working hard towards bringing in more professionalism and transparency in the real estate industry. He is also working hard to ensure that RICS provides world class education and training to the industry and thereby contribute to creating skilled manpower in India.

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