"Our primary goal has always been to create high quality sustainable assets which meet the strategic business and financial objectives of our clients. In order to achieve this goal, we employ the best available talent, who are truly our assets. They work closely with our clients and use wide range of skills and industry experience. We utilize technology to its fullest while executing all our work."
Amol Prabhu, Partner, Shashi Prabhu & Associates shares insights with Sandeep Sharma about his architectural firm, mission, objectives, core competencies, innovative concepts and design philosophy, signature projects, latest design and construction trends, verticals and geographies driving growth, importance of project management consultant in large capital projects, challenges before the project proponents, recommendations and way forward for urban planners in emerging cities. Edited excerpts...
Tell us about your architectural firm, mission, objectives and core competencies?
Shashi Prabhu & Associates (SPA) is a design firm, headquartered in Mumbai, with seven other office locations including UAE and Africa. Our company was founded in 1967 by Ar. Shashi Prabhu as a small proprietor firm and today, after 50 years, we have grown into a large multi-disciplinary partnership organization offering a host of services to our clients such as Master Planning, Architectural Design, Interior Design, MEP & Structural Design, Value Engineering, Estimating, Quantity Survey and related Project Management Services, all under one roof. We have design expertise in Sports, Healthcare, Education, Residential, Hospitality and Commercial sector.
Could you provide us an insight about your innovative concepts and design philosophy?
Our primary goal has always been to create high quality sustainable assets which meet the strategic business and financial objectives of our clients. In order to achieve this goal, we employ the best available talent, who are truly our assets. They work closely with our clients and use wide range of skills and industry experience. We utilize technology to its fullest while executing all our work.
Which are the verticals and geographies driving growth for your firm?
We work pan-India and across the globe in countries like UAE and Africa. Therefore, our work has never been bound with the geographical limitations. The main verticals driving growth include:
Sports: Our 1st project was Wankhede Stadium. Since then, we have completed over 100 stadia and have extensive experience in designing venues of international standards. Healthcare: We have been designing hospitals and healthcare facilities since 1976 and have completed 37 hospitals to date.
Hospitality: We have an expertise in designing Club House projects.
Residential: Our focus lies in the creating of mass housing for the weaker section of society. Currently, we are designing one of the largest mass housing projects for Maharashtra Police in Panvel which involves constructing over 10000 houses to the Police constables and their widows.
Commercial and Public Works
What is the need and importance of project management consultant in large capital projects? In what way your company can provide holistic solutions in managing large capital projects in India?
As business creates larger projects, systems drive the project more than the people. It is therefore important for an entity to have an experience in programming systems that will successfully execute such projects. SPA has extensive expense in executing very large and time sensitive projects and is currently providing Project Management services including design, engineering, quality control, cost estimating and supervision, all under one roof.
What are the challenges and opportunities before the project proponents in India? What level of customization can be brought to the table by your participation?
The current scenario of Architecture in India is mixed. While the real estate markets appear to be sluggish due to excessive prices, low demand, and numerous drastic changes in regulations such as RERA and GST, the sustained investment in Infrastructure sector such as roads, ports and airports is likely to bring long term boost to the real estate sector especially for the 2nd and 3rd tier cities. As a result, we will see the growth in the interior sector of the nation in the coming times. Anticipating such growth, especially in the sectors of healthcare, Mass Housing and Hospitality, we hope to utilize our 50 years of experience in making our contribution to this segment.
The Government of India is laying emphasis on building 100 smart cities in India. What is your take on the demand/supply scenario for project management in the changing realty and infrastructure space?
India is one of the highest populated countries, where 30% of the population is youth. It is very important for our population to get enough exposure and work experience to work efficiently and carry forward process. Smart city concept solves many fundamental problems which act as root for the city. And when cities will become smart, there is positive increase in exchange of finance and migration locally as well as internationally. Smart city concept will also generate employment and education in huge number
Could you provide us insight about the emerging global trends in the project management space?
Architecture is changing greatly. Global influence is indeed impacting in a huge way, for good and bad. Greater focus on Aesthetics and sometimes at the cost of safety and functionality, clients are getting demanding due to the increase of their exposure, designers are experimenting a lot more now than before, more variety of materials available and used - but sometimes, incorrectly used for the sake of using.
Years ago, Architects used to lead the construction project by not just providing the design but also their management opinions. Today, management of a project has become a complex mechanism which involves not only the design but also Time, Cost and Risk and as a result, Project Management Consulting has evolved. In simple terms, a Project is a “Temporary Process” which has a “Defined Start" and a "Defined Finish", which is bounded by the goals of the stake holders (clients, users, operators, developers, etc) with constraints of time and money. Project Management is a procedure of managing this temporary process. Project Management involves 5 stage i.e. Start, Planning, Executing, Controlling and Closing. Project Managers need to play a strategic role in managing and controlling all these five stages of a project so that the Architects and other specialists can concentrate on providing focused services with greater efficiency.