Thursday, November 29, 2007

shortage of architects in India

via mint

challenges before construction industry

Construction in India is growing at about 30% a year; architects joining the industry by just about 10% .

There are 86 architecture schools in the country, from where 3,000-4,500 architects graduate every year. This is barely sufficient to meet the demand. What’s alarming, accordingto a survey conducted by E2e Business Solutions,a people management company,is that architectural firms in India are having a hard time stemming attrition. The survey estimated an attrition level of close to 50% in firms at the entry level, especially over the last three year.

Builders cashing in on three years of galloping real estate values are creating developments that have moved beyond stand-alone commercial blocks and residences—they
are converting vast swathes of land into townships.And that’s set off a race for
architects and fattened pay packets.and even with a doubling of salaries almost every
year, there just aren’t enough specialists going around.

“The growing pains of Indian architectural and consultancy firms are not new, as they have been experienced in many markets around the world in similar boom cycles. Our advice to the India construction world is not to be fooled by the hype and build for the long term,” said Jeffrey M. West, director, project management services,DTZ India.The rush for talent is so acute that firms are getting in architects from overseas—from locations ranging from nearby Singapore to far-off North America, if they can afford it.

We have tied up with Hok, a leading architect company in the US. This has helped create newer designs, in terms of space management in our forthcoming SEZ (special economic zone) venture in Chennai,”says S.S. Asokan, executive director, Shriram Properties Ltd.Others have joined the fray.Unitech Ltd, the country’s second largest real estate developer by market capitalization,behind DLF Ltd, has just assigned one of India’s most expensive commercial buildings that will come up in Mumbai.The complex will be designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill Llp.,

Irfan Razack, chairman and managing director, Prestige Group, explains, “The challenge lies in trying to retain good talent. This may not be difficult for leading names, but smaller ones are busy training newcomers and this is an
ongoing process.
”As a result, smaller firms are facing a problem. Projects are getting delayed as they try to juggle training architects and hiring new ones almost as soon as the trained ones leave for bigger and better offers

.“Leading construction companies are even willing to pay Rs4 lakh per month to hold on to skilled professionals,” explains Subrata Kumar Ghosh, chief architect, Ansal Housing and Construction Ltd.

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