Infrastructure and the Growth of Engineering Consultancy Sector in India

India’s infrastructure sector comprises of Highways, railways, metro, power, bridges, dams, roads, smart cities development, water and other public utilities.

Indian Railways
Indian Railways/ Representational Image

The pandemic is not over yet completely and therefore, measures the infrastructure sector is taking now will become mainstream once the situation stabilizes. The infrastructure vertical is fueling India’s ambitious growth story and It is one of the key drivers of the Indian economy. As the country’s overall development is primarily pivoted on its infrastructural prowess, the infrastructure sector enjoys intense focus from the Government which has been introducing viable policies targeted at ensuring creation of a sustainable world class infrastructure in the country. India’s infrastructure sector comprises of Highways, railways, metro, power, bridges, dams, roads, smart cities development, water and other public utilities. India is currently one of the fastest growing economies in the world and many experts believe that India is perfectly poised to be the future global epicentre for engineering, manufacturing, tourism, services and other critical sectors.

PM’s Gati Shakti will enable multifarious government departments to harmonise their efforts into a multi-modal network.  Also, several other Government initiatives such as Asset Monetization Scheme and New Guidelines on Procurement, etc are currently pushing the Indian infrastructure sector in the right direction. Government’s focus on infra is witnessing a sharp surge over the years. Government has set aside Rs 111 crore under the National Infrastructure Pipeline (NIP) for FY2019 – 25, with sectors such as energy, roads, urban and railways amounting to a whopping 71% of the projected infrastructure investment. Additionally, the online “holistic governance” system – PM Gati Shakti connects 16 ministries — such as Roads and Highways, Railways, Shipping, Petroleum and Gas, Power, Telecom, Shipping, and Aviation — with the objective to ensure holistic planning and execution of infrastructure projects, by reducing implementation costs.

With this continued increased focus on the infrastructure sector, the discipline of Engineering Consultancy Services, one of the many consultancy domains, is also witnessing 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 pool in a large and versatile cadre of professionals with expertise and skills across a vast and ramified spectrum of skillsets.

Engineering and technical consultancy services, as the term suggests, include a wide bouquet of premium services that are classified under pre-project, project execution and post-project, broadly coveting functions such as project identification/ evaluation; environmental impact assessment, development/sourcing of technologies; preparation of feasibility reports, market studies; designing of projects, equipment procurement and erection; engineering design services, project management services, architectural/construction engineering services; and project commissioning, operations and maintenance. The need for specialists with experience and expertise are required to offer sustainable solutions to Indian infrastructure needs.

The demand for the aforementioned services is expected to burgeon in India, promoting the growth of the consultancy sector. As we all know, Innovation drives economic growth and it encompasses “new to the world” knowledge creation and commercialization as well as “new to the market” knowledge dispersal and absorption. While ‘innovation’ translates to letting go of conventional approaches and replacing those with modern solutions that are more viable and effective, many practicing professionals, including consultants needs to be upskilled to cater to the evolving demands.

The infrastructure industry must put innovation at the heart of its future developmental goals to address many of the current and impending domestic & global challenges such as climate change, energy intensity of the economy, effective and efficient infrastructure, in line with the increased pace of urbanization in the developing countries. As the infrastructure sector continues to grow in India, there are rising demands for many new technologies in the ever-growing Construction industry. Many of these technologies are either being developed indigenously or are being imported from overseas. With this, the scope and role of engineering consultants are also increasing manifold.

The Hon’ble Prime Minister, Govt. of India has reviewed the infrastructure projects in India recently and has given a Mega Push in Roads, Power, Coal, Civil Aviation, Railways Sectors, smart cities development, Dams and water etc by announcing multiple new projects which shall generate new challenges and opportunities for Consultants & Engineers to work upon, bringing in stellar innovations and creativity.

This article is authored by Mr. Sandeep Gulati, Regional CEO, South Asia and MD, Egis India.

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