India Has Designs On World Architecture
Over 100 Indian Firms Eye Global $60-Billion Industry That Offers Opportunities In Engineering Service
Lutyens would have been impressed. The country’s click-and-call reputation is earning it some interesting brick-and mortar backroom work. Even before technical services exhaust their full potential as an outsourcing opportunity, a fast-emerging niche is poised to give call-centers and KPOs a run for their business. Architectural design outsourcing is the newest and hottest item on the outsource roster.
Architectural design is generating a great deal of interest in the West, and India is increasingly being seen as a hot destination. While rising costs and shortage of architects in the US, west Asia and Europe have opened up opportunities in architecture design outsourcing, India architects’ technical expertise and good English skills have made global majors warm up to this market.
“There is a lot of work coming form US clients based in China for instance, today, the buildings are conceptualized in the US, designed in India and built in China,” says Michael Jansen, CEO, Ananta Satellier, a Noida – based company executing architecture design and drafting assignments for 15 years.
nward-bound jobs in architecture and design space are fairly varied at present. From 3D visualization of malls, commercial complexes, planetariums to resorts, helping archaeologists find lost cities and monuments through virtual walkthroughs, the global $60 billion industry will now offer Indian architects big moolah opportunities. This could mean more coming India´s way beyond call centers and the new buzzword KPO. At the moment, there´s more architecture design development being outsourced to India as opposed to straightforward detailing and construction documentation.
Yet, industry observers feel the real potential is a lot more. According to Jansen, engineering services preparation that builds in the quantities and specifications for the structure – are all being outsourced to India. “There are a whole series of components in the process that can still be outsourced just beyond the drawings”, he says. “You may even find centers set up here to address different needs like this.”
Observers also say that five years ago, there were only 40 out sourcing firms globally. The number has now risen close to 750. India alone accounts for more than 100 big and small companies in the sphere. Industry estimates that design and architecture outsourcing could add lakhs of new jobs in the next few years. “From a shop of three architects, we are now a company of over 20 people in just over a year,” says Nishi Chandok, managing partner, Arcides, a Delhi-based firm that has executed projects ranging from the Nashville Air port in the US to sprawling commercial complexes and hospitals in the UK.
Even though there are threats to the emerging industry-as in other BPO segments-Chandok is sure India will have an edge considering its vast human resource base in architectural engineering and cost competitiveness. “We have over 100 engineering colleges training architects, something that the likes of the Philippines can´t match,” he adds. And an established credibility in the large BPO sector will have a positive rub off in niches such as architectural design.
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