S.C Dixit, Executive Director, Shapoorji Pallonji Engineering & Construction, explains how technology has helped the company in building some of India’s most modern IT campuses.
India has emerged as the leading IT sourcing destination across the world due to its high-quality talent pool. In recent years, owing to the industry’s core competencies and strengths, exports from the Indian IT/ITeS industry grew to record levels while domestic revenues have also advanced. The computer software and hardware sector in India has attracted huge Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) inflows and this led to the setting up of numerous delivery centers in India. Many global IT giants as well as Indian IT companies have set up new research and innovation hubs or are expanding in India.
Over the last two decades, Shapoorji Pallonji Engineering & Construction, an Indian construction company has consistently contributed to creating the IT offices infrastructure in India. In a recent exclusive interaction with CXOToday, S.C Dixit, Executive Director, Shapoorji Pallonji Engineering & Construction, explains how the Mumbai-based company has leveraged the latest tools and technology to build some of India’s most modern Software Development Centers and multi-tenanted IT Parks for a diverse range of clientele.
CXOToday: How is SP E&C supporting the Indian IT industry?
S.C Dixit: SP E&C has built over 100 Software Development Centers and multi-tenanted IT Parks across all the major IT hubs of India such as Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Gurgaon, Pune, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata among others. These IT Grade A facilities ranged from 300,000 square feet development centers up to 8,000,000 square feet multi-tenanted IT Park at a single location. We are well-versed with various project delivery systems, including Design build, General Contracting and Conventional Contracting. As a company, we are flexible and engage with each one of our clients to understand the client’s unique needs and to arrive at the best procurement and project delivery strategy for the IT Office construction projects.
CXOToday: What is SP E&C’s USP in building current-day IT office construction building?
S.C Dixit: Over a period of time, SP E&C’s domain expertise in construction of IT Office spaces became the main reason for SP E&C to be the first choice for many IT companies. For example, we have adopted the design-and-build project delivery system to meet the demands of the current-day IT office construction projects. Along with design build, SP E&C adopts the latest construction technologies that improve cycle times, reduce manpower dependence, reduce material wastage, and eliminate wasteful activities. This automatically brings in time and cost advantages to clients, besides improved safety and quality and greater chances of project success.
The IT Office spaces built by SP E&C on a Design Build basis include Intel SRR3 in Bengaluru, Ascendas One Hub in Gurugram, TCS Gitanjali IT SEZ at Kolkata (in 50:50 JV with L&T ECC), RBI Data Center at Mumbai and Reliance Corporate IT Park at Navi Mumbai, among others.
SP E&C’s focus on safety, quality and statutory compliance on its construction projects has been very well recognized by the industry and the company has won many awards for its performance. Our systems compliance also ensures that our clients focus on the critical commissioning activities and IT readiness instead of the office space construction. SP E&C has built many IGBC and USGBC-rated green IT office buildings and played a key role in India emerging as a global green champion. Our experience of having delivered 70 million square feet of built IT Office spaces till date using diverse Project Delivery Models and modern construction technologies is a testament of our capabilities.
CXOToday: Can you name some of your biggest achievements and why do you think those projects stand out?
S.C Dixit: From the many successful projects, I can think of HCL Technologies IT SEZ at Bengaluru, Amazon IT Services Park at Hyderabad, Hexaware Technologies IT Park at Chennai, SAP Labs in Bengaluru, ONGC Headquarters at Dehradun, Oracle Tech Hub at Bengaluru and i-flex Park in Bengaluru, among other outstanding constructions.
All of these Tech Parks typically involved fast-track construction and large volume outputs of built-up areas, concreting, finishing works, façade and glazing, MEP Works, etc. Such achievements have been made possible with large-scale resources mobilization, advanced formwork systems, mechanized methods of construction and exemplary construction project management skills to meet the client expectations on construction safety, quality, timelines and not to forget, statutory and environmental compliances.
Many of our esteemed IT clientele such as DLF Group, Ascendas, RMZ group, Sattva Group, HCL Technologies, Wipro Technologies, Phoenix Group, etc., have repeatedly sought our construction services for their expansion needs at new geographical locations. SP E&C was instrumental in setting up twelve delivery centers for Tata Consultancy Services Ltd. across India.
CXOToday: What kind of new technologies have you leveraged in your construction projects?
S.C Dixit: The IT office buildings construction in India is also witnessing adoption of pre-engineered structural steel, precast concrete and composite building systems in a big way to overcome the challenges posed by the RCC way of design and construction. SP E&C is currently building around 20 million sq ft of IT office spaces in India that involve the use of pre-engineered structural steel. All of these projects are scheduled for completion progressively between 2020 and 2021.
SP E&C has begun incorporating new technologies into its projects, across all project phases like, design, preconstruction, construction, and operations and management. In the construction phase, on-site execution, digital collaboration, and back-office integration are being reimagined with the use of such digital solutions.
- Digital Tools that support On-site execution – To enhance field productivity, safety monitoring and quality control.
- Digital Tools that support Collaboration – For Design Management, Contract Management, Performance Management, Document Management
- Digital Tools that support Back-office integration – Examples include Project monitoring enabled by drones and the Internet of Things; Predictive Analytics
CXOToday: What are your thoughts on data center parks as announced by the government in the recent Union Budget?
S.C Dixit: The recent announcements by the Government of India are likely to attract many investors and multinational data center operators to India. This will boost the demand for new data centers in India. We are actively pursuing construction opportunities in this sector. Sterling & Wilson, a group company of the Shapoorji Pallonji Group, is engaged in the construction of Data Centers in India and abroad.
CXOToday: What is your technology roadmap in 2020 and beyond?
S.C Dixit: Emerging technologies now offer an entire new gamut of opportunities for top IT firms in India. Leading Indian IT firms and IT MNCs are diversifying their offerings and showcasing ideas in blockchain, artificial intelligence to clients using innovation hubs, R&D centers, in order to create differentiated offerings. Keeping up with these trends, we are creating new-age IT campuses and infrastructure.
We have adopted numerous tools for use across the project life cycle, ranging from design management to scheduling to safety monitoring. In the future, the company sees even more tools emerge, particularly for use related to field management and performance management. SP E&C is experimenting with new materials, building systems and methods of construction along with emerging project management trends that will change the way large projects will be delivered.
SP E&C is betting on greater investment in technology with a company-wide commitment to change. Above all, we are altering fundamental aspects of our organizational structure, corporate culture, and IT systems, with the goal of seamlessly integrating new tools into construction. These new tools should enhance the output of our already experienced and capable human resources. With an impetus on design, technology, project management and customer satisfaction, we are future-ready and equipped to ensure seamless project deliveries for the IT Campuses of the new age.