Jun 15 2015 | Q&A

India needs 4,00,000 qualified project managers...

India needs 4,00,000 qualified project managers if it has to meet its ambitious growth plans. Also, India having the youngest population as against the aging population of the developed world creates an opportunity to supply skilled & qualified project managers to the world. PMI India office fosters the advancement of standardized, professional project management principles through the advancement of its leadership development and certification projects.

Raj Kalady, Managing Director, PMI India shares his views with Sandeep Sharma about his institute, core competencies, importance of project management, challenges, verticals and geographies targeted and opportunities before PMI certified project management professionals. Edited excerpts´

Could you tell us about your organisation, mission, and core competencies?
Project Management Institute is the world´s leading not-for-profit professional membership association for the project, program and portfolio management profession. Founded in 1969, PMI delivers value for more than 2.9 million professionals working in nearly every country in the world through global advocacy, collaboration, education and research. PMI advances careers, improves organizational success and further matures the profession of project management through its globally recognized standards, certifications, resources, tools academic research, publications, professional development courses, and networking opportunities.

PMI India was established with the sole goal of advancing project management profession and inculcating a project management culture within the establishments across government, academia, and industry. PMI has eight chapters across the country in Mumbai, New Delhi, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Chennai, Pune, Thiruvananthapuram, and Kolkata. These chapters provide a platform for knowledge transfer and networking for its members and also support PMI India´s advocacy activities. PMI India has its head office in Mumbai and two offices in Delhi and Bengaluru. Over the years, PMI India has undertaken many initiatives to promote the project management profession, including the establishment of the PMI India Awards Program (since 2009). This much sought after award, recognizes and honors a project team that has delivered superior results through exemplary application of project management principles.

The awards are given away at the annual PMI India Project Management National Conference. Within organizations, the importance of project management and adoption is spread using the PMI India Champions program and the Practitioners Connect initiatives. PMI has also been working with many academic institutions successfully to include project management in the curriculum. Scholarships for students and awards for faculty have also been established for recognizing the contribution made to project management by academia. Additionally, PMI India has delivered multiple pro-bono initiatives towards capacity building and advancement of the project management profession across India. Five organizations from India are members of the elite PMI Global Executive Council.

What´s the need and importance of project management across various industry segments?
Irrespective of the industry or sector, managers necessarily have to work in either a project mode or in an operations mode, independent of their functional placements, in their organizations. Both modes are like the two sides of a coin. The project mode of work is necessary to realize significant desirable changes in the quantity or quality of end-results/outcomes in any organization. In fact, project management is the bridge between an organization´s strategy and the business result. This discipline is quite obviously industry agnostic and relevant across wide range of functions and industries. Project management focuses on delivering results while controlling three parameters which include Time, Cost & Scope.

Given the fact that organizations need to achieve their business results while keeping an eye on the cost & time; project management plays an irreplaceable role for the success of Organizations.

What are the challenges and opportunities before Project Management professionals in India?
India is a unique country and the challenges faced by project managers are also unique. In addition to the normal challenges which includes juggling between cost, time, scope, managing stakeholders, etc., a project manager in India has to deal with multiple climatic conditions, different languages, different religions, varied cultures, etc. With globalization, this challenge has grown multifold.

As per the Anderson report, India needs 4,00,000 qualified project managers if it has to meet its ambitious growth plans. Also, India having the youngest population as against the aging population of the developed world creates an opportunity to supply skilled & qualified project managers to the world.

The PMI India office fosters the advancement of standardized, professional project management principles through the advancement of its leadership development and certification projects.

Which verticals and geographies are you catering to?
PMI in India functions through its three offices in Mumbai, New Delhi and Bengaluru, and eight local chapters present across the country. While the chapters have been in existence earlier, PMI commenced its operations in India in 2008 with the sole objective of advocacy for the profession of project management. The eight chapters are located at Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Kerala, Pune, Chennai, and West Bengal.

PMI India works with various corporate giants like Infosys, SBI, L&T along with various Central & State Governments like Ministry of Statistics & Programme Implementation (MoSPI), Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT), Govt. of Madhya Pradesh, Govt. of Gujarat, Govt. of Kerala, Govt. of Karnataka, Govt. of Tamil Nadu and Govt. of Maharashtra to help institutionalize standardized project management practices within its different departments that helps curb cost overruns and ensures timely completion of projects.

What kind of future do you see for PMI certified project management professionals in India?
In the last two decades, India has emerged as one of the fastest-growing economies in the world, with local organizations now competing on a global scale. According to ´The skill development landscape in India and implementing quality skills training´, a report by Manpower Group, India is expected to continue to grow at 8% over the next ten years.

In India, almost 48% of employers are facing difficulties in filling up vacant positions. There are six crucial industry sectors of the Indian economy ´ IT-ITeS, infrastructure, energy, telecommunication, automotive and financial services that are project driven and therefore require project management. The dearth of qualified project managers & the inadequate practice of project management in India are key challenges and have the greatest impact on deliveries across industries.

The eighth edition of PMI Salary Survey Report reveals that certified project managers earn 25% more than non-certified project managers. The survey also reveals that in India median salaries of project managers is over INR 16.0L per annum, which displays the potential for the profession.

The demand for infrastructure development is growing thereby creating job opportunities manifold. What can be the approximate number of skilled project management professionals required in the infrastructure sector in the next ten years? How far institutions like PMI are prepared to cope up with the rising demand for human resources?
The Anderson Economic Group´s study, ´Estimating Project Management Practitioner Skills Gap, 2010 - 2020´, estimates that every year up to 2020, India would require almost 4,00,000 new project professionals in project-oriented industries like infrastructure.

Taking into consideration, the rising dearth of certified professionals, project management will be even more imperative than ever before and PMI India will continuously reach out to organizations in private and public sector in its advocacy efforts and bring out the importance of certifications and standards in project management. In order to promote and provide project management education, PMI India is associated with various educational institutes like IITs, IIMs, Symbiosis Centre of Information Technology (SCIT), Birla Institute of Management Technology, XLRI - Xavier School of Management, NICMAR, S.P. Jain Institute, SRM University, NITIE, L &T Institute of Project Management and many such prestigious institutions..

The Government of India is laying emphasis on building 100 smart cities in India. What´s your take in the demand/supply scenario for project management professionals in the changing realty and infrastructure space?
Smart City is a massive project. A partnership between the Government and Corporate entities including stake holders from across the sectors viz., Infrastructure, Technology, Transport, Power, Retail and many more will allow it to be successful.

According to a report by PMI & KPMG, the infrastructure and realty sector by 2022 will have a shortage of about 3 million project professionals, which include project managers, civil engineers, planners, surveyors and safety professionals. To fill this huge gap, the report recommends that the government reforms its vocational education and training system to respond better to market needs. The Government of India (GoI) has already recognized the challenge and had earmarked skill development as one of the priority agendas for the Twelfth Five-Year Plan (2012´17). National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) proposed an allocation of INR 1,000 crore towards outcome-based skill development initiatives to be routed through the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship into the National Skill Development Fund (NSDF).

The dearth of qualified project managers & the practice of project management in India is a key challenge for various industries that has the greatest influence on deliveries.

What needs to be done by the Government of India to overcome housing shortage in the country?
India has a population of 1.27 billion plus, growing every minute. As per Environment Ministry of India, the proportion of urban population in India has increased from 17% in 1951 to 31% in 2011 which is expected to reach 55% by 2050. The increasing urbanization, primarily in the tier I & II cities is hampering not only the environment but also other aspects such as standard of living and infrastructural advancement.

To deal with the present scenario the government has undertaken a project ´ ´Housing for all by 2022´. Considering the country´s population and the present infrastructure the government needs to employ proven, tested and effective project management practices to achieve its goal successfully. Project management methodology has been found to enhance the chances of success of all kinds of projects. The application of project management principles effectively organizes the project work for improved coordination and better yield. Incorporating these practices will bring along processes such as stake holder management; project monitoring offices; risk management & mitigation which will aid the government in recognizing potential obstacles and derive effective solutions for the ultimate aim of overcoming housing shortage in the country.

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