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PMI India National Conference 2017 will lead discussions on how India must use project management to achieve its development goals

Several factors weigh in India's favor as it vies for a place among the developed countries in the world. As the second fastest growing major economy with the largest young population in the world, India enjoys an enviable position in the developing world. However, to attain global leadership, it has to maintain the momentum and set the stage for a growth marathon.

State investments in infrastructure creation, policies that encourage a healthy business ecosystem, and a stable and supportive political environment have renewed confidence that India can make it happen at the world stage. But policies, political will, and investments alone will not bring about change - India will need to plan and execute big and small projects across sectors with a much greater success rate to make a difference on the ground.

PMI's 2017 Pulse of the Profession® showed that organizations in India reported the lowest average monetary waste on projects compared to other regions, which was US$ 73 million per US$ 1 billion invested, followed by China and the Middle East.

While this is encouraging, India still has a long way to go, to achieve consistency in project performance across sectors.

PMI India National Conference in Chennai will bring experts from different fields together to discuss how the country can use project management to accomplish its socio-economic goals. The conference theme, Project Management - Powering India's Global Leadership, will draw thoughts and ideas from speakers from some of India's leading organizations on the role project management will play in India's march forward.

Local Industry, Global Ascent
India has proved its expertise in several industries and established its global prominence. Project management has been a key differentiator in the success stories that several of these industries have scripted. The emerging industries will gain immensely by imbibing a project culture that provides a link between strategy, goals, and project outcome.

IT-IT enabled services (ITES): The Poster Child
India is the global destination for IT and business process management (BPM) services. The IT-BPM industry earns a combined revenue of over US$ 155 billion and employs close to four million people.

A large part of the credit for the success of the industry goes to its mature project practices. IT-ITES companies are some of the earliest adopters of project management, and continue to be the top employers of certified project managers in the country.

Infrastructure: Ambitious Targets
With poor infrastructure impeding growth, the Government of India has launched a number of projects to improve the state of roads, highways, ports, railways, and airports, and enhance power generation and telecom coverage. The government has ambitious targets, with investments of US$ 59 billion (Rs. 4 trillion) pledged towards infrastructure during the last budget. The government wants to construct 41 km of highway a day and lay 3,500 km of railway track in this financial year.

All these projects call for efficient project delivery, with consistency in achieving schedule, cost, and quality targets. PMI's Job Growth and Talent Gap 2017-2027 report published earlier this year said that India will require seven lakh additional project professionals every year till 2027, to cater to increased demand. An earlier PMI-KPMG study concluded that the shortage will be acute in the infrastructure sector - around 30 lakh project professionals by 2022.

Real Estate: New Game-Changers
The real estate industry is India's second largest employer after agriculture, and is expected to reach US$ 180 billion by 2020. The housing sector alone contributes to 5-6 percent of the country's GDP. It has attracted a large global capital flow, with US $5.7 billion in 2016 itself. Recent developments such as the launch of Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs), the implementation of the Real Estate Regulation & Development Act (RERA), the Goods and Services Tax (GST), and demonitization are expected to be gamechangers in this sector.

Real estate companies will now have to bring more transparency and accountability into their business. There is increased pressure to complete projects on time, thus forcing their attention back to the basics - implementing standardized processes, proven project practices, and effective controls. Only by adopting project management can real estate companies contribute to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's vision of housing for all by 2022.

Space Research: Toast of the World
India has made huge progress in space research, with the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) having achieved (the Mars Orbiter Mission), and a record it set by sending 104 satellites into orbit in a single launch.

What has drawn world attention to ISRO's successful missions is also the cost of its space programs. Mr. Modi famously compared Mangalyaan to the Hollywood movie Gravity and said that at US$ 73 million, India's mission to Mars cost less than the making of the movie. ISRO is today at the frontier of frugal engineering, and that has been possible largely due to the mature project management practices it follows.

Healthcare: Massive Capacity Building
India has been playing host to medical tourists from around the world. Buoyed by demand from both within and outside the country, healthcare providers are making large investments to enhance infrastructure and improve the reach of their services.

The growth is so far driven by the private healthcare sector. But to cater to the increased demand, India needs to drastically improve its healthcare infrastructure, and make healthcare accessible to those in smaller towns and rural areas. It is estimated that India will need to add 1.75 million new beds by the end of 2025. Capacity enhancement at that scale will be possible only if healthcare providers adopt project management to plan and execute projects.

Must-dos for India to Reach Global Leadership
Manage India spoke to leaders from the PMI India community to determine what India needs to reach global prominence across industries.

"Success breeds success. Global experts forecast that India's leadership will grow by leaps and bounds in the 21st century. Our nation's "demographic dividend," a humongous pool of young, talented, innovative, English-speaking workforce, they say, is a defining factor.However, our rapid growth as global leaders will not happen by default. Today's VUCA (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, Ambiguous) world with cut-throat competition means we will need to work hard and work smart to keep delivering.

Effective, innovative P3M (project, program, portfolio management) will help India leapfrog competition by delivering significantly higher project success rates than the global 35 percent average.

Achieving these results requires strong leadership. We will need to be innovative, inspiring, caring and visibly ethical. We need to nurture and grow leaders in our team."

Founder and Chief Consultant, KeyResultz
Former president, PMI Chennai Chapter

"Today, businesses face tremendous challenges and competition. Many of them have shifted their priorities and are struggling to survive, with turnover and profits going down. Business must innovate to take the customer experience to the next level and increase demand for their products/services. Today’s innovation needs top-class project and production managers who can apply new trends and techniques to project management and product development.

However, this has resulted in increased work pressure for managers. They need to develop emotional intelligence or the ability to: identify and manage emotions (of the manager and the team) and effectively channelize them in decision making; harness emotions to apply them in problem solving; and develop empathy — a difficult skill to master, and which differentiates a project leader from a manager."

PMI Region Mentor (Shadow)
Region 11, Southern Asia

"India is growing at a fast pace across sectors and is poised to become a global leader.

Our nation has been completing many projects on time and bettering international standards of time and quality both in the private and public sectors. The Delhi, Bangalore, and Hyderabad airports, and the Delhi Metro are prime examples of consistent project management performance. Space technology is another area where India has been exceeding all global standards of excellence. ISRO has achieved the maximum success rate at a minimal expenditure by adopting frugal methods. All these have been made possible through innovations and excellent project management."

PMI global volunteer and founding member,
PMI Trivandrum, Kerala Chapter
Co-founder and director, Experion
Technologies Pvt.Ltd.

"Today, we are striving to build skills and a project environment for the adoption of professional project management skills in different segments. In some segments like IT, power generation, oil production, or heavy industries, professional project management elements are in place. However, as a nation we are yet to adopt standard professional project management practices across segments. The reason behind this is the lack of project management education.

For India to gain global leadership in project management we need to ensure the following: Spread the knowledge and value of project management to all levels of public and private professionals and organizations; document each project, including learnings, and make it available through the internet; and make project management knowledge available in a simple way in multiple languages."

PMI Region Mentor
Region 11, Southern Asia

"India is at the cusp of a growth opportunity. Our key advantage is the 500+million youth, which means every fourth skilled worker added globally will be an Indian.

We should move from cost arbitrage and a service mindset to innovation, and build global products. Technology has the ability to leapfrog development across industries. Our vast consumer base is an opportunity to spur innovation and build affordable products across industries.

Project, program, and portfolio management practices help deliver the expected benefits of a project. That is more important than just delivering on traditional measures like scope, cost, and time."

PMI global volunteer
Vice Chairman, LV Prasad Eye Institute

India is on an economic growth trajectory. Foreign investments in the country are increasing. Organizations in India are a treasure trove of ideas and have capabilities for innovation. India has been a birth place of some of the world's greatest leaders and innovators. These great leaders have deep personal aspirations. The "bigger picture" behind their dreams needs to be effectively conveyed throughout the organization.

Project management is the enabler to achieve these dreams. It is the essential ingredient for any organization's success. Project managers achieve the leadership vision through the application of rigorous project management. The application of global best practices is important to achieve the maximum with the limited resources that organizations plan to deploy. Given the risks associated with today's business environment, a structured approach is inevitable. Project governance and organization is required to ensure success of projects and push India to gain global leadership.

Member, PMI International Organization for Standardization - Member Advisory Group

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