We believe that 2015 will bode well for housing recovery and this can improve consumer sentiment in the long run. This will also help real estate companies to borrow more from the market and institutional investment and finance companies. Thus, private equity investments will increase in the real estate space, leading to increased supply from current levels of existing projects, which will further increase job opportunities such as construction and site engineers, construction assistants, marketing executives, architects, surveyors, EPC contractors, real estate sales executives, construction project managers in this sector.
India is rapidly urbanising. As per RICS estimates, India’s urban population will touch 600 million by 2030. The emergence of new cities and towns means we have to develop urban and rural infrastructure, including housing, at a rapid pace. While the government has announced its target to provide housing for all by 2022, much has to be done on ground to implement this dream. There are challenges though—regulatory bottlenecks, lack of funding, skills shortage—which can delay the process.
To execute the mammoth task of construction and development to meet this growth, there is a need for qualified and skilled professionals. Reducing massive demand-supply gap of skilled professionals is fundamental for the industry to be able to deliver projects of highest quality, on time and on cost. This increasing demand provides ample employment opportunities for country’s youth.
Infrastructure, construction and real estate sectors have been driving employment in the last decade. According to industry estimates, construction provided 8 million new jobs between 1999-2000 and 2004-05. By the end of 2011-12, employment in construction sector alone rose three times that number. It is noticeable that during the boom period of construction and real estate sector (between 2006 and 2012), a significant share was added to the overall pie. The current requirement of skilled professionals demands for more—every year the industry needs around 5 million skilled professionals. Real estate, construction and infrastructure sectors offer 20 different kinds of job opportunities such as investment banking, corporate real estate, mortgage, consultancy, advisory, surveying, construction project management, facilities management, etc.
Thus, a student aspiring to join a particular segment should be well versed with the nuances of the profession or should have the subject knowledge and relevant skill-set. Some institutions have started offering courses in these specialised streams. But to meet the target, it is imperative that more and more institutions are set up that offer specialised courses in various streams across real estate and construction sectors. Collectively, educational institutions, large corporates and the government can prepare a roadmap for bringing about such a framework in the country.
By Anil Sawhney
The author is associate dean & director, School of Construction, RICS School of Built Environment, Amity University