HOCHTIEF (INDIA): A Pioneer of Engineering Services

Engineering is a diverse industry with various segments. Engineering service industry has witnessed substantial growth in recent decades, and has evolved to encompass a broad range of new product development, project-engineering and engineering consulting functions.  Since inception, HOCHTIEF (INDIA) PVT. LTD is providing innovative engineering services to diverse sectors.

In an Interview with Insights Success, Gopan Pillai, the Managing Director of HOCHTIEF (INDIA) PVT. LTD gave some insightful answers highlighting the influences made by the company to take this industry to next level.

  1. Briefly tell us about your organization and its vision

HOCHTIEF (INDIA) PVT. LTD., known as HT India, is a 100% subsidiary of the well-known construction group HOCHTIEF AG from Germany, which remains as one of the largest construction companies in the world, being part of the ACS group and having big conglomerates like TURNER and CIMIC under its umbrella. This unit in India was founded in 1999, with the sole purpose of supporting the parent company in its activities, by providing engineering at an optimum cost.

Over the last 18 years, the company has grown to a well-grouped 230 engineers, with rich exposure to international engineering practice. A small team of 20 engineers which started with structural engineering support, has now grown into a team of engineers from various fields like Civil, Structural, Mechanical, Electrical, Plumbing, Fire-fighting, etc.; having diversified areas of involvement like engineering support, design development, peer review, construction related supports, pre-tender support, technical coordination and overall project support.

It is our Vision to provide the best quality of the services to those clients who value technology supported solutions.

  1. Tell us about Project Engineering from your point of view.

For HOCHTIEF India, Project Engineering is the conversation of Ideas into Reality incorporating Engineering Design into it. Under the label “Project Engineering”, we offer a diverse spectrum of project services to suit the individual needs of our clients. These services can be mixed and matched as desired, and are individually customized to suit the needs of each project.

With our technical expertise and our project management skills we can attend to client’s project’s needs regardless of its size and complexity. Whatever be the requirement, we can provide support during all project phases from inception, preparation and realization to handover and operation.

  1. Kindly describe the CEO/Founder of the company and his/her contribution towards the growth of the company.

Gopan Pillai is the Managing Director at HT India and heads the Indian office for its global operations. He is an experienced Civil engineer who has pursued his post-graduation in Structural Engineering. Besides this, he is also a management professional. Gopan has been in the construction industry for over three decades and has equal exposure to domestic as well as international markets within his involvement in designing, project management, and operations of various prestigious projects. Gopan joined HOCHTIEF in 2010 as the CTO (Chief Technical Officer), thereafter, taking the operations as the COO (Chief Operating Officer) in 2012 and has been a Board Member since 2014.

Nanda Kumar, the Managing Director (Former) who have served HOCHTIEF in various roles during his tenure of thirty-six years, served right from a Management Trainee to the Commercial Manager and Director. He was instrumental in establishing the Indian office and developing it into a self-standing organization. Upon his retirement in 2016, he continued to be the whole-time Director till March 2018 and opted complete retirement from active services.

  1. Explain the company’s journey till date and the strategies that you’ve used to overcome the initial struggle

Coming with a construction background and acting as purely an in-house team there was no signs of growth as compared to other forms of industry or with similar service providers. Even the neighbours never knew what was happening within the four walls. From a European market when the services spread to Middle East, there were no ripples, neither was there any bigger growth. When the services were also extended to handpicked third parties, there were signs of improvement. The real impact came when a face lift was made and additional portfolios included into the list. The decision in between to make the unit self- standing and making the management responsible to work on a plan with experienced hands brought in from the international market triggered a drastic difference. Rather than selling the services, efforts were in to highlight the capabilities attracting external clients. Adopting the right technological advancement combined with a systematic business development, HT India could spread its wings globally. And, when the local market started thinking of adopting international standards and qualities, HT India has already been in the limelight.

  1. Being a Project engineering solution provider, what are the unique methods followed by the company and how is your company different from its competitors?

First of all, HT India does not believe in competition. Every organization can perform its own way and finally the purpose is to satisfy the requirement of its clients. The competitive clause comes on the side of the client when they evaluate the support in terms of quality, timely delivery and the price associated with. Repeated clients to HT India indicate that the solutions provided are to their requirements.

From HT India, every client gets due attention and there will be specific personnel available to understand their needs and suggest a proper solution to them. The scope involved in the proposal will be very clearly discussed and frozen before any attempt is made, and a suitable proposal with various options are then arrived at and discussed with the client. The matter will be followed up until the client is comfortable to arrive at a decision of their choice and there will be absolutely no influence made into that aspect.  Sufficient support and advice is provided to make the scope aligned so that the cost involved can be within the budget in hand. Once the Project starts rolling, the support is always made available beforehand so that the Client need not even ask for it.

  1. Kindly share us about the distinct services/ solutions that benefit your client base.

Under the Digital Engineering Solutions banner, HT India provides the following services

  • Building Information Modeling (BIM) : Where we engage in engineering services like 3D digital model making, visualizations like animations, flythrough videos, 4D phasing (time factor), As built documentation, Asset Management etc.
  • Detailed Engineering Services: Design development, Detailed Structural Engineering, Demolition and Temporary work solutions, Bar Bending Schedule, Precast engineering etc.
  • MP Services: Designing, Modeling, CoBie Enrichment, Detailing, Shop Drawing, Pre-bid & Post-bid services etc.
  • Project Management Services: Conceptual Planning, Design, Budgeting, Peer Review, Preparation of drawings, Pre-bid & Post-bid services, Tender stage support, Bid support etc.
  1. Tell us about the awards and achievements received by the company in the recent years.

HT India’s awards always have been limited to the appreciation and feedback received from the Client or its representatives. The extent of repeated clientele enjoyed by the company itself is the biggest award for its noble involvement.

  1. Where do you see yourself in the coming decade? What according to you will be the future of Project Engineering Solution Providers?

HT India is in an industry which is focused now by technological advancement. The changes happening are so fast that adapting to the same itself is a challenge. Equally challenging is the fact that the stakeholders need to be aligned with it. This is the time to set the standards, enlighten those involved on the significance of the change and the biggest factor is to make it feasible. In the coming decade, we envisage a time when virtual project management leads the show thus eliminating the uncertainties faced in the construction industry.