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Real estate development can be stable in the long term, only if it is complemented with consistent growth of skills and infrastructure development. Skill development ensures that real estate can adapt to changing times and infrastructure ensures that development does not stagnate. Both aspects are also crucial, for achieving the government’s objective of ‘Housing for All by 2022’.
Shubika Bilkha, business head at REMI, points out that the real estate sector, which is slated to be a USD 180 billion industry by 2022, is one of the largest contributors to the economy and a key employment-generating sector.
“It has been estimated that for the government’s development agenda, there is a requirement of 75 million skilled people in the sector, by 2022. According to reports, the current requirement of core professionals in the sector, is about four million. This large skill deficit in a crucial segment of our economy, is a looming concern for all stakeholders. This is particularly relevant, as the sector is going through a transformational phase, with new regulations and a focus on increased transparency, amidst a thrust by the government to accomplish its urban development and ‘Housing for All’ target,” Bilkha explains.
Importance of skill development and infrastructure growth
Experts point out that real estate is one of the top employment generators in India, after the agriculture sector. There are over 250 ancillary industries, such as steel, cement, building materials, hardware, etc., which are directly dependent on real estate. A lot of technical skill is required, to execute projects and there is shortage across the spectrum. This, in turn, impacts the quality, which leads to cost overruns and project delays. With technological advancements, the execution of projects has become faster. To leverage this, it is essential to have efficient and dynamic mechanisms in place, to execute quality work, improve productivity, reduced overall time and deliver projects on schedule.
The government’s ‘Smart Cities Mission’, will also require substantial focus on building roads, railway or metro lines, developing waterways and creating new coastal networks. All these infrastructural developments are likely to boost the real estate sector, as it will result in urban development, easier commuting and better living standards for citizens.
Budget 2018: Demands vis-à-vis skill and infrastructure development
“Infrastructure forms the backbone of any growing economy. So, the budgetary allocation should focus on boosting infrastructure on a macro level. It is required to enhance connectivity throughout the length and breadth of our country,” maintains Sanjay Bhutani, CMO – Rivali Park, CCI Projects.
Real estate analysts maintain that professionals and leaders in the real estate industry, need to be multi-faceted, as they need to deal with land aggregators, delivery experts, compliance officers, capital providers and consumer evangelists.
Apart from technical capabilities, real estate professionals need to be competent in a number of soft skills and non-technical skills, to survive in this highly competitive and increasingly regulated segment. According to Bhutani, the advances in technology and green concepts, have transformed the ways of doing construction. “To enhance productivity, we need to have specialised institutes that can impart specific training for skill development, in these latest techniques. This will lead to an increase in employment opportunities, improve quality of construction and reduce the turnaround time for completing projects. The government should consider providing special tax benefits to such institutions,” Bhutani concludes.
Why infrastructure and skill development need special attention in Budget 2018