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Infrastructure focus to fuel demand for project managers

Moumita Bakshi Chatterjee

The demand will be driven by ongoing projects in infrastructure, highways, power amongst others.

New Delhi , Nov. 13

WITH infrastructure development getting a renewed focus, the demand for professionals certified in project management in India is expected to shoot up to over 1,00,000 in the next five years, from the existing 8,500 professionals.

"Most of the 8,500 certified professionals in the country today are in the IT sector. In the last one year, the number of certified project managers doubled in the country. Even by conservative estimates, there is a potential of 1,00,000 such professionals by the next five years.

"This will be driven by ongoing projects in infrastructure, highways, power amongst others - where there will be a demand for professionals who can improve the project performance on parameters, such as managing costs and deadlines, achieving the value deliverables, and mitigating risks," Mr Gregory Balestrero, Chief Executive Officer of US-based Project Management Institute, told Business Line.

PMI is a not-for-profit organisation aimed at building superior practices in project management. It also promotes career and professional development and offers certification, networking and community involvement opportunities in project management arena. Globally, as many as 1,28,000 people are certified in project management today, and the institute sees this number rising to 1.6 million in five years.

Demand high in from China, India: "China and India would be the largest markets when it comes to the demand for project managers. Other geographies to watch out for are Brazil and Sub-Saharan Africa," he added.

For India - which is witnessing a significant infrastructure growth - the biggest challenge would be project integration, he said.

"The Government's national e-Governance plan has about 25 programmes proposed under it that are meant to deliver various applications and services at both Central and State levels. Someone has to oversee the management of these projects to ensure that there do not compete against each other for resources.

"Or take for instance, the metro rail project and the highway projects... these need to be looked at in an integrated manner to deliver optimum value," he pointed out.

Mr Balestrero also advocated the concept of an integrated programme office at the highest level in the Government, which would cut across multiple agencies and ensure balancing of resources to make various projects successful.

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