Associate General Manager- Projects (Head- North Region) Swati Interiors Pvt. Ltd (PART-1)
Best creator is a platform created with the intention to connect with all the top creators, architects, builders, turnkey contractors, consultants and suppliers to share their experience, philosophies and challenges. As a part of our interview series, we had pleasure of interviewing Mr. Pankaj Shrouti, an expert in the field of project management, procurement and design/ execution. In this interview, he shared about his journey towards building a successful career in the field of project management, contracts administration, site- execution and procurement.
He used to be an average student and loved travelling and reading books since childhood which gradually turned out to riding bike and doing a lot of creative things.. As we exchanged ideas, he also shared some tips to the aspiring architects and vendors to enhance their career. With a degree in Civil Engineering, Post-Graduation in Advanced Construction Management from NICMAR, Pune, and MBA in Operations Management from DAVV, Indore, Pankaj Shrouti is a pioneer force in the world of managing large scale projects with huge milieu architecture.
Pankaj completed his civil engineering in the 2012 from RGTU Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh (Rajeev Gandhi Technical University). Prior to this, during admission counselling he wasn’t aware of anything about civil engineering and construction field. In fourth year of the curriculum, he got selected for Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) from Campus but thought of maintaining tenacity of pursuing higher education in the field of Construction Management. Thereafter, he took admission in National Institute of Construction Management and Research (NICMAR), Pune (MH) and studied Project Construction Management for almost two years. With blessings and beliefs, he got recruitment letter on 1st day of College Campus Drive from one of the oldest contracting company in India, Hindustan Construction Company as Management Trainee and he was posted near Badrinath, Uttarakhand. Working from mountains all over around in a cold weather without basic amenities like electricity etc was a very challenging job. Other than all the tough time, first job made him a strong personality in terms handling multiple situations and initial learning of works and challenges. HCC’s contracts department is very robust which in turn helped him in getting deeper understanding of Projects and Contract clauses. After moving forward from HCC, he served Knight Frank for some time which is a renowned IPC company in the world. Later on, in 2016, he stared working with Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL) as an Assistant Manager where he got to learn about various new opportunities. During service period with JLL, he joined DAVV to pursue Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Operations Management (2018-20). After a fine tenure with JLL, Pankaj joined Swati Interiors, a renowned design and interior execution firm based out of Mumbai currently posted in Gurugram, heading North Region as Associate General Manager and managing multiple projects of giant magnitude.
Toughest Philosophy for being at the top of this industry
One of the finest understanding I inculcated in myself is to always be honest with your colleagues, seniors, juniors, client, architects and consultants. Don’t keep anyone in dark, let them know what it is, whatever be the project phase or progress or each and everything. A simple reason to this belief is that in this digital age of tech and information, nobody is refrain from anything, truth will reach to them anyhow. On procurement, he strongly put a requirement of thorough supplier evaluation. This is very important in terms of quality, deliverables, credit period, financial stability etc. Periodic review of it is also very important.
Pankaj stated that, JLL is a company which is full of documentation and technology. They are having a huge technological basis in which they cut down usage of papers and uploaded each and everything online to be seen by everyone. But on the contrary, there are a lot of Clients which are still unaware of progressive technology and hence, there is no point of specifically keeping those documentation or technological advances get ready for Client .So, to unbridge this gap we implemented a unique data transfer and distribution system (offline) which made Client outlook an impressive one towards project progress and decisions.
We asked Pankaj on the challenge of procuring 90+ items which are supposed to come from various countries outside India like Spain, Germany, The USA, China etc. He specifically mentioned that to get all these materials from multiple countries without physically verifying its quality was a challenging task. We approached our vendor base, seniors in the industry etc. and got a link to procure most of the material within India without compromising an inch on quality aspects. This also helped us during COVID times as all the cargos, shipments were delayed which did not majorly affect our project requirements. To be continued. >>