RICS SBE Director Prof. Raghu Rama Swamy Interview
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Prof. Raghu Rama Swamy is the Director, School of Infrastructure, Research & Institutional Consultancy at RICS School of Built Environment. He has nineteen and half years of experience in infrastructure advisory, development, financing, transaction advisory and management consulting practices.

In this interview with Careers360, Prof Raghu shares his experiences, vision, trends of infrastructure market and others.

Careers360: How has been the experience as the Director?
Prof. Raghu: It has been a very enriching experience, especially as the MBA programme on Infrastructure Management is ready for launch in the month of July 2015. There is aneed to create competent and industry ready professionals who can add value to this sector. We have interacted with the industry experts, consultants, bureaucrats and policy makers, multilateral institutions and with strategic inputs from them, have formulated a course that we believe, and provide the right mix of industry competencies and academic rigour.

Careers360: As a Director, there must have been many responsibilities and a few challenges, please brief us about them?
Prof. Raghu: My key objectives include framing the contours of the MBA program, developing the academic content, pedagogy, and assembling a team that can deliver this world class program. As part of this function, various academic and administrative roles, nurturing of professional capabilities, maintaining the standards and ethics of the professional imperatives to be fulfilled.

Foremost obvious challenge that we brace is to successfully commence the program as it is one of its kind of course in the infrastructure sector space in the country. The infrastructure sector is a very large platform of specialized areas, thereby, this course requires experts who could contribute from their learnings and experience. We have already put in place a team, and hope to deliver the mandate in line with international standards. 

Careers360: How challenging is it to establish a new sector of management program in the already established MBA market?
Prof. Raghu: Generalized MBA courses caters to the needs of the general business managers. We create the managers with the specialized expertise who can cater to not only the infrastructure industry’s need of 1 trillion investment but also in the infrastructure project planning, implementation and maintenance. This programme creates managers with specialized skills of infrastructure sector who can add value throughout the project life cycle.

Careers360: How is the market and trends in infrastructure sector?
Prof. Raghu: Government is catalyzing investments in the infrastructure sector to meet the infrastructure need of one trillion USD. In the budget of 2015-16 it has been announced to increase the outlays of the roads, National Investment and to establish a Infrastructure Fund. PPP mode of infrastructure development is proposed to be revitalized. All these measures will improve the infrastructure as whole.

Real estate sector is also set for interesting times, there are a flurry of measures that have been announced in the recent past impacting the financial performance, faster delivery and better standards, 

Careers360: What does RICS School of Built Environment, Amity University offers to its aspirants?
Prof. Raghu: This program is designed to develop student as a complete infrastructure management professional with a thorough grounding in general management traits. The course will provide the student technical, managerial tools to enhance data management & decision making abilities and understand management processes relating to accounting, finance, marketing, organizational behavior, business law, and computer applications of the students. Business administration is about managing interactions across diverse stakeholder groups in a sustainable manner. Students will be exposed to a range of softer skills required, and presented with opportunities to imbibe them through various pedagogical tools.

The course will not only equip the students to choose from an exciting bouquet of career options in project management, consulting, policy making, business development, investment, financial analysis, and social sectors, but also develop a potential to improve and shape the built infrastructure fabric of the country. 

Careers360: What is infrastructure management, and why should one aspire for this management programme?
Prof. Raghu: Infrastructure is a global market and is the cornerstone of the world economy. Infrastructure needs are huge across the developing world who need to cater to large populations over diverse geographies. The social fabric also poses significant challenges for various countries, including India. While scarcity of funding remains an issue, it is also a need that resources created shall be developed, implemented and managed in an efficient manner. It is such training, ability and expertise that is required out of a student of infrastructure management. 

Future requirements in the infrastructure sector envisage a transformational pre-requisite imperative with a diverse set of innovative and sustainable schemes/projects, the scale of which ranges from micro projects at villages to mega projects spanning across nations. Participating stakeholders such as government authorities, private developers, non-government sector, policy think tanks, domestic, bilateral and multilateral financial institutions, management, technical and legal consulting firms are constantly scouting for capable professional and leadership talent. Going forward, it is expected that these professionals will provide significant business, economic and social value for shaping a much better world.

Careers360: What are the placement trends and opportunities in this sector?
Prof. Raghu: The placement opportunities are very vast and can broadly be categorized into four groups.

•Project Developers such as GMR, GVK, Lanco, L&T, Kier International, Al futtian Clairon etc.
•Contractors such as L&T, NCC construction, Shapoorji Pallonji, Ramboll, Royal Haskning, Alstom etc.
•Consultants such as iDeCK, PwC, KPMG, IL&FS, IDFC, E&Y, Deloitte, Egis etc.
•Banks & FIs, Policy Makers, Think Tanks, Government such as State Government Department and Entities, Central line Ministries, IL&FS, IDFC, Niti Ayog etc.

Careers360: Is there any ‘Real work exposure’ facility for the students?
Prof. Raghu: Yes, real work exposure is in two forms, a) by way of intensive in-house research undertaken by students guided by faculty and industry experts through various pedagogy like analyzing actual case studies, participation in various programs at national and international levels and b) training and internships in the industry. 

While teaching theory remains fundamental, the teaching methodology followed at the School is practice led and case study oriented, predominantly based on real life case studies of Indian and multinational companies. Abstracts of such real life case studies are often delivered by industry professionals, which makes the experience enriching and practical for students. Visits and lectures by industry leaders allow immense opportunities to students of the School to interact and learn finer nuances based on real life experiences.

Additionally, industry experts associated with leading development & construction firms, real estate consulting and financial services firms are called upon to form the industry advisory boards. These advisory boards actively contribute in shaping the curriculum to include specific areas of knowledge, skills and nuances of Indian real estate and construction sector, which is crucial for students to be exposed to and later on to be placed in for training and internships.

Stay tuned to www.bschool.careers360.com for more news and updates

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