Believe in yourselves first to Promote the Export of Professional Engineering Services, says CEAI
New Delhi, Consulting Engineers Association of India (CEAI) and Service Export Promotion Council (SEPC), Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India, and Council of Architecture organized a conclave in New Delhi to create an action plan to make it easy for Indian companies working in Construction & Design consultancy, Engineering, Architectures & Environmental services to increase their exports. The export of professional services especially in the construction field is a sector still not fully explored though it has huge potential as 3 % of global GDP is invested in Infrastructure development.
CEAI officials and members pointed out that India has a large pool of Engineering professionals and experts working worldwide and have gained the expertise to deliver world-class projects. During the conclave senior officials from the Ministry of Commerce, Ministry of External Affairs, Indian High Commissioners from Japan, and Singapore, and Ambassadors from Tajikistan, Tanzania, and Brazil also expressed their views that there are ampleopportunities for Indianservice providers to export services to thosegeographies. It was suggested that India should become a Member of theInter-American Development Bank (IADB)for opening up opportunities for Indian companies to secure business contracts funded by the IADB in the vast and unexplored Latin American Market. Indian service export companies havehad some presence in the Middle East, Africa, CIS countries, and Asia and these markets can be further developed for the export of professional services with the support of the Indian Missions.
CEAI officials pointed out that consultancy services in the infrastructure industry always require certain pre-qualifications (PQ) to participate in the global bidding process and stressed that Indian companies are lacking behind in PQ to compete with other multinational companies who are able to demonstrate better previous experience working on similar projects. Indian companies lack prior experience andexperts are of the opinion that unless steps are taken at the government level to encourage Indian companies to participate in Indian infrastructure development projects, it would be very difficult to build enough credentials for Indian companies to go global and compete with companies of higher PQ. Such services are hired based on the technical score where we never remain at par with other MNCs
In most of the Indian bids still, PQ conditions are restrictive for example in METRO, Oil& Gas construction projects only a few International companies are dominating the Indian market as still conditions like no JV allowed or each JV partner should have completed similar projects or demand of very high turnover create a situation like no room from Indian consulting companies. It was suggested unless Indian companies are not promoted in India, the dream to have a strong presence at a global level would be very difficult.
It was pointed out in the conclave that most MNC-winning projects in India are executing projects using only Indian professionals except they have an extra edge of prior experience. The governmentneeds to take a policy decision to promote Indian companies within India to fulfill the dream of AtamnirbharBharat and increase the export of engineering services.
Dr. Ajay Pradhan President CEAI expressed that we are confident to deliver any kind of complex project anywhere in the world. If we can build a Nuclear power plant, and create our own space technology, then why still projects like consultancy for the construction of drains and sewer lines being led by MNCs in India? In Metro rail construction after completing 20 years of successful journey, still bids are framed to promote international companies. CEAI demanded fair competition and equal opportunity under international norms.
Directives issued by the Ministry of Finance for invite bids in the service sector up to Rs. 200 crores through only the national bidding process would be more fruitful if the definition of Indian companies is defined as who is the ultimate beneficiary. In the case where the project demands technology not available in India, RFP should ensure smooth technology transfer to Indian professionals.
Government officials assured full support to take necessary steps to promote and strengthen Indian companies to increase export.