In an industry where tradition has long held sway, Shapoorji Pallonji Engineering & Construction (E&C) is boldly embracing the digital age. Construction, one of the world’s oldest industries, has often resisted new technologies, but Shapoorji Pallonji E&C is at the forefront of transforming the construction landscape in India.
With a history spanning 159 years, Shapoorji Pallonji E&C has become a respected name in India’s construction industry. It has built a wide range of structures, from residential, institutional and commercial buildings to healthcare, hospitality, sports and industrial facilities.
Its dedication to operational excellence and technology has solidified its position as an industry leader. Its journey towards this status began with a crucial partnership with Autodesk, which dates back to the 1990s.
“As a leader in the Indian construction industry, Shapoorji Pallonji E&C is demonstrating how technology can help construction teams make more confident decisions and drive better outcomes,” says Jim Lynch, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Autodesk Construction Solutions.
Shapoorji Pallonji E&C’s long time partnership with Autodesk began in the 1990’s when it adopted AutoCAD. Over the years, it has continued to leverage Autodesk’s newer solutions to streamline operations and further its progress in digitalisation, becoming an early adopter and advocate of Building Information Modeling (BIM) and Virtual Design & Construction (VDC) within the Indian market.
With Autodesk tools, Shapoorji Pallonji E&C has successfully completed over 200 building projects using BIM. Nonetheless, managing the vast amounts of data generated by its construction projects presented challenges to the company’s project management, which is a common hurdle in the construction industry.
“Our primary project management challenge revolved around fragmented information flow from the field to the site office,” says Sagar Gandhi, Shapoorji Pallonji E&C’s Head of Strategy and Business Excellence.
“We were getting information in silos. Planning engineers spent hours compiling daily data and progress reports, while billing engineers dedicated a full week each month to organising field data for billing.”
“Our goal was to unify all data sources into a single platform, enabling us to utilise this information for multiple reports, including daily progress reports, client billing, and subcontractor billing,” says Sagar.
Traditionally, the company used physical records to track progress at construction sites, but after implementing Autodesk Construction Cloud, engineers recorded daily progress quickly within the mobile app. This change allows them to focus on tasks that deliver greater value to the project, instead of time-consuming manual data entry.
“This data was subsequently utilised by planning engineers for daily progress reports and billing engineers for monthly client and subcontractor bills.”
As Shapoorji Pallonji E&C continues its digitalisation journey, it is optimistic about the future of construction technology, which is expected to boost productivity, quality, safety, and sustainability.
“The global construction industry needs to be able to connect data, people and process across the entire built lifecycle, from design and pre-construction planning, to the job site and long-term operations and ultimately, to a digital twin,” he says.
“In this connected framework, machine learning and artificial intelligence play pivotal roles, extracting invaluable insights from past project data to drive superior outcomes. Contractors are able to make more confidence decisions earlier, before they have a chance to have an outsized negative impact.”
“We foresee harnessing this data for machine learning and translating it into artificial intelligence, aiding better decision-making to construct safer and more efficient structures for a secure future,” he says.
With Autodesk as an active partner and a shared commitment to going digital, Shapoorji Pallonji E&C is equipped to harness the bright future of construction technology and solidify its position as the market leader in India.