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Engineering outsourcing comes to Coimbatore

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BOOM TIME: Coimbatore offers vast scope for project outsourcing. Photo: M. Balaji
BOOM TIME: Coimbatore offers vast scope for project outsourcing. Photo: M. Balaji

M. Soundariya Preetha

COIMBATORE: Lucrative outsourcing opportunities in the field of civil engineering have now arrived in Coimbatore. Some early birds have started tapping them.

The consulting civil engineers get contracts from clients in the U.S., besides European and West Asian countries. Quality is assured, they say. Clients outsource works such as structural designing, material and structure testing, foundation analysis and design and project planning. "The main reason is cost competitiveness here," says Mr. Raghavendran, a consulting civil engineer here, who now works on a structural design for an overseas project. The cost here comes to just 20 per cent to 50 per cent of that incurred in the U.S. or West Asian countries, he said.

Mr. Raghavendran works from his office here with a team of civil engineers. Clients give him the specifications and they do the designs here, staying in touch with the client and architects at the other end.

"It needs specialisation," adds S. Pichaiya, national president of the Association of Consulting Civil Engineers (India). With globalisation and the growth of communication facilities, outsourcing offers lucrative opportunities for civil engineers here. People realise that with its good educational institutions, the city offers vast scope for project outsourcing. Orders come for domestic projects too.

"We should have knowledge about the types of building, and about the international standards," explains Mr. Raghavendran. Young civil engineers who join firms that do outsourced projects are given orientation on relevant aspects.

According to Raja Govindaswamy, client relations manager of one company, shortage of skilled hands and cost are the main reasons for U.S. companies outsourcing the specialised work from India.

This seems beneficial to both sides provided they understand the needs and expectations, establish smooth communication channels and achieve the desired results, he adds.

Though outsourcing remains a relatively new concept in Coimbatore, with increasing awareness it could emerge as a major avenue of business, say Mr. Pichaiya and Mr. Raghavendran.

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