Dipen Mehta: Construction management through the lens of social betterment

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Dipen Mehta offers insight about Project Management services and the allied responsibilities of furthering the practice through academia and other initiatives. He also heads the organisation dealing with Building Services – MEPF. He takes us through entities that inspired him as a young professional and practices that shaped his outlook towards work. From academia to challenging projects such as “Save the Children UK”, his trajectory illustrates a wholesome approach to practice and contributing to society.

What course led you to establish PCS Project Management?

Back in 1995, construction project management was solely a modern, exceptional and a distinctive concept in the construction industry. We seized the need to implement the best-practices in the said industry. We laid the first stone for Project Consultancy Services (PCS)  that grew into PCS Project Management Pvt. Ltd. in 2008. Construction projects were turning complex by the day with new advancements in technologies and architectural services.  I realised the necessity for a professional approach towards it. 

What influenced your decision to study civil engineering followed by the certified training in the National Fire Protection Association?

I was amazed by the progress in building construction. It led me to pursue civil engineering. In the course of my professional practice, I realised a need for a distinct organisation in order to carry out building services design – MEPF services. I hence established Aqua Utility Designs and Management Pvt. Ltd. in 2002 starting with Plumbing Design initially. We yielded fire fighting design services under Aqua Designs based on my work experience, but lacked professional qualifications. At the time of my tenure as President of Fire and Security Association of India (FSAI), a rare and valuable training program on Fire Fighting was organised through NFPA. I was fortunate to be a part of the event and utilized the opportunity to achieve training and certification successfully.

 

I realised a need for a distinct organisation in order to carry out building services design –MEPF Services and established Aqua Utility Designs and Management Pvt. Ltd. in 2002.

How was it working with architects Hasmukh C Patel and Dr. Bimal Patel?

The 10 years of working experience with Architect Hasmukh C Patel and Architect Dr. Bimal Patel imparted a perception of professional practices, assisted in developing administrative skills, indulged me in taking risks and supported my growth. We had a close and personal alliance. I was handed responsibility for two prestigious projects right at the beginning, nevertheless aiding me throughout the project. Their trust boosted my morale and the confidence that I imbibed, left no situation unturned. 

What led you to undertake academics and teaching at CEPT?

It is important to serve back to society after achieving professional success. There is nothing better than lending a hand in shaping intellectual generations by means of knowledge sharing, guiding students to lay a strong foundation for their career and make known to  them the reality of the world, while they study with practical knowledge and experience. However, students are admirable teachers too, teaching us new entities and bringing innovation to our thinking.

What are the gaps that you identify in the eco-system of design; in between the architects, the MEP systems, project managers and the client? How can these practices overcome these challenges?

Majority of clients and project stakeholders are unclear about their project goals. This leads the architects, MEP consultants and project managers to work in different tracks. It wastes time, energy and often money, due to repeated design changes at site. Often, the involvement of various designers, consultants and other agencies delay the decisions and execution processes. This could be avoided judiciously by hiring designers and consultants with better coordination, professional approach and respect for each other’s part in any project. Project Managers or consultants should be appointed well in advance in order for project activities to be carried out with their consultation.

What has been the most challenging project in the span of your career?

“Save the Children UK” was one of the most challenging projects of my career. Based in Kutch, soon after the Gujarat Earthquake 2001, the proposal involved assisting local communities. I was working single-handedly at the time. Infrastructure and machinery were wrecked owing to the calamity. There were varying unfamiliar subsoil conditions; and cautious use of funds allocated for children’s health and education proved to be strenuous. There were more than 150 buildings located at more than 100 villages and towns and it was crucial to follow the system of organisation consisting of single lump sum tender, also different evaluation and monitoring system requirements for contractors and agencies.

What projects is PCS Project Management currently working on?

We are engaged in a bunch of projects, a few of them being Laxmi Sky City, Ahmedabad. The project inheres residential apartments, along with commercial spaces. Manor Greenz, Ahmedabad comprises elite residential apartments including penthouses and other amenities. Shree Mahavira Jaina Vidhalaya, Ahmedabad established for the benefit of Jaina community imparts education of basic principles of Jainism for students and provides basic lodging facilities. Mehta House, Ahmedabad, a farmhouse inheriting all ultra modern facilities.

PCS Project Management Pvt. Ltd.

Website: pcsindia.co.in
E-mail: contact@pcsindia.co.in
Contact:  +91 79 26937262
 

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