Regional Director for India
Pawan Maini is Mace’s Regional Director for India, leading a team of more than 200 consultants spread across India. His career has taken him around the world, delivering everything from infrastructure programmes to skyscrapers to commercial offices in different markets.
- How did you end up working for Mace?
Mace has worked in India for nearly a decade, and across that time we’ve delivered some fantastic projects. I joined Mace in 2018 – I heard they were looking for a new person to lead the business in India and I jumped at the chance. I had actually worked with Mace on a previous project in another role, and I think the company has built a fantastic reputation for quality delivery in India.
I’m very proud to have the opportunity to build on the work that has gone before and continue to grow the business.
- Why Mace?
There are two things in my mind that really differentiate Mace from the rest of the market in India. The first is that we work across the whole lifecycle; from development to consultancy to construction and then operations.
The second is that Indian business culture can be very hierarchical. At Mace we’ve tried hard to build a culture where everyone is encouraged to speak up and suggest a better approach to a problem.
- What’s the major difference between working in India and elsewhere?
India is a fast-growing market, but the reality is that we are still running behind a lot of the developed world when it comes to the process and technologies to deliver big construction projects.
It can be difficult to deliver programmes for global companies or large developers and meet a consistent standard of service, delivery and health, safety and wellbeing. To do so requires working with contractors, the clients and the supply chain to challenge expectations and create new behaviours.
- How is the built environment sector changing?
We have seen some huge infrastructure investment programmes being announced in India recently, and as these move from planning to delivery I would hope to see an improvement in the quality of how we build out these big programmes.
There is also an increasing focus on environmental concerns; particularly air quality. In Indian cities the dust and exhaust from construction sites is a huge contributor to our awful air quality, and smart contractors and clients are already working to make changes to their tools, processes and standards.
- What will be Mace’s next steps in the Indian market?
Alongside delivering our current portfolio of exceptional projects, we are targeting expansion across a number of sectors. We are particularly keen to secure roles on some of the larger, longer term infrastructure programmes. Those longer term projects give you a reliable income base that help to drive investment in the regional business. We are also investing in recruiting and developing exceptional talent who focus on technical excellence to help deliver projects more effectively for our clients.
- What skills and characteristics do you look for in others?
It’s important for people to stay hungry and keep driving for success – but also vital that you can find a good balance between work and your personal life. You should be able to achieve success both professionally and personally.
I believe that one of the most important skills – particularly in India – is being able to get the basics right. You can talk about high level innovation or smart cities all you want; but if you can’t ensure that construction sites have uninterrupted power you can’t build anything sustainably. Those basics are still a challenge in India.
“At Mace we’ve tried hard to build a culture where everyone is encouraged to speak up and suggest a better approach to a problem.”