The Construction industry is the backbone and lifeline of the Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) industry. After agriculture, the construction industry provides employment to maximum number of people in India. The thrust provided by the Government for the infrastructure sector promises to offer huge opportunities to the EPC players.

It is estimated that the EPC industry will open up opportunities worth INR 17 trillion by 2018. With FDI inflows opening up, half of the foreign investment in the infrastructure sector is expected to be routed through EPC players.

The availability of good and reliable contractors to take up these huge projects will definitely be a matter of concern as much as the manufacturing capacity of equipment manufacturers. The perennial shortage in skilled construction labor is also bound to be more pronounced. This will add more focus on the vocational institutes which provide training in skills related to the construction industry.

To add to the humongous opportunity in this changing scenario is the increase in the number of projects and an expectation to see an additional demand in every aspect of the engineering, manufacturing and construction activities. Quality control and quality assurance in every project will get even more crucial, so will supervision and management.

Construction safety in India has come a long way but a lot more has to be accomplished to be at par with international standards. Safety mechanisms and safety management at project sites will have to improve. It is obviously mandatory to inculcate the need for safe working conditions for the construction labor, which would be skilled, unskilled or semi-skilled and mostly unorganised. This is a challenge most EPC players face and the companies are taking proactive measures to improve their safety standards.

So how do we drive further investment and also ensure that client expectations are managed without losing on margins? All or some of the above may help.

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