Q&A with M V Harish, Managing Director of Project & Development Service at JLL India

heading the India Business for JLL Project and Development Services in India.
M V Harish, Managing Director of Project & Development Service at JLL India, is currently heading the India Business for JLL Project and Development Services in India. This includes Project Management Services, Construction Management Services ( Design & Build ), Cost Management Services & Development Advisory services spanning across Corporate clients, MNC's, Industrial Projects, Hotels, Greenfield & Brownfield projects as well as large scale developments.

With changing employee priorities and heightened expectations, health and well-being, hybrid working models, investment in technology and sustainable business practices will become the key focus for corporations.



MEDIA 7: Please tell us about your role at JLL and your overall professional journey.
M V HARISH:
As Managing Director of Projects and Development Services (PDS)-India, I head the India business and have been with JLL for nearly two decades. My strength is my team and I manage the largest team of PDS in APAC, which comprises of strong 1200+ resources. With more than 37 years of experience in diverse real estate services, have witnessed and been an integral part of the evolution of this industry. Having served in various leadership positions, I was appointed as COO for PDS India in 2012 and took over as MD for the PDS India Business in 2018. I represent APAC as a member of the PDS Global Board. I strongly believe that my strategic & client-centric approach contributed to further diversification of the India business into Greenfield – Investor/Developer, Educational, Healthcare and Hospitality, Industrial, Datacenter Projects amongst others. However, as I look back, the incubation of Design & Build Services in 2006, the first for any IPC, has been a clear differentiator positioning JLL PDS as industry leaders.


M7: How do you see the concept of 'project management getting momentum in the real estate sector?
MVH:
The real-estate sector has been maturing for some time now. However, the global COVID-19 pandemic has proven to be an accelerant of change and transformation for many organizations. The CRE managers are aiming to opt for an asset lite portfolio. Their need for a systemic approach, technology-enabled project management and more focus on cost and timeline management, is allowing more space for professional project management firms like ours. Project Management is more agile than ever before. The skilled resources, control over cost and quality, strong focus on ethics and safety and robust technology platform provide better value to clients and they see more merit in on-boarding project managers to manage projects vis-à-vis developing/expanding real estate teams internally.


M7: What's your take on pre-and post-COVID-19 market scenarios?
MVH:
With changing employee priorities and heightened expectations, health and well-being, hybrid working models, investment in technology and sustainable business practices will become the key focus for corporations as they reshape their strategy to become more adaptive, resilient, sustainable and responsible. There is an increased focus on the decarbonization of real estate and companies across asset classes are striving to reduce their carbon footprint. The leasing models have seen a shift as companies realign their real-estate spending. There is a growing segment of clients who are looking at leasing co-working spaces. The distribution of workforce to Tier-II cities, owing to the work-from-home situation, has created a demand for resilient infrastructure and will change the real-estate landscape of those cities. New trends are emerging, for eg: book-your-seat app-based features, walk-to-work where possible. Clearly, the employee is at the center & every aspect revolves around their safety, wellness & aspirations while planning the workplace of the future.


There is an increased focus on the decarbonization of real estate and companies across asset classes are striving to reduce their carbon footprint



M7: Would you like to share some of the key elements of 'Project and Development Services’ at JLL?
MVH:
JLL has unmatched project management expertise. JLL's Projects & Development Services (PDS) division specializes in end-to-end solutions for clients across all asset classes. With a 1200+ workforce, our footprint is visible across all Major Indian cities and we constantly strive to enter new geographies & sectors. Apart from traditional Project Management Services, PDS also provides Technical Advisory, Cost Management, and Design & Build Turnkey solutions. We have managed over 287 million square feet (Sft) across the country, including Commercial, Residential, Healthcare, Lifesciences, Hospitality, Retail, Educational, Industrial, and many others. Over the years we have invested heavily in technology & I can safely quote – JLL PDS is aiming to be a vertical that employs technology to drive Project Management across Projects.


M7: You have been dealing with different verticals. Are there any similar value points that remain constant across the verticals while reaching out to the customers?
MVH:
Consistent service delivery, process streamlining / improvement, value engineering around sustainable time and cost savings, quality parameters & stringent focus on-site safety are few constants regardless of verticals/sectors. As a result of our experience in delivering for our clients over two decades, we understand that the key to achieving their goals is understanding their Business needs & ensuring consistent delivery. We achieve this with a team of experienced professionals whose industry and market knowledge enable them to not only seamlessly navigate local requirements, but also maximize the wealth of information, resources and technology tools at their disposal.

M7: How do you see the concept of smart buildings gaining momentum in the industry?
MVH:
Systems in smart buildings depend on data from other systems to operate optimally, therefore, smart buildings have changed the way we design, manage, and operate space for our clients. We are witnessing significant investments by Funds and Developers to incorporate prop-tech in the new constructions to provide the best-in-class experience & operational efficiency to their occupiers. Similarly, there are considerable activities around upgrading the ageing assets and smart renovations. Over 30% of real estate in India is now over a decade old. These buildings were designed to standards that have now become outdated, resulting in a mismatch between new tenant needs and current layouts. The key objective for any smart building is to increase operational efficiency, better energy savings and incorporate elements of digitization and automation. The results of these solutions are helping clients build more sustainable, future-proof & comfortable workspaces.


Clearly, the employee is at the center & every aspect revolves around their safety, wellness & aspirations while planning the workplace of future



M7: Your services' portfolio includes everything from consult to build. How do you keep on re-inventing this portfolio to make it more customer-centric?
MVH:
We strive to be a leader and operate as a true extension of our clients. The JLL team regards each client relationship as a long-term relationship with the goal of enhancing the client’s real estate function into a proactive business enabler uniquely required by each enterprise. While these requirements are as diverse as the companies themselves, the fundamentals that make them excellent are all grounded in proper organizational structure, reliable data and industry-leading best practices. We also take client feedback very seriously and constantly strive to elevate our service levels.  We also invest in the right talent for the right project and ensure that clients get the subject matter experts they need for the development.


M7: How do you see technology complementing the delivery of your services and adding value to the overall customer experience? Would you like to throw some light on the road map ahead?
MVH:
At JLL our motto is to shape the future of real estate for a better world by using the most advanced technology to create rewarding opportunities, amazing spaces and sustainable real estate solutions for our clients. We have a portfolio of tech-driven solutions which enhance our delivery at each stage of project execution and beyond. We use technology as an enabler to create an interconnected space and to improve collaborations of stakeholders from multiple geos. The future is any-device, any-app, any-data, any-where, any-time!

ABOUT JLL

JLL is here to create rewarding opportunities and amazing spaces around the globe where people can achieve their ambitions. In doing so, they are building a better tomorrow for their clients, their people and their communities. They're a world leader in real estate services, powered by an entrepreneurial spirit. They want the most ambitious clients to work with them, and the most ambitious people to work for them. It’s as simple as that. They buy, build, occupy and invest in a variety of assets including industrial, commercial, retail, residential and hotel real estate. From tech startups to global firms, their clients span industries including banking, energy, healthcare, law, life sciences, manufacturing and technology.

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Spotlight

JLL India

JLL is here to create rewarding opportunities and amazing spaces around the globe where people can achieve their ambitions. In doing so, they are building a better tomorrow for their clients, their people and their communities. They're a world leader in real estate services, powered by an entreprene...

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