Sajid Sayyad, Senior Manager, Project Management Vertical, ReBIT is more popularly referred as the ‘Premises Man’ among his colleagues in ReBIT. Apart from juggling multiple projects in his core-domain, Sajid’s stellar contribution is managing the project of building a state-of-the-art office for ReBIT. He shares the unique experience of leading this challenging project; which recently achieved the Green Building Standards required for certification at Platinum level, under Indian Green Building Council’s (IGBC) Green Interiors Rating System (for new interiors), in a tete-tete conversation with M.D.S. PRABU.
Details of ReBIT’s premises project
ReBIT’s premises project began in 2017. The objective was to implement a rigorous thought process and methodology to procure a world-class, employee- and eco-friendly office premises at reasonable cost.
Starting in a phased-approach, we hired consultants for different functions like overall consultancy, location finalization, design of interiors, IT networking, and facility management.
We formed a premises working group which had representation of employees from across all the verticals in ReBIT. The premises committee comprised of a few members of ReBIT’s senior management. Both groups contributed to the premises work. I was appointed as a project manager to oversee and manage implementation. Every key decision went through an extensive deliberation and discussion by the premises committee and the premises working group.
Selection of the commercial property
The property selection criteria included compliance with IGBC requirements like proximity to facilities like transport, hospitals, ATMs and food courts. The evaluation of the property was completed on the basis of IGBC parameters like space-efficiency, water-conservation, eco-friendly refrigerants, energy efficiency interior, energy metering management, waste management and eco-certified interior.
Premises group, committee members and consultants designed the layout for the premises. Thereafter, it was ensured that all the activities e.g. selection of the carpet, chairs and workstations, and designing of the cafeteria went through a rigorous evaluation process, prior to finalisation.
Platinum certification for green interiors
The certification process takes into account the design efficiency, water conservation, use of eco-friendly materials in construction and operation, energy saving, waste segregation, daylight utilization, acoustic performance and indoor pollution control.
During the planning and design stage itself, ReBIT premises project team had planned to apply for this certification. As a result, we managed to inbuilt the requirements of the certification at the inception level. It is gratifying to finally achieve the certification, which demonstrates our commitment to sustainability.
Challenges faced while implementation
Being a public-sector entity, ReBIT was required to follow the mandated procurement process which meant that selection of every vendor/consultant had to undergo a Request for Proposal (RFP)/Request For Quotation(RFQ) process. This was a good learning experience for me. After working in the corporate environment for more than a decade, this allowed me to understand the nuances of a government procurement process.
I adopted a proactive approach and personally enjoyed the challenges of working in a new domain. The transition from IT project management to civil and real estate project, though for a short time, was challenging but a satisfying journey.
In addition, working with the CEO and senior management helped me to understand the importance of focusing on details and the diversity of domain expertise required by the senior staff. I realised that project management concepts, theories and best practices are derived from the process of civil projects. In addition, this project has enabled me to develop an understanding of various aspects like legal, finance, procedures to be adopted by government organisations, etc.
I would like to summarise that premises project has helped me immensely to enhance my project management skills. Undoubtedly, it is one of the most prestigious and memorable projects of my professional life.