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Indian Culture – The Right Fit for Architectural Outsourcing

Indian Culture – The Right Fit for Architectural Drafting Outsourcing Ask most people from the West about their impression of Indian culture, and most likely, you’re going to get answers ranging from cows and elephants roaming the streets, intense poverty, Bollywood and a powerful onslaught of vibrant colours, sounds and smells. But there is more to Indian culture. And the Indian work culture in particular is refreshingly professional. One of the advantages of the Indian working class is a certain reverence for learning, in-depth technical expertise, updated training and a healthy working knowledge of the English language. On a global scale, this can be invaluable. Diversity in a nation of 29 states and 9 union territories, each with its own distinct flavor, means people are familiar with adapting to varied situations, circumstances, other cultures and professional needs. Add to the mix India’s increasing collaboration with Western corporate and technical entities, eagerness to adapt, and it’s no surprise that Indian work culture exudes a universal appeal. Specific to the architectural CAD outsourcing services industry, these unique Indian cultural features, and more, make India a logical destination for international firms. In an age of worldwide economic stress, human resources and work culture are bound to be affected. There is an increasing demand for relevant talent, and so, companies are paying keen attention to retaining and encouraging that talent. Work culture, especially in the emerging outsourced CAD services sector, is a key factor in overall economic growth. Thus, understanding the significance of the Indian work culture, what it was and how it is adapting, becomes fundamentally beneficial for Western firms. How the Work Cultures Compared Previously: - In India, it was perfectly acceptable to work for 10 hours or more; in the West, it is an exception to the rule, where work hours are from 7-8 in a day.


- In India, the relationship between the boss and subordinates was very formal and hierarchical, and it is not so in the West. - In India, the hierarchical structure did not always focus on the individual employee but consistently placed management welfare on the top of the pyramid. In the West, the less formal practice of addressing people on a first-name basis, speaking only of work-connected issues and exhibiting less interpersonal skills is more common. - Accomplishing a project by a set deadline was sometimes an issue for Indian companies. In the West, it is mandatory to honour commitments and complete tasks on time. Punctuality is not a choice; it is a necessity in the Western work culture. - In India, being direct could easily be misunderstood to be rude or disrespectful. Direct communication is appreciated in Western countries. - Indians strove to maintain flexibility and practiced it easily. They tried to adjust wherever possible and whenever required. In the West, this is not so. Professionals function according to a set process and frown on frequent changes. In particular last-minute changes are unacceptable. - In Indian companies, the prime focus remained on productivity, with the exclusion of almost everything else. Western nations see the work place as a place of recreation, enjoyment, innovation and creativity, with facilities such as gyms, clubs, lounges, etc. With the progressive march of globalisation, the architectural drafting industry in India quickly adapted to global requirements and certain definitive characteristics of Indian culture helped it along. Strengths of Indian Culture - Communication – Indians have a fairly good grasp of the English language compared to Asian competitors. Being able to understand building and design elements and recognising problem areas is great, but getting that message across to a customer in the clearest and most concise manner improves productivity and creates a lasting impression that breeds confidence. - A skilled workforce, especially in the IT-enabled industry means that the Indian firms have access to a large amount of number of skilled architectural technicians and architectural 3D modelling resources. Indian firms focus heavily on the latest technology and infrastructure, training the workforce to use the latest technologies, with training programmes conducted on a regular basis to ensure employees are up to date with new software releases that are acquired using the latest releases of Autodesk and ArchiCAD software. - Indian culture tends to be biased towards politeness and keeping people happy. This trend is also seen at work – leading to greater customer satisfaction and higher levels of retention. This is really important in an industry such as architecture, where it is important to ‘learn once and apply forever’ to ensure ongoing quality, accuracy and productivity. - The employee-employee relationship in India is much more social. Employees are friendly, and being on good terms within an organisation generally helps processes move faster and more efficiently. In architecture support firms, this can aid retention, which is vital to build long-term relationships with client teams from homebuilding, retail and architectural practices. - Working hours can easily be 9-10 hours a day, increasing productivity and allowing customers to meet time scales and deadlines in an industry that is constantly seeking to deliver new construction projects on time. The strengths of Indian culture would best be served by adopting some of the better practices of Western culture. These include: - Focus on delivering tasks and following set processes – A professional approach to the completion of various deadlines with quality output and adhering to set processes.


- Positive work environment – This involves a relationship with co-workers and supervisors, an organisational culture and room for personal development. - Transparent and open communication - Transparent and open communication lets employees feel what they say has value, makes employees feel they belong in the organisation. Work becomes meaningful, as employees know their contribution affects the company. Communication promotes trust in daily interactions between co-workers, as well as between subordinates and supervisors. Thus, employees will not be afraid to suggest ideas to improve work processes, thus benefiting everyone in the organisation in return. - Balance between work and personal life - This sense of balance improves job satisfaction, fulfils various needs and goals in life, like of family, friends, spiritual pursuits, self-growth, etc., which increases self-confidence and better performance. Additionally, employees that are exposed to more experiences in life outside of work can use what they’ve gained and apply that to their work. In other words, work-life balance promotes creative solutions to new challenges, with out-of-the-box thinking.

How a Western-owned culture can impact others Generally, the Indian cultural ethos sees individuals handle technical tasks, perform simultaneously and focus on results, but previously, all on ‘Indian Standard Time’, which excused an almost karmic acceptance of delays. Also, a certain pull-back to following processes, committing to repetitive tasks and paying attention to detail were all historically practiced. Due to greater interaction and collaboration with Western firms, these laxities are changing quickly. Today, in India, the workforce is at ease with structure, capable of managing time, following processes, focusing on tasks and not being diverted with relationships. People and training culture in architectural design support firms in India is influenced by a number of factors, including: - Employees keep themselves regularly updated with the rapid evolution of technology, although support and personalised CAD training programs from employers help enormously. - Hard skills impact work productivity directly, and the importance of training is well recognised, with work study and method study applied to CAD tasks to measure productivity being welcomed by most employees. - Soft skills, such as interpersonal skills, positively affect morale, and thus productivity. and it is common to see good architectural support firms in India investing in English language development for their teams. - Acknowledging and rewarding employees who put in extra effort encourages similar effort by others. This includes verbal recognition and daily interaction by superiors. - A movement towards accepting and tolerating different perspectives and styles enhances a stronger team spirit and helps to find solutions to architectural design challenges all along the architectural design workflow. This changing scenario is heavily influenced by the working style of Western companies. How well an Anglo-Indo culture works in the outsourced CAD service industry Recent years have seen a new wave of young Indians, who are dynamic and modern in their ambitions and working styles. This has led to a wealth of outsourcing options, especially in technical fields, where corporate culture has adopted the best practices of different worlds. For instance, in the architectural drafting world, where BIM outsourcing plays a key role, this change is visibly prevalent. General practices which are becoming progressively common with architectural CAD outsourcing services in this part of the world include the following:


- Employees plan tasks for the week, with hourly entries. This detailed plan is an estimate, but it helps project managers to monitor manpower and resources. By the weekend, each employee records their work in a database that works out how much of what was planned got completed. The data is used to monitor utilisation, which is typically targeted in excess of 80. percent. - A blueprint explains the content of a schematic design set of drawings, or a DD or CD set of drawings, and instructs how and when to build it, broken down into manageable phases and deliverables. - Each phase contains defined tasks, and projects can be viewed as checklists, detailing each employee’s progress. This way, a competitive environment is created and the workforce is encouraged to follow set guidelines. This format helps people know exactly which part of the process they are currently at. - Other than accountability, people can function without interruptions, since everyone has access to each other’s checklist, which in turn aids project management. - Architectural tools, such as AutoCAD, cut turnaround time. BIM has the potential to squeeze production cycles even shorter, while at the same time expand, by leaps and bounds, the quality and quantity of data in the final ‘product’. With these new tools and new attitudes, clients from the West are expecting, demanding and receiving more from a culture primed to adapt constantly. Industry-specific deliverables, now being processed with global professional standards, have attained a new level of expertise and quality in India – a perfect fit indeed.

Indian Culture – The Right Fit for Architectural Outsourcing  

The Indian working class is a certain reverence for learning, in-depth technical expertise, updated training and a healthy working knowledge...

Indian Culture – The Right Fit for Architectural Outsourcing  

The Indian working class is a certain reverence for learning, in-depth technical expertise, updated training and a healthy working knowledge...

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