As a child, Country Manager of Turner & Townsend India Ameya Gumaste MRICS was fascinated by how a plan on paper could become a real-life building. He is now responsible for 125 people across India, but how did he get there? Ameya tells us in his own words.
Many of my father’s friends were civil engineers, and from an early age I was regaled with stories from the construction world. It fascinated me that you could plan a building on paper, and then sometime later it appears before your eyes. After taking a degree in construction engineering at the University of Mumbai in 1992, my early career began with one of India’s largest contracting companies. I then moved into engineering consultancy, but when India’s real estate market started to pick up in 2004 with the IT boom, it really inspired me to forge a different career path in real estate.
The career break
In the 1990s, I gained a lot of experience on complex projects, for example, I helped to build an earthquake rehabilitation township in Turkey. I felt I could bring my technical skills as an engineer into real estate project and cost management, and joining CBRE in 2005 gave me the best opportunity to understand how real estate works. When I moved to Turner & Townsend in 2010, I became much more aware of the work and legacy of RICS from speaking to colleagues in the UK. I knew I had to be part of a large professional certification body, so I vigorously pursued gaining my chartered status in cost management.
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I had a very rewarding time directing Turner & Townsend’s Mumbai office for four years, working with multinational corporations such as Shell, Intel, Iron Mountain, DHL and many more. Last January, I was promoted to country manager for India — it was an enormous step up, and something one dreams of. I’m now responsible for 125 professionals across Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore, when only a few years ago, there were 80.
I feel a great deal of responsibility for growing the business, in particular developing our professional teams of project managers and cost managers in India by helping them attain professional accreditations, such as RICS chartership. India is one of the world’s fastest-growing major economies, so it really is real estate’s time to grasp the growth opportunities with both hands.