Mazzetti announces a new international office in Bengaluru, India. Vish Ponnathpore, previous Mazzetti employee, is leading this office abroad, working closely with Phil Gioa, Mazzetti Principal in Denver, and Tom Pride, Mazzetti Principal in Portland.
Why India? Why now? This story ultimately starts in 2010. Mazzetti’s Long-Range Planning Committee collaborated on a “2020 Plan”, with a key emphasis on international markets, due to both opportunities and necessity. Concurrently at this time, Walt Vernon, Mazzetti CEO, had been increasing his own participation in various international activities, including working with the World Health Organization (WHO), Healthcare without Harm in India, MASS Design in Africa, and exploratory trips with the U.S. Commerce Department for trade activities in Dubai, Saudi Arabia, Mexico City, India, and Vietnam. In addition, Mazzetti set up a non-profit organization, the Sextant Foundation, to develop renewable energy systems for low-resourced health facilities around the world, with projects in Haiti, the Dominican Republic, and the Philippines. For Mazzetti’s new international office, various locations were considered with varying degrees.
Healthcare is one of India’s largest industries in terms of revenue and employment. It comprises hospitals, medical devices, health insurance and medical equipment makers. The healthcare industry is a fast growing sector fueled by public and private investments to meet the demand. The demand is essentially driven by:
- Increase in patient population
- Rise in lifestyle-related diseases
- Demand of good quality and specialty healthcare driven by economy
- Medical tourism
- Growth of health insurance
- Increase in disposal income
The Indian healthcare sector is expected to grow to $280 Billion by 2020, growing at a compound annual growth rate of 16 percent. However, the industry is “in ‘dire need’ of right policy framework and infrastructure push”, says a FICCI-KPMG report.
India successfully held the largest democratic elections in the history of mankind with over 800 million people casting their votes in 2014. In more than a generation, India has elected its new Prime Minister N. Modi in the largest mandate. He came to power on the promise of development and creating opportunities for the people, of which, 65% are under the age of 35. India is the world’s 10th largest economy at $2.05 trillion and the third largest PPP (purchasing power parity) at $7.2 trillion. In 2013 it imported $600 billion in goods and services.
Many tech companies are increasingly looking at “off-shoring” as a way to counter market forces that are exerting pressure on engineering services in the U.S. and Europe. The key reasons are:
- Cost control
- Wider access to talent pool
- Access to growing market
- Improved turnaround time to execution of work
The top ten reasons why Mazzetti chose India:
- India is the future
- Need for quality healthcare infrastructure is on the rise
- Acute shortage of healthcare facilities requiring new construction
- Desire to build facilities to match international standards
- Talent pool and opportunity to train
- Need to build sustainable facilities
- Friendly relations between India and the US
- English speaking
- English legal system
- Time zone: Able to work a 24-hour clock
Indian native, Vish Ponnathpore PE, LEED AP, has more than thirty years of Electrical Engineering experience in the U.S. Prior to joining Mazzetti, he was a Managing Principal at PM Greene Engineers in San Jose, CA. Vish resigned from PM Greene In 2013 and worked for Mazzetti in Irvine, CA for a short period in early 2014. He now works as a consultant for Mazzetti in India. Because of his knowledge of both Indian and U.S. cultures, coupled with that of the Indian market, Vish was a prime candidate to further research an Indian office location for Mazzetti. The Mazzetti Board of Directors officially approved the Bengaluru, Indian office in December 2015. Since, Vish has been busy with opening the office and staffing. (NOTE: Vish is a Mazzetti consultant, currently being transitioned into a full time employee, in addition to two other contract designers. Mazzetti is in the process of hiring a fourth engineer later this year.)
Benefit to Mazzetti Clients
Mazzetti CEO, Walt Vernon addresses his perception of the inherent benefits to clients, given the new office.
Many firms outside of India have opened offices there and almost as many have closed them. We have spent a lot of time talking to both types of firms, trying to learn good lessons. We will start by building our capacity there and by joining our India operations with our U.S. people, to ensure we are ONE firm. Over time, as our confidence in our ability to deliver there grows, we will begin to offer services to that local market. We also believe that we, in the U.S., will learn from our new colleagues in India. The ‘Reverse Innovation’ concept, in many ways, started in India with GE… It’s a transformational opportunity to better serve clients. We hope to serve the people of India, expand the ability of our US operations to work around the clock, and ultimately, share knowledge of best practices in both of these countries.
In the short term, according to Vish, “We will focus on training and building capacity, per the Mazzetti standards, and support U.S. work.” A peer-review project for Suasth Healthcare in Mumbai, is the first official project for the new office. In the long term, Mazzetti intends to serve both Indian markets and surrounding markets including, Asia and the Middle East.