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This 25-year-old IIT Kharagpur grad aims to change fate of construction companies with BIM tech

Aparajita Choudhury
21st Mar 2017
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Glex Consulting is a consultancy that helps construction companies generate and manage building data throughout the building life cycle from simulation to construction.

The necessity of a hefty funding to start a venture has become a thing of the past. The power of the internet, if properly leveraged, can work wonders in minimising the risk of cash crunch in the initial months. Like many passionate young entrepreneurs, 25-year-old IIT Kharagpur alumnus and Indore resident Jayan Prajapati embarked on his journey from his bedroom, armed with nothing more than his laptop.

Jayan Prajapati, Founder, Glex Consulting
Jayan Prajapati, Founder, Glex Consulting

While studying architectural engineering Jayan was exposed to Building Information Modeling (BIM), a 3D model-based process that equips architecture, engineering, and construction professionals with the insight and tools to plan, design, construct, and manage buildings and infrastructure more efficiently.

Impressed by the technology and confident in his own knowledge of architectural engineering, Jayan decided to start up in this domain. He was so enthused by the idea that he sent out 9,000 emails seeking BIM coordination.

After getting a couple of responses by way of projects, he decided to hire a few people, whom he then trained in the usage of BIM. He started Glex Consulting in May 2016 as a platform for import and export of services in the construction simulation sector, which is still considered a niche domain.

Talking about the initial days, he recalls how his first client was someone who had come on board on a trial basis for a month. Today, his client list is said to have expanded to the US, UK, Australia, Singapore, and New Zealand.

Despite having clients spread across the globe, Glex Consulting does not have an office space to call its own — the employees are ‘digital nomads’, working from home. The BIM contracts he receives from his clients have to do with planning, documentation, and simulation. In the last six months, the company is said to have witnessed a 40 percent month-on-month revenue growth. “I charge on behalf of my talent pool on a monthly basis, hence dividing the whole project duration into months,” says Jayan.

Initial hiccups

It hasn't been all hunky-dory for Jayan in this journey. While the company lost a few clients owing to inefficient project management, there were those who never paid up, leading to the reworking of some crucial areas including the pricing strategy.

Glex Consulting currently has five full-time employees working on different projects. Flexible working hours appear to have fuelled his employees’ productivity, leading Jayan to tie up with co-working spaces in various cities and get more people to work from their hometowns, where they can earn and live with their families. He says,

“I plan to touch profits of nearly a crore in the next two years. I will add other verticals like product simulation and design outsourcing in future.”

He adds that his BIM coordinators and managers can successfully carry out the various processes required for flawless construction which include concept designs, detailed construction design and documentation; analysis — thermal, structural; project management and logistics; building systems management and operation; renovation simulation; and demolition planning.

Rendering construction hi-tech

Glex Consulting works as a BIM consultant from India, helping construction companies generate and manage building data throughout the building life cycle from simulation to construction to its use. It includes design, implementation of various services and systems, coordination between various stakeholders in construction, etc.

BIM software (such as ArchiCAD) allows the design team working on a project to construct a 3D model. According to Jayan, in the past, this would have been done by comparing flat 2D drawings, or worse, on site when the conflict is discovered.

“BIM is an architectural process of virtual design and construction that, through the heavy use of technology, integrates and connects information with the virtual model. We have signed contracts and act as a consultant to various construction firms and charge them phase-wise which we renew after every project. Till now we have successfully done over 18 projects,” says Jayan.

Other startups in the space include a Hyderabad-based startup called Arth DesignBuild. Founded by three IIT Kharagpur alumni, it offers concept design, design development, consultant participation, construction documentation, and tendering process.

According to a research report by Amity University and KPMG, the built environment sector in India will continue to play a significant role in the nation’s infrastructure and industrial development that is being driven by economic growth, industrialisation, and urbanisation.

The creation of built environment assets and employment generation by the sector can significantly impact India’s growth story, according to the report. However, the Indian built environment sector is currently facing several challenges including delays, cost overruns, quality issues, and other inefficiencies in the delivery process.

The report, based on a survey conducted in a couple of metro cities, revealed that 22 percent of the respondents currently use BIM, 27 percent respondents said they were aware of and actively considering BIM usage, while 43 percent claimed to be aware of BIM but were unsure about implementing it in their organisations in the near future. Eight percent of the respondents were completely unaware of BIM.

Website: Glex Consulting 

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