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Grand challenges for the Indian construction industry

Anil Sawhney (RICS School of Built Environment, Amity University, Noida, India)
Raghav Agnihotri (Department of Civil Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology Delhi, New Delhi, India)
Virendra Kumar Paul (Department of Building Engineering and Management, School of Planning and Architecture, New Delhi, India)

Built Environment Project and Asset Management

ISSN: 2044-124X

Article publication date: 2 September 2014




Today, construction sector of most emerging economies, including India, is witnessing sharp growth prospects on the one hand and pressure to effectively and efficiently contribute to the national development on the other. The Indian construction industry is one of the major stimulants of the economic and social growth of the nation. However, the sector is confronted by numerous issues, thereby reducing its efficacy and unhindered growth prospects. The purpose of this paper is to extract various industry impediments and suggest a prioritized listing of challenges faced by the industry using the Grand Challenges Approach (GCA).


Motivated by the GCA this study uses the Delphi process for consensus building in the expert panel, comprising of 39 professionals from across various industry stakeholders. A qualitative round was first used to acquire views on the challenges. Consequently two quantitative Delphi rounds were conducted to extract Top-10 Challenges for the industry based on two aspects – priority and impact. A wider industry survey was also carried out, which served as an unscientific validation of the Delphi Study.


Grand Challenges facing the Indian construction sector were identified. Addressing these challenges at the national level has the potential of transforming the industry to highly efficient, quality cantered and bullish industry capable of delivering successfully.


The GCA, used extensively by the health sector internationally, is used for the Indian construction industry in a novel way to set an agenda for enhancing its operational efficiency.



Sawhney, A., Agnihotri, R. and Kumar Paul, V. (2014), "Grand challenges for the Indian construction industry", Built Environment Project and Asset Management, Vol. 4 No. 4, pp. 317-334.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2014, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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