Vachan Singh: A Real-Estate Maven Known For His Comprehensive Leadership Skills & Industry-Specific Expertise

Vachan Singh: A Real-Estate Maven Known For His Comprehensive Leadership Skills & Industry-Specific Expertise

Vachan Singh, Chief Operating Officer

Vachan Singh

Chief Operating Officer

The Real Estate sector is one of the key sectors luring many passionate professionals to build a successful career around it. Always keen on learning, adapting, and interpreting all global trends in Project Management and Execution, Vachan Singh has worked in numerous leadership roles across the real estate industry and delivered many large-scale real estate projects across multiple cities and geographies.

A certified Quality Management System auditor and certified SBL, Vachan holds various certifications in the field of Project management, Execution, Quality Management, QS and HSE. Commencing his professional career with a Dam construction project in 1989, Vachan experienced a great deal of learning and exposure to construction technologies and techniques, before changing his course of action to Real Estate in 1992. Reigning in this field for more than 30  years now, Vachan has been associated with major Real estate developers in India including DLF Limited, Ansal Properties and Infrastructure Limited, Tata Housing, Mahagun India, L& T Realty and Oberoi Realty, at present. During the last 30 years, he has successfully led the Project Management and execution teams for the construction of 32 residential Projects across geographies consisting of 90 million Sq. ft of area and Rs.30,000 Crores of Construction cost, meanwhile delivering more than 24000 apartments to customers. Vachan Singh engages in an exclusive interaction with CEO Insights Asia.

What are the major challenges you have encountered so far in your journey? What did you learn from them and how did you overcome them to emerge as a successful professional?

The non-availability of the required skilled workforce, lack of good construction partners, and trained resources for project management causing project delays and cost overrun are some of the major challenges that I had to endure in my journey so far.

To overcome challenges such as improvement in budget adherence, timely delivery, and customer satisfaction with product quality from 70% to 90%, the `Operational Excellence `initiative, that I introduced helped immensely. Adoption of Precast technology for reducing dependence on onsite workers was another such initiative by me, and I managed to construct a large residential project with 100 percent precast elements, first ever in India.

We then created a framework and execution strategy for the delivery of apartments with `Zero defect' to customers and was instrumental in devising and implementing many construction technologies like RBC, Graviloft, and Robotics painting and Digitization in construction across my projects. The next thing we did was introduce a Hallmarking system for quality certification of residential apartments as an assurance certificate to customers, implementation of digital twins at various completed and ongoing projects, design and execution of a low-rise project with 3D precast ­ first ever in India, which gave a much finer grasp over the real estate industry as a new-age leader.

How would you define Oberoi Realty as an organization and its position in the market?

Envisioned to create spaces that enhance the quality of life, Oberoi Realty is known for its innovative product offering with the best quality and delivering large-scale developments focusing on premium and luxury segments. Quality in everything, starting from design, construction, and transparency with partners and customers are some of the key brand differentiators which make Oberoi Realty one of the top brands in the Real estate market in India. Oberoi Realty has developed over 42 projects and covered more than 11 million sq. ft so far, with approximately 48.68 million sq. ft in the development phase.

Reflect on the roles and responsibilities you undertake at Oberoi Realty. How do you leverage your vast industry experience and skills to craft suitable solutions for the company?

My role currently is to lead Project operations of two large developments ­ Sky City at Borivali and an upcoming mega project at Thane. Sky City is a large project consisting of residential apartments, a Mall, and a Hotel, whose first phase is in the final stage of completion. Sky City will be delivered as per RERA timelines, while the second phase is in the early stage of construction. Our mega project at Thane, close to 25 million sq. ft of the construction area is in the design and approval stage.

At Oberoi Realty, my priority currently is focusing on contracting and partnering strategies. Adopting global best practices in project management and execution, developing sales strategies and sales team formulation. Our product design is finalized based on customer requirements, with a large focus on sustainability and well-being of occupants. We are constantly looking for a long-term solution and partnering approach with all our vendors to derive mutual synergies.

Aggression in planning, Rigour in follow-ups, Persuasion with patience are key to Success in Project Operations and Execution

Share a piece of advice/suggestion to the budding leaders who would like to set a benchmark in their career?

My advice for them would be to focus on learning in the initial days of professional life and spend time in the field to understand the process and sequence of execution. Complete at least one project from conceptualization to handover, as it will help you to acquire the experience at different stages. Have a global vision and expanse of the sector, especially in the realty-tech or digitization in the real estate sector. Always have a role model or mentor who can guide you at various stages of your professional journey.

Vachan Singh, Chief Operating Officer, Sky City & Thane Oberoi Realty

Born and brought-up in a village of Bijnor, Uttar Pradesh, Vachan completed his graduation & postgraduation in Civil Engineering from BITS Pilani. An adherent nature lover, Vachan takes an immense pleasure in reading and writing poetry as well as Hindi Literature. He also loves reading books related to innovation in the field of construction and project management.

• Favorite Cuisine: Indian and Mughlai

• Favorite Book: Rashmirathi, Godaan, Atomic habits, The Alchemist

• Favourite Travel Destination: Cape town & All National Parks

• Awards & Recognition: COO of the Year 2022 for contribution in Real Estate Development, Indian Achievers Forum Best Project Leader of the year, 2011, CII Excellence in Project Management, 2013- Indian Realty awards Sustainability Excellence, 2019, CII Innovation in Construction technology award – 2017, ET Awards Award for cycle time reduction and faster completion of a high-rise building project, 2015, Real Estate business award All National Parks


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