By Shubika Bilkha, Business Head at REMI

Being a fresh graduate or an early stage professional trying to outline a long-term career path today is challenging. While there are a number of different career disciplines available, there is that inherent accompanying uncertainty in the constantly evolving job market of today.

Educational institutes in India train millions of students each year, however the majority of Indian graduates across disciplines remain unemployed. For example, as per the Aspiring Minds National Employability Report, of the 1.5 lakh engineering graduates in 2015 from over 650 colleges, 80% of them are unemployable. Despite some favourable initiatives, there exists a large supply and demand gap, with students expressing their frustration by way of limited employment opportunities and corporates looking for quality talent.

While graduates seem to be focused on careers in the IT sector, finance, marketing, among others, the real estate sector remains largely overlooked when determining a viable career path. The real estate sector which is slated to be a $180bn opportunity by 2022, has a current skill shortfall of 4 million core professionals with the total skill requirement of the sector expected to be 75 million by 2022. The government’s impetus to boost urban development and infrastructure, such as the addition of 25 million homes, 40 million dwelling units and 98 smart cities by 2022, has further enhanced the growth of the real estate and ancillary services sector. To build out Prime Minister Narendra’s Modi’s development agenda, there is an urgent requirement to have skilled resources in the real estate and infrastructure segments.

The real estate sector has traditionally been viewed as a fragmented and unorganised sector with firms being largely owner driven. Today, with increased regulatory vigilance and the passing of RERA 2016, as well as with real estate companies acquiring scale, getting more professional in their approach and larger players/funds developing businesses in the space, there is a wonderful opportunity to build a lucrative career. A number of real estate entities are focusing on increasing the headcount of their human resources and learning and development departments to ensure that there is a structured approach towards both talent acquisition and retention.

The ‘real estate industry’ or the ‘build environment’ in India can be categorised into two segments: construction and real estate services. Construction includes real estate asset classes (residential, commercial, retail, institutional, industrial and hospitality) and infrastructure facilities (roads, bridges, ports, airports, railways, power plants). Real estate services include services such as consulting, brokerage and other ancillary services. The ‘top of the pyramid’ manpower requirement can be categorised into three segments: specialised professionals, core professionals and non-core professionals.

Specialised professionals

• Valuers
• Quantity surveyors
• Facility managers
• Property managers
• Sustainable development experts

Core professionals
• Engineers
• Architects and planners

Non-core professionals
• Management
• Business administration
• Chartered accountants
• Marketing professionals
• Sales professionals
• Project managers
• Finance analysts
• Lawyers
• Electrical engineers

One career within this stream which has immense scope is that of a real estate broker. Unlike their global counterparts, Indian brokers are not as professional and skilled. With the recent developments in the industry aiming to organise the essential segment of the industry, most experts believe that professional certification courses should be made mandatory for brokers. With some industry players like REMI giving specialised courses for certifying brokers, this provides an additional viable and entrepreneurial career segment for aspirants.

The typical employers who recruit students from our institute include developers, brokerage firms, property management companies, real estate online portals and property consultants.

Despite this requirement for skilled professionals in the sector to enhance delivery capabilities in the industry, there are a limited number of programs and institutes focused on addressing the skill gap and training people on the required global best practices.

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