If you think that outsourcing in India was just synonymous with accounting, call centres and financial services, here is some news. The latest to join the outsourcing wave in the country is design support services, in which architecture and building design is supplied to remote customers as a service.
Growing at 30 per cent per annum, this could make India the design centre of the world, say its pioneers, who put high-skilled design workers to work with advanced software.
The market size for the sector in the US is $225 billion, and with India just beginning to make a mark, its growth story appears to be on solid ground, say industry officials.
In a vote of confidence in the business, Satellier, a Chicago-based company with a strong presence in India, on Wednesday announced that it had received $10 million in funding from one of Silicon Valley's most respected venture capital funds, Sequoia Capital.
Satellier, runs its Indian studio facilities at New Delhi and Kolkata with 400 design professionals to execute technical drawings for its projects across the world. Outside India, the company has only 20 to 25 employees, which it expects will rise to 70 in the coming year.
Michael Jansen, chairman and CEO, Satellier, said the funding will be used for mergers and acquisitions involving companies engaged in related work (mostly in China) as well as towards organisational growth which includes plans to open three new offices in the US, one in the UK and delivery centers in India and around the world over the next year.
"However, the primary focus will be developing the Building Information Modeling (BIM) service solutions for the global as well as Indian architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) industry," he told reporters.
BIM software simulates construction and operations and is particularly geared towards helping developers, hoteliers and multinationals in their real estate projects in India.
"It will help reduce construction time, detect complexities between disciplines as well as enable developers to understand energy components thus reducing costs. The cost of the module will depend upon the scale of the project, the location and its nature," Jansen said.