Integrated Project at SIFY
Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success.
by Puneet Haldankar, E&E: Ashi Seth, Godrej Interio and N.S.N. Moorthy, Integrated Offering - President’s Office
Data centers is a growth segment in India. As MEP projects are of short cycle by nature, agility, flexibility, and frequent reviews are essential for adhering to schedules. Our mantra is – “On time, Every Time (OTET) which is based on the strong foundation of continually improved processes and systems. This makes us confident of fulfilling the expectations of our customers. - Pravin Rawool, Head MEP Projects
Adoption of digital technologies create massive, new opportunities that must be exploited by the collective efforts of our businesses.

G&B has been serving the projects business space for several years across different business units. This business typically involves long gestation periods and a high level of preparatory work with the customer, right from the pre-order stage. Our Businesses have maintained long term connects with their customers over the years. The MEP Team from E&E has been exploring new segments to grow. One of these is data centers, which has a healthy potential for growth. MEP learnt that a major player in this segment – Sify Technologies Ltd (SIFY), had a requirement to set up a Center at NOIDA for a 700 rack, 10MW project on three floors of their building. They were looking for contractors to do the packages of MEP, HVAC, Electrical and Civil Interiors. MEP has been a part of the Integrated Offering initiative since 2018. A clutch of project-based businesses from E&E, Interio and Security BUs have been a part of this initiative with GLAFS being a recent entrant. This initiative seeks to leverage the customer relationships forged by individual BUs to win new business for the participating BUs. SIFY presented a great opportunity for the BUs concerned. The MEP and Interiors teams jointly bid and successfully bagged the orders for all the three packages. Making a beginning with a reputed customer in data center space, this was a significant win for us marking our entry.

Project SIFY

As it was a first for Godrej in the data center space, the client wanted to know about our capabilities. These were presented to them by our sales and execution teams. The teams shared our experience in executing large and complex projects across the country. During this process, we established relationships with the stakeholders in SIFY. They were convinced and invited us to participate in the tenders, which were issued as per their practice, project-wise. In close coordination, E&E and Interio participated in these tenders. The intent was to get a full understanding of the client’s requirements and prepare a very competitive offer. The teams had multiple rounds of negotiations before successfully closing the orders for three packages – Interiors, HVAC & Electrical.

Execution - Planning & Coordination

Interio executed Civil Interiors and HVAC while Electricals were executed by the E&E team. The workflow was Integrated for Civil, HVAC and Electrical works by sequencing the inter dependent activities as per the readiness of the site and the installation of HVAC equipment.

Timely information relay on the progress of each stage helped in avoiding rework.

The entire project was mapped to its last mile activity on MS Projects and tracked daily for adherence to the schedule. Project teams created and circulated internal tracking sheets to ensure that the teams of design, purchase and execution were abreast of the requirements and the decisions taken. Escalation interval was set at three hours to ensure a high level of adherence to schedules.

Execution Challenges

The work commenced in Nov 2019 and the pandemic hit in March 2020 stopping the operations at the site. Men and materials were there but the work had to be halted due to the lockdown. The Godrej teams provided the workmen with requisite support and rations during this period which enabled them to re- mobilize the site in May 2020, once the restrictions on movement were lifted. As there were some restrictions still in place for movement across state borders, vendors were identified near the project location to meet site requirements immediately. Additional local workmen were mobilized too. For critical component like bus-ducts, materials were air lifted for meeting the schedule. As it often happens, the client increased the scope of work. It called for additional materials to be sourced during the lockdown. Our teams rose to the challenge and identified vendors who were ready to supply. Train cargo services were engaged for delivery of materials at site as they had fewer restrictions. Imported items too were sourced from different countries to facilitate timely completion of the project. Workflow processes were modified for reducing turnaround times. Heat run test was a part of the site acceptance test for busducts. With 48 circuits to be tested - each taking four hours, the testing time was simply too long. It was reduced by a half (24 circuits only) by opening the interlocks between the breakers. Hydro-testing of HVAC piping system was a big challenge as spillage of water was not permitted. To meet this condition, we tested the entire piping system by air first and eliminated the chances of leakages during the hydro-testing. Another challenge was an integration of the new and existing HVAC systems, having a total cooling capacity of 5000 TR. Any error could lead to a loss of cooling for existing server rack system.

The entire schedule was planned for smooth execution where all activities were listed with timelines and worst-case scenarios.

As a result, successful integration of the systems was achieved. The client project team at site cooperated fully in quick resolution of the project related issues. We gratefully acknowledge their direction and support in overcoming formidable challenges. E&E and Interio teams worked round the clock to make up for the lost time due of the lockdown and ensured timely completion and handover of the site in November 2020. SIFY expressed their delight at our performance and has rewarded us with fresh opportunities to serve them. SIFY has also opted for Godrej furniture and busducts.

This project is an outstanding example of what our BUs teams can achieve when they work together to meet the expectations of our customers.