Speaker Spotlight: Virat Manchanda

This week we are ‘sitting’ down with Virat Manchanda for a talk about sports, meditation and BIM.


Who you are and what do you do (not just your title, what you really do!)?

I come from a general contracting and real estate background.  My passion lies in construction management and systemization of processes.  I started experimenting with BIM because it is a perfect blend of both worlds.  I wanted to get better information control over our in-house projects and it was love at first sight.  In India,  BIM was in its infancy, so there was no one who could teach me.  I self-trained for god knows how many hundreds of hours and here I am…

I like to think of myself as one of the front runners of BIM adoption in India and love to spread the word about the amazing capabilities and possibilities that this method of working has.


What’s interesting to you outside of work?

Outside of work, I love to play sports.  Squash is my favorite.  Unfortunately, because of an injury, I had to take a break from the sport, which is now four years long.  I still say break, because I know that someday, I will start again ;-)  I love to swim, to be with nature and to be with my family.

I am also a deeply spiritual person always in the quest for deeper inner peace.  That quest has led me to experiment with many spiritual practices, which, because I am from India, are comparatively easier to come by.  The most interesting one I would like to share a bit about is Vipassana, which is the meditation practiced by Gautam Buddha.

In the present day, it is done in camps where people stay for ten days away from modern life.  There are no phones, no televisions, the living is Spartan and there are a rigorous 12 hours of meditation every day in sets of 1 hour.  Of those ten days, nine have to be spent in complete silence and in no communication with anyone excepting for two minutes at the end of the day with the teacher.

It has been the toughest and the most exhilarating experience of my life.


What is interesting about what you do (what motivates you at both work and play)?

I have a natural inclination for precision which has found my professional expression in BIM (precision in Building Information) and personal expression spirituality (precision in myself).  If I look at sports, squash too; it is like ballet which is governed by precise movements.

So as I try to answer this question, I myself see precision as the common thread that connects these areas of my life.


What’s your session title and why is it important not only to you but the broader AEC community?

I am presenting two sessions:

Session 1
Forum: Creating HR Commitment for BIM Implementation

I come from a management background and my passion lies in processes.  Moreover, all around, I see a lot of material on how to use Revit and about its technological wonder.  People often forget that all technology, however cutting-edge has a human interface and it is people whose adoption eventually makes a way of working possible.

I find that meaningful discussions on this are rare and believe that the BIM community will benefit from exploring this subject.

Session 2
Forum: Workshop for Creating a Draft of Your BIM Operations Manual

This is a logical continuation of the previous session.  Once there is a commitment to adoption in the company, one needs a system for implementation as well.  This is another aspect that is dear to my process oriented personality and one that is also overlooked in the pomp and show of the technology.

BIM implementation hinges on everyone talking a common language and working in highly coordinated environments.  An Operations Manual helps the formation of such an environment and therefore can become a very powerful tool for successful BIM Implementation.


What you enjoy most about BILT?

I love to see how the experts are pushing the boundaries of using the different software and love the exposure to different work systems in different parts of the world.

I also love to have the chance to meet new people from the international BIM community.  This time I am especially looking forward to meeting some dear friends who I formed meaningful bonds with during RTC Dublin 2014.

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