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  • Writer's pictureGopika Pramod

BKA Workshop on Site Management: An Eye-Opening Session

The 9th of October was a bright and beautiful Sunday morning. Apart from the daily commotion of the trash collectors and vendors, the small town of Kotturpuram in Chennai seemed less noisy. Most were fast asleep and were recharging themselves during the weekend. The lush trees were leaning toward the road, jolting awake with each breeze. The goats, who would normally be picking fights amongst each other, were lying around by the roadside beside the office, lazily chewing the fodder piled up beside the trash cans. If it were any other day, anyone would naturally feel like sleeping through the whole Sunday. But that day was different. No one would opt to miss the workshop, a day of unity and empowerment.

Two goats basking in the sun

The BKA team assembled at the office to replenish themselves with new knowledge so as to start their week with a fresh mindset. The team decided to conduct a workshop with the main intent of equipping the team members with the skills and knowledge to manage projects in order to equally distribute tasks and make everyone professionally capable. The group did not involve just engineers but also designers, editors, photographers, etc., who were not directly involved with construction but were keen on learning about it. The previous workshops were very educational and involved sessions on the design process, improving CADD drawings, social media, etc.

By 10:30, the team sat in a bunch around the conference table, eager and excited for what was to come. The BKA photographer, T. P. Naseef, sets up his camera and microphone recorder to document the workshop.

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The Need For A Workshop

What distinguishes the work culture of Benny Kuriakose and Associates from other architectural firms is that they conduct workshops from time to time. These workshops have always helped improve productivity and efficiency in the office while encouraging innovation and experimentation. As BKA is a very small team, it is critical that they educate and empower one another so that they can relieve the stress caused by a heavy workload on a few. Thus, there is no hesitation or conflict of thought that stops them from attending the workshop that aims for a larger cause.

Site management tends to lack innovation and creative reasoning, as the kind of work instigates a mechanical way of thinking. If innovation ceases, the growth of the office becomes stagnant in that aspect. As Dr. Benny Kuriakose rightfully stated during the workshop:

"Innovation brings efficiency, but the process of innovation is not efficient."

Thus, innovation must involve a larger vision for the future. Failures from innovative thinking must be encouraged, as they are just the result of experimentation, unlike repeated mistakes caused by carelessness. Thus, such a workshop is the first step towards triggering innovation and creative reasoning.

A Mid Workshop Lunch Gathering

By afternoon, the entire team paused the workshop and met in the common area for lunch. It was like a family gathering, where some gathered around a long table for lunch while others settled down on couches and chairs. The team, along with Dr. Benny Kuriakose, sat together like a family, chit-chatting as they enjoyed the meals arranged by the office.

Team Benny Kuriakose and Associates

A Lunch Gathering

The Site Management Workshop Commences

Dr. Benny Kuriakose and Mr. D. Ganesan

The lunch was followed by the session presented by the lead engineer of BKA, Mr. Tamizharasan. He explained every stage in project management in such an effortless manner that any person without a construction background could understand it.

He shed light on the preparation of various kinds of drawings, the approval of the corporation, setting out the site, soil testing, mobilisation, etc. The importance of the bill of quantities for each stage, including civil, electrical, etc., was also explained clearly. He also cleared up doubts on when the client must be involved in the site visit and many other important points.

He presented from a spreadsheet, and everyone listened attentively and took notes. Dr. Benny Kuriakose added his remarks on each point, which further resolved any queries. Retired chief engineer Mr. D. Ganesan also joined the session and shared his experience on site management, which really helped the team further understand the methodology.


In the current scenario, the corporate work culture fails to offer a space for innovation by pushing people to work mechanically for money instead of personal growth. They are stuck in a rat wheel of existential crisis, blinded by the fact that there is no escape from this endless suffering. So, is there a way out of this suffering?

The only way is to bring your ideas to the table and show what you can offer society. Curiosity and questioning do not stop once you graduate; it is a lifetime commitment to be open-minded. A space that BKA offers focuses on the holistic development of each individual in order for them to grow into leaders, which is an opportunity that the country's education system fails to provide. A team can only effectively educate the public if they can empower each other through leadership and trust.

The workshop concluded by evening, and everyone left with a smile on their faces and brains filled to the brim with useful information. Not to mention the confidence that comes from freeing themselves from the clutches of doubt in order to return to society what they have taken.

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