Consultancy Practices as a Business

Professional services to the construction industry are provided by various professionals and predominantly by the Architects, Engineers and Quantity Surveyors in terms of designs, documentation and / or supervision. As the said professionals are involved throughout the projects’ life cycle, they are identified as key professionals in the Section 26 (Qualified Persons) of the Construction Industry Development Act (CID Act). These professionals are engaged in the construction industry as academics, employees in different organizations or as entrepreneurs.

Professionals who are employed supposed to provide the inputs required by the respective organization based on the; duties assigned, organizational regulations and whim of such organizations while following professional practice ethics and standards.

The word “professional” is often used inappropriately. Professional is a person who has;

  • completed specified formal education of respective discipline,
  • undergone a structured and prescribed training under professionals,
  • full membership with voting rights of the relevant and recognized professional institution,and
  • undertaken social responsibility accordingly in providing his / her service.

The above will entail much austerity in providing services by a professional than; a technologist, person with vocational qualification or that of an ordinary prudent man, encompassing risk of legal liability of any negligence or mistake in the services provided.

Professionals who are practicing as entrepreneurs can provide their independent services without bound by any organizational officialdom. In that context, they may have comparatively more magnanimity in creativity, making fair documentation, impartial determinations and unbiased management of projects without prejudiced opinions from any organizational will. However, it must be admitted that practically there cannot be veritable independency in doing consultancy business with the respective public and private sector clients, but it may be considered as comparatively less influenced mode of services delivery. Therefore, such service providers are one of the most important entrepreneurs in a country when it comes to ensuring of public accountability, safety and health. In Addition to improve the business image of a country for investor confidence and higher doing business ranking in which Sri Lanka is very poor at present.

Further, as their services are provided to overseas clients on Knowledge Process Outsourcing (KPO), by operating in overseas or in other modes, it is an important economic activity of much spoken knowledge-based economy at present.

The main input that the professional service providers require for such service delivery is trained human and intellectual capital. In the international ratings Sri Lanka is rated comparatively high in terms of human capital. However, the capable and educated young persons are difficult to find for these services, as many migrates from the country after their higher education due to various reasons. Refer diagram below.

Source – World Economic Forum, Global Competitiveness Report 2019