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Viraj Voditel: Bridging the gap between Technology and Construction

Viraj Voditel is the Founder & Director of Techture, a firm catering to providing Digital Engineering and Consulting Services to the Architecture, Engineering and Construction (AEC) industry. He has a BE in Civil Engineering and M.Sc. in Economics (Pilani, ‘15). He is an Autodesk Expert Elite and a Certified Professional for various software like Revit, AutoCAD and Tekla Structures.

You became the instructor-in-charge of Autodesk Revit while you were still a Civil Engineering student. How did you reach such a level of proficiency so early on?

I participated in several competitions and tech fests. For one such competition, at IIT Madras, I decided to learn Revit and use it for my submission. Since we were using an older version of AutoCAD in our curriculum, I started exploring the newer versions available in the market and discovered Revit. In a competition organized by Autodesk at the national level during my fourth year, our team came first, and we were flown to Las Vegas for their conference. In that same year, I became an IC, thanks to a division called CSD that offered courses in new technologies and gave a chance to the students to be instructors as well.

As the Civil Engineering Association President, what skills did you acquire that led you to be a Co-Founder (CUBE)/Founder and Director (Techture)?

I was actively involved in the Civil Engineering Association from my second year. I initiated a fest, especially for Civil Engineering students, featuring offbeat competitions to get them more interested in this field; nobody was doing this back then. Being in a leadership position here and making such decisions, especially when there wasn’t much enthusiasm around this degree, exposed me to go against all odds and laid the foundation for my entrepreneurial journey.

Talking about CUBE specifically, what inspired you to “build a modern SaaS platform for an industry that has traditionally lagged in tech adoption?”

Over time, we grew Techture from zero to over two hundred employees, working on projects overseas in the Middle East, Singapore and the UK. However, we found that we were spending less time on the tech side; we were doing more consulting and engineering implementation. When we landed a new client, a government entity in India, we got to deploy our own software, which helped build CUBE, a cloud-based software/app for construction project management. My main focus now is building products and user-friendly tools that can help make construction projects more efficient and cost-effective, by leveraging automation and AI.

How did you realize the market fit of your company while conceptualizing Techture, and what convinced you to make this paradigm shift in how this industry works?

In the initial years, we faced numerous struggles and learned quickly to be agile. We had to give numerous technical presentations at conferences to convince others about this new technology, which was relatively unknown then. Trust was a significant challenge since the industry was primarily seen as exclusive to experienced professionals. During our early years, growth was prioritized over revenue as one constantly needs to adapt to the market.

Can you expand on the Building Information Modelling (BIM) technology and the future of the AEC industry?

Imagine a contractor or builder constructing something on-site. Now, envision building the same structure virtually using the software. The result is a digital replica of the physical building, a Building Information Model. What’s really hot nowadays is Digital Twin technology which incorporates real-time information making it a more dynamic model. And that’s completely revolutionizing how we plan and conceptualize our future infrastructure and buildings.