Letter from Managing Director, PMI India   |   Download a PDF version     

Global PMI Award Recognizes and Honors Practitioner from India
Manage India talks to Mr. Ramam Atmakuri, winner of the PMI Eric Jenett Project Management Excellence Award, and Mr. Tejas Sura, the lead nominator for Mr. Atmakuri
Mr. Ramam Atmakuri, vice president, Cognizant & member – PMI Chapter Member Advisory Group

How does it feel to have won a prestigious award for which PMI received nominations from around the world?

Winning a global award is indeed an honor. Mr. Eric Jenett, in whose name the award is instituted, was a PMI Fellow, one of the five founders of PMI, and the first Project Management Professional (PMP). That makes this award special. I thank PMI, my current and past colleagues, and fellow PMI volunteers who encouraged and supported me all through my career. I dedicate this award to all of them.

What top qualities should a project manager possess today?

Project management is both a science and an art. It is a science because it relies on processes, tools, and techniques, and an art because it involves people and their management. A successful project manager recognizes the importance of both these dimensions and strives to excel at both of them. Globalization of projects has added the dimension of complexity. A project manager has to be agile to embrace frequent changes. I would lay relatively higher emphasis on soft skills and leadership vis--vis processes and tools for a project manager to become truly par excellence. Project management is gaining recognition globally for its strategic importance. Project managers need to develop their mindset accordingly, make visible the business value they are capable of delivering, and not limit themselves to tactical results.

You have wide experience in working in global and Indian organizations. Are there any unique strengths and weaknesses in project managers from India?

Indeed, there are unique characteristics with their bearings in our culture. We are used to making things happen even amid uncertainties. That translates into greater focus on execution than planning. Regardless of circumstances, we find ways to execute the project to completion, overcoming hurdles—also known as planned and unplanned risks and mobilizing every available resource at one’s disposal. We are not used to saying “no” and thereby accept things that come our way. The adaptability to change is high in Indian project managers. These traits can be a strength as well as a weakness, depending on the project environment. In the west, there is often equal focus on planning and predictability, as on the execution of projects. In global projects, these complementary skills—the western trait of meticulous planning and the eastern rigor in execution actually spell a competitive advantage to businesses. I believe there is great room for project managers in India to improve on the count of project planning, so as to improve predictability, and be better positioned to say “no” when necessary.

Mr. Tejas Sura, PMP, PMI region mentor, Western Asia (Region-11)

You were the lead nominator for Mr. Ramam Atmakuri for the PMI Eric Jenett Project Management Excellence Award. Can you tell us the main reasons why you believed he deserved this honor?

Mr. Atmakuri has been an outstanding contributor to the project management profession. During his stint as president, Pearl City-Hyderabad Chapter, he rolled out various initiatives that impacted the profession locally. As a region mentor for West Asia, his guidance and dynamism brought about tremendous unity and cohesiveness in this region, resulting in collaboration among the PMI chapters in India and other countries across the region. The steady yet phenomenal progress that he has made in his professional life since the late ’90s included various noteworthy contributions to the profession including trainings, lectures, the setting up of project management offices, and project management initiatives that helped raise the project management maturity in the companies he has worked for. With this all-round professional experience, volunteerism, and leadership, he deserved this honor.

What does the award seek to honor and celebrate?

The nomination for the award is done by a group of people who wish to acknowledge the substantial contributions of the individual known to them. The award seeks to recognize and honor an individual who has made outstanding contributions to the practice of the project management profession, and who has demonstrated leadership and initiative while advancing project management concepts, techniques, practices, or theories. It recognizes leadership, innovation, and the drive to understand and apply project management practices in multiple communities and/or business. The beautiful bronze statue, which signifies strength, wisdom, labor, dignity, and accomplishment, was designed by Mr. Eric Jenett, and Mr. Thomas Parker Emery, an artist, around 1996.

The award honors and recognizes a leader from the practitioner community in India. What does it say about the kind of talent and commitment available in the country?

Global businesses are moving east and the opportunities in India are growing. There is an increased recognition in academia, corporate, and the government on the strategic value of project management, leading to a focus on developing leadership and project management skills to meet the expanding demand. There is a surge in the pool of talented PMP. Their commitment and dedication has led to the rapid economic growth of the country for the past nearly one decade. Therefore, it can be expected that an increased number of talented and committed professionals from India will match or exceed their global counterparts in every aspect of this profession.
back to top  back to top

2012 Project Management Institute, Inc. Brought to you by CyberMedia Services.

PMI Organization Center Private Limited
302-305, III Floor, Balarama, Plot No. C-3, E Block, Bandra Kurla Complex, Bandra (E), Mumbai, India 400 051
Phone: +91 22 2659 8659, Fax: +91 22 2659 2235.     www.pmi.org

"PMI", the PMI logo, "Making project management indispensable for business results", "PMI Today", "PMI Network", "Project Management Journal", "PMBOK", "CAPM", "Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM)", "PMP", "Project management Professional (PMP)", the PMP logo, "PgMP", "Program Management Professional (PgMP)", "PMI-SP", "PMI Scheduling Professional (PMI-SP)", "PMI-RMP", "PMI Risk management Professional (PMI-RMP)", "OPM3", "PMI-ACP", "PMI Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP)", the PMI Educational Foundation logo and "Empowering the future of project management" are marks of Project management institute, Inc.

For a comprehensive list of PMI marks, contact the PMI Legal Department.