Bentley acquires Nadhi for project controls, focus on India

Apr 28, 2021 | Hot Topics

Bentley Systems just announced that its Acceleration Initiatives business has acquired India-based Nadhi Information Technologies, a “specialist in project controls, analytics, and decision support for construction supply chains”, with a focus on the Indian subcontinent.

Let’s unpack: “Project controls” is a blanket term that includes technologies, processes, and people that plan, manage, monitor, and, when needed, fix problems that could affect the cost or schedule of an AEC/construction project. Many projects have people whose job title is “project control” but others lump this into accounting, scheduling, or other functions. This is a huge deal for modern projects: they’re big-ticket/high-risk and advanced warning of a potential problem can save time, money, and future litigation headaches. Project control is a high-value skill and technology set.

“Analytics” here refers data — gathering, cleaning, managing, analyzing. Again, with the goal of identifying problems before they happen.

“Decision support” is all of the above: the data that informs the choices one has in a given situation. And then forecasting the implications of a potential decision.

And, of course, “construction supply chains”: the messy, interwoven networks of designers, engineers, architects, constructors, planners, suppliers, inspectors, regulators, neighbors, and anyone else involved in a project.

Last, India: Bentley quantified what I have long suspected. According to its press release: while “China and the U.S. will remain the two highest-value construction markets globally, India and Indonesia will rise to the third and fourth highest-value markets by 2029.” So, clearly, important markets for Bentley to focus on.

Back to Nadhi, the company Bentley acquired. Bentley says that Nadhi brings “a critical mass of field-experienced professionals in construction automation, attuned to their region’s specific challenges and project dynamics.” Nadhu offers consulting services around lean construction methods (similar to lean for manufacturing) and sells the nPulse integrated project controls tools. nPulse “combines data-driven decision support and predictive analytics to give engineering and construction projects early warning of schedule risks and potential delays in milestone completion, advancing project planning and execution from reactive to proactive.”

Terms of the deal weren’t released, though Bentley did say that “annualized revenues and profitability are not material to” Bentley’s 2021 outlook. But don’t let that lack of scale detract from the potential importance of this acquisition: Bentley strengthens its presence in a part of the world where construction if forecast to boom, and where local knowledge matters.

We should learn more during Bentley’s Q1 earnings release in May.