Ensuring Protection

Ensuring ProtectionWith the current focus on building fast and building to last, there is lot of potential for the waterproofing industry. Hence, there is a pent-up demand for construction chemicals for waterproofing, which is shifting towards products that make durable structures.

Globally, coatings and sealants are expected to remain the largest construction chemical segments. Demand will be driven by their established use in all major construction markets as well as by a shift towards higher priced, water-based products. A report by Tata Strategic Management Group says that the growth of construction chemicals is mainly driven by growth in the end use industry i.e. construction industry. Rapid developments in emerging countries and use of innovative products and materials in construction activities have supported the growth of construction chemicals markets. Construction activities are driven by continuing industrialisation and urbanisation. Increasing construction expenditures in both new construction and improvement and repair projects will drive the demand for construction chemicals.

Growth opportunities

Waterproofing is important in protecting the structure and ensuring that the structure is usable over its service life. The forces exerted by water are enormous and its effects are unpredictable. Water enters the structure through the weakest route. Due to extreme requirements we put on speed, economy and construction practices, the durability of concrete is severely affected. Due to construction and/or material problems, concrete structures both above and below ground are susceptible to water ingress, due to porous structural elements. Dampness entering the usable space (especially through walls and ceilings) is an indication that the concrete structure has failed its durability and that structural elements have already begun deteriorating.

With the new focus on durability and sustainability, waterproofing is becoming more and more important in construction these days. “These materials find application in all types of RCC Construction, Deep Basements, Wet Rooms, Swimming Pools, Water Tanks, Sewage treatment plans, industrial and commercial buildings, schools, hospitals, infrastructure, marine structures, drinking water reservoirs, transportation tunnels, station buildings, roofs, terraces, external facades, masonry construction, heritage structures, shipyards, hotels and other similar structures. We are happy to assist our customers with solutions for their specific needs,” says Samir Surlaker, Managing Director, Mc Bauchemie (I) Pvt Ltd and President, Construction Chemicals Manufacturers’ Association (CCMA)

“Due to this, the demand and sales performance of waterproofing chemicals has always been positive and their sales performance has seen a great upswing lately. With this and the growing awareness on good construction practices using construction chemicals, we foresee excellent growth opportunities in the waterproofing industry,” underlines Surlaker.   

Umesh Kumar Kakkar, Managing Director, Kryton Buildmat Co Pvt Ltd, says, “The waterproofing industry has been growing at an estimated 9.2 per cent CAGR per year; as compared to the 5-6 per cent GDP growth, this is phenomenal and is only set to go up. Year 2013 – 2014 was called a pivotal year for the economy to start ramping up with construction being a leading driver thanks to large infrastructure projects and internal demand and year 2014-2015 is set to see a stronger extension of this construction effort.”


A Concrete Effort

Compact Batching Plant-CBP30Concrete and ready-mix concrete (RMC) equipment is one category of equipment that has redefined the Indian construction industry in the past few years.

Construction Equipment market in India is to grow at a CAGR of 18.52 per cent over the period 2012-16. One of the key factors contributing to this market growth is the increasing investment in infrastructure development. The Construction Equipment market in India has also been witnessing an increasing focus on R&D. However, the fluctuation in raw material prices could pose a challenge to the growth of this market.

According to a report by RNCOS, the potential for concrete equipment market in India is anticipated to witness a rapid growth on the back of rising investments and support from the public and private sectors. The main focus of the concrete equipment market in India is on urban development, infrastructure projects, power, road, ports, and irrigation projects. Moreover, the emergence of infrastructural developmental activities in the Tier-II and -III cities are sure to pave the way for the sector.

Varieties on offer

Huge investment by international majors to gear up the unmet demand is also a substantial matter of concern fuelling the growth of the market. In this context, investment by Batching Plant, Transit Mixer, and Concrete Pump, is likely to double up the current volume. Most of the Indian market is well served by vendors of concrete and RMC equipment, possibly since this equipment has been widely adopted for its contribution to the quality of structures.

Schwing Stetter, which is present in India since 1998, has concrete pumps right from 25 cbm per hour capacity to 150 cbm per hour capacity. It offers 17 m class boom pumps to 43 m class boom pumps, and its transit mixers are from 3 cbm capacity to 12 cbm capacity.

“We also have recycling plants with capacity of 6 to 12 m3/hr. Apart from this, we have created a project department, which is offering project based peripheral equipment like feeder conveyors, screw conveyors, silos, silo feeding systems, weigh bridges and so on,” says Anand Sundaresan, Vice Chairman and Managing Director, Schwing Stetter India.

On being asked about the range that has the most demand, V G Sakthikumar, Whole Time Director – Operations, Schwing Stetter India, maintains, “In the generic scenario, for big infrastructure projects, our high capacity batching plants like H6N and H3N are more in demand. In case of our trailer pumps for high raise buildings, SP 2800 and SP 3500 capacity trailer pumps are in demand. As far as boom pumps are concerned, on the basis of chassis availability, our 20 m boom pump and 36 m boom pump are most preferred. The same applies to transit mixers which are also predominantly based on chassis availability and our 4 cbm and 6 cbm transit mixers are widely used in India.”

Another major player Ajax Fiori is always striving to bring to the market innovative, modern technology, superior quality, versatile, highly maneuverable, yet simple and cost effective solutions through its world class construction equipment, to cater particularly to the concreting sector. While it has strongly established the ‘Self Loading Mobile Concrete Mixers’ in the market, it is now making a mark in ‘Concrete Batching Plants’, thanks to its comprehensive range of batching plants under offer. The USP of Compact Batching Plants (Dragline scraper type and Compartment bin type) are that they are supplied standard with planetary mixers and customised PLC based control system. More so, these planetary mixers are manufactured in-house under strict quality control procedures, in technical collaboration with Eurostar, Italy. World over, the planetary mixers have replaced the turbo mixers for most applications, owing to its capability of producing high quality concrete of different types.


The PEB Mosaic

PEBThe market for pre-engineered buildings in India is still nascent, characterised by low penetration. But the sector is poised to expand with robust demand fuelled by the manufacturing and warehousing sectors. Also with a green hue spreading across the sector, companies are offering recyclable materials with a minimum carbon footprint.

The revolution of pre-engineered buildings (PEB) was ushered into India during the 1990s when the Indian economy was liberalised. It unleashed a new wave of industrialisation which fuelled the demand for PEB structures like plants, factories, warehouses etc. It was the ease of erecting and its fast pace that made PEBs the preferred route to building industrial infrastructure fast. Subsequent spread of the green movement in the construction sector gave PEB its next growth impetus and took it to the next level. Today PEB structures are invading new sectors and offering recyclable materials with modular structures geared to a specific sector. The PEB industry in India is finally on the growth curve.

Nascent market

Growth of the PEB market in India is characterized by low penetration, inhibited by various factors like higher raw material cost (steel), shortage of skilled labour, and a lingering prevalence of traditional construction practices of using cement or RCC. According to research consultancy Frost & Sullivan, in 2011 the market for PEB in India was estimated at Rs 45,660 million, it is projected to clock a CAGR of 24.4 per cent and reach Rs 136,120 million in 2016. “However, huge potential exists for market participants to develop and grow,” the report says. Demand from the industrial sector is driven by factories and manufacturing. They dominate the PEB market and account for more than 50 per cent of the demand. Within this segment, the automotive industry prefers PEBs due to their requirements for large clear span of the factory building, especially for paint and repair shops. Other key drivers of demand for PEBs are warehouses, workshops, and cold storages.


Getting Well Equipped

Equipment Finance IndiaIn these recessionary times with cash flows drying up, it has become de rigueur for construction companies to resort to equipment finance to purchase costly equipment. This is especially true for medium sized and small companies.

As the construction sector becomes more mechanized, reliance on sophisticated equipment has become very critical to ensure construction quality and timely project execution. On the flip side, using such equipment entails capital investment in costly plant and machinery. Also, equipment assets are a major consideration while awarding contracts, especially in the EPC sector. Therefore equipment finance has become the fast track for contractors to procure costly equipment on time in order to become eligible for bidding contracts. Such financing also helps in achieving financial closure for a particular project. Another virtue of equipment financing is that it leaves your operational cash flows intact to execute the project unhindered.

Construction equipment financing is eventually becoming a norm for the construction industry in India. Being a highly capital-intensive industry, companies often seek for equipment financing options, which have longer payback periods at manageable interest rates and which does not disturb the internal rate-of-return (IRR) projections of the projects. According to a research report, ‘Booming Construction Equipment Market in India,’ mining and construction equipment are very expensive and around 85 per cent of product purchased is being financed. One of the prominent reasons for growth in the construction equipment financing is lower default on loans disbursed. A study conducted by ICRA has revealed that stable cash flows from infrastructure projects including roads has helped the companies, which rent out construction equipment, in order to loan defaults low, compared to commercial vehicle fleet operators during the slow economic growth period.

Low penetration

Despite the above mentioned factors, penetration of equipment finance is very low in India as compared to developed economies like US, China, and European markets. A major reason for this is the fact that in India a machine will be used way beyond its prescribed lifecycle by the manufacturer. Therefore customers in India have a mindset of owning the equipment rather than having it on lease. There are also regulatory constraints, which are getting even more stringent in the current market scenario, this is inhibiting the growth of equipment leasing/financing in India.

However, it is not equipment finance that has low penetration, but per capita equipment sale is low in India as compared to European nations, US and China. In India, 65 per cent of the new assets sold are financed by NBFCs or Banks addressing this under a vertical approach. 20 per cent goes through nationalised or cooperative banks and around 15 per cent is direct purchase either by institutional buyers or government agencies. Used equipment finance is certainly an under-privileged segment and it is largely the domain of local financiers as most of these construction assets are weak on collateral security.


For a Smooth Handling

Tower CranesWith the fast changing business landscapes, clients today demand a MHE model that yields a quicker ROI than ever before.

The material handling industry (MHE) has been on a continuous growth at varying pace over the years. This can be attributed to the huge amount of investments made by public and private enterprises towards the construction industry, thus giving a direct push towards creating a huge demand for the crane industry.  

“Over 40 per cent of the total lifting equipment market is captured by a handful of reputed names in the organised sector. The rest of the market is shared by an excess of 250 small crane companies,” says Tushar Mehendale, Managing Director, ElectroMech.


The innovative ideas in lifting equipment help in smoother movement of raw material on the production lines, thereby reducing the manpower required. “There is a very large scarcity of skilled operators and with technical development in lifting equipment there is lot of saving in manpower, which is very important. The reduction in manpower automatically reduces the production cost, thereby attaining the competitiveness in the market. It also helps in reducing the inventory level of the input material,” says Shrirang Machhe, Owner, Surabhi Engineering Company.

Nowadays, the trend in the material handling industry is to build equipment that is smaller in size and smarter in operations. On the other hand, there is also a great demand for equipment with advanced automation solution, different remote controlling and monitoring facilities to operate the equipment with least human involvement and to get the information, reports on the actual usage and condition of the equipment to prevent the sudden breakdowns and production losses.

Energy efficiency is also a major concern. “Recently Konecranes has developed a Hybrid Power pack technology for the RTG Container handling cranes that turns a fully-diesel RTG into a diesel/electric hybrid RTG. Whenever possible, the crane is operated with electrical power drawn from the energy store. Like a hybrid car, it takes the energy generated during braking and converts it into electricity to recharge the batteries. Depending on usage, this solution can significantly reduce diesel fuel costs,” says Dale Homer, Vice President - Service, WMI Konecranes India Ltd.

The Indian crane industry has seen numerous innovations in customised equipment for various sectors. Citing an example, Mehendale says, “The recent installations for the Mumbai water supply project involved ElectroMech’s tunnel mucking crane under the government’s Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM). This project helped ElectroMech indirectly play a crucial role in BMC’s ambitious 24x7 water supply project.”

“For example, introduction of the direct drive motors for long travel of the crane, which drives each wheel separately, instead of the traditional central drive motor with drive shafts connecting to the wheels. This arrangement helps avoid long shafts as well as couplings that could give rise to misplacement in the system as well as natural incompetence in transmitting power. ElectroMech pioneered this application in the Indian crane market. Another example is the use of inverter drives that we have incorporated into all our models. These offer smoother operation and reduce power consumption of the crane by a fair amount,” adds Mehendale.


Affordable Housing - A Viable Choice

KDMC Redevelopment of Ambedkar Nagar

Affordable housing is one of the solutions to prevent illegal construction. However, creating a supply of affordable housing is also a challenge, since a developer alone won’t be able to address this issue.

In light of the recent building collapses, the need for quality construction materials and techniques has once again been brought to the forefront. Many of the older buildings in Mumbai and other parts of the country were constructed along inadequate quality parameters and should have been redeveloped long ago. However, it is not just the old buildings which are in danger of collapse, as Anurag Mathur, CEO - Projects & Development Services, Jones Lang LaSalle India, maintains, “Many of the newer constructions have been built on a cookie-cutter basis with a view to maximising profitability. This is especially true in the case of some of the budget housing projects in which, seemingly every possible financial corner has been cut.”
Affordable housing has been languishing for a long time, even though it is the very segment in which the highest demand exists. The constant hype about the rising fortunes of India’s fast-growing affluent class has ignored the fact that most Indians still cannot afford to buy their own homes. This is true even for the original inhabitants of rural areas that have been added to city limits.

Affordable housing is a term used for residential units in India’s urban areas, which are affordably priced with respect to households that fall within a specific limited income range. There is no single set of parameters to define what an affordable housing unit should cost in India. This is because the pricing and feasibility to developers of affordable housing is a function of the city, location within the city, and type of project being built and also the construction technology employed.

Kishor Pate, CMD, Amit Enterprises Housing Ltd, says, “In February 2013, Union Housing Minister Ajay Maken had indicated that the Centre is considering the possibility of according infrastructure status to affordable housing. While we have still not been given greater clarity on the progress of this initiative, it is certainly a great need of the hour for India’s larger cities.”

Affordable housing is a key growth area in the real estate sector. Owing to the global economic conditions, there currently exists a wide gap between the demand and supply of housing (both in terms of quantity and quality).  In India, it is appropriate to judge the affordability of a home on three broad parameters – the monthly income of prospective buyers, the size of the home and its price.

Is it the need of the hour?
Population being a major concern in India, we are in need of a large number of housing solutions. “Urban population is growing day by day; a majority of which is the youth population. This rise in the number of working young professionals in the city demands affordable housing. These independent youngsters are unable to afford premium housing at the beginning of their career. To cater to this market, developers need to give more attention to the affordable housing segment,” says Roopa Mudliar, Chief Marketing Officer, Vascon Engineers Ltd.

The shortage of affordable housing in India is getting worse instead of better. The country’s urban population of 285 million has multiplied itself by five over the last half century. “It is projected that it will continue to increase at this fast pace, and that 50 per cent of all Indians will be living in urban areas by the end of the next three decades. So, if the shortage for housing for the lower income segment stands at 25 million today and there is no increase in the pace of supply of affordable housing launches, what will this figure look like in 30 years? Looking from a real estate market point of view, there is a gigantic market for affordable housing in India. Currently, it is valued at anything between Rs 5-10 trillion,” says Anil Pharande, Chairman - Pharande Spaces & Vice President of CREDAI (Pune Metro).

Currently, there is an ample demand for affordable housing. It is generally because of rapid infrastructure development in the peripheral areas of Mumbai. There has been continuous inflow of people in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region, which is one of the basic reasons behind the requirement of housing. The city which is known for working round-the-clock is attracting workforce across all segments of the economy, hence creating demand for affordable shelters in a large scale.

So what is really being done to address this huge market – especially the one constituted by the ever-growing middle class? “There are next to no government incentives for projects with flats in the Rs 30-35 lakh bracket. While the only answers to this question in Mumbai seem to lie in small projects on the far outskirts of the city, Pune presents a far more encouraging picture. Developers of township properties in Pune have now begun addressing this market with an internationally inspired property development model called integrated townships. This model is based on maximum value for money to buyers, based on high-grade common infrastructure and shared facilities in more cost-effective, yet progressive areas like the Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation,” adds Pharande.


Excon 2013: Restores confidence in the Indian Economy


South Asia’s biggest exhibition of Construction Equipment (CE) organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) - EXCON 2013, was held during November 20 - 24, 2013 at the Bangalore International Exhibition Centre, Bangalore.

In his address as Chief Guest to the Inaugural Session, Oscar Fernandes, Minister of Road Transport and Highways, Government of India said that though the exhibition of Excon has been organized at a time when there is a downturn in the world and India’s economy, it is heartening to see that CII has been successful in bringing in people from all over the world in such great numbers to showcase India’s own achievements in developing such equipments for infrastructure growth. “I congratulate for this great achievement. I am also happy that large number of companies from abroad have partnered in this exhibition,” he said.

He highlighted that time management is a very crucial factor in the efficient project implementation and all large infrastructure projects should have a project management system for speedy implementation. It is a very poor management if a project of 3-years takes 10 years to complete. Speedy management also makes a project economically viable and profitable, he said.

“At present, the Government has started work on several new infrastructure projects including three airports, two ports, an elevated rail-corridor in Mumbai, and almost 6,000 miles of new roads. We are also planning to build Expressways through innovative financing models,” Fernandes added.

“The government is also aware that the infrastructure projects often suffer from lack of funding or are subject to many conditions by the lenders before funding. So the government has directed the lenders to take ‘Assets’ into account for funding projects. We are also urging on development of maintenance-free roads which initially may cost a little more but in the long run is much more economical,” he said. Electronic tolling is another area where the trial is going on, we have got the latest technology which establishes contacts with the toll booth almost a kilometer away for the toll gate to open. This will help overcome major pile up of traffic at toll gates, Fernandes said. “We sincerely believe that there is a need to strengthen PPP in the Road sector which would act as a critical precursor for sustaining the growth momentum for the economy,” he said.


Earthmoving Equipment: About to Move?

Earth moving equipment and dump trucks


Faced with the breakneck pace of business cycles in mature markets, the earthmoving equipment segment need to find new ways to predict and take the edge off the industry's wild swings.

India's large investment in urban and rural infrastructure, such as the building of IT parks, shopping malls, highway networks, residential areas, roads, ports and irrigation systems had driven the earthmoving equipment market during the review period.

The earthmoving equipment industry that was roaring with activity till recently is going through a rough patch now. “Owing to the economic slowdown, many existing projects that largely used earthmoving equipment are on hold. And to make matters worse, many mining sites have closed down. Thus, the general fund flow in this segment is a little low with not many financers looking at investing,” says Brahmanand Pandey, Vice President, Construction Equipment, Gmmco Ltd.

Reasons behind

The sluggish economy has taken its toll on the market for earthmoving equipment in the current fiscal. According to Pandey, the first impact on this segment is because of the bar on mining in many places in India including the Goa Iron ore mining ban and Karnataka Iron ore mining ban. This proscription has affected people working directly and indirectly with the mining industry including the earthmoving machinery manufactures. With solid source of revenue getting closed, the industry is forced to look at alternative options to keep the show up and running.

The current market size

According to GVR Murthy, CEO, Escorts Construction Equipment, the current market size of the Earthmoving equipment would be around 60,000 units. “Looking at various trends and government initiatives we can expect a marginal growth of 5-10 per cent next fiscal,” he adds.

The market size is expected to keep growing at a very steady rate, although a lot will depend upon the upcoming policies from the government for the coming financial year. “A compound annual growth rate of 8.5 per cent is expected though a lot depends on the government policies,” says Subhas Kedia, Director Marketing, Shakti Mining Equipments Pvt Ltd.