Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Interaction-Alakesh Roy, MD, Zamil Steel India

We have the breadth, scale and technology to deliver best-in-class solutions


One of the Global key players in the PEB sector, Zamil Steel Buildings India has supplied to more than 1250 projects, which includes 5000 buildings with an approximate area of 4 million sq.m. ALAKESH ROY, MANAGING DIRECTOR, ZAMIL STEEL INDIA spoke to CONSTRUCTION OPPORTUNITIES about his company’s strategies to meet evolving market requirements.


How is PEB market shaping up in India?

With the core sectors of infrastructure and manufacturing gaining traction in India and the government´s announcement of the 100 smart cities, we are looking forward to the PEB sector maintaining an upward swing. Currently the PEB industry is estimated to be close to `5000 Cr in India and is growing at approximately 10 per cent per annum. The market is expanding both in size and complexity from simple box like structures of warehouses, and factory workshops to highly composite pre-engineered sections in infrastructure including cold storages, showrooms, supermarkets, stadiums, bottling plants, bridges, aircraft hangars, railway stations, and metro applications. Also with e-tailers like Flipkart and Amazon rapidly expanding their reach, the demand for PEBs is likely to go up. Another area where PEBs are making inroads are industries with specific environmental and process requirements including Pharma companies, cold chain infrastructure, FNBV and post harvest agricultural and horticultural produce management companies. PEBs systems with their versatile building systems offer air-tight and energy efficient structures which are both optimum in weight and cost. Also with the real estate industry slowly shifting towards fully customized solutions approach to design modeling and project management, the market is set to grow.



Could you give us an overview of your current business in India?

Since we began our commercial production in 2008, we have supplied more than 1250 projects, i.e. 5000 buildings, with an approximate area of 4 million M2 of complete PEB building including its’ related accessories. We have successfully executed several large industrial projects such as power plants, steel mills, cement plants, commercial malls and multilevel car parking systems – integrating all obvious design challenges. Most recently, we completed a major project for Boeing for constructing aircraft hangars for the C-17 aircraft ordered by the Indian Air Force, for their Hindon base, near New Delhi. The first chocolate factory for Mars Chocolate in India at Khed, Paper plants like JK Papers, Emami Papers and two expansion projects for Mahindra for introducing two new concept cars in India are some of the other projects we have concluded recently.



Could you give us an overview of the competition in the PEB sector?

Though the PEB industry is highly competitive and fragmented, the competition ratifies once the structural complexity increases. For example, traditionally the main challenge for putting together a PEB structure was the height of the building. This barrier was broken not only in industrial applications but also retail. We were the first company to break through the 50m barrier. We recently constructed a building with a height of 54m. Over here, we have an advantage in terms of research and development as it is overseen by our corporate R&D office in Egypt. The same goes for our production standards. Our company has secured ISO 9001:2008, ISO 14001:2004, OHSAS 18001:2007 quality certifications and the FM Global Approval, one of the highest fire safety standards in the world on our MaxSeam roof system.Technical competence and leadership remains a primary competitive advantage when it comes to sophisticated and process sensitive projects.



What are the targets Zamil Steel has set to achieve during the year or by 2020?

After maintaining a growth rate of over 15% in the last couple of years, we are now focusing on consolidating our business by prioritising key platforms and geographies, and streamlining our operations, while maintaining high quality standards. As a leading player in the PEB business globally, we have the breadth, scale and technology to deliver best-in-class solutions to the market as it evolves.



Recently Pune won the second spot in the Smart Cities Challenge competition. What in your opinion are the key challenges that Pune needs to address before it can call itself a smart city?

Pune has always been and attractive business destination on account of its pleasant climate, good spread of educational institutions and commercial spaces. But with the expanding population, the city is facing an enormous strain on space and resources. So while the Smart Pune drive is a great initiative, it is critical to develop areas around Pune to relieve some of this pressure. The provision of well-resourced MIDC projects around Pune with facility for affordable housing and other amenities will go a long way in attracting investments to the city while ensuring balanced development. Also Pune is still very poorly connected by air to the rest of India, and also in terms of connectivity with major highways or upcoming freight corridors. So road, rail and air connectivity needs to improve drastically. Also high electricity tariffs, multiple levels of taxation and octroi are other factors hampering the business potential of Pune.



The government is planning to build six crore houses - four crore in rural areas and two crore in urban areas under the affordable housing movement. Do you see a role for PEBs in this segment?

PEBs can be a great option for affordable housing because PEBs are not only easier, quicker and more efficient to construct, they are also low on maintenance costs. Also future modifications or dismantling/relocating can be adjusted easily. Having said that, the budget of an affordable home decided by the Government currently, is too low to make PEBs a viable option. But we are watching the sector closely and are keen to participate if the cost structure changes.

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