Saturday, January 23, 2021

Interaction-Mehernosh Pooniwalla, Head-Construction Materials, Godrej Construction

Our focus has always been to provide technologically advanced and sustainable solutions

The Construction Materials Business of Godrej Construction was established in the year 1997, the company is one of the first concrete manufacturers in the country to have the certification for Integrated Management System which includes certification for ISO: 9001, ISO: 14001 OHSAS: 18001 & QCI. Godrej Construction is also the first in the industry to bag accolades in CII-EXIM Business Excellence assessments. Having 9 state of the art manufacturing facilities located in Mumbai and Pune, the company is committed to delivering high quality concrete that always meets the customer’s requirements. MEHERNOSH POONIWALLA, HEAD – CONSTRUCTION MATERIALS, GODREJ CONSTRUCTION spoke to CONSTRUCTION OPPORTUNITIES on the company’s products and future plans.


Tell us about the products offered by your company and their application areas?

We manufacture 15 types of concrete products under the Brand name “TUFF”. We also manufacture Walling Solutions - TUFFBLOCKS AAC, TUFF Easyfix block binding mortar and TUFF Duroplast Ready Mix Plaster. All our product offerings are designed to suit every need in the built environment.

We are planning to start production of Recycled Concrete Blocks and Pavers very soon. This is one of its kind, as we will use the construction demolition waste as raw material to get it recycled and use it in production of blocks/pavers. This is yet another effort by Godrej Construction towards sustainability in line with our corporate values of Environment.



Share with us few details about your manufacturing units – location, capacities and investments?

We have 9 RMC plants located across Mumbai and Pune. Our Recycled Concrete Block Plant which is under commissioning is located in Mumbai and we will start production likely by September 2016.



What are the USP’s of your products vis-à-vis your competition?

Quality, timely delivery & service commitments along with value addition through providing convenience of placing order through a RMC app which we have developed. Our products are manufactured in stringently controlled conditions ensuring consistency in quality batch after batch and all statutory and environmental compliances. We work closely with our customers to ensure timely delivery of our products throughout the schedule of their projects. We are very concerned about sustainability, which is evident at our RMC plant site, we abide by all rules and regulations and take extra efforts to have zero impact on the environment, all our plants are well enclosed and dust free.



Can you name a few of your key projects and the benefits the end user has derived by using your products?

Rajesh Lifespaces- Thane, Runwal Forest- Kanjurmarg, Four Seasons Hotel- Worli, L&T Realty Signature Towers- Powai and many more. We have recently completed a major pour of 1650 cum for Dhaval Developers in one go smoothly for which the client has also sent us an appreciation mail. We have supplied commercially up to M80 grade and developed mixes up to M150 grade for our internal requirements. We have also developed varied mixes incorporating fly-ash to the tune of 50 per cent in concrete – EnviroTUFF (Eco Friendly concrete). Using EnviroTuff in construction also facilitates in improving a project’s Green Building Rating besides improving durability of the structure.

Blocks and Pavers manufactured using recycling concrete, TUFF Blocks AAC (Autoclaved Aerated Concrete) and EnviroTUFF (Eco-friendly concrete) form a part of our range of eco-friendly concrete products and is our contribution to the vision of a Greener India.



As a company, give us a sense of the emphasis you have placed on R&D and innovation?

Regular interaction and feedback from our customers led us to focus on a concern our customers are facing for a long time which is of placing and tracking the orders on phone on a daily basis which becomes tedious. To solve the customers problem we developed an app to place an order for concrete. You cannot just place the order but also schedule orders for future, track the location of the mixer through GPS, check outstanding amount, learn more about our products and provide feedback for our services all at the palm of their hands.

We have also developed several special mixes of concrete for clients based on their specific requirements and applications.



In which sectors of the Indian economy do you expect demand for products in the coming years?

High Rise construction in metros cities will be having a upward market demand in near future, which will drive need for special and higher grades of concrete strength under stipulated quality parameters. Smart Cities and industrial corridor development will enhance urbanisation and need of RMC on time and quality would be the key for faster execution of projects.



What is the present growth trend witnessed in the concrete market? Give us an assessment on the demand-supply gap in the concrete sector in India?

Urbanisation has induced robust growth not just in RMC but in all construction related sectors as well over the last 5 years, but the impact of the economic slowdown – both global and domestic- in the last couple of years is now being felt. Overall economic slowdown, sluggishness in construction activity, liquidity crunch and policy hurdles have resulted in lower RMC demand growth (9-10 per cent) in 2012-13.

The economic slowdown has affected all the sectors. Penetration of RMC as compared to site mix in India currently stands at 9 per cent as compared to 65-70 per cent in developed economies like USA, Europe and even developing economies like China. Site mix has been banned in more than 200 cities across China. We expect the Government to play a vital role in increasing RMC penetration through tax reduction on manufactured concrete as it is not only a higher quality product but is also eco-friendly.



How do you expect the market to shape up for the concrete sector in India?

RMC as a concept started almost a century ago and entered India only in the 70s. The commercial production did not start until the turn of the millennium. The Indian concrete market is about 300 to 350 million cubic meters a year, which is huge.

The demand for infrastructure and housing in India, backed by vision of smart cities, calls for further growth of the industry which is currently growing at an annual rate of 20 to 25 per cent. But natural, the cement consumption in the industry is also increasing, and today it’s gauged approximately at 9 per cent of the total cement produced by the country. We are expecting developments in real estate, especially residential and infrastructure segments to drive RMC demand over the next 5 years.



Tell us about the challenges faced by manufacturers like you while introducing/marketing any new products into the market? To what extent is cost a deterrent?

Construction industry generally takes longer time to accept changes in technology and products. It takes lot of awareness initiative at the start when you promote a new product which may be opposite to conventional way in India. We all should strive for sustainable and green construction materials and methods in near and long term future.



What are the new products you expect to launch in the near future?

We will be expanding our presence in the walling solutions space. In the near future we plan to launch Recycled Concrete Blocks & Pavers. We are also continuously striving to develop new RMC products which are tailor made to the requirements of our customers.



Future outlook

Along with a steady economic growth the country’s natural resources are fast depleting. As natural resources are non renewable the future lies in manufacturing sustainable green products. Our focus in the forthcoming years will be towards greener products and operations to meet the growing demand while keeping in mind the limited natural resources available to us. We project RMC demand to grow by around 18 per cent CAGR to reach a total market size of `586 billion from 2012-13 to 2017-18. Housing construction is expected to account for about 76 per cent of the demand while infrastructure and industrial segments are likely to constitute about 17 per cent and 7 per cent, respectively. We plan to play a significant role in harnessing this growth in the near future by being a key construction partner for the housing industry.

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