Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Interview - Raj Lakhani (Peri India)

Opportunities are innumerable for system formwork players


RAJ LAKHANI, MANAGING DIRECTOR, PERI INDIA PVT LTD is extremely optimistic about the growth of system formwork market in India. He speaks with ANUJA ABRAHAM on the challenges, opportunities present before the company.


Tell us about Peri’s presence in India. Tell us about your company performance in the last five years?

PERI has been a global market leader since 1969.  And in the last five years, we have also acquired market leadership in India. The first product was launched in India in 2007. In the system formwork market, we have more than 60 percent market share.


What are the after-sales service and technical support offered by your company?

The reason why PERI started business in India only in 2007 was because we never do anything half heartedly. It is not impossible to export systems from Germany. But the philosophy that we have is when you want to enter into a country, you do it whole heartedly. It implies that when you first enter into a country, you establish all your resources in terms of manpower, in terms of stocks, in terms of technical design, related to site support only then you go into that country with your formwork. So service is the most important aspect and when we came to India, we realised that the formwork systems is dominated by conventional formwork. The chances that we will meet clients who have used system formwork earlier are very low. So we were very heavily committed to services like site support, assembly and disassembly, safety etc. and training of manpower for, on behalf of, clients. Depending on the agreement with the client and the scale of project, our team of engineers are usually there to supervise for the first couple of cycles.


Please name some of your landmarkprojects.

We have our presence in residential, commercial, mixed use, infrastructure, power plants projects. Currently we are working on the tallest towers in the four corners of India. We are working on the World One tower which is constructed by Lodha. Once completed, it will be the tallest habitable residential tower in the world. We are working on another project, Surya Tower by Raheja, which will the tallest tower in North India. Also there is Pinnacle tower in Bengaluru by Mantri Developers, and in the East, we are working on the project called 42 by Mani Group in Kolkata.


In terms of business, how is the Indian market?

Our market analysis shows that there would be a CAG growth of 20 percent in the formwork market which is quite high. India is a price sensitive market, pricing is one of our major challenge; another challenge is high custom duty. But as India has a high volume of projects, we continue to grow very fast. Even compared to other countries, where the growth has slowed down, India continues to grow as there is lot of scope for projects in ports, airports, bridges, housing.


Has the slowdown affected you?     

No. In fact, we are growing in double digits. Last year we grew by 30 per cent, this year’s projected growth is also by 30 percent compared to last year.


What are the opportunities you see in the Indian market for your company?

We have just scratched the surface. Currently the market is dominated by conventional formwork which is here to stay for a long time. With the new government coming in, I’m very optimistic. Also if people are unsure if the overall formwork market will grow, the 5 per cent of the systems formwork market will still have the remaining 95 per cent to bite into. We have to develop systems for the price sensitive market. Also, for example, the requirement for repetitions in a seven-storey building may not be as high as a tower, so the systems can also be a lot lighter. Also this can lead to emphasis on speed and safety. So opportunities are innumerable. 

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