18 November 2019

Interaction-Anup Mathew, Sr VP And Business Head, Godrej Construction

The long-term outlook for the RMC industry continues to be quite favourable


Godrej Construction has been one of the renowned players in the construction materials business. The company offers a wide range of construction materials which include specially engineered ready mix concrete products, AAC blocks, recycled concrete blocks and pavers for different types of applications. In an exclusive interview with CONSTRUCTION OPPORTUNITIES, ANUP MATHEW, SVP AND BUSINESS HEAD, GODREJ CONSTRUCTION, spoke about the trends in the RMC sector, the company’s offerings and outlook for the RMC equipment market in India.





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


Over the last decade, we have been observing a reasonably good growth trend in the RMC sector. As a rapidly developing country, India has been witnessing an increase in civil construction activities, especially over the past 2-3 decades. Such increase in construction related activities in the Real Estate and Infrastructure sector has been one of the key drivers for growth in the Indian Construction Industry. Going forward, we anticipate that this trend is likely to continue in the decade ahead. As a result, the RMC sector is likely to witness an increase in demand in the next 5-10 years.


Moreover, since there is a far greater need now for using large volumes of concrete on construction projects, and due to an increasing need to accelerate the pace for completing such projects, it is imperative for Construction Project Managers to use Ready-mix Concrete (RMC) for executing such projects. We anticipate a Compounded Average Growth Rate (CAGR) of 6-8%, or perhaps even higher growth for the RMC sector in India during the coming 3-5 years.






Is India’s construction sector ready for high-end RMC products having niche applications?


Yes, high strength RMC products having concrete grades higher than M80 and various other special purpose concrete products are now increasingly being used for construction of high rise buildings in Indian Metro and Tier 1 cities. Such high-end and specialised concrete is also necessary for many of the urban infrastructure projects. However, in Tier 2 and 3 cities, we have found that the demand is still predominantly for concrete with grade lower than M30. RMC is generally considered to be of far better quality and more convenient at construction project sites than the traditional site-mixed concrete made with smaller non-automated concrete mixing drums. RMC is now increasingly being manufactured by using more sophisticated computerised concrete batching plants which perform consistently and under more stringently controlled conditions.


The quality of every batch of concrete in such manufacturing units is delivered consistently as per the concrete mix design that has been verified and approved by the concerned project structural designers and quality control engineers. This helps in manufacturing and delivering the concrete more consistently as per the required quality, and with far lesser wastage of raw materials. Use of RMC is also a more environment friendly option as it is easier to control the cement and other related dust pollution effectively at the RMC manufacturing plants. In India, the use of RMC is still at a relatively nascent stage as compared to that in many developed countries. We are likely to therefore see an increase in the use of RMC and other higher-end concrete products with niche applications in the years ahead.




Give us a brief background of your company, products offered in the RMC segment and also share with us few details about your manufacturing units – location, capacities and investments?


The Construction Materials Business of Godrej Construction (GC) was established in the year 1999. We were one of the first to supply commercial RMC in the country. In those early years, we often needed to explain the merits of switching to using RMC. Today, the merits of using RMC need no such explanation as stakeholders are well aware of its benefits.


To ensure that we deliver the desired quality of RMC consistently, our manufacturing and distribution process is regularly audited and certified as per the approved processes inour Integrated Management System (IMS). Our IMS Certification includes ISO: 9001 Quality Management System, ISO: 14001 Environment Management System and the ISO 18001 Occupational Health and Safety Management System. The Godrej RMC Plant operations also comply with the requirements of the government recognised Quality Council of India (QCI). Our RMC Plants are regularly audited by authorised external QCI Auditors.


GC has currently chosen to only play in select regions within India. GC currently supplies RMC and other construction materials largely in three regions in India: Mumbai City - Mumbai Metropolitan Region, Pune and Bangalore. GC also supplies high-end and special purpose RMC designed and engineered to meet the specific requirements of major clients and consultants for select infrastructure projects such as the ongoing Metro Rail construction projects, and for some construction projects of our key corporate clients.


In alignment with Godrej’s commitment towards the environment, three of our RMC plants in the Mumbai-MMR and Pune region have recently been commended with the GreenPro Certification by Indian Green Building Council (IGBC). Godrej Construction is the 1stin India to obtain this noteworthy certification for its RMC plants.Such commendations demonstrate our commitment towards sustainable development.




Tell us of the new products you have introduced or plan to launch in the near future


As mentioned earlier, Godrej has always been committed to preserving the environment and towards sustainable development. Taking a step further in this direction we have recently established a fully automated Recycled Concrete Block & Paver Manufacturing Plant at Vikhroli, Mumbai. Thisunit is capable of manufacturing concrete blocks and pavers using concrete waste recycled from Construction & Demolition (C&D) Waste which would otherwise end up in our city landfills.


According to an estimate prepared by Building Materials and Technology Promotion Council (BMTPC) and Centrefor Fly Ash Research and Management (C-FARM) in year 2016, the construction waste generated inIndiawas approximately 165-175 million tonnes annually. While Delhi NCR generates about 5,000 tonnes daily, Mumbai gets about 3,000 tonnes, followed by Kolkata at 2,000 tonnes and Chennai at 1,500 tonnes per day. Our recycled concrete products are in fact just as good as any other concrete product made using virgin aggregates in terms of its quality and durability parameters. We hope that many others will likewise join in this initiative to encourage a circular economy by using recycled products, which is clearly the need of the hour.




Tell us about the USP’s of your products vis-à-vis your competitors.


Our objective at Godrej Construction has always been to consistently deliver good quality RMC and various other concrete products with the best quality of service for our customers. We will continue to deliver on our commitments to our customers consistently and strive to be amongst the best in the industry.


We have a dedicated Customer Care Centre to cater to all the needs & requirements of our customers. As a step further in this direction, we are one of the first to have developed and introduced the Godrej Construction Materials RMC Mobile App. This App enables our customers to place orders, track the delivery status of their orders, monitor the location of their transit mixer trucks on real time basis using Vehicle Tracking System. This helps our client’s project engineers to plan and coordinate their concreting and related construction operations on site in a more efficient manner. All this is possible on their personal mobile smartphones having iOS, Android or Windows based operating systems.




What is your company’s focus on R&D and technological innovations and aftermarket services offered by your company?


Each of our RMC plants has a dedicated Quality Control Laboratory with quality control engineers to monitor every batch of concrete being manufactured. The efforts by our engineers have helped us develop concrete products that are suitable to meet the needs of our customers.


We have developed very specialised high strength concrete of more than M120 grade for inner lining of doors for vaults and lockers by Godrej Security Solutions, business’ used in the banking sector. This specially developed concrete is designed to enhance the strength, fire and burglary resistance of the Godrej safety vaults. This special purpose concrete product has passed through stringent international tests and certification processes. Apart from this, we have also developed several other products, which we market under the Godrej Tuff Brand, such as the Temperature Controlled Concrete, Foam concrete, Ultra-high strength Concrete, Recycled Concrete Blocks & Pavers made from concrete demolition waste material, Self-compacting concrete, Pervious Concrete, Fiber reinforced Concrete, High density Concrete, Light weight Concrete, which are increasingly being used by our customers.




Your strategy to play in a price sensitive market.


Although the RMC industry is very price sensitive, our endeavor at GC is to sincerely strive to consistently create value for our customers by developing and delivering superior products and services.



In which sectors do you expect demand for your products in the coming years?


Going forward, we see the infrastructure sector playing a major role in driving the demand for RMC across India. With increased budgets being allocated by the Central and State Governments towards development of urban infrastructure, we see the demand from this sector increasing at a fast pace in the coming years.



Future outlook on the RMC industry and from a company perspective


RMC as a concept started almost a century ago. However, it entered India only in 1970s for use in project based concrete batching operations. The commercial sales of RMC did not gather momentum until the turn of the millennium.


RMC industry in India is still at an early stage of development and will expand considerably with the growth of the construction sector. Hence, we think the long-term outlook for the RMC Industry continues to be quite favourable.