10 July 2020

Interview- N Chatterjee(Trimble Buildings) and S Pilli-Sihvola (Tekla Corporation)

We’re working closely with the construction industry to promote precast technology


Trimble applies technology to work processes in traditional industries like construction, agriculture or transportation and attempt to transform the efficiency, productivity, safety and quality of the work process in those areas. NIRMALYA CHATTERJEE, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR & COO, TRIMBLE BUILDINGS INDIA and SAMPO PILLI-SIHVOLA, DIRECTOR, PRECAST, TEKLA CORPORATION responded to queries from CONSTRUCTION OPPORTUNITIES on the role played by the group to promote precast technology in construction.


On the significance of Excon as a business platform: NC: Excon is a prominent industry exhibition happening every alternate year. It gives companies like us an ideal opportunity to meet not just our domestic clients but foreign customers as well. It has supported us as we continue to retain our brand name ‘Tekla’ and also in showcasing our new identity as ‘Trimble Solutions’. We have received a good inflow of quality visitors at the 2015 edition.


On Trimble’s prospects in contributing to the Indian precast industry: SP-S: We see India as an emerging market for the precast industry. The technology is quite new here and yet needs to be widely recognised. Trimble currently offers solutions for the precast industry and can also assist in offering detailed technical support like the data on fabrication etc. Such knowledge helps the end customer to effectively plan the construction process and contributes immensely  to achieving savings in time, cost and labour involvement. Though the market is improving, India still lags far behind the developed markets wherein precast technologies are already a popular choice...


On the roadblocks affecting the precast industry: SP-S: Availability of investments and taxation policies are hindrances slowing the growth of the precast industry. The country needs to undergo a mindset change among the customers. Spreading awareness on the benefits of such technologies and construction practices is a much needed reform here. However, with the increased focus on infrastructure spending and development we expect the sector to flourish more in the years to come. A gradual mindset change is also being seen among the contractor community, wherein they prefer precast over cast-in-place solutions. This is a positive growth sign for us.


On the size of the precast market in India: NC: Currently, the Indian precast market is in its initial growth phase. Hence, quoting an industry figure will be inappropriate. We estimate the overall demand for precast technology to be around $19 million for the construction industry. Trimble is not much concerned about the size of the Indian precast market but is rather focused on working with our customers in promoting and expanding the scope of such technologies in India.


On Tekla’s initiatives to promote precast technology: SP-S:  We are working very closely with the construction industry to promote this technology. We have been constantly educating the contractors and even our customers on the benefits of adapting such technologies.


NC: Trimble has been very aggressive in promoting such new-gen technologies that can refine our construction processes. We constantly organise numerous workshops and seminars to promote these practices not just in metros but in tier-II and tier-III regions as well. We have also associated with industry bodies like Builder’s Association of India and participate in industry events organised by CII for encouraging the usage of such technologies. About 22 colleges in India have today included Tekla software in its curriculum. We will be soon launching a handbook on precast for the India market. We are already supporting numerous players like Shapoorji Palloonji who are now focused on precast structures and are also in dialogue with realty majors like Lodha, Hiranandani Group, Sobha Developers etc. Apart from this, we are also now working with BG Shirke, a Pune based major in the precast segment and with Precast India.


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