Godrej plans to get into value added products in concrete line and expand the TUFF portfolio

Godrej plans to get into value added products in concrete line and expand the TUFF portfolio

Godrej is committed to building a greener India through its Good and Green vision of 2020 - ANUP MATHEW, Senior Vice President & Business Head, Godrej Construction.

Godrej Construction is a major player in ready mix concrete (RMC) in India. Please share with us the total number of RMC plants you operate in India, its location and total production capacity?

The Construction Materials Business of Godrej Construction was established in the year 1997. We are 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 currently operates in Mumbai/MMR region with 3 plants at Vikhroli, 1 at Ambarnath and 2 in Pune. We also work with other likeminded partners on contract manufacturing agreement after extensive trials at plants to meet our requirements and guidelines

Godrej Construction offers various types of ready mix concrete. What are the steps the company has taken to ensure quality control of RMC manufacture in their plants?

Each RMC plant has a dedicated Quality Control (QC) Laboratory with quality control experts to monitor the QC of every batch of concrete being manufactured. Continual research and development exercises ensure availability of concrete products which incorporate latest technologies and are yet economical. The R&D Lab offers an excellent opportunity to develop products such as ultra-high performance concrete, pervious concrete, decorative concrete which can be tailor made to suit the customer’s requirement. Although we have our standard range of mixes which we sell, and value added products under the TUFF brand, we also design and customize new products to meet our customer requirements on case to case basis. 

When compared to Western Countries and the USA, the usage of RMC in India is miniscule. What steps Godrej Construction has taken to increase the penetration of RMC?

The Ready Mix Concrete (RMC) industry in India is still in its early stages with cement consumption of just 8-9 per cent of total production. This is evident from the fact that in the West, the RMC consumes 60 per cent of total cement production. However, over a period of time the demand for RMC is expected to grow exponentially. Godrej is a part of the Ready Mix Concrete Manufacturers Association (RMCMA) and actively participates in preparing guidelines for helping penetrate the use of RMC through forums and discussions. We also were an early adopter of Quality Council of India (QCI) certification which helps reinforce the quality standards adopted in RMC as compared to site mixes. We meet government officials regularly to educate them regarding the benefits of using RMC for their projects. 

What are latest trends, technologies and developments in the RMC Industry?

In India, RMC was successfully established sometime after 1994. It made a slow start in the first 10 years, in almost all the countries where it is in use. In the next 30-40 years, it developed at a faster rate, thereafter, settling down to a steady growth. India is no exception, with RMC poised for rapid growth; in the last two years, the growth rate has been phenomenal. More importantly, the industry is witnessing new trends. Builders and contractors have realised the importance of having their own RMC plants and that too close to their construction sites, if possible. A majority of them are outsourcing the job of setting up and managing RMC plants. This has given rise to the concept of project-based RMC plants; for instance, professional companies setting up plants for builders and contractors for captive consumption leading to cost benefits. Technologies depend on market needs. RMC helps encourage mechanisation and new technologies like pumped concrete, bulk transportation of cement, production of self-compacting concrete and high-strength high-performance concrete. Another trend is that construction companies, logistics companies and even companies offering construction equipment on rental basis have ventured into RMC. These companies, according to their nature of business, either opt for forward integration or backward integration. In future, this trend will become more common.

What is your outlook on the RMC market in India? How is it poised and what will be the major growth drivers?

India is the second largest producer of cement in the world. India’s cement industry is a vital part of its economy, providing employment to more than a million people, directly or indirectly. The country has a lot of potential for development in the infrastructure and construction sector and the cement sector is expected to largely benefit from it. Some of the recent major government initiatives such as development of 98 smart cities are expected to provide a major boost to the sector. Per capita consumption of cement is accepted as an important index of the country’s economic growth. Hence, there is enough potential to boost our per capita cement consumption to match with the world average. With the adoption of massive modernisation and assimilation of state-of-the-art technology, Indian cement plants are today most energy-efficient, environment-friendly and are comparable to the best in the world in all respects, whether it is technology, energy consumption or environment-friendliness. Industry has progressively reduced its energy consumption from 800-900 kwh/tonne clinker in 80s to 650-750 kwh/tonne clinker now. Similarly, power consumption registered a remarkable improvement from 105-115 kwh/tonne cement to 70-90 kwh/tonne cement during the said period. Presently, about 99 per cent of the total capacity in the industry is based on modern and environment-friendly dry process technology. Cement industry has now been making sincere efforts to utilise waste heat recovery in the plants. 

How can RMC help in reducing the cost of construction especially in the real estate industry where price sensitivity is an issue of concern?

An RMC plant leads to time and cost efficiency since the construction does not need additional space to store the concrete or additional labour to mix it. Since only the right amount of concrete mix is delivered hence it results in no wastage. The ready mix concrete plant decreases labour, site supervising cost and project time. It helps in proper control and economy over the raw material used which results in savings. RMC plant minimizes the cement wastage as it manufactures concrete in bulk quantity. It is user friendly and environmentally friendly since there is minimal release of dust, dirt and noise during the construction process. 

What are the construction contracting services provided by Godrej Construction?

Godrej Construction has executed a wide range of projects such as industrial buildings & sheds, residential apartments, commercial & office buildings, multiplex and canteen buildings, school, hospitals, etc. We offer an array of services that include detailed designing, planning of projects, project management consultancy services, execution of projects and facility management. The Green and Lean philosophies embraced by Godrej Construction flow seamlessly within all our projects be it industrial, residential or commercial. Godrej construction has done a wide number of residential, industrial and commercial projects in Mumbai. 

How is Godrej Construction addressing the issue of shortage of skilled manpower in construction industry?

Civil construction is a manpower intensive industry. It is already facing a serious challenge in getting skilled manpower for projects. With the anticipated growth in the Indian economy, this gap is likely to widen further. Developed economies like US and Europe have already moved towards use of significant mechanization to help them reduce their dependency on manpower. Innovative use of technology in civil construction activities in India would help mitigate these challenges in the years ahead. It is very essential that the Real Estate and Construction sector realize the gravity of the upcoming challenges and actively support various Government led initiatives to help improve the skill levels required for the growing need of a developing country like India. At G&B we believe in training all the new recruits so that they have a thorough understanding and hands on experience of their work. We also undertake training of manpower under our CSR initiative of employability wherein trained people are better equipped to get job prospects with the courses they undertake with us. 

What are the steps you have taken to reduce carbon footprints in your projects?

Godrej is committed to building a greener India through its Good and Green vision of 2020. We are integrating environmentally sustainable practices in our manufacturing process and value chain across businesses. To strengthen our approach we have invested in a robust technology solution that has revolutionised the speed and accuracy of our data monitoring. It has enabled us to map, understand and analyse our complete environmental footprint from raw materials to finished goods, across factories. Our strategy to achieve our sustainability goals includes a range of efforts from energy efficiency and water conservation at our manufacturing sites, to promoting IGBC/LEED-certified green buildings. The strategies we employ are in varying stages of adoption and implementation. Incidentally we were amongst the first lot of plants to undergo CII’s Greenpro Certification for AAC plants for our manufacturing facility located at Nashik. 

Construction wastes and construction pollutions are critical issues facing the construction industry. How are you harnessing these challenges?

Godrej takes all the necessary precautionary measures to make sure the employees and the residents in the vicinity of the factory are safe. Readymade concrete plants involve highly sophisticated and intricate processes - the process involves building construction equipment, transit mixers and concrete pump among other accessories, hence the need to adhere to various safety measures. The people operating in these sectors are well trained and experienced. The workers ensure that safety is upheld at all times by all adorning safety gear and also adhering to the laid down safety measures. The quality control methods used at our plants are in compliance with the standards laid by the environmental board and pollution control board. At our Dahisar plant in Mumbai we have covered material transfer areas such as conveyor belt, aggregate bins with metallic sheets and also covered mixing section with metallic sheet to contain dust emission. The dust filters at bottom of silos and is cleaned regularly to recover material such as Cement and flyash. We have also provided tar/metallic road all over the premises of the Dahisar plant to control emission due to plying of transit mixers, bulkers and trucks which are also maintained properly and always kept in good condition. We have provided a sprinkler system for suppression of dust at the material bin area and portable water sprinklers for control of localized dust emissions along the internal roads. Bamboo trees have been planted along the east boundary to mitigate impact on adjoining land.  Godrej has imbibed environment as one of its values and the same is reflected in our product offerings. We are shortly commencing a plant to produce concrete blocks and pavers using recycled concrete waste which will reduce waste going to landfill sites.

What are your plans for the next two years? Are there plans to launch new products or to establish a new plant?

In the next 2 years, Godrej plans to get into value added products in concrete line and expand the TUFF portfolio while enhancing the brand presence beyond MMR and Pune. Godrej also ventured into selling light weight AAC blocks under the brand name TUFF blocks and we look forward to expand this line geographically. Our focus shall also be on educating customers towards benefits of using recycled concrete products in form of Blocks and Pavers, which offers developers better benefits as compared to conventional concrete blocks in LEED rating systems.


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