by Sripad Nandiraj, Founder, Hocomoco
The Covid-19 pandemic and the nationwide lockdown that followed brought the construction industry to a grinding halt. Procuring labour has become far tougher, supply deliveries have been held up and project timelines have been delayed indefinitely. This has led to pessimistic consumer sentiment and a significant drop in the demand for housing. Construction companies are rising to this challenge by developing creative solutions to the unique challenges posed by the lockdown.
Changes in housing demand since the pandemic
Since the Covid-19 pandemic began, there has been a significant shift in the way millennial consumers view their homes. With work from home becoming the norm for the foreseeable future, consumers are looking for more functional spaces that serve as a congenial work environment as well as a place to unwind and socialise. To this extent, consumers are now asking for larger balconies, bar areas, home theatre systems and other such features in their house designs. Natural light and more efficient use of space are also priorities owing to their role in creating a more open, calming home atmosphere. Moreover, to provide stimulus to the struggling construction sector, the government is offering financial incentives to those who wish to build new houses. This has served to boost the demand for residential construction despite the overall drop in consumer sentiment.
How technology can help to revive the construction sector in India
Traditionally, the construction sector has seen little digital intervention unlike other sectors like education or health. Covid-19 and the need for social distancing has created the ideal opportunity for technology to gain a foothold in the industry. This is also an opportunity for the construction sector to operate in a coordinated fashion, rather than in the fragmented manner that currently prevails.
Coordinating with architects, builders, interior designers, HVAC teams and other departments can be a significant chore for homeowners. One way to amend this is by designing online platforms that connect all these stakeholders at a single touchpoint. Another significant move in this regard is the replacement of physical documents with paperless processes. This way, a great deal of time is saved in coordinating efforts and getting the necessary permissions. Technology also allows for accurate cost calculation and thus avoids unnecessary racking up of expenses, while also cutting down on materials wastage. On the customer front, social distancing norms make it impossible for customers to keep visiting the construction site. The provision of virtual monitoring services can allow customers to supervise the site from the comfort of their homes.
What Hocomoco is doing in this regard
Hocomoco is a new-age service that is addressing the housing problem by providing turnkey house construction services for home builders. Their flexible pricing models, the commitment to deadlines and the no cost overrun guarantee make Hocomoco a cost-efficient solution for customers looking to move into their new homes as soon as possible. Through August and September, Hocomoco has acquired five new housing projects that are expected to commence in October and will total about 50,000 square feet. Requests are being received primarily from places like Indore and Ahmedabad, and Hocomoco is confident of being able to cater to demand from across India with the right kind of outreach.