How is the market for RMC shaping up in India?
The ready mix concrete industry made its entry into the country in the 90s but it has picked up pace only in the last decade and half owing to rapid infrastructure development. RMC industry is developing at a rapid rate driven by the demand from metro cities with upcoming infrastructure projects such as the Metro rails, flyovers, high-rise buildings, etc. The industry has grown to all parts of the country including the metros and the Tier 2 and 3 cities. Though the RMC sector in India is growing rapidly at a pace of 15-20 per cent annually, the business is still in its infancy – the gap between the organised and unorganised sector is wide. Cement is a prime material in ready mix concrete and in the coming years the Readymix Concrete industry is likely to consume more than 30 per cent of the cement produced from the current consumption level of around 15 percent. Despite these hurdles we can expect more than 30 percent growth in RMC Sector in coming years.
Which are the RMC products you have introduced in the market in the recent past? What is the USP of these products?
RDC Concrete has a proven reputation for delivering cost-effective and innovative building solutions to meet a plethora of requirements of customers. We are having wide range of product portfolio for providing high quality tailor made solutions for various needs. Smart city need to be energy efficient, sustainable with eco-friendly features. We have Greencrete concrete of various grades up to M60 with lesser embodied energy and contain more eco-friendly materials. Duracrete is another product offering longer life and lower life cycle cost than normal concrete due to its better durability properties and least maintenance. Crackfree concrete makes it impossible for water to penetrate and thereby reinforcement is well protected from possible corrosion causing external factors. We have Naturecrete for paving in walkways, which allows water to percolate to the ground and increase water table, instead of going to drain. We also have dry & wet concrete bags to address the small repair work requirements. These bags will satisfy the need of quality concrete for smaller applications in areas, where it is difficult to carry normal concrete. Selfcrete is one product which is largely being used in multi-storeyed building in congested columns or with aluminium formwork due to high flowability and ability to fill complicated structural members where congestion of reinforcement is high and it also speeds up the rate of pour thereby saves time. Tempcrete designed to reduce the core temperature of raft foundations, Supercrete designed to achieve high compressive strengths up to M100, Fastrackcrete to achieve high strength in matter of hours, Fibrecrete with new generation poly propylene fibre or with steel fibre. RDC Concrete has a robust system of quality control in place, which is able to mitigate the challenges by any RMC player due to ever changing raw material properties. We have the cleanest plants and storage facilities across the industry, thereby having least issues in Product Quality and Health and safety of our employees and associates. We believe in developing our team to be the best in the Industry, who further make our business go places, for which we have the best training facilities in place
What innovations are you bringing to build strong and sustainable concrete?
Sustainability or sustainable development in construction industry is aimed at improving the quality of life for everyone, now and for the next generations. The future challenge for the construction industry in India is clearly to meet the growing needs for infrastructure development and housing while at the same time limiting the impact of its burdens in CO2 emissions due to construction by drastic improvements in the use of alternative materials in construction and supplementary cementing materials as partial replacements to OPC. By knowing the numerous advantages of industrial by-products, Ready-Mixed Concrete (RMC) industries have partially replaced the cement with Flyash, GGBS, which are by-products of other industries. Because of enriching properties of these supplementary materials like quality, availability and performance, it is widely used for construction which enriches the workability, durability and sustainability.
With stringent regulation in force for project completion, how are your RMC helping in the faster completion of projects?
Concrete is major material used at Construction Site. For builders to make the concrete at construction site needs a separate skilled manpower and storage space for storing required raw materials. Concrete constituents occupy a large space for storage at construction site. Further, the builder has to spend a lot of time and effort to source these materials and test their quality before use. Again to make the concrete and developer need to deploy technically skilled manpower to make concrete at Site which is again slow to pace of construction. Whereas Ready Mixed Concrete (RMC) suppliers take care of all these pain points and supply the required quantity of concrete at the specified time, speed and place so that construction can proceed smoothly. Therefore, RMC greatly relieves the space problem. The real advantage for the construction industry accrues from the quality of the concrete because of the expertise and experience of RMC Suppliers. However, the quality of the structure made using RMC largely depends on close coordination between the supplier of RMC and the builder at the site at all stages starting from ordering concrete to discharging and placing of the concrete. Transit Mixers can keep the concrete agitated for the required duration during the pour and if required admixture redosing can be done to further increase the placing time without affecting the quality.
There are reports of building collapses during monsoon; being a leading RMC manufacturer what role RMC can play in protecting the building from collapse?
Building collapse refers to the failure of the structure or the component. The Structural component may be foundation, beam and column etc. The failure of a building depends on the designs, materials, workmanship and methods of construction. 10% times building failures occurs due to poor structural design, 30% due to poor Quality of construction material used and 60% due to workmanship during site mix concrete. RMC eliminates many such issues leading to better quality of concrete as suggested by structural designer in terms Concrete Grade, Slump and durability. Further QCI certified plants have audited systems and processes as compared to many local uncertified concrete suppliers.
What kind of government policy will foster growth of the RMC sector?
Faster urbanization of major cities will need RMC plants to be set up within city limits as the product is highly perishable product. In fact, this should be part of urban town planning. RMC usage should be encouraged by making it mandatory to use as sustainable and durable concrete for increased lifespan of the construction. Site mixes with untrained manpower should be stopped as such poor workmanship is responsible for poor quality construction. Use of RMC will also reduce pollution and wastage of raw materials and help in early execution of projects.
The government must ensure growth of the construction industry by making RMC a mandatory item in the specifications for all government jobs and any private project of value exceeding 1-crore. It should also pass regulations for all metro and tier 2 cities to use RMC and stop piling of construction materials like aggregates and sand on public roads at construction sites. Currently, in major metro cities, movement of trucks is restricted due to no-entry for certain times of the day. We feel that the Government should provide some relief for RMC carrying trucks in cities to enable faster construction activities.
Sustainable concrete construction should be one of the main agendas of the construction sector. Increasing the use of industrial by-products such as Fly Ash, GGBS, etc will help in enhancing the sustainability of concrete. Use of higher grade of concrete should be promoted to reduce the column/beam size thereby reduced the dead load of the whole structure. This would lead to reduced material consumption per square m and existing resources like aggregates and high grade limestones used for cement can be saved or preserved for future generations. Higher grade of concrete will have better durability and lower maintenance or replacement cost.
What are the challenges facing RMC players in India?
Despite the optimistic growth of the RMC sector there is a need to address existing fault zones. One of the major challenges in Real estate sector in large metros, is the liquidity issue. This is sure to impact the RMC industry and all major players will need to refocus their growth plans for tier 2 and 3 cities which are still witnessing a steady growth. Apart from the various government clearances which are required to start projects, growth of India’s ready mix industry has been baffled due to factors like traffic restrictions and congestion on the road are a major impediment for supply of the product which has a short shelf life of three to four hours from the time of production at batching plant. Another major challenge is uninterrupted supply of raw materials specifically aggregates of consistently good quality required to manufacture ready mix concrete due to several small size unorganised players instead of major branded players. Setting up commercial plants in metro cities is a challenge due to space constraints and traffic regulations. The civic bodies need to allocate specific locations within the city limits to allow RMC operators to meet the growing demand of urbanisation. RMC is preferred globally as an environment friendly business. I am sure in coming day we together will overcome these challenges.