Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Interaction- Puneet Mittal, Co-Founder, Magicrete Building Solutions


    We constantly strive to provide better products for our customers


Magicrete Building Solutions was found with the vision of helping people build their homes better, faster & cheaper by use of innovative construction technologies. The company’s products over the past decade have been used to build over 5 lacs+ homes. With immense success of its flagship product AAC Blocks, Magicrete has over the years ventured into a wide range of construction solutions including AAC Wall Panels, construction chemicals (tile adhesives & waterproofing solutions) & Precast. In an exclusive interview with CONSTRUCTION OPPORTUNITIES, PUNEET MITTAL, CO- FOUNDER, MAGICRETE BUILDING SOLUTIONS PVT. LTD, speaks about the latest trends, his company offerings,new launches and a lot more.



Briefly give us an overview of the Indian drymix mortar industry, latest trends, market dynamics and challenges.


Dry mix mortar is an advanced technology widely used in European countries and to a limited extent in India. The Indian construction industry still relies on job site technology because the cost of dry mix mortar is high compared to job site mortar. Nowadays, with emerging demands of the Indian and foreign construction industry for new building materials and technology, dry mix mortar is conquering the market and replacing the traditional job site mixing mortar with advanced dry mix mortar technology widely used in India for last 10 years. The fact that labor and its cost can be minimized and overall quality can be achieved along with speed in construction by using dry mix mortar. Dry mix mortar manufactured with new technology has one of the most significant advantages of wastage of sand, which is one of the major content of dry mix that can be avoided to sustain the Indian construction industry, which is facing the availability of sand.


The dry mix mortar market size was estimated at over 260 million tons in 2020 and is projected to register a CAGR of around 6.5% during the forecast period (2021-2026). Increasing government initiatives for the nation’s infrastructural development are launched to boost the consumption of dry mix mortar.




What has been the impact of Covid-19 on your business and what are your strategies to overcome these sluggish market conditions and expand market share.


COVID-19 undoubtedly impacted the construction chemicals and dry mix mortar market in 2020. Dry mix mortar finds its primary application in the construction industry, where it is used in plasters, grouts, waterproofing slurries, tile adhesives, and others. Considering the COVID-19 scenario, the private and government construction activities were on a temporary halt during the government-imposed lockdown, which led to a decrease in the dry mix mortar used in the construction works the demand for the dry mix mortar market. However, the construction sector is picking up the pace in the post-pandemic scenario. Thus, this will enhance the market demand for dry mix mortar in the coming years.


Now the market is opening its showing beautiful signs, and the acceptability will improve/increase as people want to be more organized now than ever before. I also think that lack of awareness and labor availability would be a significant issue.



 Talking about the strategies to expand market share, I think:

  • More awareness about the quality benefits of using Dry Mix Mortar over traditional mortar is necessary; compared to conventional mortar, the amount of mortar required is up to 3 times lesser. This speeds up the time needed for laying blocks and also reduces the overall costs. Since the products are premixed, so application is much faster than conventional products. It is easy to use and lowers rebounding losses.
  • Dry Mix Mortar is a cost-effective solution due to zero maintenance that reduces repair and maintenance costs over the long term.
  • We have the vision to help people build their homes better, cheaper, and faster with the help of innovative construction technology, so we want our products to be sold at every nooks and corners, and proper education and awareness is the key to achieve that.


Detail us on your company’s range of drymix mortar products and its applications.What are the USP’s of your products/solutions Vis-à-vis competition?Advantages of using your drymix mortar in terms of savings on construction cost, time, and labour.


Over a decade, we have been successful in providing a plethora of innovative construction technology and is proud of developing a new perspective on this field in India. Our goal is to create workable solutions that offer a cost-effective way to increase durability, longevity, and aesthetics. With highly experienced in-house teams, we provide peace of mind by meeting efficiency and quality requirements that help build walls and build a sense of trust. Apart from our flagship product AAC Blocks, panels, and precast solutions, we have a significant presence in construction chemicals from walling (thin-bed mortar, sprayable plaster, wall putty), tile & stone fixing, and various waterproofing solutions.


We have an excellent in-house team of Ph.D. and IIT Graduates, who plays the main role in product development. We have an excellent state-of-the-art manufacturing plant with superior processes and SOP’s as we follow Japanese Methods for product development and quality controls, which none of our competitors has.


We are working towards business enhancement through structured processes like TPM, Balance Scorecard, and Kaizen.


Our Dry Mix and Construction Chemicals offers the following advantages:

  • It gives a strong bond (4 times than sand/cement) 100% bonding so no hollowness.
  • Flexible and Tile Saving due to less labour cost and more accuracy
  • Anti-Shrink at any temperature variations.
  • Faster Construction (4 times than traditional)
  • Less or zero wastage due to bag packaging
  • We follow international quality standards like EN 12004 for the manufacturing of our products along with IS code 15477:2019


Tell us about your company’s approach towards technological innovation, R &D and sustainability.


We are India’s frontline manufacturer of lightweight concrete (AAC) blocks, a technology that has turned over a new leaf in the construction industry. We were found with the vision of helping people build their homes better, faster & cheaper by use of innovative construction technologies. With the immense success of our flagship product AAC Blocks, Magicrete has, over the years, ventured into a wide range of construction solutions, including Wall Panels, Construction Chemicals & Modular Buildings.


Our products over the past decade have been used to build over 5 lacs+ homes. Already among the top 3 players in the AAC Blocks industry (industry with over 100 players), we intend to double our capacity to become India’s largest block/brick manufacturer over the next five years.


We have a research lab of 10,000 sq. ft. – equipped with the latest technology. We hire consultants from Europe to get the best assistance with the quality of our products according to international standards.


The future of construction is Modular (houses built in factory), and we are innovating yet again with our MagicLite ALC Wall Panels & MagicPod 3D Modular Precast construction technology to change the face of construction in this decade. With these technologies, Magicrete is uniquely positioned to lead the modular construction industry, which is expected to be USD 50 bn by 2030.



Have you launched any new products or launching new products in the near future?


We are introducing and trying to formalize the use of many new techniques to the market, like our Walling products which provide a solution from block joining to wall finish.


Our Tilling products are perfect for floor, wall & ceiling tile installations on various substrates - be it plywood, metal, or concrete. Our Waterproofing Products provides overall solutions from protecting the home from leaks, peeling paint, foul odor, damage, pests, etc. And of course, MagicLite – ALC Wall Panels our new generation wall construction technology. Our entire product range is developed and manufactured as per international standards EN 12004.


Our goal is to create workable solutions that offer a cost-effective way to increase durability, longevity, and aesthetics. With highly experienced in-house teams of IIT Graduates and Ph.D.’s, we provide peace of mind by meeting efficiency and quality requirements that help build your homes and build a sense of trust.



As a manufacturer tell us about the critical challenges faced while introducing high end products in India? To what extent does cost influence a customer’s purchasing decision?


The Indian dry mix mortar and construction chemicals industry is at a turning point in understanding the segment, price, and quality. This is when the market is flooded with cheap imports and products, with a lesser focus on material properties, testing, and certification, and application techniques.


The low-price products available make similar claims but may not stand up to testing under rigorous international codes. This makes it a challenge to introduce high technology products in the market as it is challenging to shift the mind-set of people. The high-tech products make applications easier and last much longer but may be pricier. The cost factor tends to equalize the products without considering the life cycle cost of using a much better product. So, introducing high-end products is challenging but will gain traction as life-cycle costs, ease of application, and durability become the key parameters driving purchase decisions.



I think the Indian dry mix mortar and construction chemicals segment can be divided into:

  • A price sensitive market where any product or low-quality application is accepted as long as it costs less.
  • A quality sensitive market, where product performance according to global standards is paramount. In such a market, although the price does influence the customer’s purchasing decision, the focus is more on correct high-quality materials and impeccable application.



Could you offer information about your manufacturing units, current capacities, and planned upgrades?


Magicrete has state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities at Navsari, near Surat on the Mumbai-Surat highway & in Jhajjar, Haryana near Gurgaon. Our plants are strategically located close to thermal power plants, ensuring a smooth supply of raw materials. The plants are also within a 250 km radius of most urbanized regions of India like Delhi, Gurgaon, Mumbai, Pune, Nasik, Surat, Vadodara, Bharuch, and Ahmedabad.


Our total installed capacity is approx. 10,000 tons per location for dry mix and construction chemicals production and 800,000 CBM/annum for AAC Blocks production equivalent to the walling requirement for 1000 high-rise buildings. Our facilities are interlinked by ERP systems, thus enabling us to replicate our systems uniformly across the country.


We constantly strive to provide better products for our customers. Each of our manufacturing facilities houses a laboratory to test the quality of raw materials and finished products. Every batch of the finished product is tested before dispatch.


We have recently won the Global Housing Technology Challenge (GHTC) organized by the Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs to use our MagicPod technology (3D Modular Precast) to build 1000 homes over 12 months.




Future outlook for the drymix mortar industry and from a company perspective


In India, a cumulative total of USD 24.67 billion foreign direct investment has been made for the construction activities (including townships, built-up infrastructure, and construction development projects) between April 2000 – December 2017. The country is likely to witness an investment of around USD 1.3 trillion in housing over the next seven years, where the country is expected to witness the construction of 60 million new homes. The availability of affordable housing is expected to rise around 70% by 2024 in India. All the factors mentioned above, in turn, are expected to increase the demand for dry mix mortar in the region during the forecast period. India has a market potential from 5-9 % to 90 % growth, which is a shift that we cannot even imagine.


The non-availability of river-sand and, the increase in labor cost, and the non-availability of skilled labor have necessitated ready-made building products. This scenario was well understood by major cement manufacturers globally and India for a forward integration business model through dry mix plants. There is also a need to increase awareness levels about the benefits of using the technology.