18 October 2019

Interaction - Charrith Reddy, Co-Founder, ARTO Precast

Our customers would stand testament to the quality of products we provide

 

 

Arto Precast Concrete was established in the year 2012, one of India’s leading manufacturer of precast concrete products. Over the years company has pioneered and introduced effective solutions for the Indian market. In an exclusive interview to CONSTRUCTION OPPORTUNITIES, CHARRITH REDDY, CO-FOUNDER, ARTO PRECAST offered his valuable insights on the industry and his company to construction opportunities.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Briefly give us an overview of the Precast Concrete industry and current trends. How widespread is the acceptance of precast technology in India? What are you doing to disseminate knowledge about it among end-users?

 

The precast industry in India is still quite young. Adoption has taken place in a limited fashion over the last decade. However, we are now seeing a steeper upward trend, with precast becoming a preferred solution. We think a general culture of sticking to traditions and a lack of government defined norms for precast (excluding precast pipes) were major contributors to the relatively slower rate at which precast is being adopted.

 

Since most of our end users tend to be engineers and experts in the construction fields, they tend to be quite knowledgeable on the topic. We do however, add to that knowledge base through our personal interactions with them. We also appreciate opportunities provided by magazines such as Construction Opportunities for giving members of the industry a avenue to reach out to more people. Currently, we are in the process of creating content to be shared online about precast and the industry to reach out to a wider audience.

 

 

What kind of government policy would foster the growth of the precast industry in India?

 

We feel the biggest step the government could take to help the industry is by creating a standard code for precast products, be it for buildings or for infrastructure.

 

This will help in two major ways. One being that more products will become standardized which will drive the cost of manufacturing down in turn reducing costs and adding value for the end user. Secondly, it will become easier for companies to define their standards for construction whether they are doing it themselves or floating a tender. Additionally, of course, any reduction in GST on the finished product can also benefit the growth of the industry.

 

 

Give us a brief background of your company, products offered and also share with us details about your manufacturing units – location and capacities

 

Arto precast is one of the pioneers for the manufacture of precast concrete products. An ISO 9001-2015 and a CRISIL Rated company having 3 units; one in Hosur, catering to the requirement of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.A second unit in Vijayawada and a third one in Amravati catering to the requirement of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. Our plant in Amravati is specialized to support large infrastructure products.It employs an egg laying machine, imported from Europe to allow for high production rates. It can produce in one day what might take weeks to produce using traditional methods. Our Vijayawada plant is generalist in its approach and uses more traditional means of production.

 

Our plant in Hosur has the most mature infrastructure since it was our first one. We are catering to many of the infrastructure needs in and around the region. Companies such as L&T, BIAL, BMRCL and many others are using our products for the various projects happening in and around the region.

 

 

Some of the main products we manufacture among many are: -

 

1.            Manholes for all wastewater projects.

2.            U drains for storm water drains and cable trenches.

3.            Staircases and wall panels for affordable housing.

4.            Air valve Chambers for water supply projects.

5.            Road Barriers for highways and other road projects.

 

 

 

What are the USP of your products vis-à-vis competitors? How smart and efficient are your products? What are your company’s focus on  R& D and technological innovations

 

We have a very strong team of individuals from the directors to the engineers to the production executives. The senior staff alone have well over 50 years of experience combined between all of them in the industry. This allows to cater to very specific needs while optimizing value.

 

Our customers would also stand testament to the quality of products we provide. We have innovated production methodologies to ensure that this quality is consistent. We also provide ways to make installation easier, such as our tongue and groove system. Additionally, we always try to optimize value for our customers by giving them suggestions based on our experience in the field.

 

Regarding the R&D we have a team constantly working on the same. Even though precast on a worldwide level is relatively old technology, it didn’t come to India until much later because the Indian market and conditions require some specific attributes. Satisfying some of these attributes is what has helped us grow as a business. Our R&D team continues to customize precast for India and look for new ways to bring in efficiencies throughout the cycle of the product.

 

 

There is a lot of demand for green and eco-friendly products in recent times. How green and eco-friendly are your products?

 

Precast brings in benefits to the environment that are easily overlooked. Precast concrete is produced in a controlled environment which makes it far more resource efficient than more traditional means of construction. Innovative compounds also help produce precast concrete with much lesser water without sacrificing technical requirements. At the worksite, there is less overall dust produced as the product is produced off site and only installed at the work site. Since installation takes very little time, there is minimal disturbance to the surroundings, especially in urban environments it would cause less traffic disruptions. There is also a significant reduction in sound pollution when compared to the cast in situ work.

 

 

How are you balancing the cost/quality equation in a price-sensitive market like India?

 

We believe and have maintained that quality is an uncompromisable attribute of our products. We have built our entire production system based around quality and have made adjustments to suit the price sensitivity that is a norm in the Indian market. For example, infrastructure products in India tend to be over designed for the need. A U-drain typically would have nearly twice the steel reinforcement needed and/or a much higher wall thickness than actually required. This has become a practice because the unreliability of using cast in situ in varying conditions and the tendency of some contractors to try cutting corners. Since precast does not suffer from either of these major issues, the product can be designed with a much tighter tolerance allowing for the price to be much more reasonable. Going back to a previous point, government defined norms would make this much easier as we currently have to go through a long process with each customer. Another way we are introducing cost efficiencies without compromising quality is by mechanizing more aspects of the production line. The recently acquired egg laying machine has been one of our biggest steps on this front. The machine also adds value by being relatively easy to move to a new worksite. By being able to move it to where the project is happening saves an additional 10% - 12% on the transportation costs.

 

 

 

Details on the new products launched by your company or being launched.

 

Of late we see a great demand in the warehousing segment, wherein a lot of clients want to take a piece of land on lease for 5 years to 15 years. After the lease period they have a desire to shift the entire building. Our Precast modular design products and systems works well for this case. Most of the components can simply be dismantled and reused elsewhere giving the client a great amount of flexibility. Of late we are in the process of studying and introducing architectural precast solutions. These are aesthetic designs that can be employed in a host of different situation to improve the facia of a space.

 

 

 

Could you name a few clients and projects your company has been associated with and the benefits accrued to them

 

We are associated with a lot of infrastructure and real estate developers in India. Most of them are repeat customers as they benefit from our expertise and value. The main benefits being consistent quality with a high rate of project completion which allows for a faster ROI.

 

Following are few companies we are working for in India

1.            Bangalore International Airport

2.            Bangalore Metro Rail

3.            Bangalore Development Authority

4.            Amaravati Development Corporation Project at Vijayawada with L&T

5.            Brigade Enterprises Ltd

6.            Mysore City Corporation

7.            Police Housing Corporation Karnataka

8.            Green Co-Solar project Hyderabad

9.            Hyderabad City Surveillance project with L&T

10.          Many other developers, builders and other infra project contractors.

 

 

 

Which segments are the biggest demand drivers for your products?

 

Presently we see the largest demand in infrastructure projects. This includes city development, highway projects, metro rail projects, airport projects, water and sewage projects, warehousing, affordable housing and other similar works.

 

 

 

Future outlook on the precast concrete industry and from your company perspective.

 

In India precast concrete is still in the budding stage. As India’s pace of urbanization is happening very rapidly, there is going to be a huge demand for improved infrastructure. Additionally, as the industry is becoming more formal and regulated, precast will be the only viable option. This has already happened in the developed parts of the world and is only a matter of time before it happens in India. For us this is a very exciting prospect and ties in well with our expansion plans.

 




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