Incorporated in 1934, Everest Industries is one of India’s leading and fastest growing building solutions providers. The company has a rich history of manufacturing building materials and Pre-Engineered Steel Buildings. S Krishnakumar, Chief Executive- Building Solutions, Everest Industries in conversation with Ritika Arora Bhola discusses how PEB has contributed in revolutionising the warehousing industry, with informing about the challenges and future of the sector. Excerpts:
How inviting is the Indian Pre-Engineered Buildings industry today? Kindly elucidate about the increasing scope and demand for PEBs and metal buildings industry. To what extent do you feel that PEB has contributed in revolutionising the construction industry?
The industry is steadily growing at more than 10 per cent from past few years. Penetration has increased to new applications like metro and railway stations, multi-storey buildings for offices, schools and hospitals, aviation industry and many more. Industries like Power and Cement which were earlier using site fabricated steel are also moving towards pre-engineered steel buildings.
Warehouses, these days, are being constructed with the PEB mode of construction as opposed to the traditional mode of construction with brick and mortar in earlier days. What are the factors that have contributed to the popularity of PEB structures?
The factors that have contributed to the popularity of PEB structures chiefly are:
- Fast construction, fast occupancy, aesthetic buildings, expandable in future,
- Functional advantages of clear span structures and clear height buildings.
Where does the strength of your company lie and how does it position itself different and better than its competitors who are into the same line of business and have the same kinds of products to offer?
Everest Buildings is the only company in the industry which provides integrated solutions like steel buildings, solar power plant, and Rapicon walls, etc. to its valued customers – from the last 85 years; we have been very much loyal, transparent and reliable with our customers.
Leading players are focussing on the emerging opportunities in the field of construction of steel buildings. Do you think that steel buildings could become the norm in the residential sector?
Yes, steel buildings could become the norm in the residential sector. Currently, the international trend is to build tall structures in composite Steel and RCC combination like Burj Khalifa in Dubai. In India, the concept is picking up and will grow owing to the advantages offered by steel including speed, sustainability, durability and flexibility. Further, in regions with access constraints like hilly or uneven terrain steel offers an economically better alternative to conventional RCC structures, thus opening up possibilities for resorts, holiday residence and hotels.
What are the challenges PEB industry is facing today?
There are several challenges that are faced by PEB industry varied from pricing of raw materials to safety of structure. Some of them can be enlisted as:
- Fluctuating steel prices,
- Fragmented market and mushrooming of players which do not have engineering centers or believe in safety or quality,
- Unit rate buying concept as opposed to solutions concept,
- Adverse payments and liability terms.
The biggest hindering factor for the growth of PEB industry has been the ﬂuctuating price of steel. How does your company deal with the problem of price ﬂuctuation in steel?
Our primary business is to sell steel structures, hence we do not speculate on steel prices. Conservative methods of estimation and a robust monitoring mechanism with balance offer validate and help us offset impacts of steel prices fluctuation.
The government’s focus on making India a manufacturing hub through the development of exclusive industrial corridors, has spelt good news for the PEB industry. What is your take on this?
We feel the government projects like Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor project, Special Economic Zones (SEZs) and the National Investment and Manufacturing Zones (NIMZs), will bring greater investments in infrastructure, logistics parks, warehouses and industrial complexes.
Please throw light on new practices or innovations done by the Everest Industries in last few years.
Talking about innovations, Everest has developed and launched integrated buildings offerings for the customers. Besides that we have come up with solar rooftop panels over our steel buildings and Rapicon wall panels for periphery walls of steel buildings.
How do you foresee the future of warehousing industry? What you believe would be the megatrends to watch out for in warehousing.
The warehousing industry is growing steadily and we feel the demand is going to continue due to the following factors:
- Implementation of GST in India,
- Growing Indian e-commerce industry has fueled the growth of warehousing/manufacturing and logistics industry as on-time delivery has become need of the hour,
- Introduction of online stores which are pushing the demand,
- Entry of foreign firms investing in Grade A warehousing space.