- Sourabh Bansal, Managing Director & Co-founder, Magicrete
Kindly inform us about the market size of AAC blocks and how it is growing? What is your market share? What is the future of AAC blocks?
As per 2018 census, brick and block market share is comprised as:
How the product compares with conventional red bricks in terms of superiority? How is the cost factor?
As compared to the conventional red bricks, AAC blocks are far more superior. This superiority is not just in terms of the quality - referring to water resistant, thermally-insulated, noise pollution resistant, pest and earthquake resistant and higher strength. But, also in terms of cost, as the rate per sq ft of AAC is much lesser as compared to red bricks, again being a clear winner in saving construction cost.
What about the logistic cost of the product? How important it is?
Logistic cost of the product plays a very important role in determining the overall construction cost. It is approximately 20 per cent of the overall cost. All companies including us always explore innovative ways to reduce it.
Tell us about Magicrete as a complete solution provider for AAC construction.
When it comes to AAC construction, we call ourselves as walling experts, so by core a complete solution provider. In construction a wall, three things play a very important role in deciding its strength and durability. These three things are: blocks/bricks, mortar and plaster. Magicrete leads in all three of them being highly superior and providing complete walling solutions.
Give us some idea about your prefab business, which are the best selling products?
We in the recent years dipped our feet into precast/prefab, where we also got an opportunity to support "Swachh Bharat Abhiyan", by providing them hygiene facilities in zonal/block schools.
The bestselling products in precast/prefab are factory sheds, portable office/homes, toilets, security cabins, U-drains.
Why in India prefab lacks popularity, while in Europe and in Southeast Asian countries it is more popular?
To create trust and credibility around any new business, takes times and awareness. Earlier it lacked popularity but that is changing fast now. Customers are now accepting prefab/precast based solutions as awareness is increasing.
Can you tell us about your experience on supporting 'Swachh Bharat' movement by manufacturing and supplying prefab toilets?
It was a great experience as we got opportunity to contribute and help many girl child/adults, by providing them proper toilets in zonal/blocks schools for ensuring cleanliness and hygiene. We supplied more than 500 toilets and impacted lives of more than 10,000 children.
Should the construction sector shift from Bricks to Blocks?
The construction sector should definitely shift from bricks to blocks. It's high time we start taking advantage of the superior AAC in terms of quality, for faster construction, labour cost, environmental concern, availability of the raw material i.e. fly ash.
In fact according to government gazette, No person shall within a radius of fifty kilometers from coal or lignite based thermal power plants, manufacture clay bricks or tiles or blocks for use in construction activities without mixing at least 25 per cent of ash (fly ash, bottom ash or pond ash) with soil on weight to weight basis.