In an exlusive chat with Indian Cement Review, Andre Corniere, Director, Steel Segment, Tekla comments on the company’s emphasis on customer satisfaction and belief that a proper 3-D model based solution leads to reduction in costs and wastage and ensures timely delivery of projects.Please tell us something about Tekla in briefA group of three engineering firms came together and formed a joint software company in Helsinki, Finland in 1966. The company was named as Teknillinen laskenta Oy (“technical computing”) and was registered in February 1966. The trading name of the company was later abbreviated to Tekla and its first office was located at Helsinki, Finland. The foundation for Tekla’s operations was defined as ADP consultation, computing services, training courses and software development.What are the chief business areas of the company?The first major business area for the company is building and construction, whose share of net sales in 2010 was 74 per cent. The other major business area is infrastructure and energy, whose share of net sales in 2010 was 26 per cent.Please comment on the software products developed by the company for the building and construction industry?As a company totally dedicated to customer satisfaction, Tekla believes that a proper model based solution to the issue at hand leads to securing information flow and accuracy, resulting in reduction in cost and wastage and timely delivery of projects. It is with this aim that the Tekla BIM (Building Information Modeling) software solutions have been developed to work like model based encyclopedias for construction projects, allowing to include every important detail while managing the construction process as a whole. Tekla BIMsight is a free of charge software application for model-based project cooperation.Tekla Structures software provides an accurate, detailed and data-rich 3D environment which can be shared by contractors, structural engineers, steel detailers and fabricators, precast and cast-in-place concrete contractors, detailers and manufacturers. It can also be shared by educational institutions and application developers.What software products have been developed by the company for the energy and infrastructure industry?For the infrastructure and energy industries, the company has developed Tekla Solutions which provides powerful information management and process support tools for infrastructure-related business operations in energy distribution, public administration and civil engineering. This is based on the most advanced industry-specific software products and applications on the market. The other software formats developed by the company for the energy and infrastructure industries are :a) Tekla NIS (Network Information System) for energy and water utilities’ business operationsb) Tekla Municipality GIS for technical activities of municipalitiesc) Tekla Civil for infrastructure design and constructiond) Tekla DMS (Distribution Management System) for distribution network monitoring and operations support.How compatible are the company’s software products with other existing applications?The BIM software of Tekla can be used for interfacing with other existing applications. Consequently, it can be used as a platform for developing a customizable internal solution. The software is an open solution which supports interoperability and standardization. Through the Tekla Open API™ application programming interface that is implemented using Microsoft® .NET technology. Standard formats supported by Tekla are IFC, CIS/2, SDNF and DSTV. Examples of proprietary formats supported by Tekla are DWG, DXF and DGN.Where does the company place India as part of its global growth strategy?As a part of the global growth India has emerged as a new centre for construction activities and is attracting many international contractors and engineering companies. A fast growing economy, rapidly expanding middle class (300 million) representing a vast consumer market, rapid urbanization and developing industry, housing and infrastructure are opening vast possibilities for sustained construction business.The Construction is the second largest economic activity in the country next to agriculture. With its various links the Indian Construction industry has generated employment for roughly 35 million people in the country. Today India is the second fastest-growing economy in the World. The Indian construction industry has been playing a vital role in overall economic development of the country, growing at over 20% Compound Annual Growth Rate over the past 5 years and contributing ~8% to GDPMost of the organized companies has started adopting latest technology and construction management tools , most importantly 3D based technology & work process which has improved reliability, speed and quality at the production level. More and more automatism at the production level via Robot (CNC Driven) for the Steel construction as well as PreCast construction. Stronger security measures will be put in forceThe virtual 3D model will become more and more the center of information for the project by adopting BIM ( Building Information Modeling) technology allowing interoperability between different project players. More and more prefabricated components will be provided for a faster and more accurate erection.More automatic machine tools will be brought into the shop for Technology tool like Tekla Structure which support not only 3D model based design process but also carries the same till erection purpose, will be household application for any construction house. The useful application within Tekla Structure on 4D (Time) and 5D (Cost) will be used more and more on compact schedule construction projects.Last but not the least , the GREEN factor will come in to play and its proven fact now that proper BIM technology like Tekla Structure is supporting that Green move.The BIM-based workflow supports the modern requirements of sustainability and green building. By optimizing prefabrication and site management and enabling a paperless process, any worksite can be more sustainable and efficient. Accurate, model based communication enables better constructability through finding, reacting to, and correcting possible design errors early before on-site construction. Wastage of raw materials will decently reduce by adopting such technology.Apart from India, which are the other major markets for Tekla? How does it plan to consolidate and expand in these markets?Apart from India, Tekla India is now focusing on Bangladesh & Sri Lankan markets. In Bangladesh we will be Collaborating up with a new local partnersPlease elaborate on the different training programs held by the company for its customers?Tekla helps all new Tekla Structures customers to get started by means of free self-learning material available on the web as well as customized training sessions are also provided at the customer’s premises.All users holding a valid software maintenance agreement are invited to join annual local Tekla Structures user meetings. During the meetings, they receive valuable information on the latest developments as well as get an opportunity to discuss regional requirements and issues related to the software or industry.What is the R&D spend of the company as a percentage of its overall revenue?For Tekla’s B&C Industry the annual investment in R&D is around 20% of net sales.