The government needs to encourage the use of RMC.

The government needs to encourage the use of RMC.

Current production of RMC is around 15 to 20 million cu m a year as against a total concrete market of approximately 300 million cubic m a year. In terms of volume, the RMC market has grown around 25 to 30 per cent since last year,´ says
Shyam Bagri,
Partner, Dwarka Agencies. Excerpts from the interview.

Where is the current demand for RMC coming from?
The RMC market is evolving rapidly in India, even though the slow-down has been quite insignificant since 1993-94, but in recent times all the metro cities, and all the A class cities have witnessed brisk expansion in RMC and also in areas ancillary to it. The rising demand in infrastructure, metros, and housing projects in India encourages the growth of the RMC industry.

Today there has been a change in the point of view of an individual house builder (IHB), who is on look out for quality at a reasonable cost. In addition, the use of RMC also reduces the hassles of dealing and depending on unskilled labours. At an outset, I would say that the current demand of RMC may be distributed as 40 per cent from infrastructure segment, 40 per cent from builders and developers, and 20 per cent from IHB segment.

Why is the demand for RMC in India not as high as it is in developed countries?
The ready -mix concrete business in India is still in its infancy; whereas in developed countries, nearly 80 per cent of cement consumption is in the form of ready- mix concrete and 20 per cent in the form of recast. In India, ready- mix concrete accounts for less than 5 per cent of consumption, and as much as 82 per cent of cement consumption is in the form of site-mixed concrete. The current market size of RMC is estimated to be Rs 5,000 crore to Rs 6,000 crore, approximately. Current production of RMC is around 15 to 20 million cu m a year as against a total concrete market of approximately 300 million cubic m a year. In terms of volume, the RMC market has grown around 25 to 30 per cent since last year.

What needs to be done to boost this demand?
RMC production is a highly mechanised activity and entails an initial high cost, especially due to the import of basic equipment and machinery, although now indigenous ones are also available. Besides this, a lot of encouragement is needed from the government for the use of RMC into various construction sites, which is seen as being a major challenge since even today; most of the construction is done using the concrete developed at the site by unskilled labour. Thus, inappropriate use of materials with poor proportionate of admixtures is done for RMC which then leads to poor quality of concrete. As a result, the construction projects turn out to be weak and with a shorter life span. The Indian concrete market is about 300 million cubic m a year, which is huge. The cement consumption in the RMC industry is rising, and today, it´s approximately eight per cent of the total cement produced by the country, but this sector still needs to be developed since our country is found lagging on the international front. Nearly 75 to 80 per cent of cement that is produced in developed countries is RMC- based.

How do you assess the availability of RMC equipment such as batching plants, transit mixers and concrete pumps?
The major players who manufacture plants and equipments, transit mixers (TM) and pumps are all from abroad. Though we also have indigenously made plants and equipment with some imported parts, the basic parts of pumps still are all imported. The quantity of pumps and TM and the capacity of batching plants, etc, depend on the present and projected future requirement of concrete and the size of the market which can be quantified and assessed in regular course.

What are the hassles related to supplying RMC?
In addition to supplying a quality product, RMC business is also a service oriented business. There are many challenges here.

  • Supply in crowded areas and No Entry zones.
  • Setting up of pumps supply line and unloading the TM in narrow lanes.
  • Assessing the quantity and deciding the quantity of the last TM.
  • Planning in advance the day and night supply plans of pumping and dumping. Delay at one site, for any reason, will change the schedule of the entire line.
  • The regular repairs and maintenance of the plant, pump and TM during peak season.
  • The coordination and timing of dispatch of TM from the plant and pumping at the site.
  • The lead / distance of the site from the plant.

Are our local engineers/contractors technically competent enough to work with RMC?
Yes, the professionals, the architects, engineers and contractors here are fully updated and aware of the benefits of RMC. They plan the structure in accordance to the strength of RMC as compared to hand- mix concrete, and have trained their team down the line to match the quality and speed of RMC. Due to the homogenous quality and strength of concrete done by RMC, other factors remaining same, they rather prefer RMC.

Is availability of aggregates impacting RMC business in any way?
Shortage of aggregates is indeed an issue for us. Since they are a part of the basic raw material, the availability of aggregates does have considerable impact on RMC. Like the unavailability of sand in current times, is impacting on the costs, and this has been accepted by the consumers all over.

Tell us a bit about your organisation, products you supply and your geographical reach.
Rock solid in fundamentals, Dwarka Agencies has earned its goodwill in business since the last 60 years. We are popularly known as `House of Cement` and we deal in:

  • Cement bags in the trade segment in Chattisgarh.
  • Cement bags and bulkers (loose cement) in the project segment across India, in bulk quantity.
  • Ready- mix concrete in and around Raipur.
  • Devoted RMC plants and units for bulk requirements at the site.

Located in a developing state in central India gives us a geographical edge with regards to information, reach and contacts.

Moreover, with the changing times and advancement in technology, we continuously adapt and upgrade ourselves with the latest and most advanced of the product lines associated with top brands and quality service. Our group nurtures a culture where success does not come in the way of learning afresh, experimenting.

RMC is usually ordered by customers directly from the manufacturer. In what way can dealers participate in the process?
As we cherish a long- term bond with the people here and have goodwill for quality product and services at the best of prices, they gladly welcome and indeed, prefer our involvement as an assurance factor. Furthermore, we have been known to get the best of bargains / deals in season and off- season for both the companies and the consumers

Anything else that you would like to share with us?
I am also a corporate coach by profession and have travelled all over India on coaching assignments. I have seen the changing trend and acceptability in the last five years in the corporate sectors and the infrastructural projects in different Indian states. The future is of RMC is bright and the conversion, though slow, is a definite one.

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