Automation and Digitization creates a new paradigm for Indian Construction
Authored by Niranjan Hiranandani, President – NAREDCO, Senior Vice President – ASSOCHAM & Managing Director – Hiranandani Group
Traditionally, Construction in India has been manpower driven. In the new millennium, as markets are evolving, and customer profiles are getting changed, the construction sector is understanding the urgency of adapting global best practices. The industry has started taking the measurements for an instance, ready-mix concrete instead of mixing concrete on site, use of cranes instead of manually lugging material in an under-construction building, changing from one-time use to reusable shuttering and so on. From its ‘Brick and Mortar’ days, present-day, we see many evolutionary changes in construction technology: use of mechanisation, automation and the internet of things (IoT) along with Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) are changing the paradigm. The scope of automation in India’s construction segment is quite broad, extending from initial planning stages all the way to operating and maintaining the final structure. Indeed, the changes are reflecting that the sector is transforming and evolving with time from manual to digital.
Let us pause and understand the importance of construction, before we look at the impact of digitization. As a function, construction is the core of Real Estate and Infrastructure. For India, it is constant innovations and adaptation of new technologies to ensure good quality construction done quicker than the average – and at a lower cost. This is what digitization and automation aim at, through a constant process that results in churning methodology along with upgrading and adopting global best practices. In the digitization wave, it fits in perfectly – in a manner of speaking, the time is right.
The other side of the argument is competition: as real estate and infrastructure are evloving, no player can afford to ignore these new technologies, which is helping them to stay ahead of the market curve. Also, the ever-growing demand for real estate, be it homes or workspaces, and that of infrastructure – demands better quality along with more quantum in lesser time and with some element of cost savings too. These must lead to a situation where automation is fast catching on, and the manual is being substituted by a combination of digital and manual.
The other side of the argument is competition: as real estate and infrastructure are evolving, no player can afford to ignore these new technologies, which is helping them to stay ahead of the market curve. Also, the ever-growing demand for real estate, be it homes or workspaces, and that of infrastructure – demands better quality along with more quantum in lesser time and with some element of cost savings too. These must lead to a situation where automation is fast catching on, and the manual is being substituted by a combination of digital and manual.
Automation and digitization are new trends in many different industries and businesses. The world over is looking for ways to automate repetitive, time-consuming, and dangerous tasks to enhance efficiency and improve the safety of manpower. The construction industry is no different. In fact, automation is an excellent solution for builders to increase operational efficiency and to cut down on costs – while labour gets re-skilled to pick up the new profile jobs that the new paradigm is creating.
In a nutshell, we are witnessing a transition in Indian construction. While automation has gradually made its presence felt, end users, are getting better quality constructed space to utilize. From IOT to AI and ML, things are changing at construction sites in India. What we are witnessing is the streamlined work process in a properly regulated and organized manner that is cost effective and results in a better quality of the finished product. This is a win-win for all as it is helping to re-skill the manual labour to make them relevant in the new set-up.