Chennai-headquartered Beardsell Ltd is a diversified company offer a range of industrial services like prefab structures, clean rooms, insulation, packaging, etc. In this exclusive interaction, we have Bharat Anumolu discussing his company’s prefab line of business carried out under two services—IsoBuild and QuikBuild. Anumolu is confident that prefab can be a very cost-effective solution to India’s massive building needs. In urban areas, in particular, prefab construction can greatly help in making projects successful. Due to the fast implementation, customers can get faster project deliveries and the difficulty in finding labour in urban areas stands greatly reduced.
Tell us in brief about the various products and solutions that Beardsell provides under its prefab line of business.
Beardsell has two products in the prefab line – IsoBuild and QuikBuild.
IsoBuild is a building system that uses Sandwich Insulated Panels (SIPs) that are made with a PPGI-coated steel skin and various core inserts (EPS, PUF, Rockwool). These panels are used primarily in commercial and industrial applications like cold storages, site offices, clean rooms, warehouses, etc. The structure built with these panels can be dismantled and moved as needed.
QuikBuild is a building system that uses Structural Concrete Insulated Panels (SCIPs) that are made with high tensile GI wire and a core of EPS. These panels are used for residential and commercial construction. Due to the high thermal insulation and reduction in construction material usage this product is very good for Green Buildings. The structure built with these panels is permanent, earthquake- and cyclone- resistant and very durable, with an expected life span of 60-100 years.
Tell us more on the services offered under QuikBuild.
Beardsell is a full solution provider for customers. We offer design, supply and installation of both our products. For some of our larger customers (Himalaya Drugs, Tata Housing, etc.) we also provide training for their staff and act as the material supplier for their internal project requirements. Our customers even include individuals that need homes or additions to their existing homes – we have a countrywide network of contractors that work with us to execute and complete these projects.
What are going to be the likely growth drivers for Beardsell’s prefab business?
The prefab division is concentrating on the government sector since there is a huge requirement of structures for social needs like anganwadis, schools, housing for employees, etc. The corporate sector is also positioned for strong growth in the next few years with large capital investments planned across the spectrum.
The government is embarking on nationwide housing programs including building homes in urban areas. Do you think this presents a good business opportunity to the prefab industry?
The requirement for urban housing can be met mainly by large construction companies. Partnering with prefab manufacturing companies is the best way forward to meet this huge requirement in a fast and efficient fashion.
While it is clear that there is tremendous saving on time by using prefab structures, is there any compromise on strength? What are the general limitations of prefab buildings?
The variety of prefab technologies available can meet any structural requirement put forward. The key is choosing the right technology for the need. Prefab can be used for ground-floor-only structures to 50-storey buildings.
To what extent can prefab play a role in urban housing?
Prefab construction can greatly help in making projects in urban areas successful. Due to the fast implementation there is assurance to the end customer that the project is delivered on time. The difficulty in finding labour in urban areas for construction projects is greatly reduced.
Given its vast experience in pre-fabricated structures and associated activities, does Beardsell plan diversification in the pre-engineered steel building industry?
Our primary focus is our two prefab products and we plan to be the most cost-effective and quality-conscious company in that space. There are various reputed steel PEB companies across India. We partner with them whenever there is a requirement.
India’s cold storage supply chain is known to be weak. Given this, how do you see opportunities for your cold storage solutions business?
The government is the primary driver for this business segment. Based on the impetus they are providing, we are confident it will be a good growth opportunity.
Tell us about your R&D setup and how you are always innovating to produce better, and at lower costs.
We constantly look for feedback from our customers on how to meet their needs. Our engineers are always looking to add tools and equipment to help in improving site efficiency. In addition, the same engineers are deputed to the factories to work with our manufacturing personnel to reengineer the products so that customers’ unique needs are met.
With skilled manpower and even casual labour getting scarce how do you see the road ahead for prefabricated and pre-engineering construction?
This is the biggest problem faced by all types of construction. Paucity of skilled manpower will only continue to get worse. With prefab and pre-engineered solutions, this is ameliorated but it will eventually impact us also. The two steps to take are: to modularize at the design level and further mechanize at the site level.