Era of stable growth
There is a certain feel good factor that I am experiencing while writing this issue’s editorial. (Of course, Construction Week becoming the youngest magazine to win the CIDC Vishwakarma Award 2010 for ‘Best Construction News Magazine’ is definitely a contributing element).
The primary reason is certainly the advent of an era of stability – particularly for the construction industry and generally for the overall economy. Both the infrastructure sector as well as the real estate sector have been showing strong signs of revival for some time now. Moreover, every time I speak with somebody from the industry, I get a feeling that this revival is for real and it is here to stay. In fact, that is exactly what Mr Niranjan Hiranandani told me when I met him for this issue’s Big Interview. He went on to say that ‘there would be no recession at least for the next five to ten years’.
Some people had laughed when Mr Hiranandani had predicted (before the downturn hit) that the boom is likely to go bust if things are not controlled. He wasn’t wrong then and I don’t see any reason for him to be wrong this time as well. That he also anticipates the growth (and resulting stability) to be driven by affordable housing is also reason enough to believe him.
I want to go back to a much quoted number – 2.4 million. We all know that’s the estimated requirement of the number of homes India needs to build in the next few years. I think now is the time for this number to start becoming a substantial reality along with the immense infrastructure that will be created to sustain this growth. (Incidentally, even Fitch Ratings has given a stable outlook for Indian infrastructure and project finance in 2010.)
Of course, there are issues and challenges. But there are also sincere efforts being made at various levels to iron them out. We believe some of the measures taken through this year’s union budget are steps taken in the right direction. We are happy and we are hopeful.
I also take this opportunity to dedicate the awards we have won to each one of you. It wouldn’t have been possibly without your support. Heartfelt thanks.