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PEB players eye high rise residential segment

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Rajiv Upadhyay, Vice President – Buildings Solutions Business, Tata BlueScope Steel Limited speaks to Construction Week Online about the growth potential of PEB industry. Here are the excerpts:

Although it had a slow start, PEB is today one of the fasting growing industry in India. What are the driving factors for the industry?

The benefits propagated by PEB industry – namely quick construction, quality construction, aesthetics have been delivered by PEB industry to their customers. Customers of PEB in the initial years were mainly from warehouse or light manufacturing industry. However, now PEB industry is able to meet customer requirements in Heavy manufacturing industries – like steel; power sector; infrastructure – airports, ports, railways, etc. Specialized PEB players are set to venture in high rise residential and commercial complexes also. The benefits of early occupancy by the use of PEB in residential/commercial segment would be the major USP for segment. Hence, with widening base and overall growth in Indian industry the growth of PEB is set to continue.

What is the size of market at the moment?

PEB market size is hovering around 4 lakh MT. PEB market had been growing at a robust 15 – 20% per annum, except last year where on account of recession many expansion plans had been put on hold by the industry. Last year had actually seen a negative or almost a flat growth. However, this year promises to be one of healthy growth – with growth likely to be the tune 10-15%. Competition is also on the rise with many new players venturing into the field. However, as the industry matures and customer starts becoming more discerning, there is an expected consolidation likely in the industry.

Are you launching any new product in the industry? What is your future expansion plan?

With the awareness and consciousness increasing amongst customers on reducing carbon footprint, we at TBSL are working on the green parameters of our buildings – which includes solar panels on roof, meeting Solar Reflectivity Index requirements of the roof from a green building perspective, and portability of rain water harvested from run of roof and walls sheets.

What are the challenges faced by the PEB industry?

Traditionally, PEB industry wanted to portray itself as a manufacturing industry, whereby their role was limited to design and manufacture of pre-engineered buildings. PEB manufacturers did not aspire to venture into erection of their buildings and had limited their role to only supervising/advising correct erection. However, as the customer’s gained knowledge and competition grew, customers started demanding complete solution from the PEB industry and wanted them to be responsible right from designing to erection of the buildings. This major change in the buying behavior has thrown a lot of challenges to the PEB industry as not much effort had been put by the PEB players in developing builders in terms of their capability to erect quality buildings and erect in a safe manner. Similarly, as there is an unavailability of sufficient and adequate expert builders who erect PEB in the country, there is a gap in expectation of the customer and the PEB players. We at Tata BlueScope Building Solutions (a Division of Tata BlueScope Steel) recognize this as a major challenge and have a separate department in Builder Development Department, which is responsible for training of builders.
The extreme volatility shown by steel in the recent times is also major concern these days. Another challenge which exists is that IS till date does not have a separate code for PEB. The present steel code of the country caters to the general requirements from a steel structure but if IS works on a specific PEB code, the customers could gain enormously in terms of optimum solutions.

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June 2020
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