Relaxed Lockdown and Booming Construction Industry
by Iesh Dixit on June 25, 2021
Let’s rewind back to 2020 and understand how for two years straight, construction works were hampered for COVID 19 and lockdowns. With speculations of a third wave looming over us we cannot ignore the steep low counts of fresh cases in the country over the past few weeks. Yes, the vaccination drive has been going on and week by week we are seeing the doors of the construction industry and real estate sector opening up.
In the 1830s the cholera pandemic in France wiped out 3% of it’s population but following the pandemic, France followed Britain into a new industrial revolution. But there was massive economic disparity and political instability for years as well.
As governments in most countries are slowly lifting the stay-at-home orders, we are anticipating a global economic revival. The US economy will grow by 6% this year and other countries will also see a fast economic growth along with it. Since the post WW2 boom of the 1950’s a synchronized economic bounce back of multiple countries is rare. But it is being observed today. In 2021 entrepreneurs in the construction industry will aim for technology aided “find the gap and fill the need” approach. The smartest consumers and construction groups will jump on this ship. Post lockdown relaxation, the Indian construction industry will see a synergy between technology and skilled manpower.
Businesses have entered a digital ecosystem and construction is not an exception. From utilisation of drone technology to the deployment of augmented reality and self-healing concrete – energy efficiency, affordability and connectedness and rapid building processes is taking the lead in the new era of construction. Relaxed lockdown therefore does not mean risking lives of hundreds and being exposed to the virus. It is rather a symbiosis between human intervention and pioneering technologies like construction management software. The construction industry in India is growing in bandwidth, compatibility and efficiency. Construction firms are already implementing cloud-based software to improve timelines and even robotics to provide additional manpower.
Since June 2021, Delhi has relaxed lockdowns and construction activities have resumed. Keeping in mind the perspective of daily wagers, labourers and migrant workers the unlock process had begun. At the same time expert opinions are also being considered to continue this unlock process.
In Karnataka, export oriented industrial units were recently allowed to function with 50% staff strength. All industries and construction sectors are gradually resuming work as well in the state.
With declining unemployment and increased spending there are indications of growth in the construction sector. Dormant or sidelined projects are also receiving funding – creating the housing market boom. There will be a strong resurgence of builders, with the relaxed lockdown in the coming months.
After the COVID crisis subsides, the construction sector is preparing to resume a strong trajectory of growth. In September 2020 according to indiaglobalbusiness.com, GOI had allowed 100% FDI under automatic route in completed projects
for operations and management of townships, malls/shopping complexes, and business constructions' '. The sector is expected to rebound and grow by a minimum of 11.6% this year. This assessment is good news for GDP and India’s construction market which will become world’s third largest by 2025. Consider the upcoming Haryana Orbital Rail Corridor Project (121.7 Kms) from Palwal to Sonipat via Sohna-Manesar-Kharkhauda. It will reduce commute time and create large scale employment.
From the pre pandemic times, 66% of the construction firms in India were eyeing digitalisation by learning the best practices from the developed markets. The Construction industry is expected to record a CAGR of 15.7% to reach $ 738.5 billion by 2022. The sub industries like building equipment, doors and windows, residential remodelers, roofing and flooring products, glass and glazing products will be a part of this growth.
Relief and Welcome
Real estate developers across India are welcoming the partial relaxation of lockdowns to allow the ongoing projects to continue with half the required manpower. Confederation of Real Estate Developers of India (CREDAI), West Bengal has said a large number of workers are currently engaged in the foundation and basement works of housing projects across the state and the work will resume shortly. Builders Association of India has about 3375 housing projects in various stages of construction in Chennai region and with relaxed lockdowns there will be advancement of the work.
The economic impact on the construction sector caused by the pandemic cannot be felt via statistics alone. Construction management teams see rays of hope in the reopening of construction sites and unlocks being made region by region. Construction management software and other technologies are its allies in this revival.
With less manpower on sites, delayed material deliveries and increased fear in customers of stepping out for site visits - going digital is now an important requirement to finish a construction site. And, Powerplay is digitizing contractors' work so that they can make the most of relaxed lockdowns.