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Constructing A Brighter 2021 - Challenges And Opportunities

Digital platforms can serve this need by scheduling projects and deliveries and by generating all purchase orders and equipment rental agreements in a timely fashion.

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From a macro perspective, the future is bright for the construction industry. India’s FDI norms have attracted the attention of major global investors such as Hanes, Veolia and the Trump organisation, and there are currently over $8.6 billion worth of construction opportunities in the country. Several players are already incorporating technology into construction project management - such as BIM (business information modelling) and the use of drones to scope project sites - and more will follow, particularly as the government ramps up the infrastructure budget for the New Year. Despite the setback brought on by the pandemic, construction forecasts for 2021 are optimistic - experts say that the industry will grow by about 11.9% after a slump of 14.9%. As the industry undergoes a wave of digital transformation and consumer sentiment gradually goes up again, we are likely to see a boost in both residential and commercial projects over the next few months.

With an increase in financing and other incentives from banks and other NBFCs spending has been at its maximum since the end of the lockdown. With startups like Hocomoco in the scenario, it is becoming easier for home owners to come forward and build their homes without any hassles or trust issues. Earlier, it was a long process to build a home as digitization wasn't in place, but now different technological solutions are come to aid to fix the process. Moreover, the entire industry has a desperate need to move towards finding out innovative solutions to avoid any manual work. While everyone knows that new problems need new solutions, below are few insights which will throw some light at the current scenario.

Solutions proposed for the existing setbacks in the industry

Post COVID while everyone in the industry is combating the existing obstacles, we have few insights which can show the rosier side of the industry.

Improved planning and costing techniques with project management tools - The middle-class consumer needs housing solutions that are affordable and durable - in order to cater to this, construction companies will have to streamline their supply chains and source raw materials that are moderately priced. Now more than ever, the industry needs to turn to modern technology to execute projects with as few errors and delays as possible. Digital platforms can serve this need by scheduling projects and deliveries and by generating all purchase orders and equipment rental agreements in a timely fashion. The cost of building a house might be significant to begin with, but with prior planning any additional costs can be curbed. Inclusion of Machine learning and Artificial intelligence in the construction technologies is leading the dawn towards an error free era of the industry.

Elimination of ambiguity - Technology can also help here by bringing all stakeholders together on a single digital platform so that everyone is on the same page about how much labour and raw material is needed at each stage. With digital communication, moreover, the hassle and ambiguity of paper documentation is removed, thereby speeding things up and ensuring that progress is made strictly according to what everyone has agreed upon. Though Labour movements are now disrupted, it ought to come back to its normal in no time as all the transportation services also have resumed across all states. Added to this is the need for construction companies to take adequate safety measures for their employees on-site which will enable greater work satisfaction for the workforce.

 Improvement in general construction standards - Since safety is the cornerstone of the construction industry, new measures in this regard are likely to be a feature of 2021. For instance, planning tools can schedule the optimal number of shifts so that workers don’t have to put in too much overtime. Wearable tech can also be used to track work hours logged and give real-time updates on project progress and materials being used. Another aspect of this is keeping workers safe in a post-pandemic world. Some solutions to this include planning for staggered shifts with only a limited number of people on-site in every shift, ensuring a two-metre distance between people at all times and setting up a marquee where employees can take their lunch breaks safely.

The construction industry is evolving day by day, both at the national and at the global level. As the second-largest employer in India, changes to the industry have a significant impact on the rest of the economy. Though many timelines of the projects have been disturbed, it is really an ecstatic thing to say that the industry is recovering at an extremely fast pace. There is also an increasingly urgent need to modernise the sector in order to combat its inherent inefficiencies, such as unplanned delays and miscommunications. 2021 is set to bring innovation into the sector in new ways as the industry recovers from the Covid-19 setbacks.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.

Sharan Sai Agiri

Chief of Business Relations & Public Relations at Hocomoco

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