Mr. Satish Magar, President, CREDAI National
The real estate sector in India has been facing headwinds from past few years. The situation became tougher owing to the COVID-19 situation across the globe. The uncertainty has brought the world to a standstill and India is no exception to it. The global economic slowdown had a negative impact on real estate demand in the country this year. Construction activities were brought to a sudden halt in the first quarter (Apr – Jun) due to the COVID 19 induced lockdown and the uncertainty over jobs and livelihoods robbed the market of its potential buyer-base leading to near zero demand. Post lockdown sales trajectory gives some hope, but is yet to touch pre-covid levels in most cities across the country.
The Government of India has announced relief measures to aid businesses sail through these challenging times be it the loan moratorium, lowering of repo rate resulting in lower interest rates for home loans, approval of projects of Rs 12,079 crores under SWAMIH fund and so on. The one time loan recast has kept almost 95% of the developers out of its ambit due to Standard Account criteria while ECLGS Scheme and increase of safe harbor limit from 10% to 20% in the circle rate and selling price are welcome steps. There are indicators that point towards recovery in the sector, at a less than desired pace. However, the steps announced by the GOI and RBI mitigate the COVID-19 impact to a certain extent and do not address the prolonged problems of the realty sector which has been ailing due to the challenges created by an array of factors over the past few years. The Government approach to the issues faced by RE sector needs to be balanced both on demand and supply fronts.”
Mr. Vinayak K Deshpande, Managing Director, Tata Projects Ltd.
Looking Back at 2020:
Driven by the pandemic and resulting lockdown, we migrated to new digital tools and processes both on and off ground to improve efficiency. We embraced remote working methods to meet the needs of our customers and learned to operate with minimal overhead expenses. These measures helped us to enhance our performance amidst crisis; in fact, we built a greenfield hospital comprising 550 beds in a short period of three months. As an organisation, we learnt how to leverage digital work processes, IT tools, operate with minimal overhead expenses – keep organisation thoroughly engaged by running a daily rhythm
Infrastructure projects have long gestation periods mainly ranging from three to six years and therefore short-term disruptions did not have a major impact on the overall industry during 2020.
If India has to attain the government’s goal of becoming a $5-trillion GDP by 2024 – then we have to look beyond challenges of 2020 and grasp opportunities in 2021 – so that the full potential of the nation’s economy can be reached.
As most infrastructure projects are government funded and the nation needs good quality infrastructure to keep Accelerating India’s Progress – the forthcoming year and mid to long-term scenario looks promising.
In the year ahead – there will be increased deployment of machines at project sites towards ensuring timely completion. There will be enhanced adoption of technology to find solutions.
For example, we have used drones for undertaking stringing operations at our power transmission projects. This has led reduction of time and costs while lowering the need for manual intervention.
We have also started using cutting-edge digital technologies such as 3D & 4D Building Information Modelling (BIM) across many of our projects. BIM is revolutionizing the way the construction industry works worldwide and our endeavour is to replicate the same in India. Such technology adoptions shall increase across the industry in 2021.
India needs many strong construction companies, and our endeavour during 2021 and beyond shall be to ensure Tata Projects is a class apart – a smart engineering and construction company that is technology-driven, highly innovative, and one that pursues an altogether fresh way of doing business.