Mr. Dhirup Roy Choudhary, MD & CEO, HIL Ltd

  • 30 Jan, 2023 |
  • 11:47 AM
  • Use of more technology in construction, can reduce construction time.

When you say construction equipment manufacturing, can you give some specific instances of construction materials that you are referring to?

Established in 1946, HIL Limited is a 3500 plus Crores flagship company of the $ 2.8 billion conglomerate, CK Birla Group. For the last 75 years, HIL has been one of the leading manufacturers of sustainable building materials; providing innovative, superior quality, and reliable products to customers.

HIL offers comprehensive building materials and solutions under 5 major brands- Charminar, Charminar Fortune, Birla Aerocon, Birla HIL, and German flooring brand, Parador. The company boasts of 23 state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities in India and 2 manufacturing sites in Germany and Austria.

HIL is committed to innovation through dynamic R&D facilities in India and Germany. Having pioneered green technology, keeping in mind the paradigm shifts to green building materials almost a decade ago, HIL diversified into a vast range of products that are environmentally viable and conducive. Given its strong emphasis on customer-centricity, HIL Limited also ensures a widespread reach through an extensive sales and distribution network, spread across India and 80+ countries globally. Its strengths are truly its employees, loyal dealers, and satisfied customers.

Does the use of more technology in construction in India make construction more affordable or more expensive?

The usage of technology ought to make work easier across industries today and construction is no exception. There has been a rapid acceptance of newer construction technologies which is giving growth to the industry. The introduction of new materials, building technology, digitization, and inclusion of cutting-edge technologies like Artificial Intelligence have today transformed how buildings are conceptualized, planned, and built

Also, with the ever-growing need for houses in India, it will be integral to have technologies that can be used not only to build houses more rapidly but also at affordable rates. We are also cognizant of our employee’s and workforce safety, and we are aligned to safeguard them which is done with digitally enabled equipment to ensure a safer environment for all. 

In a traditional sector like construction, what is the scope of the term 'digital transformation?

During the pandemic, construction companies were on the frontline to cater to the urgent need for the construction of medical facilities and other crucial infrastructure. However, the sudden site closures, new safety regulations, and demand for more remote personnel have caused substantial hurdles for an industry that mainly relies on physical labour and on-site workers. 

The need for innovation and technological adoption in the construction industry, has never been greater; the epidemic 'simply serves to bring extra urgency to the pre-existing productivity and data-visibility concerns facing construction organisations.

For instance, at HIL, we progressed towards digital project implementations in the last couple of years.

  • Digital Twin using Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning technologies for RM recipe optimization has started in roofing business. This project will help us to reduce RM cost & also marks our advancement into prescriptive analytics
  • Digital Shopfloor is live in 12 plants and 4 new plants are planned to be added this year
  • Gate Management system, Sales Force Automation, Whatsapp Chatbot were also implemented

Is there scope for reducing significantly the time of construction by using more technology, in India?

The use of innovative construction technology can save time. Construction companies are now using software and key technologies to design, plan, execute, and even keep an eye on the quality check at the final stage. There are tech-enabled solutions that can detect the quality of the building and determine any potential errors beforehand. When such issues are caught in real-time with help of relevant technology usage, it improves decision-making to resolve any issue while also preventing any sizable damage, improving cost estimates, and even preventing project delays in many cases.

At HIL, we manufacture AAC Blocks & Prefabricated sandwiched Wall Panel Plants. Which are readymade, hence easy to use and install. Our Birla Aerocon Fibre Cement Boards can be used in almost all kinds of interior and semi-covered exterior building applications without any hassle. Hence these readymade and easy-to-use products help in the hassle-free completion of construction in lesser time. 

What steps can be taken to make India a global construction equipment manufacturing hub?

To realise its global ambition of becoming an economic juggernaut, India will have to build robust infrastructure across the length and breadth of the country for decades to come. The number of building materials that will be used in such construction will be massive indeed. Without sourcing building materials from domestic industry, a significant proportion of such materials will have to be purchased from abroad. In dollar terms, the purchases will run into tens of billions a year. On the other hand, should India source building materials domestically – from world-class manufacturers of which there are many – the country can build all the necessary infrastructure and simultaneously benefit the Indian economy directly. As the inputs used in such projects will be sourced domestically, there will be salubrious trickle-down and trickle-through effects throughout the Indian economy. Furthermore, with the prospect of vast domestic sales – other key Indian industries may be galvanized into becoming more competitive and self-reliant.

The construction industry also needs to incorporate more eco-friendly, anti-microbial, cost-effective suitable solutions to become more manufacturer friendly. 



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