Sustainable Construction takes Center Stage at WOC India 2023

The 9th edition of World of Concrete India was organised by Informa Markets in India, a leading B2B event organizer, at the Bombay Exhibition Centre, Mumbai. The three-day event that concluded on October 20, 2023, was marked by the presence of key dignitaries, namely, Shri Sanjay Bhatia (IAS, Upa Lokayukta, Maharashtra State & Former Chairman, Mumbai Port Trust & Former Vice Chairman & MD, CIDCO); Shri S. N. Reddy (President, Builders Association of India); John McCadams (Commercial Officer, U.S. Consulate Mumbai); Gaurav Karnik (Real Estate National Leader and Tax Partnership, EY India); V. Ramgude (Chief Engineer, PWD, Government of Maharashtra); Yogesh Mudras (MD, Informa Markets); and Rajneesh Khattar (Senior Group Director, Informa Markets).

The 9th edition of World of Concrete IndiaWhite Paper launch on AI in Construction at World of Concrete India 2023

Over 10,000 industry experts, including policymakers, decision-makers, and technical experts, and more than 200 exhibitors from around the world participated in the event. On display were the latest products and technologies related to concrete, masonry, construction, and equipment. Key exhibitors included big brands like Ambuja Cement, Amchem Products, Asian Paints, Reliance Industries, Concrete Additives & Chemicals, Sika India, Godrej Constructions, and many others.

A roster of over 70 speakers delivered insightful sessions on a range of topics that included sustainable concrete construction practices, digital and automation technologies in construction, and net-zero concrete. Said Sanjay, "India's remarkable progress in digital platforms, exemplified by the success of T-payments and UPI, positions our country at the forefront of the global digital landscape. Moreover, India's commitment to mega infrastructure development is evident with plans for 600 new modern railway stations and 100 new airports, reflecting the country’s modernization and nationwide transformation plans.

He added, “Trust in public-private partnerships and decision-making is paramount, ensuring smooth execution of projects and fostering a win-win environment for all stakeholders. Events like the World of Concrete India, play a crucial role in bringing together industry leaders and fostering collaboration, making these ambitious endeavours even more successful."

V Ramgude, laying stress on lowering the carbon footprint, said, "With the construction industry's rapid expansion, life cycle cost considerations and sustainability have become paramount. Material selection must prioritize sustainability, functionality, and durability, and meeting Indian standards. Construction depletes vital resources like metals and sand, so we're exploring geosynthetics and ultra-high-performance fiber-reinforced concrete to reduce our carbon impact. Active participation and hands-on experience enhance comprehension, so events like World of Concrete India are essential for fostering training and awareness. Our goal is to build architectural wonders, but the shortage of skilled engineers and labor poses safety risks; however, through education and awareness, we can reduce errors and encourage the development of a talented workforce to achieve our goals."

Gaurav Karnik highlighted: "India's position as the fifth-largest global economy, is poised to reach $26 trillion by 2047 with a per capita income of $15,000. The construction sector, contributing 9% to GDP and employing almost 50 million, is instrumental in India's remarkable growth fuelled by the Government’s support for capital projects. Key initiatives include smart cities, data centres, and reducing logistics costs to 8% of GDP by 2030. Challenges like low productivity and safety persist, but digital innovations like modular manufacturing and drones offer solutions. The concrete industry can surmount these challenges and achieve its ambitious growth goals by leveraging platforms such as the World of Concrete India Expo, which showcases state-of-the-art concepts and technology within the concrete sector."

S. N. Reddy drew attention to the shortage of experienced and unskilled construction workers and that mechanized-friendly building designs are significant, particularly in places with labour-related issues. He added that there is a need for creative ideas and working together with key exhibitors at construction-related conferences like World of Concrete India.

Emphasizing the significance of the event, Yogesh Mudras said, “The World of Concrete India 2023 takes centre stage amidst significant developments in India's construction sector. The sector employs an estimated 71 million workers as of 2023 and aims to reach 100 million by 2030 to support the national economic growth. Government initiatives like Housing for All and Smart City projects are propelling urban infrastructure and construction development. World of Concrete India 2023 aligns perfectly with India's mission to enhance urban infrastructure.”

The 9th edition of World of Concrete India

The show floor was abuzz with an exciting line-up of events that included the unveiling of a white paper on 'AI in Construction', CEO and CTO discussions on industry challenges, and milestone achievements, alongside product launches, masterclasses, B2B meetings, and special pavilions for waterproofing and dry mortar. Together, they created a comprehensive opportunity for learning about the latest trends and technologies, and for exploring sustainable solutions in infrastructure construction industry.

Underscoring the significance of the U.S.-India commercial connection, John McCadams said, "The U.S.-India commercial relationship is critically important to both our economies and to the future of global trade. The World of Concrete India event is an excellent illustration of how the United States and India are working together to expand infrastructure globally while also creating jobs in both nations. Local economic opportunity is where it all begins and expands. With 3.3% of GDP allocated to infrastructure in India's budget for 2023–2024, there are many prospects for innovative solutions. The U.S. Mission in India is dedicated to encouraging sustainable and economical practices and supporting this progress."

The expo received substantial support from esteemed associations like Builders Association of India (BAI), National Highways Builders Federation (NHBF), Construction Equipment Rental Association (CERA), Waterproofers Association of India (WAI), National Small Industries Corporation (NSIC), and the Indian Concrete Institute, among others.

An expertly curated conference on Innovations in the Construction Sector, Game Changing Trends in Roads, Bridges & Metro Construction, Digital and Automation Technologies in Construction, Getting Closer to Net Zero Using Concrete’, etc, .brought together industry stalwarts like Sudhir Hoshing (CEO, IRB Infrastructure Developers); S N Srinivasa Sarma (Senior DGM, QA QC for L&T Construction-Transportation Infrastructure Independent Company); Anshumali Srivastava (Regional Officer, National Highways Authority of India); V Ramgude; Dinabandhu Patra (Head of Asset Management, Indiabulls AIF); Amrita Chowdhury (Co-Founder & CEO, Gaia Smart Cities); Dr Satish Jain (Managing Director, UHPC India); Florian Klouda (Director - International Business – Penetron); and Vivek Naik (Former President Indian Concrete Institute and Executive VP Industry 4.0 Asian Concrete Federation); along with Abhishek Bhattacharya (MD, Betolar India); Dr Ing Mohit Raina (MD, Raina Industries); and Manoj Rustagi (Chief Sustainability & Innovation Officer, JSW Cement); and Nilesh Gandhi (Principal Architect, Metadesign) – all of whom engaged in insightful discussions and shared their expertise.

India’s Booming Concrete Industry

India's concrete industry is experiencing increasing demand across diverse projects like roads, bridges, airports, railways, and housing – and is adopting advanced construction techniques and sustainable practices. The construction industry in India is on a steady growth trajectory, with a projected 9.9% CAGR from 2023 to 2027, culminating in a Rs. 66,954.8 billion construction output by 2027, reflecting its substantial role in the nation's economic advancement. Against this background, the World of Concrete provided a unique platform for all stakeholders in the concrete, construction, and infrastructure sectors to connect, learn, and explore the latest technologies and trends.
ICCT, NOVEMBER - DECEMBER 2023
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