Kirby Looks Forward to Robust Growth

D. Raju
“Kirby is the only PEB manufacturer in India that is capable of supplying a packaged solution for all building requirements maintaining international quality standards. The company has grown by more than 20% in the last two years and is expected to maintain similar growth rate over the next 3-4 years. It is confident of achieving its growth plans as the company being the market leader has a legacy of scaling the possibilities and horizons of PEB applications,” says Mr. D. Raju, Managing Director, Kirby India in an interview with Maria R.

How do you see the overall growth of PEB industry in the last few years in India? Do you think that it has matured as per the international markets?
PEB industry has recorded growth of more than 50% in the initial five years and then about 20% in the next three years. Though PEB concept has gained impetus in the Indian construction industry as one of the fastest growing segments and as a replacement for RCC structures, but it has got a long way to go to match to the international markets.

In the developed markets, PEB has already made inroads not only in the industrial segment but is also very popular for low rise structures (G+5) such as offices, hospitals, retail malls, housing, resorts, etc. Whereas in India, PEB is mostly used in industrial segment for their factories, warehouses, etc. and is yet to be ventured into other areas.

ITC Ltd.

What is the market size of PEB today and growth it will see in the next two-three years? What do you think about the new areas where demand of PEB is now increasing?
The current market size of PEB is pegged at more than 500,000 MT per annum and is estimated to grow about 15% over the next three years. The estimates may vary on the future global market conditions which are currently volatile in nature due to ongoing European crisis, high inflation, high interest rates and various other reasons.

Some of the new application areas or avenues where demand for steel structures has increased or is going to increase in near future include Power Plants, Bridge Girders, Metro Stations, Airport Terminal Buildings, Commercial Buildings, etc. Kirby India has already ventured into many such unexplored territories like Power Plants, Bridge Girders and Shipyards and became the role model for other PEB players by making inroads into these areas and laying the foundation for similar type of projects in near future.

What has been the business performance of Kirby in the country during the last two years? Based on your strong fundamental—how do you look at the future of your company in the next 3-4 years witnessing the major impetus being given on infrastructure development in the country?
Kirby India has grown by more than 20% in the last two years and is expected to maintain similar growth rate over the next 3-4 years. The company is confident of achieving its growth forget as it being the market leader has a legacy of scaling the possibilities and horizons of PEB applications.

Legrand

The government is planning to attract investments to the tune of $1 trillion during the 12th Five Year Plan from April 2012 to March 2017 across key infrastructure sectors. With such huge investments planned over the next five years, Kirby India sees this as a big opportunity due to the increased cost of capital and other economic reasons. Considering the various advantages like cost, time, quality etc., PEB has to be the natural choice for any suitable application in the infrastructure segment even if we consider only the time factor on ROI.

What are your products portfolios, areas of application, and important projects executed or in hand in India?
Over the years, Kirby India has evolved from a mere PEB manufacturer to a total solution provider to meet the ever increasing customer demands. Like a true leader, it has constantly tried to set new standards in the PEB industry. The company has demonstrated its capability to design and manufacture complex & heavy structures. The company in the past few years has executed mega projects in the Automobile, General Engineering, Infrastructure, Logistics, Shipyard and various other industry segments. Similarly, Kirby India has setup the production of Heavy Duty Industrial racking to complement its offering to the warehousing segment.

Additions of new products backed by its intense research and development activities gel well with its motto to create even better solutions for the Indian market, Kirby India has introduced leak proof Standing Seam Roofing system, named as KSS-600 in India. The company is the first PEB manufacturer in the country to achieve FM Global accreditation for its Standing Seam Roofing System (KSS 600).

Some of the prestigious projects the company has executed include Renault-Nissan car project at Chennai which is the world’s single largest PEB involving over 20,000 MT of steel and spread over an area of 300,000 sqm. Kirby India also has the distinction of having built the largest ship building facility at Pipavav in Gujarat, for M/s. Pipavav Shipyard Ltd., Steel Bridge Girder for Commonwealth Games 2010 at New Delhi which was awarded by Gammon India, Power Plant Structure (TG Building) for Madhucon Projects for their 300 MW thermal power plant near Nellore, AP and many more.

Apart from above mentioned customers, Kirby India also has the privilege of partnering most of the leading multinational and Indian corporates and industries by setting up their facilities spread across all industry segments and sectors. To name a few, Kirby has been associated with companies such as Kalyani Global, Bangalore Metro, Toshiba-JSW, MRF Ltd, Hindustan National Glass, SEL Manufacturing, Shimizu Corporation, Mahindra & Mahindra, Siemens Ltd, Tata Motors, Skoda, BMW, Apollo Tyres, Birla Tyres, Bridgestone, Swaraj Mazda, Nokia, Tata Steel, Reliance Industries, UNICEF, Suzlon Group, Pipavav Shipyard, Hansen Drives, L&T, Pratibha Group, JSW, JSPL, Pepsico India, Coca-Cola India, Ruchi Group, Kohler India, Delhi Metro, Bangalore Metro, Metro Cash & Carry, Hindustan Unilever, ITC Ltd, Sany Heavy, Thermax, Gammon India, Soma Enterprise, Shimizu Corporation, and many more.

Don’t you think that the industrial building customers have no sufficient awareness of PEB to use this as the optimum building technology for their applications and this is the reason they are being offered substandard buildings?
Awareness about PEB among the target respondents has increased tremendously over the last five years due to entry of more number of players and increasing shift towards PEB by many industrial building customers. Most optimized design with structural soundness and reliability, ontime delivery, faster completion, maintenance free, high quality products, top of the class customer service, large network of quality builders and continuous R&D with new aesthetics are some of the advantages of PEB offered by Kirby India. Apart from the functional requirements, we incorporate curved roof panels, wall claddings, flashings, aluco-bond panels or other such features to improve the aesthetics of the building. These in itself specifies that Kirby India’s every single customer is of utmost importance and all its personnel ensure that the customer is completely aware of the PEB before placing any order with the company.

Today, Kirby is the leading PEB manufacturer in India that is capable of supplying a packaged solution for all building requirements maintaining international quality standards. Almost all the big names in Indian corporate & multinational companies that have set up facilities in India have joined hands with Kirby in some way or the other. Its buildings have stood the test of time, time and again against all odds – manmade and natural.

What challenges the PEB manufacturers are facing today—initial cost, raw material, skilled labor etc? Nowadays, every sector has its own design and functional requirement and customers are quite demanding; how is your company tackling these issues/challenges considering the growing competition?
Some of the challenges faced by the industry are lack of new product development, architecturally and aesthetically designed buildings, volatile steel prices, cut throat competition due to entry of more than 25 players, etc. Also, currently there are no specific standards for PEB applications in India similar to AISC/MBMA codes which are followed in developed economies such as USA & Canada and other Western economies. As the industry is rapidly evolving, I am confident of bringing out a standard code in India too.

Kirby provides all the customers with designs as per their requirements which are aesthetic in nature, standard, flexible, detailed and are customized using the speed & accuracy of the PEB computerized design and engineering systems. All the buildings are designed according to AISC or IS or MBMA codes as per the end user’s requirements and are strictly in line with the standards followed in developed nations. The company uses specifically developed software packages for design and detailing of PEB structures, in addition to the standard packages. This proprietary software ensures that the designing & detailing activities are totally computerized and customers can get an accurate & speedy response.

What are the latest building codes, quality standards and software being used by your company while designing and manufacturing buildings?
MBMA (Metal Buildings Manufacturers Association) is a low rise building systems manual followed by the PEB industry worldwide for design and construction of metal buildings. Currently in India, most of the jobs are almost equally divided between Indian Standards and AISC/MBMA standards. Some of the most commonly used softwares for designing include STAADPRO, PACE II, SMARTEST, MATRIX, etc. as many consultants do not accept the in-house design package of the PEB manufacturer. Off late, MBS software which does the analysis and design both as per latest AISC/MBMA and IS 800:2007 standards gained prominence and has become the ideal package for designing among major PEB players.

POSCO IPPC

With respect to drafting which provides the detailed drawings for production and construction, AUTOCAD, X-STEEL and BOCAD are the softwares used for detailing. Hence a combination of MBS for design and BOCAD for drafting is the most preferred package for integrated design and detailing.

What kind of support you are expecting from the government to have more conducive environment for the use of PEB as steel being a green building material?
Steel is the preferred material for all prefab structures. All metal buildings that we supply are in line to the green building standards. We use materials which are easily recyclable and do not use any harmful materials and steel forms a part of one of these environment-friendly materials as it is easily recyclable. These buildings also help in saving light due to reflection of natural sunlight through skylights used on the roof of the building thereby reducing the overall energy consumption. Effective usage of insulation material, louvers and other materials also help in making a PEB as a green building.

We are also initiating discussions with INSDAG and industry associations to bring green building guidelines for metal buildings. Kirby India is also a member of Indian Green Building Council (IGBC) and is always looking forward to be a part of green buildings and eco-friendly products.

Kirby has been the recipient of many awards for its works. What have been the technical attributes of the work relating to design and construction features on which company bestowed recognitions?
Kirby India has been a recipient of many awards over the last decade for introducing this technology and pioneering the same in India and exceeding the excellence in the PEB industry. In 2011, these were well recognized by the recognitions and accolades in various forums that the company received. Some of these include CNBC-TV18 Infrastructure Excellence Award 2011 as PEB Project of the Year for building World’s Single Largest Pre-engineered Steel Building of Renault-Nissan Automotive India Pvt Ltd in Chennai, Greentech Environment Award 2011, Greentech Safety Award 2011 and EPC World Awards 2011 for Outstanding Company in Pre-engineered Buildings.

BMRCL

Kirby’s steel buildings are customized to meet the unique demands of the customers right from designing a simple warehouse building to constructing a complex shipyard or factory building. The company’s huge capacities standing at 200,000 MT per annum, market share of approximately 35%, world class manufacturing and engineering facilities, vast experience for the last 12 years in India coupled with over 35 years of global experience, execution of various projects across diverse applications with more than 12,000 buildings in India spread over 18 million sqm of area and over 50,000 buildings globally, etc. are some of the main factors in Kirby India’s success.
MGS Architecture September - October 2012
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