KJS Group Biz Mantras-Diversifying Into New Areas

KJS Fly Ash Products
Since seventies KJS Group for years has been one of the most popular and trusted names in Mining and Construction Supplies Sector. Over a period, the group has diversified into various industrial profiles consisting of five basic units: Mining, Steel & Power products, Cement and Concrete Products, varied Infrastructure related products, and services besides five star hospitality services through various group of companies. Mr. Karan Pal Singh, Managing Director, KJS Concrete during an interaction with S.A Faridi, recommends, "To promote investment in concrete products manufacturing, the government should facilitate investment-friendly moves to motivate investors towards concrete products manufacturing industry. It should give support in the form of relaxations in taxes, tax rebates and cutting down in the duties on machinery imported will be extremely encouraging."

Can you please briefly introduce KJS Group and its various verticals? What has been the consideration for putting a largest and fully automated plant in North India?
KJS Group was founded in 1971 by Shri Kamaljeet Singh Ahluwalia, the Chairman with mining operations in the state of Orissa. In four decades, the group has diversified into various industrial profiles consisting of five basic units:
  • M/s KamalJeet Singh Ahluwalia: Specializing in Mining operations
  • Kamal Sponge Steel & Power Ltd: Specializing in production of Steel & Power products
  • KJS Cement: Specializing in Cement and Concrete Products
  • KJS Concrete: Offers varied Infrastructure related products and services.
  • KJS Imperial: Provides five star hospitality services.
Concrete Block
We ventured into the greenfield for producing Fly Ash Products in 2011 with a whole new industrial division called KJS Concrete and set up our first plant in Dadri, UP which is an energy efficient and fully automated plant that uses German Technology 'Hess' to ensure standard quality and yield KJS products a distinct advantage. This fully automated plant can certainly be called as the new feather in KJS's cap.

The main reason behind setting up a fully automated plant was to satiate our inhouse consumption requirements for which we needed the best quality products but there was none available in the market. It is only with the accumulation of time we realized the potential of Green Concrete Products business as a consequence of which we maintain a high standard of inhouse production.

Fly Ash Bricks
Also please describe the plant's production capacity, products range it offers, and sectors it currently caters. What is KJS Concrete Concept of Production and the quality control systems placed in the company to assure the quality of the products?
Our plant at Dadri, UP is the largest production facility with a total capacity of 2 lacs Fly Ash Bricks and 80,000 Blocks. Our product range encompasses of Thermal Insulated Blocks, Concrete Blocks which include (Solid, Hollow and light), All types of Pavers, Kerb Stone and Fly Ash Bricks catering to variety of sectors like Residential, Commercial, Institutional, Hospitality, and Infrastructure.

KJS Concrete is professionally managed and assures Highest Quality, Certification and Product Manufacturing Standards achieved by
  • Compliance to IS: 12894–2002 for production of Fly Ash bricks.
  • Compliance to ISO 9001 and 14001.
Additionally, we have a thorough production process checks to produce products of unmatched quality which includes:
  • Constant monitoring of moisture content in the mix.
  • Observation of texture, dimension and height.
  • Evaluation of curing time.
  • Routine plant checks as per manual.
  • Regular maintenance with qualified technicians.
Are you planning to expand your fly ash products business in other part of India?
Yes, we are certainly looking to expand our Fly Ash products particularly. We plan to set up new plants. We also have been in talks with a German Company for a tie-up of technical services for our projects.

Thermal Insulated Blocks

What are the advantages of using fly ash brick/block over red clay bricks and how does it translate in to long-lasting benefits?
  • While it is now proven that Fly Ash bricks are made following the BIS standards in India hence they are 100% reliable and long lasting than any other conventional building material.
  • Fly Ash bricks/blocks are light weight as compared to the clay bricks which means less pressure on building structure and therefore they are more suitable for multistory building.
  • The production process of Fly Ash bricks is very stringent which makes these bricks uniform in shape and size, hence no plastering is required in compound structure and godowns, etc.
  • Fly Ash Bricks absorb relatively less heat as compare to clay bricks and keep the building cool even in the scorching summer.
What are the reasons behind the late acceptance of fly-ash bricks despite several advantages over conventional bricks?
Kerb Stone
Fly Ash bricks and their relevance are being discussed for years but one of the main reasons for their late acceptance is the absence of right type of professional and competent technology to manufacture such kinds of products. Secondly, the abundant availability of cheap earth material further complicates the situation.

Thirdly, due to the dearth of right kind of technology the damage rates were very high in the Fly Ash Bricks production and this made its application all the more difficult.

The right kind of technology is highly significant for the production of Fly Ash bricks. With the splendid German technology at our plant in Dadri, we are able to produce the same product already available in the market at reasonable prices and damage rates are almost negligible as the entire system of production is automated.

What do you think should be the immediate promotion strategies badly required which will certainly encourage fly-ash bricks usage multifold in short duration?
The government has a very significant role to play in this regard. For instance, the State Government of Orissa issued a notification last year on the mandatory use of Fly Ash bricks in the government buildings irrespective of the location. Although the government had been insisting on the use of Fly Ash bricks for long but it had not got much success. I believe that these kinds of rules will help a great deal to encourage the usage of Fly Ash Bricks.

Secondly, there must be stringent laws to contain the unscrupulous activities. It is seen in many projects that despite specific directions to use fly ash bricks, builders do not use them. Also, Government's support in the form of relaxations in taxes and tax rebates will be extremely encouraging.

Seeing the current impetus on the real estate and construction sectors; how do you see the demand and potential of fly ash products in India?
The potential is indeed enormous. As the government becoming increasingly responsive towards the climate change related challenges, the demand of the green concrete products is inevitably expected to rise. It is to be noted that the generation of the Fly Ash is directly related to the quality and performance of the power plants. When it is so, the demand of Fly Ash has outstripped supply. Hence it is highly imperative that much more quality plants like us need to be set up in the country to strike that desirable balance.

What proactive government supports, policies and incentives are needed to help spread this new technology in order to reap its considerable environmental and social benefits?
As already stated, Government should give some relaxations in taxes on Fly Ash and Fly Ash based products and a small cut down in the duties on machinery imported will also be helpful and encouraging. Consequently, the conditions will become investor-friendly and become more attractive for the people who are investing in concrete product manufacturing industry.
NBM&CW June 2014
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