S. A. Faridi
Looking at the key economic indicators, India’s economy is at a critical juncture. To bring the economy back on track, the Government should aggressively continue its ‘Build India’ mission; it should adopt a multi-prong and a pragmatic approach that includes creating employment, infusing liquidity into the system, and pursuing the ‘Self Reliant India’ objective.

The Government must invest heavily in infrastructure projects like roads and highways, metro rails, AMRUT and the Jal Jeevan Mission, among others, while also ensuring that the macro-economic indicators remain stable, and there is minimal disruption to the Industry’s supply chain.

The pandemic has challenged the work culture of every organization, including infrastructure companies and manufacturers. It has forced them to think out-of-the-box, optimize their administration and production processes, and incorporate technologies and innovations in their operations.

The rules of doing business have changed. Technology is connecting, monitoring, advancing and profiting the industry. Now, virtual meetings, presentations, training, monitoring equipment, plants and managing projects remotely, have become the ‘new normal’. The accelerated use of automation and digital technologies is helping developers, contractors, equipment manufacturers, project managers, and service providers to stay connected with their customers, vendors, and employees, and make every effort possible to keep their businesses going.

In fact, from now on, along with investing in plants and machinery, R&D, and expansion, infra builders, OEMs, contractors, and other service providers will seriously consider investing in digital technologies such as cloud computing, IoT, Telematics, Big Data, Artificial Intelligence, BIM, Blockchain, Robotics, and other Autonomous Systems, given that Industry 4.0 will increase manufacturing capability, productivity, and efficiency.

In the adoption of such technologies, a key aspect is to create a skilled workforce to drive the change. This is a big opportunity for Young India, but also a concern given the employability challenges due to the gap in the skill sets available. The Government, the Industry, and the Academia must together formulate a framework to address this issue.

While collating information on the latest trends in the Infra Industry in the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic for the 27th Anniversary issue of NBM&CW, we interacted with many OEMs, builders, contractors, and technology companies. And the sum of our interactions is that despite all odds, the industry is readying itself for the new normal and meeting all the challenges head-on.

While most of the CEOs expressed confidence that good times lay ahead, they also voiced their concerns on the unprecedented high price of steel and cement. The cost escalation of equipment due to steel prices, along with the mandatory BSIV implementation, will put extra pressure on the OEMs and buyers alike.

The Government can help ease the situation by offering sops such as tax relaxations, and incentives like the production-based incentive scheme PLI to the OEMs, else it might put a dampener on the growth prospects of the Industry. OEMs will also suffer a setback due to the global competitiveness, which would slow down the Government’s Atmanirbhar Bharat mission.

My team and I at NBM Media are grateful to our readers, subscribers, and advertisers, who have stood by us in these tough times and kept our spirit of journalism alive, despite all the uncertainties.

I would also like to mention that, like most of you, we continued to work hard during the lockdown in order to reach our readers and make sure that every subscriber remained connected through email, WhatsApp or the social media platform. Our 6-month extension of free subscription was met with a lot of appreciation and many subscribers renewed their subscription in advance. We also allowed visitors to access certain restricted areas on our website, along with a free download of the PDFs. We set up WhatsApp groups for readers to keep them updated on the latest news in the industry and uploaded our full-length features and articles on other social media platforms – all free of cost.

In the past 15 months, our readership has increased, and we are working 24x7 to ensure that our advertisers reach their target buyers and see their businesses grow.

Click here to read 27th Anniversary Issue

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S. A. Faridi
Managing Editor
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