The present and future of ready mix concrete industry

by Ashwin Reddy, Managing Director, Aparna Enterprises

The Ready Mix Concrete market has undergone a journey of resilient growth over the past two years. Operations albeit were little slow, the industry has picked up pace particularly in the last couple of months. The scenario as compared to 2020 is completely different, and it is indeed a welcome change. According to industry reports, the ready mix concrete market is set to record a growth of around 11.6 % in 2022, and all players in the market are eagerly anticipating the complete comeback of the segment.

Thanks to the increasing residential projects, and strong government interventions, RMC in particular is a material that has seen a significant rise in demand. The COVID-19 pandemic solidified the importance of owning a home, in the minds of the consumers. Real estate activity has been steadily growing, and as an extension of it, so has the building materials/ construction segment. The biggest positive here is that the demand has started to match the pre-COVID levels; something that seemed to be an impossible feat a year ago. Government interventions are also central to the boosting of the demand, and the Indian government, in the wake of the pandemic has made efforts to improve the liquidity in the eco-system and even invest in development projects like the “Housing for all scheme” and the Smart Cities scheme to name a few. A significant portion of this demand is also expected to come from the construction of mega office spaces, a trend that has already started owing to the transition from work from home to work from office. COVID-19 has brought significant changes in the design of new developments in the seating layouts, additional facilities for the employees. Technology is also introduced in a significant way.

The future however doesn’t seem too bleak. There is hope and there is potential demand that is forecasted to provide a much needed boost to the RMC space. Things have actually started moving, and the industry is no longer in a slump. The launch of new projects from the Government’s side does give great expectations to the industry. However, the actual impact would become clear in future when these projects are rolled out and when the expected demand is actualised. Several projects that were stalled have been green-lit now, and the road to recovery is becoming a lot clearer. Perhaps the biggest silver lining currently is that the RMC industry is resilient in nature and takes very less time to resume the supply. The consistency, quality and the ease with which RMC can be delivered is unparalleled. As a bonus, it is also an environment friendly alternative, a critical quality, especially at a time when the environment is facing a global crisis. 2022 comes with a galore of opportunities and it becomes vital now more than ever for players to capitalise on this and strive to build an ideal economy.

While the scenario has been largely positive, there are a certain number of challenges that needs to be addressed. The lack of standardisation, overall in the industry is an issue that though is gradually being addressed, but there is still a long way to go. In order to achieve the process compliance and meet the quality checks, and the global industry standards, a unified system needs to be in place. The lack of entry barriers in the space is also a matter of concern. There is a need for uniform quality standards, to make mandatory and highest level of certifications for the plants and products such as ISO, ISI etc. which may help the industry to become more organized.India’s Ready-mix concrete (RMC) market is set to register a CAGR of more than eight percent during the forecast period of 2021-22.