Established in 1996 in Bengaluru, Mfar Constructions has emerged as a reliable construction company with a presence across India. Having undertaken diverse construction contracts, including IT parks, malls, commercial, institutional, industrial infrastructure and high-rise residential projects, it has successfully executed a large number of projects in Bengaluru, Kolkata, Assam, Chennai, Visakhapatnam, Mangaluru, Udupi, Kochi, Goa, Patna, Bhubaneswar, Chhattisgarh and the NCR. With an average turnover of Rs 3.074 billion for the past five years and an order book of Rs 8.66 billion as in May 2018, the company boasts of quality, speed, safety and modernisation as its hallmarks. Fayaz Kamaluddin, CEO, Mfar Constructions, shares more on the company's growth strategies and areas of interest, in conversation with SERAPHINA D'SOUZA.
Which of the diverse sectors the company operates in contributes the maximum to its business growth?
Over the past two decades, Mfar has undertaken a multitude of residential projects; we have successfully completed projects for real-estate companies like Prestige Group, Brigade Group, Shriram Properties, Century Group, Land Trades, etc. Residential projects amount to about 60 per cent of our total works in terms of successfully completed built-up area.
The company is also keen on diversifying and taking up PPP projects in other infrastructure sectors....
Yes, we hope to venture into government projects such as the upcoming smart cities and heavy civil infrastructure works like bridges, which hold a lot of potential for the future. With the Government's interest in these areas, a lot of funding is being channelled towards these projects and towards vendors like us. Once the smart cities kick off with developments in the real estate and commercial arenas, Mfar can actively participate in these. We are planning to penetrate the smart cities market, especially in cities like Tumkur, Mangaluru and Vizag, where the company has already established its presence in the past.
The company is also known to be helping MNCs establish their presence in India.
A number of multinational companies planning to establish their manufacturing units in India as part of the Make in India campaign have expressed interest towards appointing Mfar Constructions to help establish these facilities here. With the growing need for single-window solutions, we are planning to assemble an in-house design team?? to cater to these requirements and explore more opportunities in the future.
Your order book stands at Rs 8.66 billion as in May 2018. Tell us about any recently bagged work orders and investment plans for these.
Mfar Constructions has been recently awarded with a number of prestigious projects. A few prominent ones include Westline Signature, proposed to be the tallest building in south India; a township and community centre at Penakonda for KIA Motors India; a management development institute in Gurugram; and Godrej Eternity, a residential project in Bengaluru. The latest feather in Mfar Construction's cap is the Eternia Residential Complex - Trump Towers in Kolkata, which is one of four projects by the Trump Organisation coming up in India.
Tell us about the company's equipment fleet.
We ideally prefer buying equipment for our projects. The machinery and equipment we have acquired for our ongoing projects include seven backhoe loaders, 59 bar-bending machines, 70 bar-cutting machines, 19 batching plants, 42 builder hoists, 24 concrete pumps, three concrete surface scarifiers, one concrete pump (Moli), 53 diesel generators, seven dumpers, 28 earth compactors, eight roller compactors, two excavators, one groove cutting machine, four high-frequency converters, two high-frequency vibrators, 25 mixer machines, six mobile cranes, nine passenger lifts, two working platform single masts, one paver machine, five rope-suspended platforms, eight sand-sieving machines, three skid-steer loaders, one sewage treatment plant, two stone-polishing machines, one stone-crusher machine, 19 tower cranes, seven tractor trailers, three tractor tankers, eight transit mixers, one vacuum-dewatering system, one vibrator roller, one weigh batcher, three weigh bridges, 44 welding machines, 10 winches (monkey hoists), and 15 concrete-breaking machines, among others.
Mfar also makes use of system formwork to fast-track construction. What is the benefit of using such systems and other innovative technologies in your projects?
Modernised system formworks such as aluminium or polypropylene are used in a lot of our projects, depending on the specific project requirements. Not only do these methods speed up the process through efficiency, high-tensile strength and a wide range of on-site applications, they also provide the option for re-usability, thereby reducing average construction costs. Such systems provide a high value for reuse and generate relatively lesser waste left over at the construction site compared to conventional methods.
What is your requirement in terms of subcontracting for your projects?
We only subcontract specialised works involved in our scope. We directly engage work to execute civil and finishing works. Although we have an in-house training unit, we ideally rely on an industry expert's advice or training to upgrade the skills of our workforce.
What is the emphasis laid on zero-accident tolerance and preventive maintenance (safety and quality at site)?
The top management at Mfar believes personal protective equipments (PPEs) should be the last resort to save a person's life on site. And so, we have implemented systems in a way that safe practices become an integral part of the business process. The firm has an established QEOHS policy and every site has a project safety plan that addresses site-specific EOHS and safety requirements. Various EOHS tools such as periodic training, hazard identification and risk assessment, empowerment to stop unsafe work, behavioural-based safety programmes, competent supervision and PPEs specific to the activity are in place at every site. These safety plans are in compliance with ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001 safety standards and compliance is maintained through periodic safety inspections and audits. Further, the effectiveness of the compliance is periodically reviewed by site as well as the corporate, and actions are proposed for continual improvement. Preventive maintenance actions are scheduled periodically and the schedule is complied with for all procurement and management (P&M). A dedicated P&M team is deployed at each site to ensure safety standards are met.
What execution-related bottlenecks do you face in project execution?
Any construction company will have a few hurdles to face, given current market conditions. A few bottlenecks include economic viability and stability, uncertain execution conditions, unprecedented fluctuations in material cost, resource augmentation, and availability of skilled labour. Such hurdles can be overcome by actions based on detailed forecast, supported with micro-level management.
How did the company perform last fiscal and what are your target avenues for this year?
Last fiscal, Mfar Constructions achieved approximately 85 per cent of the target value. We received repeat orders from existing clients such as Land Trades, Expert Group, Century Group and Valmark Group. We have also upgraded our IMS certification to the latest versions of International Standards (ISO 9001:2015, ISO 14001:2015 and BS OHSAS 18001:2007). We also received the ACCE(I) Ultra Tech Award for the Ivory Tower Project at Mangaluru. Going forward, we plan to expand by carrying forward our current momentum and establishing strategic tie-ups and JVs to work for MNCs and undertake heavy civil infrastructure works like bridges and smart cities projects. We also plan to establish and augment our design and engineering, and MEP capabilities.
Year of establishment: 1996
Top management: Dr P Mohamed Ali, Founder; Raiz Basheeruddin, Chairman & Whole-Time Director; Directors - Mohiuddin Mohamed Ali, Anoop Chemmanur, Fathimathul Zuhra, Zerin Rahiman, PM Harris, Dr J Alexander; Fayaz Kamaluddin, CEO.
Regions of operation: Bengaluru, Mangaluru, Kerala, Chennai, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Assam, Bihar, NCR.
No. of employees: ~750
Completed projects: ~200
Ongoing projects: ~40
Upcoming projects: ~25-30
Order book: Rs.8.66 billion (as in May 2018)