Focus on healthcare projects is a conscious decision
An organisation with a legacy of over three decades, encompassing hundreds of projects in the commercial, industrial and residential space, Vascon Engineers recently bagged a redevelopment project. R Srinivasan spoke to Siddharth Vasudevan Moorthy, MD, Vascon Engineers, to find out if it could be done within 36 months. Also to what extent has its target of launching over 2 million square feet in real estate projects this year been fulfilled? Excerpts: Vascon Engineers recently bagged a Rs.3.5 billion redevelopment project in Santacruz, Mumbai. Despite the complexities in such projects, what factors ensure that it is done within a tight timeline? Vascon Engineers’ success in the project hinges on meticulous planning, experienced project management and adherence to tight timelines. Comprehensive planning, regulatory compliance and leveraging technology are key. A skilled workforce, efficient supply chain management and sound financial planning ensure smooth execution. Proactive community engagement prevents delays due to external factors. Rigorous quality control and continuous monitoring maintain construction standards and progress tracking. By addressing these factors, we try to navigate the complexities of redevelopment, delivering the project within the timeframe. Redevelopment projects are designed to be eight floors high, a mid-rise project and thus the end-to-end completion timeline is achievable. The company received a letter of acceptance (LoA) of Rs.3.52 billion for a Jharkhand hospital upgradation and in August a Rs.6.06 billion LoA for a hospital in Bihar. Is it a conscious decision to focus on healthcare projects? Yes, our strategic focus on healthcare projects is indeed a conscious decision. By concentrating on healthcare projects, we are considering the inherent stability and resilience of such projects. Unlike some sectors, healthcare projects tend to be less susceptible to fluctuations that may arise due to changes in government. This strategic decision reflects our understanding that healthcare projects often maintain a consistent demand and are less influenced by political shifts, ensuring a more reliable and stable project environment. We also bagged a `3.48 billion hospital project in PCMC-Pune. How do you see the current role of AI in the construction segment? AI is reshaping the industry on multiple fronts. In design and planning, it optimises building designs and facilitates data-driven decisions. Project management benefits from AI-driven scheduling, resource allocation and collaboration tools. Automation employs AI in robotics, drones and sensors for increased efficiency. Quality control uses AI image recognition for defect detection, energy efficiency and sustainability benefit from AI-optimised building systems. Its role extends to data analytics, cost estimation and predictive maintenance, enhancing decision-making throughout the construction lifecycle. Maximum value will be unlocked only when the entire ecosystem performs on a singular platform. Has the target of launching over 2 million sq ft in real-estate projects this year been fulfilled? The company has made significant progress towards fulfilling its target. Several launches in key locations such as Powai, Santacruz and Pune, among others, are currently in a documented state of progress. This indicates that the company is actively executing its plans and moving forward with its commitment to delivering these projects. The documentation and approval state of progress suggests that these launches are well underway and being tracked, reinforcing the company’s dedication to meeting its targets in a transparent and accountable manner. What are your expansion plans for 2024? The company’s expansion plans for 2024 are robust, with a focus on key locations such as Powai, Santacruz, Coimbatore and Pune. These areas are chosen in view of market demand, growth potential and the company’s existing strengths. Inclusion of government projects in the pipeline underscores the company’s diverse portfolio and its ability to secure and undertake projects with a broader societal impact. Expanding into multiple locations is a well-thought-out strategy to tap into varied real-estate markets. Coimbatore, Powai and Santacruz in Mumbai are sought-after while Pune represents a growing market. We engage in government projects, aligned with broader development initiatives and which may provide long-term opportunities. Overall, our expansion plans reflect a forward-thinking approach that combines commercial viability with a commitment to contributing to public infrastructure through government projects. This approach positions our company for continued growth and success in the dynamic real-estate sector.