It will take at least the end of next year for the growth to come back.
It is quite challenging times like for all of us. And, FunderMax India is no different. “Having said that, some of our past good performances have given us a stronger foothold to deal with this issue more efficiently, in terms of supplies,” says Dr. Prashanth Reddy, Managing Director, FunderMax India.
In an exclusive video interview hosted by CONSTRUCTION WORLD, Dr Reddy shares more on the facade industry, the COVID impact on the industry, the focus on sustainability and more...
Coping with the lockdownIt is quite challenging times like for all of us. And, FunderMax India is no different. Having said that, some of our past good performances have given us a stronger foothold to deal with this issue more efficiently, in terms of supplies. In our Bengaluru set up, we keep adequate stocks. So at this point, we don't have any issues of supply. In Austria, our production has reopened and is now back in full swing.
Focus on sustainabilitySustainability has always been a distinct feature of FunderMax as opposed to business. And with the current circumstances, it becomes all the more important and critical. The facade industry, of course, had a lot of choice of products in the past. But now, with the world focusing on sustainability, the choice for good products and long-lasting, less maintenance products will grow; especially with the social distancing norms, you need more light and air – so this gives us more opportunities for a product like FunderMax which has been in the Indian market for the last 20 years is a testimonial of sustainability with our trained workforce and 12,000 projects experience.
Sectors of focusSpeaking about sectors we will on following this period, to be honest, it is not really a matter of choice here. We have to look at every available opportunity and address it. We understand that some sectors like tourism, aviation, hospitality, automobile, etc, are severely affected. And so is the real estate sector too. But honestly, it is not about choice here; we have to look at every available opportunity and cater to them.
Domestic and export strategyOur India operations largely cater to the Indian requirement, although we have done a little business in Sri Lanka and Nepal, but not much happened there. So we have largely remained focused putting all our resources on the Indian market itself. Yes in Austria, it's quite an export-oriented business, but for India, the complete focus is only on the Indian market.
Interior vs. exterior businessThe interiors segment is growing day-by-day. In fact, initially for the last eight to ten years, we were largely focused only on the exterior segment. But in the last few years, we have also diversified into the laboratory segment. We also provide restroom cubicles. This share of India business today is 10 per cent.
Labour challengeWe have similar challenges of migrant labourers, especially for the installation. Some of our teams are being taken care at camps being provided by contractors, but some are on the move – and that is going to be a challenge: how to bring them back when normalcy is restored. Having said that, these are all trained workforce, and we also have a good ecosystem of training labourers fast and equipping them; so we should be able to bounce back quickly.
Back to normal We think it will take at least the end of next year for the growth to come back. We need to cut our cost and be careful on any new investments and try to be a lean organisation. And this is the only way we can be sustainable. We just have to wait for the crisis to end fast. I'm betting on early 2022, so till then it's all about sustainability.
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