Kirby India: setting new standards in PEBs
“Kirby India, being the market leader, has a legacy of scaling the possibilities and horizons of PEB applications,” emphasises D. Raju, MD and CEO, Kirby Building Systems India
Demand for PEB in India maintained its high growth driven by increased emphasis on infrastructure development by the Government of India as well as the demand from the industrial segment. With manufacturing activity increasing in the last few years, logistics also has gained equal importance in order to provide better goods at lesser cost. Kirby sees a huge potential application area for PEB such as power plant structures, high-rise buildings, offices, oil and gas, infrastructure, and bridge girders, which provide Kirby the opportunity to leverage its experience over the last 12 years and develop new milestones in these upcoming areas as it has done in the PEB industry. Kirby India — being the market leader — has a legacy of scaling the possibilities and horizons of PEB applications. So we foresee opportunities and are ready for it head-on.
Use of PEBs in IndiaPEB concept gained impetus in the Indian markets in the early 2000s with the introduction of PEB concept by Kirby in massive scale and due to opening up of the economy and several MNCs’ set-up their facilities giving preference to metal buildings over conventional methods. Changes in government regulations, industry friendly policies and promotion of India as preferred FDI destination also resulted in heavy FDI inflows, thereby giving a further boost to the PEB technology. Over the last 5 years, few organised players have entered the PEB market. One of the main challenges faced by the PEB industry in India include acceptance among the Indian corporate which is still moderate when compared to developed economies. However, advantages like construction, ease of expansion, environmental friendly and low maintenance are working in favour of the industry. This can be seen over the last decade where increased acceptance of PEB due to rapidly expanding industrialisation in the country. The use of PEB is definitely expected to increase across the country, and the industry is expected to grow in the coming years.
Striding through the challengesLike many other precision industries in India, PEB industry is also facing the shortage of skilled manpower. There is a lack of trained manpower especially in design, sales and marketing, erection and project management. Kirby lays huge emphasis on in-house training for staff for the overall product solution to enhance their capabilities and give a boost to their overall career development. Also, special tools and tackles are being used at Kirby that increase the automation at sites and plant and finally benefit the end user. These initiatives help the company in retaining the best talent pool available in the industry.
The changing market environment has led to an increase in shift toward more advanced technologies with one of them being PEB due to increasing demand from customers for faster project completion which in turn will give faster returns on their investments. Both the construction technologies – traditional and new continue to grow without any hurdles mainly due to increasing urbanisation with the country’s urban housing shortage estimated to be over 18 million which can be fulfilled by usage of both types of construction technologies including their combination.
Volatility in steel prices remains a concern for PEB industry. But with construction and infrastructure activity expected to catch the growth curve from second half of 2013, steel prices are expected to remain under pressure. Kirby maintains fairly large inventories so that customers’ deliveries are as per the schedule and not affected by changing market dynamics.
Innovative KirbyKirby India has always been in the forefront of innovation by investing in new production technologies and evaluating the performance through continuous product development. Integrating the company’s strength and expertise along with innovation has helped the company lead the Indian PEB market. Apart from the functional requirements, the company has incorporated curved roof panels, wall claddings, flashings, aluco-bond panels or other such features to improve the aesthetics of the building as the industry is witnessing a new trend with demand for structures that are the heightened emphasis on green building construction is also poised to push market expansion. For instance, to increase energy-efficiency, Kirby has developed high efficiency windows and insulation for roofs, walls, ceilings & floors. The use of sky lights and solar panels on rooftops will meet daylight and captive power requirements, while, at the same time, reducing emissions and gaining carbon credits under clean development mechanism (CDM). Effective usage of insulation material, louvers and other materials also help in making Kirby buildings as green buildings. All the materials used in making of Kirby buildings are recyclable and are not harmful to the environment. Kirby is always looking forward to be a part of eco-friendly products and the ongoing green revolution in the construction industry.
PEBs in residential segmentIndian construction industry has evolved from its initial preference toward conventional and RCC structures to the PEB in low-rise industrial buildings in the last decade. There are many advantages with pre-engineered structures. These offer more flexibility for plant layouts for future expansions, savings in construction time leading to faster realisation of the project, large clear spans, superior quality and conformance to international standards, low maintenance, earthquake and cyclone resistant, environmentally friendly and sustainable, and architectural versatility with buildings being supplied with special fascias, canopies, curved eaves and many other features. In comparison with the developed markets, PEB has already made inroads not only in the industrial segment but is also very popular for low-rise structures (G+5) such as offices, hospitals, retail malls, housing, resorts etc.
As far as commercial building segment is considered, PEB still hasn’t ventured into that area with its presence being very miniscule but Kirby has supplied some buildings to this sector. The commercial building sector in India is estimated to reach 20.44 billion square feet by 2030 from 7 billion square feet in 2010. It is expected that nearly 34 per cent of 2030 target had already been constructed and about 66 per cent of the building stock is yet to be constructed. Kirby is planning to venture into this segment in near future as it is expected to provide very high volume of business in coming years owing to the shortage of homes which is expected to grow at rapid pace due to increasing urbanisation with more than 40 per cent of Indian population expected to live in cities by 2030. Thus, PEB will emerge as one of the preferred building solutions for residential and commercial segments in near future.
Projects by KirbyKirby India has achieved growth of over 15 per cent in 2012 and is expected to see similar trend in 2013. The company has evolved from a mere PEB manufacturer to a total solution provider for customer needs. Like a true leader, it has constantly tried to set new standards in the PEB industry and emerged as the most preferred brand by successfully differentiating itself from all its competitors.The company’s state-of-the-art world-class manufacturing facilities, engineering strength, strong sales network, over 100 certified builders, unparalleled expertise with timely service etc. ensure that the end product is aesthetic, reliable and of high quality.
The company has partnered with a wide customer base including majority of the leading Indian corporate, small and medium scale enterprises, multinational companies and individuals. Kirby India has been associated with several leading companies and authorities like Nokia, Skoda, Tata Group, Reliance Industries, Hindustan Unilever, UNICEF, Swaraj Mazda, BMW, Renault-Nissan, Suzlon Group and Birla Tyres.
Kirby India has successfully completed several mega projects involving an area of more than 1 lakh square metres at a single location and many such mega projects are under execution. There are various other prestigious projects such as Danieli India, Bangalore Metro, Toshiba-JSW, MRF, ITC, Hindustan National Glass, SEL Manufacturing, Shimizu Corporation, Mahindra & Mahindra, Siemens and many more which are either completed or under final stages of completion.
The company has also demonstrated its capability to design and manufacture complex, heavy structures by executing mega projects in the automobile, shipyard, general engineering, infrastructure, logistics and various other industry segments. These big projects require not only the superior design but also excellent project management right from beginning to the end. Expansion plan Kirby India has always planned all its developments only from long-term perspective keeping the time frame of 5 years to implement and execute it successfully. The company completed the expansion of its Haridwar facility in 2012 which produces additional 25,000 tonnes, taking the total plant capacity to 100,000 tonnes per annum. This expansion allows company to cater to the customers in the Northern, Eastern and parts of Western regions of India with faster deliveries.
To cater to growing structural steel demand in the country, Kirby has entered into heavy engineering applications that include offices, commercial buildings and high-rise buildings, shopping malls, multiplexes, power plants, oil and gas structures, steel plants, bridge girders, multilevel car parking structures, airport terminal buildings, and residential buildings.
The company also continues to focus on its existing business and increase its market share and business volume by enhancing its market reach, product portfolio, quality and safety, erection capabilities, after-sales service, etc.
Over the years, Kirby India has evolved from a mere manufacturer of PEB to a total solution provider that is capable of supplying a packaged solution for all building requirements maintaining international quality standards and fulfilling the entire customer demand. The company has constantly tried to set new standards in the PEB industry.