The real estate sector is one of the country's major sectors, responsible for a significant amount of India's Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Technological solutions can be utilised to improve efficiencies, streamline operations and increase profits.

The Indian real estate sector has been growing steadily over the past few decades, becoming a significant part of its economy. Construction companies worldwide have been readily adopting newer technological solutions to improve operations; however, not many Indian companies have done the same. There is a clear case to do so as such solutions offer many potential benefits, including improved profits.

How can technological solutions aid construction companies in delivering real estate projects on time?

The real estate and construction industry is in an evolutionary process of redefining systems and operations. Technology has enabled advancement in construction by reducing paperwork, providing real-time data, strengthening supply chain management, ensuring zero spillover costs, improving quality, reducing risks and ensuring timely project deliveries.

While real estate and its allied industries are growing by leaps and bounds, project delays continue to be the biggest pain points for most customers. From our experience, we have seen that most of the delays arise because of contractor-client expectation mismatch, lack of skilled labour, and equipment shortage. As a sector, real estate is still manually dependent. Technological solutions help create an automated workflow and ensure project monitoring at every step. These tech solutions have allowed changes and updates to inventory, schedule, resources and progress made available in real-time to facilitate better communication and collaboration.

Technology has always driven construction forward. The emergence of technology has enabled a faster design process, visualisation, simulation, and intricate planning for better and improved productivity. We understood that economies of scale and efficiency could only be achieved by leveraging technologies in construction. This is our vision to build Brick&Bolt, India's number one tech-enabled construction company. We are a one-stop-shop, an end-to-end solution provider in the construction space ranging from home construction to commercial construction. We also serve as a design-to-build platform which means we liaison with all parties involved in construction from day one of the projects till the final delivery day, thereby circumventing any delays before they even arise.

How have construction-management technologies changed the way construction companies work and operate?

In the construction stages of a building, each element's behaviour has a high degree of dispersion and mobility. Therefore, construction and project management suffer from a severe lag and asymmetry, considering the numerous variables involved. The sector also has interlinkages with multiple industries and has historically been labour intensive. Given the backdrop of being sticky regarding technology, the pandemic worked as a catalyst to push the construction sector towards tech-adoption.

The Internet Of Things (IoT) has managed to achieve the integration and synchronisation of all exogenous and endogenous factors. Integrated solutions that synchronise in real-time, connected equipment, data monitoring, mobile apps, augmented and virtual reality, drones etc., are now being deployed. The construction process is gradually becoming more linear and streamlined. Given the technological advancements, the need of the hour is to build seamless tech that integrates with construction management practices. This is what we are making at Brick&Bolt, a system that puts trust, predictability and efficiency in the home construction process.

How has the adoption of construction management technologies been in India?

With an annual growth rate of 7-8 percent, India is one of the fastest-growing construction markets within the world. The segment is estimated to be the third-largest in the world, with an expected size of USD 600 billion by 2025. In the next 2-3 years, construction will be the biggest employer in India, surpassing agriculture. With the potential the sector holds and the unexplored possibilities that continue to become a reality, the construction sector will emerge as a critical player to propel India's growth.

Nowadays, fresh technologies in construction are being come up with rapidly. What seemed like future-tech ten years ago, like 3D printed buildings, one-tap project monitoring etc., are now becoming commonplace. Companies now realise the need to shift to the changing technology landscape to stay relevant and gain an edge over their competitors. According to a report, 66 percent of construction companies in India are prioritising digital transformation.

The challenge is the adoption of technology in the entire construction ecosystem from top to bottom. Once implemented, technology can be leveraged to create efficiencies, increase profits, reduce costs over time, streamline workflows, manage projects, and minimise construction defects and timely deliveries. While the adoption of innovative technologies has improved productivity and efficiency, I think we need to develop tech-enabled human resources. The focus also needs to be on making technical human resources capable of addressing the construction industry's professional services needs.

What is your outlook on such technologies in the coming future?

Tech has made inroads, and today, we have software solutions that help manage every aspect of a construction project. Cloud-based solutions are solving the problem of information analysis and have reduced gaps in the constructions process. From pre-construction to scheduling to project management and field reporting, there is a software solution out there to help streamline your processes and improve productivity.

The construction industry suffers from 'what you see is not what you get', and given the case, project monitoring and quality control become difficult. Combining the features of Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) technologies can form a model that provides a new approach to solving these issues. It can also offer a new set of tools for site engineers and the management team by making sure they can solve construction problems in real-time.

I am positive that the future of construction is tech, and the sector's disruption is long due. With the digitisation of processes and moving to cloud-based solutions, the construction industry is now producing large amounts of data that is not integrated. As we advance, I feel big data and past trend analysis will also form a part of construction regressions. With the help of big data, predictions on viability, labour, materials etc., will give project insights that will save time, effort and money.