Mr. Annuj Goel, Chairman and MD Goel Ganga Developments
Q.1 Could you enumerate where and how technology is being used in the real estate sector in India?
Annuj Goel: The utilization of technology in the real estate sector starts right at the beginning at the government level and then goes down to the builder and continues all the way to the customer.
Q- Please elaborate on the Govt front…
Local sanctioning authorities have started sanctioning projects online - this digitization makes things simpler for developers. I feel sooner or later, all Govt bodies should get a GIS (geographic information system) survey done and integrate that into all systems so that the sanction and commencement of site is decided virtually. Many Smart Cities have already started adopting GIS technology as it can provide the necessary planning platform for visualization, modelling, analysis and collaboration. GIS is also being increasingly used in the construction of Smart and Green Buildings as GIS easily interfaces with BIM solutions. GIS also aids land use management – from zoning and related data on buildings to taxes and occupancy.
Both GIS and LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) technology will help government authorities identify illegal construction also.
Q 2 What are the highlights from the client’s PoV ?
Annuj: From shopping for projects online through various apps and websites to tracking payment schedules and keeping in touch with the builder for an under-construction apartment to the lowdown on the latest government policies, today’s customer wants to do everything on his smartphone. During the lockdown also, we were able to keep our sales going thanks to technology as we had meetings with our clients using Zoom, exhibited our projects and show-flats using VR and did all transactions online. Technology helped us keep up the client interaction even through the pandemic.
And as far as Smart Home Automation goes, Google Home, Google Nest and Alexa Echo controlled homes of course have become common with todays’ buyers.
Technology is the wave to uplift every boat in the sea of construction. Thus, technology ought to be our foremost tool in building both brand retention and brand loyalty.
Q 3 Please enumerate on the significant benefits of technology
Annuj Goel: The more advanced the technology, the quicker the construction and turnaround time. This translates to efficient and timely handover of possession to the customer. Technology has the potential to deal with the chronic issue of labour shortage and suitability especially on the backdrop of the Covid-19 Pandemic that saw hundreds of thousands of laborers returning to their villages.
Even when it comes to project operations, technology can be used to monitor the progress and day to challenges of an under-construction project. From ensuring the timely reach of quality raw material to acquainting management with local issues that affect grassroot operations, technology can be a boon to both the developer as well as the end customer. Micro-management of multiple projects at the click of a mouse becomes a happy reality--as does the ability to pinpoint and correct any deviation from norm, right there and then, thanks to cloud and mobile technologies. Data sharing becomes easier too. The transparency and smoothness that technology will eventually bring about are worth the initial pangs of investment cost as well as change in mindset.
Q. 4. How well-acquainted is GGD with technology?
Annuj Goel: As a group, GGD has always believed in rolling with the punches rather than resisting them. In other words, we don’t fight change, we embrace it. Thus, we are already using the latest technology for construction in the form of aluform and euroform. Drones monitor our construction sites and show flats in virtual reality format make visualization easier for the customer. Our in-house engineers are always keen to adapt new technology and this year, we are dabbling with Building Information Technology or BIM that allows us to review projects and results in real time.
Q 5. What advantages does it have on offer?
Anuuj Goel: The advantages are many. First and foremost, it ensures safety of labor and reduces accidents; secondly, it results in speed floor to floor and floor casting-no more than an average of 7 to 8 days per slab. This translates to about 200 odd working days to finish a 30-floor building whereas the conventional methods would take far longer. Thirdly, there’s quality assurance in dimension of units and their finish; leakages are far more controlled. Fourthly, it imparts better structure stability to the building. Thanks to all of this, our projects keep the deadline. Over and above everything, it keeps the customer at the center of the process and its outcome-something we at GGD have always believed in.
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