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How modular construction supports advances in technology

How modular construction supports advances in technology

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Technology is central to the ability of the modular construction industry to deliver on numerous fronts when producing new residential and commercial buildings. In this latest article we discuss how modular construction and technological development go hand-in-hand.

When many of us consider modular construction, we focus on details such as speed, cost-effectiveness and sustainability. While all of these elements are relevant and important with regards to the development and greater use of modular construction techniques, they are only possible with the use of powerful technology.

This, of course, ties in well with the current year of construction technology, as recently announced by India’s Prime Mister Narendra Modi. It’s no secret the global construction industry has been slow to adopt and adapt to technology. However, modular construction techniques rely on technology and supports the use of and further advances of technology within the sector.

The technology behind prefabrication

Whilst the use of technology in the modular construction process is clearly portrayed, it may not be completely obvious just how central it is. The basis of volumetric modular systems, or prefabricated construction, is the initial digital 3D design and the ability to utilise Building Information Modelling (BIM) to ensure the building is suitable for the planned location and design requirements. It’s also behind the stackable modules used in several storey homes or larger industrial buildings, including hotels and office blocks.

But the use of technology within the industry goes much further than that.

Measurements and sizes are exact thanks to the software used to cut and move the different pieces of each module. Emerging construction technologies, including robotics, 3D imaging and even the use of drones are becoming increasingly leveraged to aid the design and development of modular construction. Those technological capabilities are enhanced, speeded up and become more cost-effective and sustainable, when utilised in a controlled, factory setting.

This is why together and powered by the right technology, modular construction projects can be completed some 30% more quickly than traditional builds. Indeed, recent news highlights that a new hotel in Folsom, California, opened a full five months early after the building – constructed with the use of modular techniques – was completed months sooner than it would have done, had traditional, on-site only methods, been employed.

Less waste by design

The technology used by modular building businesses also makes it possible to deliver projects while creating less waste. That’s due to the precision achieved through the software and in-factory construction process. Being able to effectively utilise set amounts of the different required materials across the different modules of a building, means waste is reduced to a minimum.

Not only does this support the lower-cost of prefabricated buildings, it’s also promotes less waste and a lower carbon footprint. Both of those details are attractive to:

  • Investors in the industry.
  • Construction tech designers.
  • End-buyers of the building, due to the quicker delivery and potentially lower comparative cost.
  • Governments working to end housing crises and provide homes for all.

It’s important to point out that, as yet, not all modular construction business make the best possible use of the available technology to produce projects that deliver on every element we’ve outlined, from the speed, to cost to the support of technology. One business that does, is Modulex.

Modulex has been created to help deliver the homes and buildings required right now across India. With input from a UK-based management team, Modulex delivers buildings with:

  • A short build time, with up to 90% of construction completed off-site.
  • Fixed cost and time guarantees.
  • Some 30% cheaper to maintain than traditionally built projects.
  • Earthquake proof.
  • Built to British standards.
  • Fully mortgageable.

Modulex has been created to deliver the eco-friendly, cost-effective, safe and long-lasting and quickly constructed homes and businesses that India still requires. We’re proud of our business and know it will produce, not only much-needed buildings, but a welcome profit for its investors.

 

 

Red Ribbon CEO, Suchit Punnose said:

Modular construction continues to develop and expand within India and on a global scale. The right technology is essential to the success of businesses like Modulex, which is why we’ve invested in the right software and systems that will power a successful modular construction business.

A lot is being asked on the construction industry right now and we created Modulex with that in mind. It delivers on every detail that’s important to India, the population, the government and investors.

How to benefit from India’s construction boom

How to benefit from India’s construction boom

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India’s construction needs are no secret, nor are the forecasts for impressive growth across the country’s construction industry. When investing in India it makes sense to capitalise on growth markets within the country. Right now, there options for businesses and investors both, to become a part of a construction industry that’s set to be the third largest in the world, just a few years from now.

With India’s general election on the way, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his government are working hard to re-iterate their promise on housing and infrastructure development across the country. Even if the ambitious targets aren’t quite met, achieving a high percentage of them still requires a significant amount of investment and construction. That’s something that appeals to many investors and companies who wish to grab their part of the potential activity, business and return on investment that’s available.

Looking at the potential for India’s construction sector, according to KPMG, India’s construction sector will be third largest in the world by 2025, behind only China and the US, with a valuation over $1 trillion.

Meanwhile, international construction consultancy Mace Group, estimates that by 2050, India’s urban population will be around 814 million, almost double the 449 million people living in urbanised areas today.

Doing business in India

These forecasts all stem from India’s huge construction, urbanisation, smart city and industrial corridor plans. With so much construction required to achieve even part of those targets, India has also made changes to make it easier for foreign-owned businesses to work and operate in the country.

According to World Bank rankings, India has climbed up its ease of doing business rankings, to 77th, from 100th and 133rd, prior to that. Of course, improvements could still be made, but its certainly moving in the right direction.

Improvements include:

  • Tougher and more standardised regulatory oversight.
  • New foreign direct investment rules that overseas investors can own 100% of an Indian-based business.
  • A clearer tax code.

But, its not all plain sailing, particularly for businesses with no links to, or knowledge of the way business works in India. That remains the case for the construction sector, despite the huge building needs across the sub-continent.

With the potential for growth and profits as high as the country’s needs for every kind of construction specialist, many small Indian businesses, including startups, are working towards securing their own piece of the investment returns that are available.

That means winning those contracts and operating in a way that will secure a future across India, won’t be easy – if you go it alone.

Collaboration and investment

One way for foreign-owned businesses and investors to become part of the construction boom and benefit from the huge government and private investment across the country, is through collaboration with existing Indian-based companies.

Of course, forming a relationship and building enough trust to encourage both parties to make a significant investment and work together, doesn’t come easy. But the end rewards will certainly make the effort of doing this correctly, worthwhile.

If that doesn’t appeal, there is another option: to invest in an existing construction-sector related business. One that has all the connections and capabilities in place to expand in response to the ongoing needs of India’s planned construction and infrastructure projects.

One that not only has a management team experienced in doing business in India and the UK, but has also been created with sustainability at its core.

Modulex is one such prospect. Construction of the first Modulex factory is already underway and set for completion in December 2019.

Providing a modular construction facility in Indapure, Pune District, 250 Kms from Mumbai, Modulex will have an annual capacity to create 200,000 square metres of steel commercial and residential buildings, off-site. And that’s just the beginning.

Demand for modular construction in India is growing and Modulex will become an intrinsic part of fulfilling the demand for every type of building, to support India’s ongoing urbanisation. Why? Because modular construction provides a cost and time-effective answer to India’s huge construction needs.

Modulex can help India achieve its goal of housing for all and the creation of modernising existing cities, while also building new ones. What’s more, it can do so in a sustainable way that doesn’t diminish the natural capital of the country.

Red Ribbon CEO, Suchit Punnose said:

India’s construction goals are no secret and the forecasts for growth across the industry in the next 5 – 15 years are of real interest to investors and business around the world. Doing business in India is easier than its ever been, but for the uninitiated, challenges remain.

Investing in Modulex is something that brings many benefits beyond the potential for a strong return on investment. Modulex is managed by experienced asset managers, with expert knowledge of India and the UK investment and business markets.

Its sustainable and scalable and has been developed to remain a feature of India’s construction industry now, at its hour of need and also well beyond.

Government continues to support technological innovation in construction

Government continues to support technological innovation in construction

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The Government continues to strive to achieve its target to house every inhabitant of India by 2022. A new initiative to encourage technological innovation in the construction sector was launched earlier this year and modular construction could benefit from this new push to solve India’s domestic construction needs and also, lift the country’s reputation in the industry.

Ever since Narendra Modi’s Government announced plans to house every inhabitant of India and build millions of new, affordable homes across the country by 2022, there has been a real push to approve and build those properties. As in most countries around the world where more housing is required, a combination of construction techniques are being employed to create an adequate amount of housing.

In recognition of the sheer size of the challenge, some Governments, including India’s, are increasingly supportive of new technologies that can impact on the delivery of those homes:

  • Faster.
  • In a cost-effective manner.
  • With eco-friendly techniques.
  • In a way that can also provide a long-term boost to the economy.

India’s latest push to encourage more technology and efficiency in construction, is the Global Housing Technology Challenge. The idea is to instil new and innovative ideas that can be used to propel India’s construction industry forward, both in the short-term to help achieve its domestic construction targets and in the long-term as an industry on a global scale.

How technology can improve construction methods

Technology is something that now plays a part in most industries, that for many years relied on traditional methods, systems and processes. However, the construction industry is one that has lagged behind in the development and encouragement of change and innovations.

However, there remains a real and still growing need for homes across many countries, not just India. New innovations are urgently required from builders and construction companies. Without that, they will struggle to deliver cost-effective, quickly built but still safe and longstanding, residential and commercial buildings.

Among the construction technology, or ConTech, techniques that could support India’s construction needs are:

  • Drones – which can be used to improve precision and accuracy on building sites.
  • Construction software platforms – supporting real-time collaboration on construction developments of all types and sizes.
  • Robotics – something that can be utilised both in traditional and modular construction sites and factories.
  • Modular construction – where materials and time can be used more effectively, lowering costs and construction time and creating more energy efficient projects.

This represents just a handful of the types of technology and innovation that could become widespread across India’s construction industry, in a matter of just a few years. What’s more, the prefabricated construction industry has already been slowly gaining support in India for some time, making now the perfect time to develop it more vigorously.

Modular construction in India

The modular construction industry is already growing across India and being utilised in different ways. Of course, where housing construction increases, so do thoughts towards luxury homes and higher profit margins.

While there’s no doubt that prefabricated homes can produce unique and beautiful homes – for a price – the industry is also perfectly placed to provide the low-cost, quickly built properties that India so desperately needs.

By encouraging fresh technological innovations to support India’s construction needs, its likely PM Modi is attempting to ensure that the momentum in the low-cost homes market isn’t lost. The timing is poignant, given the March 2019 construction targets don’t appear to have been met. Indeed, it could be considered an inventive ploy to help drive India’s construction industry to become one that gains global recognition.

That’s something that could have a lasting, positive effect on the country’s economy, while also delivering the required homes and buildings across India, right now.

Suchit Punnose, CEO of Red Ribbon said:

The modular construction industry is one that answers many of the requirements of India’s housing needs, including the desire for sustainability and economic benefit, not to mention speed and cost-effectiveness. That why we identified Modulex as the right investment opportunity for us and our clients.

Modulex is India’s first steel modular building factory, which delivers on all three pillars of sustainability – Planet, People and Profit. Modulex is perfectly poised to help answer India’s construction needs and is already an innovative solution within the industry.

Red Ribbon is proud to support the growth of innovative, modular construction across India. Not only because it can be a part of a broader construction solution, it can help deliver a reputation for innovative industry developments and a sustainable economic growth.

India's eco-friendly stance on plastic pollution reduction

India’s eco-friendly position on plastic pollution reduction

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Action against pollution is growing and India is emerging as a country willing to take a tough stance on the . It’s previous announcement on eliminating single use plastics in the country by 2022 has won praise from the UN and now, it has amended a rule to end the importation of plastic waste into the country. This week we highlight India’s eco credentials and why it’s the perfect country for the eco hospitality industry.

India’s promotes eco-friendly policy through plastic pollution reduction

India’s commitment to reducing plastic pollution was further highlighted last week, by high praise from the UN Environment acting Executive Director and a new directive from the Election Commission, for political parties to avoid the use of single-use plastics during campaigning.

Both these developments follow the country’s plan to ban single-use plastics in the country by 2022 and also, a March amendment to its Hazardous and Other Wastes (Management & Transboundary Movement) Rules, which bans the import of waste plastics across the entire country.

While India isn’t alone in its commitment to limit the level of plastic waste around the world, due to the sheer size of its population, the success of such plans would prove a huge boon for the broader eco-friendly cause.

Praise for India’s tough stance on single use plastics

The UN Environment acting Executive Director Joyce Msuya, told independent India newswire, IANS, that the countries plan to eliminate single use plastics in less than five years was “a tremendous move by the Government”.

That announcement was made by the Indian government in August 2018 and has been followed up more recently, with an amendment to an existing rule regarding the importation of plastic waste.

Previously, India had banned such activity, with the exception of certain zones around the country. A number of companies worked to evade the ban by operating in those zones. That led to a notable increase in the amount of plastic waste that was imported into a country that already creates some 9 million tonnes of its own plastic waste, each year.

From August 31st 2019, that activity will cease and India can turn to finding suitable ways to recycle more of its own waste, than the less than 50% it currently manages. Once the importation of 48,000 tonnes per year of plastic waste stops, India can then begin working on sustainable solutions to manage its own single-use problem.

However, while ending the importation of plastic waste is good for the local environment, its less beneficial on an economic front. It’s possible

An eco-conscious country

As this recent eco-friendly and anti-plastic pollution action highlights, India is not among those countries who doesn’t believe the science behind the pollution headlines. Indeed, it’s a country that is taking more steps than many others to put sustainability and an eco-conscience at the heart of its future growth.

That’s an attitude and outlook that we at Red Ribbon identify with. Yes, we work hard at uncovering investment opportunities that produce the right level of returns. But also, we only consider the creation and support of sustainable businesses and projects. Ideas that will help support the global environment and reduce the amount of energy and natural resource hungry developments, that remain popular among other investment plans.

Eco-hospitality is an industry that is growing in size and popularity, two important details supportive of a healthy return on investment.

The creation of the economical and ecological, carbon neutral Eco Hotel, is something that attracts many visitors. Not only from the millions of people from within India who enjoy travelling around the country, while exerting their eco-conscience at the same time. But also, holiday-makers around the world who want to enjoy India’s scenery and culture without impacting on it, in any way.

This latest raft of news highlights that India is the perfect location for the Eco Hotel brand to begin its journey. We know it will help support the country’s economy for many years to come, just as the country and government has supported the development of a carbon neutral, sustainable, eco hospitality industry.

 

Red Ribbon CEO, Suchit Punnose says:

As an entrepreneur and business man, I’ve always understood India’s desire and ability to become a country that will support the right business ideas that can, not only have lasting and positive impact on a national scale, but on a global one too

That’s why Red Ribbon has been there every step of the way as Eco Hotels was developed and has become a popular destination for holidaymakers of every type, including those with a keenly developed eco-conscience.

Eco Hotels’ carbon neutral design is something that can work across different countries, continents and landscapes and now is the right time to support and invest in sustainable, eco-hospitality.

India’s economic growth outlook remains positive despite weaker-than-expected GDP

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An initial glance at India’s third fiscal quarter GDP data may have proved mildly disappointing for some. However, looking into the deeper details of the report shows a brighter picture than might have been expected. In addition, the data is backward looking and not overly indicative of what the future holds for India’s economy. This week, we take a closer look at the data and consult more timely measures and assessments of India’s economic performance.

Last week India’s Central Statistics Office (CSO) published the latest GDP figures for the country, which showed growth slowed to 6.6% in the final three months of 2018, the third quarter of India’s fiscal year.

The initial reaction was of disappointment, as the number was below the median estimate for GDP to grow 6.7%. Added to that was the downward revision to GDP growth in the previous quarter; the CSO now calculates GDP grew by 7% in the second quarter of India’s fiscal year cycle, down from the 7.1% increase previously reported. However, the report also contained some positive details, particularly with regards to investment activity.

Separately, more timely survey data on the country’s manufacturing sector along with a broadly upbeat assessment from Moody’s Investor Service also provided brighter news on an economy that is still expected to grow at a rate above that of the broader global trend, for some years, thanks to increasingly business friendly policies and the continued urbanisation of a country with a population of around 1.34 billion.

India’s third quarter GDP details

The details of the GDP data showed a mixed performance across the country’s shifting economy. Growth in the agricultural sector proved a disappointment, as it was notably weaker when compared with GDP from the previous year.  The manufacturing sector also posted a slower pace of growth.

Other sectors were much more promising for the future outlook of the country, including strong readings from the construction and the financial and real estate professional services sector.

Meanwhile, the report also showed that average per capita incomes, were higher than the previous year. Add to that, higher levels of consumer spending and investment, along with stronger exports levels and the overall picture of India’s countrywide economic performance in the third fiscal quarter, is indicative of broad health.

In addition to the detail highlighting strength across India’ economy, was the news that despite a weaker than expected reading and a downgrade to the second quarter growth number, other economies are slowing too. That shows that while India is being affected by other global issues, so far it hasn’t lost as much momentum – or looking likely to – as some other countries have.

But, as we know, while the GDP numbers provide plenty of interesting details on India’s economy, it is a backward-looking assessment. Other, more timely surveys and assessments, proved that despite a situation which has resulted in a tough period for many farmers and led to the Government creation of a financial relief package for them and difficulties with Pakistan, the Indian economy remains in a promising position.

Manufacturing growth expands, growth seen steady

The latest manufacturing purchasing managers index from IHS Markit, meanwhile, which was published just hours after the GDP data, showed that activity in the sector grew at the fastest pace in 14 months. Orders, output and employment across the manufacturing industry were all upbeat, providing a boost.

But that wasn’t the only up-to-date piece of positive news on India’s economy. In its latest Global Macro Outlook, Moody’s Investor Service predicted stable economic growth for the country over the next two years. That was despite its view for the global economy to weaken across 2019 and 2020.

As asset investment managers with a specific interest in India, we pay close attention to all relevant details about the country’s economy, plans, Government and investment-related news and opportunities. We know that the final months of 2018 weren’t quite as strong for India as previous quarters. However, policy makers are also acutely aware of this and that detail was among the reasons for the recent interest rate cut – action that will likely be repeated in a few months.

For Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the headline GDP data was likely considered a bit of a blow, coming as the 2019 General Election approaches. As we’ve detailed though, it’s not the only measure to take notice of.

Investment in India remains strong and not surprisingly, worthwhile opportunities are developing all the time. Whether you’re interested in eco-friendly assets, modular construction possibilities or infrastructure related options, India is currently a real land of opportunity for investors and will be for some years to come.

Red Ribbon CEO, Suchit Punnose said:

The latest CSO release of India’s third quarter fiscal GDP are a case in point. The headline number was a little disappointing. However, the details showed key areas performed well and are primed to remain economically supportive going forward. Overall, India’s economy is in a stronger position than other major countries, which is good news for existing and prospective investors.

We continue to identify the best investment opportunities for ourselves and our clients and believe there are many more years of positive investment outcomes across India, ahead of us.

Affordable housing and slum redevelopment

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Slum dwellings across India’s urbanised areas have been around for as long as many can remember, growing up alongside wealthy parts of the city as the low paid workforce required to keep those cities working, struggled to find somewhere affordable to live. Indeed, in a country with a population of 1.37 billion, according to the latest UN figures, at least around a quarter of the urban population are living in slums, many of whom don’t have reliable access to sanitation, electricity or homes that are safe to live in.

Recent fires in neighbouring Bangladesh, in the capital city and a coastal slum area, highlight the problems of slum dwellings and the dangers they pose to those living in them and the surrounding areas, too.

In recent years, a number of ways to improve or even remove the slums of the Indian sub-continent, have been discussed. One previously popular way to modify India’s – and other countries’ – slums, was to remove them completely, bulldoze them out of existence. However, while this method does eradicate many of the issues that arise with slum developments, it also displaces everyone who lives in them.

After assessing different approaches to solving the problem of slum areas, which has gained in importance amid the increasingly rapid urbanisation of India, two answers have proven popular enough to take forward. They are:

  • Improve existing slum areas, without displacing those existing households and eradicating their investment.
  • Find ways to build affordable housing across India’s cities for lower income households to live in.

With those solutions now being formalised by the Government, the next step is to find a way to finance these methods, in order to achieve the target of creating affordable housing for the entire population by 2022.  

PPP and affordable housing

Among the ways in which India is seeking to provide enough affordable and safe housing for its growing urban populations, is through Public Private Partnerships (PPP). As the value of land is high in cities and nearby urban areas and can account for up to 60% of the total cost of housing developments, the Government has sought a way to lower the cost of urban real estate. They do this by allocating a proportion of publicly owned land to be developed by private companies and investors.

This vehicle has been created to encourage private real-estate investors, who previously have predominantly favoured higher income developments, to take an interest in India’s affordable housing sector. The potential rewards are three-fold:

  • Affordable and safe housing in the right areas, for India’s fast-developing urbanisation.
  • The beginning of the end of the growth of slum areas in urban regions.
  • Reliable and attractive returns for investors.

There are a number of ways in which this works financially for investors, all of which result in a notable increase in affordable housing across the areas of India in which it’s required.

Coupled with the improvements to investing and doing business in the country, the option of affordable housing and real-estate as an investment vehicle is one that is beginning to appeal to a growing proportion of investors. Both from overseas and within the country, too.

How to access India’s affordable real estate investment opportunities

Of course, knowing about and understanding the real-estate opportunities in a country whose population is undergoing a fast and significant change, is one thing. Accessing those opportunities in a secure and moderated fashion is quite another.

However, doing business in India has become easier, more transparent and accessible to all kinds of investors. Among the ways in which investors can benefit from the opportunities in India’s real estate sector, is through Funds specifically created for the purpose.

According to data from JLL, the value of investment grade, real estate projects under construction, has risen from $173.9 billion in the fourth quarter of 2012, to $242.6 billion in the second quarter of 2018. That number doesn’t take into account future options, plans or approved, shovel ready projects.

Red Ribbon will soon launch its own Indian Real-Estate Fund, to bring investment access into the sector to those investors interested in diversifying their portfolios with something that will benefit from Government support and help provide a solution to a real need from the existing and changing population.

As with all of Red Ribbon’s asset management options, sustainability, eco friendly and broadly beneficial outcomes form the basis of most of the assets that make up the Fund. Providing affordable and sustainable properties for the millions of people moving from rural to urban living is a challenge that can be met, provided every investor in Indian real estate takes it into consideration.

 

Red Ribbon CEO, Suchit Punnose said:

India’s Government has shown real willing to support the rapid urbanisation of the country and encourage a country in which investors can feel confident in doing business, both from a transparency and prospective returns, perspective. Red Ribbon is proud to be the forefront of supporting an economy that is of major importance on a global scale, while working to create a country with real prospects that future generations can enjoy and reap the benefits from.

Our Indian Real Estate Fund will help provide affordable and sustainable homes for the millions of people moving from one way of life to another. It also gives investors the chance to create a well-balanced investment portfolio, with exposure to a growing and developing economy.

Modular Construction

Saving Time, Money and the Environment through Modular Construction

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Saving Time, Money and the Environment through Modular Construction

Modular construction methods are often hailed as a more cost-effective option, but that’s far from the only benefit pre-fabricated buildings can have. We take you through how modular construction firms can save on time, the environment and money, while also delivering a return on investment many would be happy to receive.

It’s no secret that global real-estate related costs are rising. The value of property is broadly on the up. Meanwhile, the cost of materials is also climbing, while skilled construction professionals are becoming more scarce, pushing their value up, too. But there is a solution to this problem: modular construction.

Just like many other countries, across India, many people still have a dream of owning their own home. However, with more people moving into urban areas of the country from the rural regions, that’s not always an easy achievement, even for those with stable, well-paid jobs. Indeed, research suggests some 110 million additional housing units will be required by 2022. That’s a tall order and once that is simply unachievable through traditional construction methods alone.

However, major advances in modular construction techniques mean homes can be built quickly, in an environmentally friendly way, while also proving a more cost-effective option.

Saving you time and money

Much scepticism remains over how reliable and practical modular construction techniques are. Although, there are signs the opinion of the sector is improving as more businesses opt for it over traditional building methods.

One major factor that’s encouraging more businesses and home-buyers to choose a modular property is time. Once you gain permission, finalise plans and pay deposits, the fabrication of a modular building is much quicker than one constructed on site, in a more traditional manner.

That’s because templates and machinery in an established and regulated factory can create the specified shell of your building quickly and to approved safety standards.

Once those elements of the building, be it a home, a commercial office or even a hotel, are created, it’s then checked and verified through a reliable, tech-based system. This ensures all the required parts are there, of the right size and structure and are ready to be transported to the previously prepared building site.

This is where the costs savings come into play. Where a traditionally built property can require up to hundreds of on-site construction professionals to build up walls, ensure measurements are perfect and all the materials are as they should be, a pre-fabricated construction team is typically much smaller. That smaller team will also need much less time on site to construct the unit and ensure its safely in situ as planned, ready for the next step.

Again, with so much of the required works already done, the modular building requires only a little additional work on site, before the owner can get to work on the inside and make it habitable.

This means that while the cost of the materials used to construct a modular building aren’t particularly cheaper than for any other property, costs are saved through the shorter period of time skilled construction professionals are required on site. Meanwhile, the requirement of fewer construction professionals is also a financial benefit.

Environmental benefits

We then move onto the environmental benefits of the modular construction sector. First of all, the question of sustainability is one the massive global construction sector is increasingly being asked to answer:

  • Are the chosen materials sustainable, eco-friendly and long-lasting?
  • Can the pre-fab factories use sustainable energy sources?
  • Are the pre-fab factories sustainable and energy efficient?
  • Can they construct increasingly eco-friendly modular homes off-site?    

These are just a few details that require a positive answer from those modular construction companies who are beginning to gain support, momentum and business across India.

Modulex Modular Buildings PLC is one modular construction firm that can answer in the affirmative to the above questions and many more. It’s the world’s largest and India’s first, steel modular building factory.

Like all Red Ribbon investment projects, Modulex was created with three essential pillars of sustainability in mind:  Planet, People and Profit.

At a time when we need to find more economical ways of providing everything the huge population of India needs, in a way that protects their environment, while also delivering on profit to the investors who support those businesses, Modulex delivers on all three and is well-placed to do so for many years to come.

Red Ribbon CEO, Suchit Punnose said:

India’s Modular Construction market is expected to be worth close to $130 billion by 2023 and at Red Ribbon we think its imperative that as much of the growing industry as possible, is created with sustainability in mind, from the outset.

Providing the answers to India’s housing and construction needs is one thing, but doing it in a way that future generations can benefit from it on multiple levels, is something every investor in the industry should aspire to. That’s why we support Modulex and strive to ensure its green credentials can match its productivity and investor returns.

Indian Rupee

Broad-based planning supportive of India’s economic ambition

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It may be a New Year, but in many countries, old worries remain. Take the UK, for example. Brexit is as uncertain as ever and that’s unlikely to change any time soon. Not only have forecasts for economic growth in the country been tempered by the lack of a clear path for Brexit, the latest survey data from IHS Markit have served to underscore the worry felt by consumers and businesses, with the country’s dominant services sector close to stagnation during December.

However, the UK isn’t the only country experiencing uncertainty as to how 2019 will unfold.

India has an interesting 12 months ahead as incumbent Prime Minister Narendra Modi must work hard to maintain his position, after recent state election results make the likelihood of a new leader a real possibility. However, Modi has begun 2019 with ideas and a plan to show his support of the large farming industry, which is unhappy with the lack of fiscal support from the Government.

Speaking at the India Science Congress this week, the India PM urged scientists to find low-cost solutions for ‘social good’, including the creation of more affordable and balanced agriculture industry and using big data analytics to improve crop yields for farmers with smaller holdings. Introducing this element to the PM’s broader outlook for India’s economic development may always have been the plan.

Although, there will likely be many who will say its merely a move to encourage more votes in an election year. Regardless of the truth, this latest step is a further sign that Modi’s economic ambitions for the country remain front-and-centre.

Economic outlook

Even before this latest speech, the outlook for growth in the country was upbeat, particularly when compared with global competitors. Despite some GDP forecast downgrades from the likes of Fitch Ratings and the OECD – to a still healthy 7.2% and 7.3% respectively – India is assessed to have outpaced China during 2018 and to do so again in 2019. India’s finance ministry, meanwhile, forecasts economic expansion of 7.8% during 2019, which would likely be similar to the average pace of growth across 2018, despite the slowdown to 7.1% in the third quarter.

Indeed, it appears that the third quarter GDP number is partly behind most of the forecast reductions, although other details also weigh.

They include:

  • Generally weaker global GDP outlook.
  • Global trade worries.
  • Liquidity squeeze.

Modi and his Government, however, are upbeat and standing firm on their positive outlook. Many would say, with good reason.

Despite the difficult global scenario, some developments have been in India’s favour. The high price of crude oil has receded, despite the sanctions against Iran. Meanwhile, the country has moved up the World Bank’s ‘ease of doing business’ rankings. And while there has been some disagreement over the Government’s demands for the Reserve Bank of India to relax some restrictions on weaker banks, inflation has remained under control.

The decision to remain firm on many fiscal elements of governance while creating a more supportive backdrop for businesses and consumers, has been a core driver of the strong level of economic expansion across India. It appears that focus on moving forward with policies designed to encourage start-ups and innovation is very much still in place.

Modi told delegates at the Science Congress that following on from its success of improving its ‘ease of doing business’ score, it must now work to improve the ‘ease of living’ in India. That requires a broad-based plan; working to support businesses across every industry, supporting innovation and new ideas, job creation across every industry and providing a stronger and more reliable infrastructure for consumers.

At Red Ribbon we understand the importance of introducing innovative developments into an existing industry, which is why we believe the Eco Hotel industry is one that can help ensure India’s economic growth ambitions will succeed and even exceed expectations.

Red Ribbon CEO, Suchit Punnose said:

An economy the size of India’s will only flourish if a broad-based outlook is in place that also supports innovation and allows every industry to move in an agile fashion, particularly when it becomes clear that a new approach is required. India’s leisure and tourism industry is a case in point. It draws tourists from within and without the country to its variety of regions and attractions. Introducing a new type of accommodation, such as Eco Hotels, will work to add yet another string to India’s bow as the destination of choice for an even broader range of holiday-makers and business travellers, while supporting jobs growth and industry innovation at the same time. As long as business start-ups and industry innovations are supported and encouraged, they will only have a positive impact on India’s economy, the standard of living and the global environment.

India Cryptocurrency - Red Ribbon Asset Management Plc

India retains cautious Cryptocurrency stance

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India retains cautious cryptocurrency stance

A raft of recent news reports and blogs posts, suggest that those involved in the cryptocurrency markets are becoming a little impatient with the Indian Government and the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) caution relating to that specific financial sub-sector. The reports contain some conflicting views from different members of the two panels that are working to research cryptocurrencies and put a regulatory framework in place. However, despite a lack of real progress it appears the overall, official tone towards the crypto market is less negative than it previously was.

One of the Indian government’s panels currently researching the cryptocurrency markets is set to submit a report on its findings. That keenly awaited report has been delayed from July 2018 and right now, no time line is in place for it to be finalised and published. This detail is the cause of some of that unrest.

With that report being delayed, it’s no surprise that any details on possible virtual currency regulation in India is also taking time to be finalised. Without the approved findings of the official report, it simply doesn’t make any sense for a regulatory framework to be put in place.

Among the most likely reasons behind the slow progress of any official view and policy on cryptocurrencies across India, is the lack of a global steer. Also, and perhaps more importantly, is a lack of detailed knowledge and information on exactly what impact cryptocurrencies can have on the economy, particularly over the medium-to-long-term.

Some support for virtual currencies

While uncertainty over exactly how India will regulate and permit cryptocurrencies to be traded and taxed remains, it does appear that the Indian government is more positive on them becoming a permanent part of its financial landscape, than it was.

The Financial Stability Board (FSB), which India is a part of, has said that virtual currencies are not a threat.

“The FSB has undertaken a review of the financial stability risks posed by the rapid growth of crypto-assets. Its initial assessment is that crypto-assets do not pose risks to global financial stability currently,” the RBI report quoted the FSB as stating.

That’s a positive note and relevant to the discussions and research that are ongoing.

Getting it right

Despite that glimmer of support for crypto-currencies, global governments, central banks and other relevant bodies continue to move slowly with regards to implementing official regulation and plans to regulate Bitcoin, et al. But really, is it any wonder?

After surging in value during 2017, many virtual currencies then lost much of those gains during 2018. And now…? Well, the future for those currencies is very much unknown, particularly coming against a backdrop of so much broad-based uncertainty elsewhere.

Of course, the blockchain system that underpins cryptocurrencies is something that the Indian government and RBI are interested in, as are other countries and industries. But, having regulation and utilising one, is likely impossible without also having the other.

This is without doubt, another major reason why the panels formed to investigate cryptocurrencies are taking their time to collate all the details and submit a detailed and useful report. If blockchain is to become a part of India’s government, business industries and the economy, then it’s essential that any risks relating to supporting a regulated cryptocurrency network is clear, robust and performs the task it was created for.

India as a nation is one that welcomes change and new ways of doing things – provided it’s beneficial for the economy and its population. Even though it’s likely that virtual currencies and blockchain fall under that category, both the government and the RBI are right to be cautious over any policy and regulation that’s created, so they can be certain it’s right for India’s economy and its huge population, with its growing appetite for all things digital.

Nobody understands this market potential quite like Red Ribbon, which has placed India at the heart of its investment strategies since the company was founded more than a decade ago. Drawing on a pool of established expertise on Indian market conditions, Red Ribbon Asset Management offers a unique opportunity to share in that potential.

Red Ribbon CEO, Suchit Punnose said:

India’s appetite to be at the forefront of new technology is continuing to develop. However, even though some countries have begun a light touch regulatory oversight on cryptocurrencies, that doesn’t mean the government or RBI will rush into something that has the potential to impact India’s economy and financial landscape over the longer-term.

Indeed, a cautious outlook doesn’t mean digital currencies have no place, or an insignificant one for India’s economy. In fact, it’s more likely to suggest the opposite and that as a country, the government and central bank want to be sure they get their policy implementation on it, just right.

At Red Ribbon, we have the same attitude to new and developing opportunities. We’re willing to take some risk on new industries and investment opportunities, but only when we know exactly what those new industries have done and have the potential to achieve. With Eco Hotels and Modulex, we’ve worked hard to ensure we understand everything those businesses stand for and what they’re capable of, not only from an investment perspective, but on a global sustainability aspect, too.

Eco Hospitality benefits India economy - Red Ribbon Asset Management Plc

How Eco Hospitality provides a double benefit for India’s economy

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How Eco Hospitality provides a double benefit for India’s economy

The World Bank’s January 2019 Global Prospects Report shows that the United Nations institution continues to expect economic growth across India to expand in 2019 and beyond. The group’s estimate for full-year GDP growth in 2018 is for 7.3%. Meanwhile, the World Bank is also anticipating that level to rise to full-year GDP growth of 7.5% in 2019, 2020 and 2021.

There are many details that go into a forecast like this, which means it is an absolutely achievable and likely outcome. However, if some of the assumptions made in those forecasts don’t proceed as expected. Or, something completely unexpected occurs, then India’s economy could either exceed or fail to achieve that forecast rate of growth.

Another interesting figure that has recently been published about India’s economy, comes from the Indian Government’s Ministry of Statistics. According to its 2018 Environmental statistics, the natural capital in 11 of India’s states has declined. Natural Capital “refers to all types of environmental assets existing in the environment” according to the report.

Once again, a lot of work and details go into creating these data and stats to produce reliable and correct information.
The figures in that painstakingly generated report suggest that, at least in some parts of India, pure economic growth is being achieved at the expense of the country’s natural capital, or native environment. And that’s not something that can be allowed to continue unchecked. At least not if the economy is to remain on a long-term and sustainable, positive economic growth path.

 

Sustainable, eco-industry

With that in mind, we now turn to a specific part of India’s growing economy, the Eco, or green sector. While much thought is being put into how to ensure residential building and consumer habits are increasingly sustainable and Eco-friendly, another key area in which India is already developing an Eco-footprint in, is hospitality.

For a country that welcomed over 10 million overseas tourists during 2017 – an increase of 14% in number and 15.4% in income generation – it’s a sizable industry. In GDP terms, the total contribution from travel and tourism across India made up 9.4% of India’s GDP in 2017, likely rising to around 17% in 2018, according to the World Travel and Tourism Council.

If, however, efforts into supporting and growing the eco-hospitality sector of the travel and tourism industry continue, or even gain pace, not only will green hotels, eco holiday destinations and sustainable tourist hot spots generate welcome income for the economy, it will also help improve and even expand the country’s natural capital. That’s something that’s a double boon for the sub-continent that consistently strives to develop, advance and improve.

Eco Hotels is among the green businesses that are investing in India’s economy, in a sustainable way. The world’s first carbon neutral, mid-market hotel brand has been operating since 2012 and is a popular option, for businesses, investors and also among those travellers who include Eco credentials in their search for holiday accommodation.

Growing India’s eco-hospitality sector is something that is will undoubtedly help ensure the country’s travel and tourism industry will contribute to both the financial GDP figures and its nature capital. But, even better, positive eco changes in one country actually contribute to green credentials and work towards stopping climate change on a global basis too.

With so many benefits to be gained from Eco hospitality, there’s little doubt as to just how valuable it is to India’s economic, business and green ambitions.

Red Ribbon is the founder of Eco Hotels, the world’s first carbon neutral hotel brand which offers “green hospitality” as part of a progressive roll out across India designed to take advantage of current market opportunities on the subcontinent. The brand meets all key sustainability criteria without compromising on either quality or standards of hospitality and is designed to cater for commercial and recreational travellers alike.

Red Ribbon CEO, Suchit Punnose said:

Understanding the full implications of the way in which a country achieves economic expansion is an essential part of working towards maximising that country’s growth potential, while also making sure all the ingredients required to continue growing and innovating remain available. While the 11 states experiencing a decline in their nature capital account for fewer than half of India’s regions, its not something that should be ignored.

With Eco Hotels, Red Ribbon is putting both India’s economy and nature capital at the heart of its investment strategy. Combatting climate change, promoting sustainable industry and creating profitable carbon neutral businesses, is the right way to create an investment that will remain popular and relevant for years to come.

Red Ribbon

At Red Ribbon we understand that the transition towards a resilient global economy will be led by well-governed businesses in mainstream markets, striving to reduce the environmental impact of their production processes on society at large and on the environment as well.

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