Vox India, Nova Formworks bringing architectural innovations, and other top stories of the week
With the rise in disposable income among individuals in the Indian market, there is ample opportunity for growth in construction and interior design. Vox India and Nova Formworks are actively capitalising on this trend.
Polish interior design brand VOX, known for furniture, home furnishings, and building materials, has established a 50:50 joint venture with Varun Poddar, a former Ashirvad Pipes scion, to create.
VOX, founded in 1989 and present in nearly 50 countries, including the USA, Mexico, Australia, and Taiwan, has ventured into a JV outside its home country for the first time.
According to Poddar, VOX recognised the growth potential in India, with its rising GDP per capita and a robust building materials market that is expected to expand for the next two decades. India is now VOX's highest priority market globally, he said.
Talking about how the partnership started, Poddar says he was on the lookout to do something innovative, and that’s when he came across VOX in 2019. The discussion led him to enter a JV with VOX in 2019 and the company began importing and selling in India. By October this year, he says they are starting their own manufacturing plant in Bengaluru.
The company is currently introducing alternatives to ceilings such as false ceilings and wall panels.
“At present, individuals typically opt for gypsum ceilings, priced at approximately Rs 130 per square foot, or wooden ceilings, which can cost as much as Rs 1,000 per square foot for their homes. As you can observe, there is a significant price gap with nothing in between. Our aim is to bridge this gap with polymer-based ceilings,” Poddar says.
In the early 2000s, India's real estate market was thriving, with annual growth rates of 30% until the 2008 financial crisis. During this period, formworks, structures used to support cement until it solidifies, were primarily constructed using plywood and steel.
Vikas Mittal, a Delhi-based plastic manufacturer, recognised the limitations of these traditional methods. Drawing on his experience gained from his father's plastic manufacturing business, Mittal decided to explore the potential of plastic in construction.
Conventional construction methods require a large workforce, leading to increased labor costs. Mittal introduced plastic as a material for formwork construction, starting with a plastic ply offering in 2007. However, this initial product lacked durability, a secure locking mechanism, and the strength needed to withstand varying cement temperatures.
In 2011, after years of research and development, Mittal and his team designed a comprehensive formwork system with a patented secure locking mechanism. This innovation ensured leak-free construction, lightweight materials, and the ability to reuse the formwork multiple times. Mittal attributed his success to his background in plastic compounding, which enabled him to enhance the polymer's strength.
Revised electric tariffs in Tamil Nadu
On September 7, over 3,000 micro, small, and medium enterprise (MSME) owners in Coimbatore, Tiruppur, and Erode districts gathered for a hunger strike in Tiruppur to highlight their concerns regarding the increased power costs affecting their businesses for the past year.
They protested against the steep rise in demand charges and the introduction of peak-hour charges by the Tamil Nadu government in September 2022, which have made their businesses economically unsustainable.
Tamil Nadu Association of Cottage and Tiny Enterprises (TACT) President J. James announced that MSME units across the state would send letters outlining their electricity-related demands to Chief Minister M.K. Stalin via various means, including speed-post, courier, and email, from September 11 to September 24.
Previously, consumption charges for users with a supply of 12 kW or less were Rs 4.50 per unit. However, the new rates involve Rs 4.50 per unit for the initial 500 units, followed by an increase to Rs 6.50 per unit for 600 units and higher rates thereafter.
Senthil Ramasamy, a Coimbatore pump manufacturer with a 112kW demand (high-tension user), has seen his consumption charges rise from Rs 6.50 per unit to Rs 7.65 per unit.
Demand charges have surged by about 450%, from Rs 35 per kW to Rs 154 per kW. Demand charges are fixed monthly fees based on the sanctioned power supply, regardless of actual unit consumption. Additionally, the newly introduced peak-hour charges, absent from the billing structure until last year, have become an added financial burden.
MSMEs in G20 Summit
India's diverse and vibrant artistic heritage took center stage at the recently concluded G20 summit in New Delhi, showcasing a wide range of treasures from Pashmina shawls of Kashmir to Puducherry's terracotta handicrafts, Odisha's Pattachitra paintings, Paithani sarees, and Kolhapuri slippers from Maharashtra, among others.
Nearly 200 artists and traditional homegrown businesses proudly showcased their products to world leaders and foreign delegates, thus adding colour and flair to the event and gaining global recognition.
According to the exhibitors and participating enterprises, the G20 summit's success has created new avenues to facilitate global trade and given a fillip to MSMEs (micro, small and medium enterprises).
With Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam as the motto, the momentous gathering not only marked a significant milestone in India’s ascent in the global arena but also celebrated the country's warm hospitality.
During the event, the government unveiled and presented commemorative silver coins to the guests, produced in collaboration with the India Government Mint in Kolkata.
Edited by Akanksha Sarma