Nadhi’s Saas platform ‘nPulse’ empowers operators to speed up project work through this platform
By Kalyan Vaidyanathan, CEO & Co-founder, Nadhi Information Technologies

The Indian real estate sector is standing at a crossroad. On one hand, there is a likelihood of a demand surge in the coming quarters; on the other hand, the ongoing COVID pandemic has created huge liquidity issues for companies operating in the space. On the demand side, the central government has given nod to the Affordable Rental Housing Complexes (ARHCs) scheme under which an estimated three lakh migrants are targeted to be provided with housing facilities in urban areas. Similarly, experts predict pent-up demand driving sales for new homes in the post COVID period. Also, the ambitious target of achieving ‘housing for all’ by 2022 is likely to drive demand in the next two years. Forward thinking developers are driving digital sales solutions and contactless purchasing models to drive sales even during the pandemic.

However, a huge inventory of unsold homes has already created a working capital crunch for most developers. According to real estate consultancy firm ANAROCK, around 6.33 lakh homes remain unsold across various cities. Given the deteriorating financial health of the construction industry, the K V Kamath panel has recommended one- time restructuring of loans of developers, which is likely to reboot the stressed real estate sector.
Against this backdrop, any new construction project whether in the real estate or infrastructure sector can ill afford any kind of project delays and subsequent cost overruns. So, technological interventions can come to the rescue of the construction industry, enabling the companies to deliver projects in time.

Emerging technologies can play a vital role
Digitization of construction project management and streamlining the information flow among the internal and external stakeholders in a project can expedite project work. The pandemic has forced all the stakeholders to think about how to use technology to effectively work from home and collaborate. It is also forcing developers and contractors alike to think of options to have solutions for remote and digital project monitoring and to the extent feasible contact less options for onsite data collection on project progress, inventory control, and labour attendance. New-age technologies include technologies for collaboration that allow for distributed set of stakeholders in various locations to share information in a common data environment for project coordination. Mobility solutions allow for de-centralized data entry at source (onsite) from logical last mile stakeholders maximizing opportunities for social distancing. Then there are drone based data collections solutions that allow for collection of visual progress. Internet of things (IoT) based data collection help in collecting information about equipment performance, labour attendance, and even material movement. Solutions for integrated project controls allow for synchronizing and synthesizing all of this information to have more predictive project schedules, a more practical assessment of labor (and equipment) productivity.

These integrated project controls solution also help in streamlining communications and automation of MIS reports for management in near real time for time and cost analytics. These solutions are now getting further advanced with the use of data analytics and machine learning to further look for opportunities for value creation in project collaboration and control. Such a seamless flow of updates lays the foundation for virtual design and control and provides an opportunity for decision makers to take remedial actions in case of any deviation from fixed metrics. Such timely interventions help in maintaining the timelines without any possibility of cost overruns. Beyond these 3D printing and robotics are also emerging as technologies to automate and speed up construction
  
In this perspective, construction companies and real estate operators should invest in various digital solutions to speed up project work. However, the people and processes also need to be aligned for them to derive the benefits and ROI out of the solution deployments. Also, given the financial health of the sector, any upfront investment seems to be a far cry for most project operators. Therefore, SaaS (software-as-a-service) platforms are the best-suited for adoption as the realty players don’t have to commit any fixed amount towards investment. Rather, they have to use depending on their usage. These subscription-based models help in keeping the working capital cost in control along with ensuring speedy implementation of project work. 

Conclusion
As India looks at stabilising its economy, infrastructure and real estate sectors will play critical role in revitalizing the economy. In this new normal, applications powered by various digital technologies can speed up the project work, ensuring timely delivery. This will not only support a higher efficiency level of economic activity but will also help project operators from creating any avoidable legal and financial liabilities. 

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