Durable, long-lasting, strong and reliable. Just like concrete, RDC Concrete’s Managing Director and CEO Anil Banchhor knows success of any kind can only be built upon a strong foundation. That’s why he puts a firm focus on his team’s happiness when it comes to operational excellence.
Achieving a “fantastic-growth” turnover from US$35 million to about US$127 million in three years after taking over operations in 2016, Anil credits it all to the investment he makes in his people. “Where the industry is growing at around 8%, we are growing at 38%,” he shares. “Our people, who are totally motivated and engaged, made this happen.”
Employee satisfaction is paramount at RDC Concrete. So much so, it’s even used as a measurement of the company’s success. “Growth is, of course, one important parameter, but the most important parameter to us is the happiness of our people,” Anil says. “We put a lot of emphasis on our employees’ wellbeing and growth.”
“We put a lot of emphasis on our employees’ wellbeing and growth.”
By conducting annual employee satisfaction surveys and providing an atmosphere for continual learning, the company is able to stay on track and in tune with its team members’ needs. They’re given opportunities for growth, accelerated learning by way of multi-skilling and job rotation, and are empowered to make decisions.
“Our target is to further improve on this each year,” he says. “We want to grow our people. Along with operational excellence, this is what’s driving our business to new heights year after year. These are the things in our control – everything else is external.”
Also, where most companies tend to have a vertical organisational structure, where the business owner is typically at the top and managers are relied upon to command and control their employees’ work, Anil has taken a rather different and more inspiring approach.
“Our organisational structure is unique. We dismantled the vertical structure because it can create a lot of silos,” he explains. “Instead, we created a unit model where one business manager handles three to four plants and is responsible for profit. The business manager is like a mini CEO. This grooming at the business manager level has really helped differentiate us in the industry.”
Now that RDC Concrete is in a good place growth-wise – it’s the largest independent ready-mix concrete company in India – it’s looking to become more selective in its expansion efforts over the next few years. The company will slowly pull back on the reins, taking its significant 38% growth rate down to 30%, then finally to 25%, where it plans to remain for the next three to four years.
“We want to grow at a slower pace now that we have become bigger,” Anil shares. “There are some major government projects with a lot of funding coming in, creating a big opportunity for the ready-mix concrete industry. We want to capture those opportunities.”
As it stands now, the Government of India is heavily focused on infrastructure development as a way to boost economic growth. It’s aiming to create 100 smart cities. While there is no exact definition of a ‘smart city’, and the idea varies greatly from city to city and country to country, urban planners in India ideally want to enhance the entire urban ecosystem to promote mixed-use developments, expanded housing opportunities, walkability, public green spaces, increased transportation options and more.
The smart-city initiative will ultimately create more construction activity, boosting concrete demand. The government also plans to take advantage of railway and facility expansions to help ease the transport of cement and reduce overall transportation costs. And, for RDC Concrete, that all adds up to good news.
“It’s a great time for the ready-mix concrete industry,” Anil says. “Construction practices are switching from normal site mix to ready-mix concrete. In the past three years, the conversion rate has been very high because most of the contracts are government contracts and use of a concrete batching plant is government mandated.”
In addition to all of the government work, RDC Concrete also deals with a portfolio of clients ranging from real estate developers to contractors, infrastructure companies, individuals and more. With such a diverse clientele, it relies on innovation and customisation to meet its customers’ unique and varied demands.
Through face-to-face collaborations and the use of its well-equipped laboratories, the company does this with ease. It’s able to design, produce and deliver a wide range of ready-mix concrete variants to suit their requirements. This technology is an integral part of the company’s ongoing success.
“We develop our own in-house, newer technologies in terms of raw material procurement, logistics and plant efficiency. There’s a focus on research and development, where we consistently develop new products, which gives us an edge in terms of quality and durability,” details Anil.
Currently, the company offers eight specialised concretes, ranging from decorative to fibre-reinforced and temperature-controlled, along with various grade mixes. “Our customers want service and quality,” he stresses. “People are aware of durability now. They want earthquake-resistant concrete. In India, we’ve seen too many structural failures because of earthquakes.”
The customer also wants peace of mind – something its competitors simply don’t offer. “All of our trucks are fitted with GPS and, with this, the customer is able to see the trucks heading to their site in real time. It has all the details, including time of loading, time of arrival, time of unloading and that sort of thing,” Anil explains. “We work in a very transparent manner. Few companies in India are doing this.”
“We work in a very transparent manner. Few companies in India are doing this.”
Then, for each supply, the company requests feedback from the customer, using the Net Promoter Score (NPS). “This NPS, which is constantly improving, is helping us to understand the issues related to our customer. It allows us to improve our service even further,” he says.
“Our NPS is very good and has led to repeat customers for very prestigious projects as well, such as metro jobs, road works and commercial buildings,” Anil continues. Of course, RDC Concrete wouldn’t be where it is today without key suppliers like Bharathi Cement and MP Enterprises. “Having a good relationship is number one,” he says.
“We have a few suppliers who are very, very important because they deliver when we need something urgently. Thanks to this relationship, instead of the normal 30-day delivery, we can get it in a week’s time, if necessary.”
- Improved quality: Ready-mix concrete is subject to quality control throughout the entire manufacturing and delivery process
- Diversity of solutions: Customised mixtures to meet customers’ unique requirements
- Topnotch service: Quick and easy deliveries via a large fleet of concrete-mixer trucks and special services for difficult worksites at customer’s disposal
- Cost-effective: Thanks to the reduced need for storage space and efficient use of basic materials
- Lower pollution: Ready-mix concrete reduces air pollution in and around the worksite, as the mixing is done at the batching plant
And vice versa; Anil makes sure RDC Concrete is a good customer to its suppliers. As with any good relationship, it’s important to develop trust through clear communication and a genuine interest in the other party – all things that RDC Concrete is highly regarded for in the industry.
“We pay on time – this is our strength,” he says. “We also try to understand their pain points, so we can help resolve them. This makes our suppliers happy to work with us.”
Anil’s impeccable display of leadership wasn’t fashioned overnight. No, it’s something that’s been expertly crafted throughout his varied, 35-year career, which, quite literally, started from the ground up.
“I belong to the construction industry. I was a hardcore construction professional earlier,” he says, adding that it was a career that took him abroad often. After that he switched to consultancy and then dabbled in cement marketing before ultimately getting into ready-mix.
“Having this experience of working as a contractor, consultant and client has really helped me personally, to understand the psychology of our customers and their needs,” Anil explains. “Now, we can offer them better and more customised solutions.”
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