The Indian construction industry is a significant contributor to the country’s GDP (Gross Domestic Product) and the second-largest job creator after agriculture. According to government estimates, the industry is projected to become the third largest globally by 2030. However, the industry faces several challenges that have hindered its growth and resulted in extremely low productivity levels compared to the manufacturing sector. Additionally, the construction sector is currently the least digitized industry in the world, and all stakeholders acknowledge the long-standing culture of resistance to change. The industry not only suffers from low productivity but also from low quality and safety standards, as well as cost and schedule overruns.
The Rise of Artificial Intelligence
Artificial Intelligence has gained significant traction in the last two to three years and is predicted to revolutionize every industry it touches. According to recent trends in AI acceleration, Gartner has predicted that AI will be one of the top workloads driving infrastructure decisions by 2023. This prediction holds great promise for the construction industry, and we are already witnessing a gradual and steady transformation of the construction industry in response to this change.
India’s Ambitious Infrastructure Overhaul Plan
The recent construction market trends highlight numerous government proposals and plans to boost the Indian construction and infrastructure industry through various initiatives. These initiatives include the Sagarmala program, which focuses on modernizing and constructing new ports to improve and enhance port-linked connectivity across the country. Additionally, there is the Bharatmala Pariyojana, a new highway umbrella program aimed at improving the efficiency of freight and passenger movement throughout the country. Other initiatives include the Gati Sakti plan for expressways, the Smart City program, the flagship Pradhan Mantri Avas Yojana (Urban), proposals to invest in renewables and green hydrogen projects, and numerous other projects.
Best Positioned to Leverage Emergent Technologies
Despite the significant scaling of the industry in recent and upcoming years, India has been cautious in adopting promising technologies, like many other nations. This cautious approach creates a void in technological adoption and prevents the industry from reaping the benefits promised by cutting-edge technologies.
With increasing amounts of data being digitized and stored in the cloud, we are approaching a tipping point where smart owner-operators and contractors can harness this data using AI tools to anticipate major milestone slippages and inform users through intelligent dashboards and alerts. AI can also be utilized to predict the most efficient ways to complete work based on past data. By analyzing data, streamlining project management, managing schedules, predicting cost overruns, and utilizing predictive AI to forecast trial outcomes and reduce project risks, the construction industry can improve its business operating KPIs, plan versus actuals, safety metrics, quality metrics, and more.
Embracing AI for Future Growth
The exponential growth of innovation and technological advancements offers new opportunities for urban development and the construction industry. AI is a core technology of the Fourth Industrial Revolution and will continue to expand its presence in the construction industry. The primary goal of using AI in construction is to reduce human errors and improve the speed of decision-making. Over time, the construction industry will recognize AI as a major driver of change that improves efficiency, productivity, work processes, accuracy, consistency, and reliability. Additionally, AI adoption decreases costs, mitigates unforeseen risks and accidents on project sites, and brings enormous economic benefits to the nation.