Tall buildings will always need to make a bold statement on the surrounding environment. The use of fully glazed façades is common for iconic tall buildings in cities across the world for both its appealing aesthetic and demonstration of engineering possibilities. As the world becomes ever more energy and environmentally conscious, so too is façade design for tall buildings. However, there are significant design challenges associated with the use of a fully glazed façade that can have an impact on the buildings energy consumption as well as the building’s construction and operational costs.
Alumayer India is a leading construction company in the field of design, supply and installation of facade glazing systems. They provide a first-rate product in addition to a superior customer experience by maintaining complete control of the end product, from pre-construction to installation. Window & Façade Magazine (WFM) got an opportunity to have an interesting chat with Mr. Milind Malve, Managing Director, Alumayer India. Here is the excerpt from the interview.
Window & Façade Magazine (WFM): Please shed some light on the emergence of Alumayer Group? How did it become one of the premium façade companies in India?
Milind Malve (MM): The Alumayer Group is an Israel-based company. It was founded in 1964 by the Klinger family. With their high design standards and quality, they climbed to the top in that part of the world very quickly. In 1998, Alumayer India Private Limited was established. But they initially ran into some trouble with their operations here.
I had heard about them as I used to import high performance glass then. It seemed to me that the company had immense opportunity here as our city’s skyline was beginning to change with bolder building designs. Being well-versed with Indian business ways, I thought that I could make a difference to their business. We had extensive talks and after purchasing a major stake, I took over as the MD of Alumayer India.
Right from the beginning, it was ensured that
the Group’s high design standards and quality consciousness was imbibed in its Indian ethos. Since we offered complete solutions that were not just technically sound but at par with international standards and technologically advanced, we soon were handling prestigious projects.
In every project, we focussed on high customer satisfaction – we went the extra mile for our clients. ‘Client first’ was and still is our mantra.
Steadily and surely, our commitment has been rewarded. We have raised the bar of quality, delivery and customer delight and cemented our place in the industry. In the past 10 to 12 years, we have completed nearly 85 projects. Today, we are executing the facade of the tallest residential building in the world. I am proud that we are the preferred vendor for most of our clients who themselves are the largest players in the Indian construction industry today.
WFM: How did you foray in to this industry? What is your background?
Milind Malve (MM): I am a commerce graduate. That is my educational background. But I have always had this strange fascination with large scale, massive structures like the Eiffel Tower, an engineering marvel that was built in just two years. And incidentally, I was involved in glass imports.
You know what they say about the Universe conspiring. Sometimes, it feels like that. Because, through my glass trading I knew about Alumayer. And one thing led to another, and I took over as the Managing Director to look after their Indian business in 2005. Tall buildings – I have always loved them and today, I fashion them.
WFM: Could you please tell me about the company’s different portfolio of products?
Milind Malve (MM): We are focussed on providing innovative solutions for energy-efficient, safe and secure facades for infrastructural, commercial and residential structures. Our portfolio is comprehensive with entire building envelopes including skylights, structural glass systems, windows and doors, unitized façade systems, railings, ceilings, etc. We have designed and installed a vast range of curtain walls and are capable of providing customized flexible designs which can be built rapidly and economically.
Our expertise in access equipment for high-rise buildings including electric suspended platforms, powered lifts, mobile scaffoldings, hoist facilities, mast climbers, etc., which help in advanced, rapid, flexible and importantly safe installation of facades and fenestrations is renowned.
WFM: Do you help your clients in choosing the facade materials?
Milind Malve (MM): Of course we do. Getting involved in the project right from the conceptualisation helps us provide our clients with the best solutions. As we work in close tandem with the architects, it also helps in the holistic designing of the project. However, sometimes we are called in towards the end of the project. Even then we suggest suitable facade materials that fit in the client’s budget.
As specialists in the implementation of international standards in extensive production volumes, we are capable of executing any required task, while fulfilling both strict customer demands and requirements of special climatic conditions. We also provide our customers with technical service support and a comprehensive guarantee.
WFM: Talking about your premium products, are all your systems designed in-house?
Milind Malve (MM): Most of our systems are designed in-house in Israel as well as in India. Since the responsibility lies with us, we try using our own products as far as possible to ensure that the quality standards are maintained. If required, we also use systems from international systems suppliers. We are capable of executing any required task according to a customer’s demands, in any climatic conditions under strict quality control in accordance with the latest international standard requirements. The company’s goal is to meet high quality requirements for its supplied products.
WFM: How do you ensure the quality of your products are up to the mark?
Milind Malve (MM): Alumayer is a 52 year old company. The company’s management is committed to foster innovation, quality and accountability at all levels. We have our own R & D department working relentlessly to find innovative solutions to meet the design needs of the experimentative and brave architects of today. Our R & D department works in close connection with our partners from all over the world.
Our Quality Assurance Laboratory is equipped with modern testing equipment such as colour spectroscope to check chemical composition of the aluminium alloy, tensile testing machines, electronic gauge for checking thickness of the layer and various types of gauges and measuring instruments which facilitate quality assurance right from the raw materials stage through various stages of production and finally packing.
Sometimes we source materials from other suppliers. Our suppliers are important players in maintaining the quality concept. We work together to develop their ability so they can meet the standards prescribed and followed by Alumayer.
energy-efficient and commercial value has always driven us to push our own boundaries. In fact, most of our clients are repeat clients. And every happy client gets us more clients too.We have worked and worked to build our reputation and now, we work to maintain it.
WFM: What are your USPs?
Milind Malve (MM): One would be our design and technical strength. We have a very strong team in India and Israel with people who are qualified, capable and experienced to successfully handle the hardest of technical challenges. As our skyline is soaring, we are tested by challenges that really keep the excitement alive.
The ATC Tower at the Mumbai Aiport was one such challenging project. As the building is asymmetrical and crown of the building is in the form of a sharp obtuse angle, the degree of each mullion is different. Pre-fabricated MS mullions, 15 meters long, weighing about 530 Kgs were installed at 80 meters from the ground level with remote controlled motorized lifting equipment. Because of timelines, we worked with 3D drawings to order the glass panels before the installation of the grid. Now, each panel is a 60mm triple laminated DGU glass, and weighs about 650 KGs. And all of these, over 1400 in number, are trapezoidal in shape and unique. For the first time in Indian façade industry, telescopic brackets that can be adjusted in any of the three dimensions have been used.
Because the glazing location is at a sharp, inclined angle and impossible to access with available equipment, special lifting and installing equipment was designed and developed to lift the glass panels called Pantograph. The length of the pantograph is 15.5 meters having the load bearing capacity of 2 ton.
Just this one project talks volumes about our design and technical strength because we solved every complexity.
Our other advantage would be our facility. We probably have the best and most wellequipped facility in the country for execution of the most challenging façade projects. It is also the biggest and most advanced manufacturing facility.
And last but not the least, we have handled various kinds of projects. Our experience just cannot be outdone. Our team’s project management skills have been honed through extensive hours of work and we are capable of executing any project perfectly at any stage, whether it is during conceptualizing, planning, executing, controlling, or merely closing the project.
WFM: Please tell us more about your manufacturing facility at Navi Mumbai?
Milind Malve (MM): Our manufacturing facility is located at Panvel near Mumbai. It is placed at the heart of an industrial area and many of the topmost marquees in the Indian industry, including Reliance Petro Chemicals, Cipla, Bombay Dyeing, Castrol, etc. are situated in our factory vicinity.
It is a spacious facility spread over 9 acres with 2 lakh sq. ft built-up area. We have 5 lines of conveyors, the best and the most advanced CNC machinery. Currently, our production can reach up to200 panels/day. The factory also boasts of the best in-house testing facility rig to test all our systems. Our engineers, supervisors, sub-contractors and factory staff are trained regularly so that they are upto- date with the latest technologies and materials.
WFM: Many new materials like Copper and Zinc are used for cladding in buildings? Do you manufacture such cladding materials too?
Milind Malve (MM): Yes, we do cladding with all the latest materials like zinc, copper, etc too. But these are not much in demand. Most of our projects are done using glass or solid aluminium.
WFM: Who are your major clients?
Milind Malve (MM): Many corporate houses and developers like Lodha, Reliance, Orbit, L&T are our clients.
Currently, we are doing a high-rise residential tower in Mumbai called World One Tier 2. Other on-going projects for Lodha are the Trump Tower, World Crest and New Cuffe Parade.
WFM: What are your future plans?
Milind Malve (MM): Continuous improvement is our growth philosophy. Hence, we are looking for better, effective solutions; both in terms of design and cost; through newer materials and processes. Innovation is our focus anyway and we are using today’s fast-paced tech advancements to arrive at some seriously fabulous products.
We are also planning to bring all our own line of products under one roof. Everything you need for glazing would be available here. Furthermore, we are also looking at improving our export share.
WFM: How are you planning to enhance your leadership position?
Milind Malve (MM): We have a three-pronged approach: improve value offering through excellence in innovation and design with a 100% commitment to quality and ontime delivery.
WFM: Considering façade and window sector, what kind of changes have you observed in the market in the past 10 years?
Milind Malve (MM): In the past 10 years, the real-estate market has been going through a challenging period. However, this has brought with it a lot of positives. Vertical expansion has become the norm. The emphasis on green, energy-efficient buildings has increased. International level solutions with new materials and systems, higher luxury standards have entered our market and made this one of the most demanding markets in the world.