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Green Buuildings: Market Overview and Doing Business in India

August 09, 2018

India also ranks third among top the 10 countries in the Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LLEED) Green Building rankings 2017 by United States Green Building Council. Canada topped the green rankings, followed by China & India. Green buildings can play a significant role in conserving the environment & in an increasingly urban society where the need for housing will keep on rising, they can play an instrumental role in maintaining the ecological balance. The Indian govt. is also taking a serious interest in green buildings which is evident from the fact that two flagship schemes have been launched to drive urban transformation & economic growth – The “Smart Cities Mission” & the “Atal Mission for Rejuvenation & Urban Transformation (AMRUT)”.

With one of the fastest growing economies & the 2nd largest population in the world, its urban areas are expanding at an unprecedented rate. The country now has at least 50 cities with over a million inhabitants & is only set to grow further. India’s registered green building footprint is second only to the USA, yet in 2016 it still only covered 5% of the stock. With strong demand from consumers, there is huge market potential for green building in India. In the period from 2016-2018, it is expected to increase by 20% according to the Dodge Data & Analytics World Green Building Trends report. New high-rise residential, commercial, & mixed-use developments are expected to be the top three sectors for green building growth in India. With urban expansion come rising energy & water consumption, associated waste & GHG emissions. Driven by the need to conserve energy & widespread consumer demand for healthier neighborhoods, India is embracing green building. 100 Smart Cities Mission program has green construction at its heart. In 2015, the Government announced the intention to turn 100 satellite towns into citizen friendly & sustainable cities by 2022. Smart cities will be able to enjoy consistent power & water supply, robust IT connectivity, e-governance, & infrastructure, as well as sustainable real estate. A number of municipal corporations offer rebates on property premiums & taxes for buildings that meet certain conditions. One of the biggest at the national level is the MNRE’s ‘Energy-Efficient Solar/Green Buildings’ program, which reimburses developers 90% of the registration & rating fee for GRIHA rated buildings. Some major banking groups are also offering incentives to encourage energy efficient construction. Payback time for green investment in India is 4 years for a new build & 5 years for a retrofit. Decreased operating costs over one year amount to 10% & 11% increasing to 15% & 16% over 5 years. Green building also gives developers a competitive edge, with many clients, particularly international organizations, demanding green commercial properties. Firms looking to make their supply chain sustainable also require their providers to operate from green factories.

Green Building: What it is?

According to the IEA existing buildings are responsible for more than 40% of the world’s total primary energy consumption & for 24% of global carbon dioxide emissions. Green building practices aim to reduce the environmental impact of buildings through environmentally friendly construction practices. A green building as defined by Indian Green Building Council (IGBC) is the one which uses less water, conserves natural resources, optimizes energy efficiency, generates less waste & provides healthier spaces for occupants, compared to a conventional building. A combination of sustainable design, green construction methods & sustainable materials made of renewable resources, are essential for the construction of the green building. The building construction industry produces the second largest amount of demolition waste & greenhouse gases (35-40%). The major consumption of energy in buildings is during construction & later in lighting or air-conditioning systems. While, various amenities like lighting, air conditioning, water heating provide comfort to building occupants, but also consume an enormous amount of energy & add to pollution. Further, occupant activities generate a large amount of solid & water waste as well. Sustainable architecture is the type of architecture that seeks to minimize the harmful impact that buildings have on the environment. Such sustainably built green buildings are environmentally responsible & resource-efficient, right from location selection to the demolition after its lifecycle ends. A green building uses less energy, water & other natural resources create less waste & GHGs & are healthy for people living or working inside as compared to a regular structure. Building green is not about a little more efficiency. It is concerned in with making buildings that advance on the utilization of nearby materials, neighborhood environment and above all they are worked to lessen control, water, and material prerequisites. In this way, if these things are remembered, at that point we will understand that our traditional architect was indeed, extremely green. As indicated by TERI estimates, if all buildings in Indian urban regions were made to embrace green building ideas, India could save more than 8,400 MW of power, which is sufficient to light 550,000 homes per year. There are five central principles of Green Building:

Sustainable Site Design: Create min. urban sprawl & prevent the unnecessary damaging of valuable land, habitat & open space. Encourage higher frequency urban advancement as a means to conserve significant green space. Safeguard key environmental resources through careful examination of each site. Water Quality & Conservation: Conserve the current natural water cycle & create the site so that they closely imitate the site’s natural hydrological structures. Emphasis on holding of storm water & on-site infiltration as well as groundwater recharging. Limit the wasteful utilization of consumable water on the site while boosting the recycling and reuse of water, including water collecting, storm water, and dark water.

Energy & Environment: Limit the adverse impact on the environment through optimized building siting & design, material selection, & aggressive use of energy conservation measures. Expand the utilization of sustainable power source and other low effect energy sources. Building execution ought to surpass minimum. Worldwide Energy Code compliance level by 30-40%. Indoor Environmental Quality: Provide a healthy, comfortable & productive indoor environment for building occupants. Use the most ideal conditions regarding indoor air quality, ventilation, and thermal solace, access to regular ventilation and daylighting. Materials & Resources: Minimize the use of non-renewable construction materials through efficient engineering & construction, & effective recycling of construction debris. Maximize the use of recycled materials, modern energy efficient engineered materials, & resource efficient composite type structural systems as well as sustainably managed, biomass materials. India’s ambitious mission to provide housing for all by 2022, build new cities like Amaravati & implement smart city projects will have to encounter serious environmental problems such as rising air pollution & conservation of critical energy resources, an indication that going “green” could be the only way forward. Delhi remains the most polluted megacity in the world according to a WHO report, which also estimated that about 7 MN people across the globe are dying each year from exposure to ambient & household air pollution. WHO compiled air quality data for megacities with a population of 14 MN or more & found that Greater Cairo in Egypt is the second most polluted city, followed by Dhaka. Mumbai & Beijing were ranked fourth & fifth, respectively. The implementation of green, sustainable buildings in India has been limited due to weak policy & poor awareness. As part of efforts to promote sustainable buildings, International Finance Corporation (IFC), a World Bank arm, plans to scale up the use of EDGE, it’s relatively new tool for a green certification system, to empower developers in India to identify the most cost-effective ways to reduce use of energy, water & embodied energy in materials. The cost of doing green (buildings) is marginal & there’s a misconception that these are more expensive. Having less glass is actually cheaper than having a wall, for instance. In the last couple of years, EDGE has certified 6 projects across India & 29 are in progress.

Fresh data in the WHO report shows that 9 out of 10 people breathe air containing high levels of pollutants. Many of the world’s megacities exceed WHO’s guideline levels for air quality by more than 5 times, representing a major risk to people’s health. Over the last 15 years, around 1,868 projects have been registered in India for LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) certification & over 800 have been certified, of which 60-65% are office buildings & 10-12% are residential. LEED-certified spaces use less energy & water, save money for families, businesses & communities & reduce carbon emissions. The choice today is not whether we should have green but that green should be embedded in whatever we build. LEED has set the bar very high & for every sq. ft. we certify, we don’t certify 4 sq. ft. The biggest challenge in India is mind-set & people like shortcuts here where they want the certification quickly. Implementation is key to whether people use our parameters or do it on their own. In India, IFC has tied up with GBCI as a certification provider for EDGE. While there has been substantial progress in the field of green buildings, a gap will exist until the user, the last link in the chain, does not demand “green”. Synergy is required amongst the architects, the real estate developers & the Government agencies to design & deliver green buildings. Recently, Griha launched a rating for affordable housing which will focus on integrating sustainability into the construction proposed under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana & push the boundaries of the green building movement in India. Developing a green rating for affordable housing is a challenge considering that green buildings are commonly perceived to be more expensive. Griha for Affordable Housing strives to demystify this myth of perceived cost & hence the rating is tailor-made to incorporate cost-effective sustainability measures. The market-related advantages are many. Data collected by IFC show that in some of the cities, green projects sell at an 8% higher premium, they also sell 18 days faster. In the US, it was found that default rates are 33% lower if a building is marked as green. Green Buildings: Certifying Agencies LEED-India: LEED is an acronym for ‘Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design’, which is an internationally recognized certification system for the green buildings. The LEED-India Green Building Rating System is an international benchmark for the design, construction & operation of high-performance green buildings (provided by IGBC). IGBC Ratings: The Indian Green Building Council was formed by CII to usher in a green building movement in India & facilitate India to become one of the global leaders in green buildings. With an intent to give a solitary point reference on green building items and innovations, IGBC has built up a Directory on green building materials and specialist co-ops, the first of its kind in India. The Directory will assist as an available reference to all builders, consultants, architects, contractors etc., & also serve as a single-point reference to those asking for inputs/ details on green building material & equipment. IGBC has developed the green building rating systems for different types of building. BEE-ECBC: The Energy Conservation Building Code (ECBC) was established by the Indian Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) to set energy efficiency standards for design & construction of buildings. TERI GRIHA: The Green Rating for Integrated Habitat Assessment is a national rating system for green buildings that is adopted while designing & evaluating new buildings. EDGE PROGRAM: The IFC’s international EDGE certification program (Excellence in Design for Greater Efficiencies) focuses on energy & water efficiency in buildings. ADaRSH: (Association for Development & Research of Sustainable Habitats) is an independent society, registered under the Societies Act, 1860 for the interaction on scientific & administrative issues related to sustainable habitats in the Indian context. It was founded jointly by MNRE & TERI along with a handful of experts in the fields related to sustainability of built environment from across the country. ADaRSH promotes GRIHA as a design & valuation tool for green buildings & habitats. ECBC: The Energy Conservation Building Code is a code developed by an Expert Committee, set up by India’s Bureau of Energy Efficiency, with support & guidance from USAID, which specifies the energy performance requirements for all commercial buildings with an electrical connected load of 500 kW or more. BEE with the support of USAID is promoting ECBC awareness & voluntary adoption through training & capacity building programs, pilot demonstration projects, & identifying steps for compliance check & monitoring of ECBC.

Green Buildings: Energy-Environment Conservation

Environment: Rising population leads to a rising demand for accommodation which leads to massive deforestation which in turn leads to environmental degradation. This is more of like a vicious cycle & we can’t get out of it until we check our rising population but even if we start working on those lines, it won’t yield results overnight. Bringing down the graph of population growth is a slow process. So, does that mean there is no way out to save our environment? This is where green buildings come to play. A green building is one where the planning, design, construction, & operations of buildings are done with several central, foremost considerations like energy use, water use, indoor environmental quality, material section & the building’s effects on its site. Fortunately, India is currently witnessing a surge in the demand for green buildings. Residential as well as commercial property developers are switching towards green buildings. According to a Dodge Data & Analytics, global green buildings are expected to double every three years & India is a part of that trend. In a growing economy like India, fast & economical resources of development are required but considering the future of earth & our environment’s sustainability is no more a choice but a need. Besides, the government should also wave out incentives associated with green buildings to encourage the real estate sector. India additionally positions third among top the 10 nations in the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building rankings 2017 by United States Green Building Council. Canada topped the green rankings, followed by China & India. Green buildings can perform an important role in preserving the environment & in an increasingly urban society where the demand for housing will keep on increasing, they can play a contributory role in maintaining the ecological balance. The Indian Government is also taking a serious interest in green buildings which is evident from the fact that two flagship schemes have been launched to drive urban transformation & economic growth – The “Smart Cities Mission” & the “Atal Mission for Rejuvenation & Urban Transformation (AMRUT)”. The focus on creating better cities is a welcome development, at a time when India’s urban population is expected to increase to 600 mn by 2030, from 400 MN today. All necessary approvals related to constructing a building & obtaining no objection certificate from the corporation have been made online through the single window system under the concept. Earlier, the model bylaws were to be implemented only in smart cities, but now these are being implemented in cities covered under the Atal Mission for Rejuvenation & Urban Transformation (AMRUT) scheme as well.

As indicated by the estimates provided by the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII), there are around 3,947 listed green buildings across the country, spread over 4.5 BN square feet. The green building idea has been attaining prominence in India with a rising number of initiatives, essentially by the Indian Green Building Council (IGBC) a division of CII. However, in India, environmental agendas & green buildings are often based on the precedents of developed countries. The 2004 draft for the National Environmental Policy of India received heavy criticism for this reason. Since the issues of water & sanitation are more critical than energy efficiency in India, initiatives like green building are often neglected in India. Accessibility of green building products & technologies, affordability of green buildings products & absence of attention to the need and significance of green buildings are the real obstacles to the improvement of green infrastructure in India. The demand for the green real estate can be generated by creating more awareness in the consumers. The Government should also roll out incentives linked to green buildings & make them affordable for the common man as there is little sense in spending millions on the best technology to create the greenest of green buildings if very few Indians can associate with them & even fewer can afford.

Energy: BEE has earmarked December 14 as ‘the Energy Conservation Day’, which is aimed to demonstrate India’s achievements in energy efficiency & conservation, within a larger goal of holistic development of India’s overall effort towards climate change mitigation. Such mitigation measures largely limit the further rise in global temperature wherein steps, such as phasing out fossil fuels, embracing renewables, pursuing electric vehicles & pushing for green buildings, are taken. The role of green buildings in energy conservation & efficiency is, thus, important in controlling emission levels, significantly. According to the World Green Building Council (WGBC), a ‘green’ building is a building that, in its design, construction or operation, reduces or eliminates negative impacts, & can create positive impacts on our climate & natural environment. Green buildings preserve precious natural resources & improve our quality of life. According to the UN-Habitat, green building can include energy efficiency along with features, such as healthy materials, water efficiency, sustainable waste management, resource efficiency, & land use. India, which is observing robust urbanization, is adding around 11-12 MN people to its urban population every year, making every sixth person in India urbanized. In 2011, India also entered a different demographic trajectory wherein its net increment to urban population exceeded the net increment to the rural population, signifying increased migration to urban centres. The United Nations (2014) has estimated that India would add 164 MN people to its urban-based between 2015 & 2030, thereby necessitating the need for managing its urbanization very well. Thus to rejuvenate urbanization process, the Government has launched programs including, AMRUT, Smart Cities Mission (SCM) & PMAY, mapped under Sustainable Development Goals (SDG)-11 on “Making cities & human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient & sustainable”. These initiatives have the potential to transform India’s building & infrastructure sector, being critical to the Indian economy. Moreover, India is projected to become third-largest construction market globally by 2030, contributing 15% of India’s GDP. Thus given these projections there is an urgent need to push for sustainable growth through green buildings under these missions. These missions, which aim to ensure access to adequate, safe & affordable housing, basic services & upgrade slums, better air quality & waste management, besides, provision for financial & technical assistance in building sustainable & resilient buildings significantly enhances the potential of green buildings, thereby, improving surrounding environment. Moreover, incorporation of the green building concept in these missions would not only facilitate in achieving SDG-11 but will also help to expand its scope to cover other SDGs as perceived by the WGBC. Thus, embracing green building concept would effectively help in meeting other SDGs as well to include, promoting good health & wellbeing; ensuring affordable & clean energy; promoting decent work & sustainable economic growth; building resilient infrastructure & promoting sustainable industrialization, combating climate change, etc. Green building concept would also help in achieving SDG#6, which ensures availability & sustainable management of water & sanitation for all. According to UNEP, the building sector is the largest contributor to GHG emissions, emitting 30% of GHG emissions, while using 40% of the global energy. In India, building accounts for 40% of the total energy consumption, of which residential real estate accounts for over 60% of it, resulting in environmental degradation due to rapid urbanization. The current stock of green buildings, which accounts for 5% of the total buildings in India, offers the great potential of green building markets with an opportunity to expand & tighten efficiency standards on building sector, ensuring future demand for energy services being met without putting undue strain on energy supply. Further, according to the USGBC Dodge Data & Analytics World Green Building Trends 2016, the green building industry in India will grow by 20% by 2018. Paris Climate Agreement has prompted several governments to lay greater emphasis on low carbon development of their cities. India too has formulated several mitigation strategies under different sector in its Nationally Determined Contribution submitted for Conference of Parties 21 (COP) of UNFCCCC to develop climate resilient urban centres. In addition, to curb energy intensity of the Indian economy, the National Mission for Enhanced Energy Efficiency (NMEEE) has been introduced to replace all incandescent lamps with LED bulbs in the next few years leading to energy savings of up to 100 bn kWh. Further, to implement energy efficiency, BEE has introduced the ECBC to improve the energy performance of buildings & curb emissions. To stimulate the large-scale replication of energy-efficient buildings, India has also developed its own building energy rating system, namely, GRIHA based on 34 criteria like site planning, conservation & efficient utilization of resources etc. Thus, pushing for green buildings by linking it through its urban missions would go a long way in accelerating sustainable growth path.

Green Buildings: Market Potential

Buildings have an enormous impact on the environment & climate change. At 41% of the total US energy consumption, buildings out-consume the industrial (30%) & transportation (29%) sectors. Buildings use about 14% of all potable water (15 trillion gallons per year). In the United States alone, buildings account for almost 40% of national CO2 emissions. Standard building practices use & waste millions of tons of materials each year. In comparison, green buildings use natural resources efficiently, minimize waste & result in lower utility bills & impact on the environment. LEED-certified buildings have 34% lower CO2 emissions & consume 25% less energy. Water-efficiency efforts in green buildings are expected to reduce water use by 15% & save more than 10% in operating costs. Retrofitting one out of every 100 American homes with water-efficient fixtures, could avoid about 80,000 tons of greenhouse gas emissions, which is the equivalent of removing 15,000 cars from the road for one year. LEED projects are also responsible for diverting more than 80 mn tons of waste from landfills, & by 2030 that number is expected to grow to 540 mn tons. As the demand for more sustainable building options increases, green construction is becoming increasingly profitable & desirable within the international construction market. The market is responding to these cost savings & environmental benefits at a dramatic rate. According to a Dodge Data & Analytics World Green Building Trends 2016 Smart Market Report, the global green building sector continues to double every three years, with survey respondents from 70 countries reporting that 60% of their projects will be green by 2018. India ranks third, among the top 10 countries for LEED green buildings. In 2016, nearly 650 Indian building projects earned LEED certification.

Upfront investment in green building makes properties more valuable, with an average expected increase in value of four%. By virtue of lower maintenance & energy costs, the return on investment from green building is rapid: green retrofit projects are generally expected to pay for itself, in just seven years. Green buildings reduce day-to-day costs year-over-year. LEED buildings report almost 20% lower maintenance costs than typical commercial buildings & green building retrofit projects, typically decrease operation costs by almost 10% in just one year. Between 2015 & 2018, LEED-certified buildings in the United States are estimated to give USD 1.2 bn in energy savings, USD 149.5 mn in water savings, USD 715.2 mn in maintenance savings & USD 54.2 mn in waste savings. The green building sector is outpacing overall construction growth in the United States & will continue to rise. By 2018, green constructions will directly contribute 1.1 mn jobs & USD 75.6 bn in wages in the United States. The industry’s direct contribution to US GDP is also expected to reach USD 303.5 bn from 2015-2018. LEED building construction projects are estimated contribute 3,86,000 jobs & USD 26.2 bn in wages by 2018. More than 20 years ago, the USGBC started as a vision. In 2000, the very first LEED green buildings were certified, propelling the multi-bn-dollar global green building industry & spurring explosive growth in energy-efficient, green buildings across the globe. In 2008, the USGBC created Green Business Certification Inc. (GBCI), an independent certification & credentialing organization, to accelerate the mission of USGBC & the adoption of LEED. In 2015, the USGBC incorporated GBCI in India. GBCI works with business & Government officials, to help address & meet the priority needs of a rapidly urbanizing India.

India’s green building market is estimated to double by 2022 at 10 bn sq ft., valuing around USD 35-50 bn, driven by increasing awareness level, environmental benefits & Government support. Though at a nascent stage, India has emerged as one of the leading countries in terms of green buildings’ projects. India ranks only second after the US in terms of the number of green technology projects & built-up area. More than 4,300 projects with about 4.7 bn sq ft. of built-up area had registered for green technology as of Sep’17. This is only about 5% of the total buildings in India, & hence there is huge potential for further penetration of green building technology. Growing at an exponential rate, the Indian green buildings’ market is expected to double & may reach around 10 bn sq ft. by 2022, valued between USD 35 bn-USD 50 bn. Stating that green buildings can improve the environment’s ecology in numerous ways, it can be said that it can reduce the energy consumption by 20-30%, water usage by 30-50% & significantly reduce waste generation by extensive recycling. Green building may cost higher by up to 15% than the conventional buildings. Still, the long-term benefits such as low operating costs along with potential health benefits for the occupiers make it a viable option. The report said that the growth of green building in India would be driven by increasing awareness, environmental benefits, Government’s support, subsidies & compulsions. The improving affordability is also a factor in the growth. The report also pointed that, countries with more population & limited resources that will to adopt green buildings’ practices faster. Real estate development is one of the biggest consumers of natural resources & generates significant amounts of wastes & pollutants. This sector alone ingests about 40% of natural raw materials, 25% of water & 35% energy resources. In addition, it emits 40% of wastes & 35% of greenhouse gases. Real estate sector can reduce its negative ecological footprint by adopting green building technologies. India started with 20,000 Sqft in 2004 with the CII-Indian Green Building Council’s HQ in Hyderabad securing the world’s highest Platinum rating for a green building from the USGBC. By 2015, India had also established the fastest CAGR for green buildings in the world, outrunning the US on the YoY growth rate. Today the US is at 10.2 bn Sq ft. We are at 5.3 bn Sq ft [with 4.66 bn Sqft coming from CII-IGBC alone, & the rest accounted for by USGBC & GRIHA]. CII-IGBC has set a target of 10 bn Sqft for 2022 when India turns 75. That year India will outpace the US on the total number of green buildings per square feet. Singapore, Australia, France, the UK, UAE are some of the prominent nations that have their own rating systems. There are about 60 nations that have some kind of green rating system, but very little as certified green buildings. CII-IGBC has 21 rating systems for Residential, Commercial, Existing Buildings, Factory Buildings, Green Schools, Green Metros, Affordable Housing, Green Healthcare systems rating, Green Residential Societies, Green Products Certification, & so on. The CII-IGBC has 43 city chapters across India, with architects & corporate real estate professionals volunteering to drive the initiative to make for a Green India. The Indian Green Building Congress is now into its 17th edition. This year it will be held in Jaipur on 4 October 2017. From 50 delegates in the first year, we now have about 4,000 delegates attending the Congress in recent years.

Demand for international green building materials

Despite the Government’s 2014 Make in India initiative to encourage national & multi-national CoS to manufacture their products in India, the market is very much still reliant on imports. There are huge opportunities for CoS offering products & services that increase a project’s LEED credentials, from water meters to solutions for reducing light pollution. Strict energy efficiency parameters have led to an influx of smart products using glass, aluminium, zinc, steel, copper, stone, & concrete fibre boards, & innovative façade systems such as the Back Ventilated Façade System, Double Skin Façade System, & Energy Efficient Façade Cladding Systems. uPVC is expected to take over the window market due to its energy efficiency & solutions to mitigate pollution hazards & better sound insulation. Its use could reduce a building’s greenhouse gas emissions by half compared to aluminium framed windows. Higher living standards, rising energy costs, & increasing environmental awareness are placing more demand on affordable energy-efficient systems & making the Indian HVAC market more competitive. It is already ‘leapfrogging’ to more efficient technologies & strict building codes only provide for more opportunities for HVAC CoS in the market. The majority of the market is comprised of imports; currently, around 60% of imports are from China, followed by Thailand, Germany, Mexico & Italy. Several int’l HVAC CoS have started showing an interest in manufacturing in the country due to the Make in India program. Particularly instrumental in reducing a building’s environmental impact, building envelope materials such as steel with recycled content, autoclaved aerated concrete, engineered wood & structural insulated panels are expected to replace conventional materials. Roofing solutions poised to gain include those made from recycled materials, integrated photovoltaic roofing, living roofs, & advanced shingles made from fiberglass technology. While traditional clay bricks are still popular & makeup around 80% of the market, several green substitutes such as fly-ash bricks & autoclaved aerated concrete blocks have gained traction & have started making up a small market share. In terms of insulation, materials such as cellulose, cotton, fiberglass & mineral wool are capturing the market due to their sustainable properties. In line with the boom in construction, India’s interior finishing market is thriving, with the sanitary ware market being spurred on further by the Government initiative to improve sanitation levels. Water conservation technologies such as efficient flushing systems, infrared controls, & sensor taps & showers are gaining popularity. Interior finishing materials including eco-friendly carpets, recycled tiles, & VOC free glues & paints are being consumed rapidly due to regulations on indoor air quality & health hazards. There is scope for green flooring such as recycled rubber, bamboo, cork, & other woods from sustainable forests or without added toxin chemicals. The IGBC offers a Green Interiors Rating that considers Eco Design Approach, Water Conservation, Energy Efficiency, Green Interior Materials, Indoor Environment, & Innovation in Interior Design.

Conclusions: Doing Business in India

India is a unique market, & any Co. looking to do businesses there will undoubtedly face some challenges. Here are 6 common issues faced by foreign CoS in India & 6 ways to overcome them. Price competition is strong - Compete on quality instead: 16% of India’s imports come from China, & most of this is aimed at the low price points. For other firms selling to India, it is much better to emphasize the quality of your products & the longer-term cost savings they can give your clients. The market is unaware of high-quality products – Education: Internationally-made products can often solve problems that local suppliers can’t, but every Co. operating in India needs to make a big effort to let their potential customers know about it. India is a large territory - Recruit multiple distributors: For CoS that wishes to sell internationally, it is essential to recruit multiple distributors to promote to all regions effectively. Having one distributor operating from a major city will not be enough to reach India’s huge & diverse market. Small business may expect credit - Find a partner willing to give it: Either take the price hit in the early stages or if this is not possible, partner, with an Indian distributor who is willing to be more elastic in their financing. Shipping costs are high - Absorb the cost, or make in India: There are several solutions to this issue. One is to simply work the costs into the export plan – shipping rates are still low thanks to vessel oversupply, so this option is more viable than it was previously. Another is to manufacture in India – but this requires a large initial outlay. A third is to find a partner in India willing to manufacture your products & distribute them from Indian Territory – but this requires care that standards are upheld. The existing market players are strongly established – Persevere: Cracking the Indian green building market is not going to happen overnight. It could take several years of research, networking, exhibiting, selling, & educating the market to get a foothold. But once that happens, the demand is huge & the initial costs can be easily recouped.


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