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Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Business giant Anil Counto revisits great history of his group

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Kundaim: Goa’s renowned businessman Mr Anil Counto was nostalgic while speaking about the journey of his group, which has been an important contributor in economic growth of the State.

He was speaking on the occasion of the inauguration of our Green Building Centre – a facility set up for the manufacture of concrete products, supported by ACC Limited, and our Research & Development Centre – set up to develop new products utilizing industrial waste and by-products.

Union Commerce Minister Suresh Prabhu and State PWD Minister Sudin Dhavalikar were present on the occasion along withNeeraj Akhoury, CEO and MD of ACC Ltd.

Here’s what Mr Counto said addressing the gathering:

As you are aware, our Group comprises five different verticals i.e., construction and real estate, hospitality, manufacturing, trading and logistics.

I would like to brief you on our journey in the field of industrial growth in manufacturing, as well as new ventures, including R&D centre.

We entered into the industry of manufacturing PSC (Portland Slag cement) in the year 1992 with collaboration with ACC Ltd. I must offer our sincere thanks to ACC Ltd for having confidence in us and supporting us in our first foray into manufacturing.

ACC LTD provided the clinker from their Wadi plant to our clinker grinding and packing unit at Surla and also monitored all the quality parameters of the finished cement product.

In the year 1996, we expanded the manufacturing capacity to 500 tons per day of PSC cement by setting up a second grinding mill.

In 2003, we entered into the Ready Mixed Concrete business – and while the initial reaction from the business fraternity was rather dismal, we persevered and in time the concept caught on. Today, we operate 5 RMC plants in Goa.

As part of our manufacturing expansion, in 2008, we realized the potential of mineral and other products at microfine and nano levels.  Then followed two years of R&D efforts into specialized cement and concrete additives, under the guidance of Mr. BVB Pai, which culminated in the plant set up at Pissurlem Industrial Estate for the manufacture of Microfine products.  We are proud to say that our Alccofine products are used in infrastructure works not only in India but also overseas.

Marcou Artifacts was started in 2010.  This is a small yet unique ceramic and manufacturing unit, employing local artisans to produce ornamental ceramic products and azulejos and  offering visitors and tourists , handmade souvenirs to take back home.

In 2013, we entered the coarse and fine aggregates business and currently operate three manufacturing units at Banda and Talekhol

in Maharasthra and Ramnagar in Karnataka.
In brief, today Alcon Enterprises is able to provide most of the raw materials as well as finished products which are required to construct a cold shell for buildings. By cold shell, I mean a structure which includes all RCC work, masonry and plastering included.

While we were developing the Microfine technology at R&D stage, we observed that certain minerals, if blended with other materials at the microfine level and used for the correct application, can give superior results. This encouraged us to set up this R&D centre to work on different industrial waste and by-products like Flyash, slag, red mud, etc., and develop innovative products for the future.

To achieve this, we have in our development team, 4 scientists – Mr. BVB Pai, Dr. Ram Kumar, Dr. Babu and Dr. Chintan who are present here. I thank them for their support.

I along with our team of scientists had attended a seminar organized by IIT Mumbai under Prof. Dr. D N Singh, which was chaired by Dr. V. K Saraswat, a member of NITI Ayog to address the problem caused by the huge industrial waste and by-products, and many renowned industrialists were also present.

I am happy to inform you that our team is in the process of finding solutions to some of these problems.
We are thankful to Dr. D N Singh, who is present here today along with his team of PhD students, and we hope to have a fruitful association with him in research on industrial waste and by-products utilisation.

Among the new ventures, we have tied up with a leading, mineral classifying machinery manufacturer from China namely ALPA Ltd., with whom we have an understanding to acquire equipment for micro and nano technology.

We are also working with Japanese company JFE Shoji Corporation and Seiwa Denko Company Ltd., for bio toilets and bio-degradation of waste.

In fact, a year and a half ago, we have installed a bio toilet at the Margao railway station which is working very well.

On the basis of the positive feedback of this bio-toilet, the Railway Board decided to place two more bio-toilets as a test run, one at Varanasi and the other at Delhi and also decided to place an order of 150 units of bio-toilets.

Our associate from Japan, Hiwatari San is here with us today and we are pleased to welcome him to this event.

Recently we have entered into one more venture – the manufacturing of concrete pontoons, which I feel, promises great future potential, as Government of India has allotted substantial funds in their budget for Sagar Mala as well as for inter river connectivity.
I take this opportunity to request my fellow colleagues and industry friends to have R&D facilities in their campus or premises to upgrade their products, as the world is moving fast and as technologies advance, we should strive to keep pace or risk being left behind.

Having said all this, I would like to take this opportunity to request Mr. Prabhu, Hon. Minister of Commerce & Industry and Civil Aviation, to give special attention to Goa to improve the present deteriorating economic scenario by providing impetus to our two main industries, mining and tourism. If the problems faced by these industries, which are the backbone of Goa’s economic growth, are addressed, our State of Goa will achieve the required economic turnaround.

In addition, to provide Goa with the desired economic boost, we request you to kindly consider giving priority to the following;

1. Infrastructure facilities to boost Goan exports through:

a) Export Warehousing.

b) ICD facility at Multi-Modal Logistic Park (MMLP) at Balli, Goa.

c) Restart Goa Regional Office of DGFT.

2. Incentives for Goan Exports

3. Development of Goa as a Logistics Hub

I am submitting to you, Sir, a detailed note elaborating the above points and request you to spare a few moments of your time to go through them.

To Shri Dhavalikar, Hon’ble PWD Minister, I would like to inform you that today the construction technology is changing at a fast pace with the availability of quality tech products for better sustainability and durability of structures. In view of this, I request you Sir to address the existing statutory procedures in awarding tenders only to L1 (lowest tenderer).
I feel while assessing any project, weightage should be given to the technological improvements or innovations that the tenderer may suggest like new tech products and better or novel methods for execution of projects. These points may be considered while assessing any tender submissions in Goa.

To our distinguished guest, Mr. Akhoury, CEO & MD of ACC Ltd, I am honoured by your presence and thank you for the confidence you have reposed in us through our collaboration and the support given to us for improvement in different categories of construction material like cement /RMC/ Aggregate and today  green concrete products.

We hope, you Sir, will continue to support us in our search for solutions to utilize industrial waste and industrial by-products through R&D for better and innovative applications. With your assistance, we hope to develop new products, that will address the parameters of sustainability and durability in the construction industry.

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