Post-tensioning and geotechnical engineering play important roles in ensuring the stability and longevity of buildings and structures. Post-tensioning enhances a building’s strength and durability, enabling innovative designs and minimizing structural issues. Simultaneously, geotechnical engineering ensures that structures are constructed on stable ground, preventing settling and damage. The complete integration of post-tensioning and geotechnical engineering in construction holds the utmost importance for optimizing project performance. However, the key to success lies in selecting the right experts. U CON Group specializes in Post-Tensioning Design & Execution and Geotechnical Engineering, establishing themselves as experts in this field.
Constrofacilitator recently interviewed Mr. KK Kamalakannan, the Managing Director of U CON Group of Companies. He has more than 25 years of experience in geotechnical engineering and post-tensioning. He also presented various papers in various national and international forums. During the interview, he shared insights on the group’s rebranding strategy, services, market potential, and much more.
Here are the excerpts from the interview.
Utracon was a flagship and market leader in the design and specialist execution of post-tensioning in buildings. What is the reason for the rebrand?
Utracon, a prominent market leader in the design and execution of post-tensioning in buildings, embarked on a rebranding journey for specific reasons. Originally established in India in 2004 through a partnership with Singapore, the company changed ownership in 2011 when it was acquired by Indian investors, leading to a 10-year licensing agreement from Utracon Singapore with operational restrictions in India. As this licensing agreement neared its expiration, the current technical and management team strategically decided to initiate a rebranding effort. The goal was to expand their operations beyond post-tensioning exclusively within the Indian subcontinent. Consequently, Utracon rebranded itself as U CON, while maintaining its core attributes and introducing additional value-added specialist engineering services tailored for contractors, developers, and constructors. Under the U CON group, there are three companies: U CON PT Structural System, U CON Structures LLP, and U CON Structural System. While the name has changed, everything else remains consistent.
What is the objective of U CON?
U CON offers various specialist engineering designs in the building sector. The mission of the company’s management is to align with our Prime Minister’s “Make in India” initiative. The team is well-experienced and competent in providing design and execution services for specialized works, enabling contractors, builders, and developers to adopt cost-effective construction methods. These services include the design and execution of diaphragm walls for basement works, temporary and permanent earth-retaining structural systems, and anchoring systems that facilitate the safe and easy execution of deep basements.
Can you list any other services you currently offer and name some of your leading clients?
We provide a diverse range of services, including the enhancement of data center proposals, retrofitting, renovation, and refurbishment. Our focus has recently shifted towards structural strengthening to meet the evolving industry demands. We are also actively engaged in complex projects, such as high-speed rail ventures with L&T, gas digester installations for power generation, and silo construction.
Some of our notable clients for post-tensioning and diaphragm wall services include esteemed companies like L&T, Shapoorji & Pallonji, Afcons, TATA Projects, URC, Leighton India, and L&W India. Additionally, we have had the privilege of collaborating with prominent tech giants such as Amazon (Hyderabad), Oracle, Facebook, and Infosys, among others.
What has been your contribution to the industry since 2005 as a leading post-tensioning company in the building segment?
U CON has successfully completed more than 8500 projects using post-tensioning technology. The post-construction performance of all these buildings is excellent, proving the reliability of our engineering and execution over the past 18 years.
What is the company’s unique selling proposition (USP)?
Our USP lies in engineering reliability and precise execution, delivered by a team of competent and experienced design and construction engineers with 20 to 25 years of expertise in post-tensioning. We ensure the reliability of our post-tensioning elements through regular validation and testing at reputable institutes in India, such as IIT. Notably, we have successfully completed anchorage efficiency, load transfer, and fatigue tests, including dynamic tests of two million cycles, demonstrating our commitment to post-tensioning execution.
What is your next level of contribution to the construction industry?
The U CON Group of companies aims to establish a non-profit school of excellence in post-tensioning, collaborating with industry experts and research scholars to impart updated knowledge to the next generation pursuing careers in the field of post-tensioning and the construction industry.
What do you consider a significant challenge in the post-tensioning industry?
India is currently experiencing rapid growth in its infrastructural development, with state-of-the-art post-tensioning being widely used. To maintain its effectiveness, it is crucial to establish proper maintenance teams for monitoring post-tensioned elements. Mandatory maintenance and monitoring systems for all completed projects should be put in place to ensure optimal performance.
UCON PT STRUCTURAL SYSTEM PVT LTD
No 45, 5th street, Padmanaba Nagar, Adyar, Chennai 600020.
Telephone:044 – 24468001/02/03
FAX: 044 – 24468004
For more details visit- www.uconpt.com