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Green WarriorsSocial EntrepreneursUnsung Heroes

‘Even in impossible, I see I-M-Possible’

   By  Jaideep Sarin
   Chandigarh
23 Apr 2014
Posted 01-Feb-2013
Vol 4 Issue 5

At 46, Harpal Singh is a successful first generation entrepreneur. But that is not his only achievement. His company is now a record holder in erecting a fully-functional 10-floor building in just 48 hours. And there is no stopping him.

He is now aiming at making a livable house in just 20 hours.

Harpal Singh says 70 percent of the 10-floor building was pre-fabricated at his factories

On Dec 1 last year, Harpal Singh's infrastructure company, Synergy Thrislington, delivered its promise of completing the 10-storeyed ready-to-use building in Punjab's Mohali town, 10 km from here. The entire building, the material for which was pre-fabricated at his factories, was assembled at the site.

The unique building stands tall with three of the floors being prepared for the mock-up of a hotel, a hospital and an IT office. An elevator also has been installed inside the building which has a red and ivory facade.

"The idea to construct buildings with a time-line came from my own experience of constructing a house in Chandigarh. It took me over two years to complete that. I had to run after all sorts of people (labour, skilled workers, suppliers and others) to get things executed. It was a major headache," Harpal Singh said in an interview.

"During the construction, I found that things were coming from the factory and shops to my site. So I thought why can't the building be at the factory itself and then things are brought and installed at the site. This was a challenge for me and I took it up," Singh said.

He said that 70 percent of the 10-floor building was pre-fabricated at his factories.

"The building uses a lot of technology, especially the concept of insulation and saving energy. We have used PUF (physical unclonable function) in the building and a lot of thinking has gone into reducing pollution, getting effective cooling, retaining heat (in winter) and proper usage of sunlight," he pointed out.

A view of the 10-floor building that was built in record time

Son of an Indian Air Force pilot, Harpal Singh had a modest beginning, cycling his way in the mid-1980s to an evening college to attend his Bachelor of Science classes even while he was studying during the day at the Indo-Swiss training centre here to hone his technical skills.

While he was in his first job at a Punjab government enterprise, he got the opportunity to make a precision equipment. Getting on to an unreserved compartment of a train to Bombay (now Mumbai) with just Rs 10,000 in his pocket, Harpal Singh took his first step towards entrepreneurship. Today, he is not only a successful entrepreneur but also owns the JW Marriot Hotel in Chandigarh.

"For me, it's not whether something is possible or impossible. Even in impossible, I see I-M-Possible," he said.

The 10-floor building, called Instacon, was certified by the Limca Book of Records for being completed in just 48 hours.

"This is the first building of its kind in the country to be built in just 48 hours. The model has been cleared for Zone-V seismic areas (the highest risk area for earthquakes)," Harpal Singh said.

Over 200 skilled workers, technicians, engineers and equipment were engaged in the building's construction.

A view of the interior of the pre-fabricated building

"No bricks or sand was used. The outer wall is a double-skinned PUF panel. The cost is almost the same as of conventional construction material. It saves a lot of time that goes into construction otherwise," Harpal Singh said.

Singh has now set his sight on construction of a house in just 20 hours.

"India has a big shortage of houses. We can provide a solution to that," he said.

Singh's company, Synergy, took over Britain-based Thrislington Products, a re-locatable steel partition manufacturer, to set up its infrastructure company here. - IANS



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