The Information Technology industry in India has increased its contribution to India’s GDP from 6.1% in 2009-10 to 6.4% in 2010-11. According to NASSCOM, the IT–BPO sector in India aggregated revenues of US$ 88.1 billion or Rs. 4.4 lakh crores in FY2011.

The combination of several factors makes India an attractive country for foreign investors and in particular for foreign investment for internet-based businesses. India is the 5th largest economy in the world ranking above France, Italy, the United Kingdom, and Russia, and has the 3rd largest GDP in the entire continent of Asia. It is also the 2nd largest among emerging nations, based on Purchasing Power Parity (PPP).

India’s position between the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal makes it the crossroads for access between Africa, the Middle East, and the rest of Asia. India’s large market, growing economy and progressive government initiatives to foster IT and telecommunications growth, and significant access to global networks, makes it ripe for continued growth and represents an excellent risk-reward profile for internet businesses. 

Mumbai, in particular, is the largest urban center in India, it is at the heart of Indian commerce and the seat of its largest corporations, Mumbai offers one of the most robust telecommunications infrastructures within the country and has ample access to a variety of worldwide and regional submarine fiber optic cable systems. In addition, Mumbai has a large presence of multinational companies such as- Kodak, Heinz, Monsanto, Warner Bros, FedEx, Bank of America, Bankers Trust, Parke Davis, Intel, JP Morgan Chase, Kellogg, Pfizer, Procter & Gamble, AIG, Exxon-Mobil, Delta, Siemens, Roche, Bayer, BASF, Philips, BP and many more.

India and Mumbai in particular have become a primary destination for offshore outsourcing as foreign companies seek to increase the efficiency of their various operations through India’s IT-BPO expertise. An increasing number of banks, brokerages, financial houses, internet companies, manufacturing companies, etc are choosing to co-locate their IT infrastructure especially data centers in India.

IT operations are a crucial aspect of most organizational operations. One of the main concerns of all these businesses is business continuity. This means that companies rely on their information systems to run their operations. If a system becomes unavailable, company operations may be impaired or stopped completely. For example, a data center of a large bank or hospital going down for even a few seconds may cause disruptions and have a ripple effect of mammoth proportions due to the interconnected nature of business activities in the 21st century.

It is necessary therefore for the Indian IT industry to provide their clients with an assurance of reliable infrastructure for IT operations, in order to minimize any chance of disruption. 
 Suffice it to say that the buildings that house these data centers have “zero tolerance” for leakages and dampness given the criticality of the equipment they contain. India’s four-month-long annual monsoon rains do little to help the situation and given these factors adopting conventional waterproofing methods, materials, technologies, and specifications has to lead to disastrous consequences. 

Consequently, based on identifying this acute pain point of the IT industry based on interactions and problem solving with numerous large data center companies, the Concrete Materials Consultancy Division has developed a specialized set of specifications and developed a high performance, user-friendly, specialized liquid applied, moisture-cured, high strength and high elasticity, modified polyurethane membrane, FLEXIROOF PU specifically for the IT industry which ensures a 100% leak-proof data center. This is used in conjunction with a state of the art vapor barrier system of SUNEPISEAL and SUNEPITOP. 

This system has been successfully executed at a number of large data center projects, three of which will be presented as case studies in this article. We will first outline the nature of the problem faced at each of the three job sites and then go on to present a general scheme which has been successfully implemented by Sunanda’s Concrete Materials Consultancy Division to neutralize the waterproofing problems, classified as an acute pain area faced by the Indian IT industry. 

Fig 1: Typical failures observed in pre-formed membrane waterproofing systems – Debonding, leakages at joint and overlaps
List of case studies

1.Case Study I – Edelweiss/IBM
2.Case Study II – GPX Global Systems
3.Case Study III – Harvard Business School/Taj Lands’ End 

About author 

Ms. Ishita Manjrekar is a director at Sunanda Speciality Coatings Pvt. Ltd and oversees Sunanda’s R&D, with a specific focus on developing and marketing Sunanda’s line of sustainable construction chemicals. In this role, Ishita draws on 4 years of rich experience in sustainability at Primary Global Research in San Francisco and New York. While at Primary Global Research Ishita led the “Green Technologies” business unit. She has been invited to feature on Bloomberg TV as well as Bloomberg Radio numerous times as a subject matter expert on sustainability and green technologies. 

Ms. Manjrekar expertise has also been sought by multiple print media including Reuters, Financial Times, Bloomberg, Forbes, BBC News and Market Watch. Ms. Manjrekar has travelled to over 20 countries and regularly publishes research papers on sustainability and green construction chemicals in journals of national and international repute. Most recently she was invited to present a paper on sustainable solutions being developed in Sunanda’s ISO 9001:2008 certified R&D lab at ACI’s Spring Convention in Pittsburgh USA. Ishita also spoke on the latest innovations in sustainable underwater concreting practices at the International Conference on Sustainability organized by the India Chapter of American Concrete Institute at Mumbai. As an expert in green construction chemicals, Ishita is often invited to be on peer review panels for papers published in National and International publications. 

Ms. Manjrekar holds a Bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering from the Institute of Chemical Technology, Mumbai (erstwhile UDCT). She also holds a Master’s degree in Chemical Engineering from Rensselaer (RPI) in New York, USA.