After winning a ₹65-crore order from the Bihar government for building a 2--bed hospital, Modulus Housing, the Chennai-based, IIT-Madras incubated start-up is looking at the prospect of securing a much bigger order--worth around ₹500 crore--from the state.

“We are in discussions with the Bihar government for a project that covers 1,293 locations; we anticipate its value to be around ₹400-500 crore,” P Gobinath, Co-founder, Modulus Housing told businessline.

Modulus offers collapsible cabin dwellings to tackle infrastructure challenges in disaster relief, refugee housing, defence, event management, medical and educational camps, hotels, MSME shops, and addressing housing needs for labourers in construction sites.

To simplify, we are into microconstruction, which means a project of less than 3,000 square feet and around ₹50 lakhs each, says Gobinath.

The most noteworth aspect of Modulus’s construction is that it is into rapid construction. So, a construction activity would be completed within 2 to 3 working days, depending on the geography. However, the life of the construction site would be around 50 years with proper maintenance.

So, why would a state government choose a temporary construction project with a lifespan of around 30 years?

The government demands fast infrastructure development, but traditional construction faces time constraints. Further, large companies struggle with mobilisation when adopting distributed construction methods across multiple locations, says Abhijeet Jobi, Head of Finance, Modulus Housing.

During the Chennai floods in 2015, we identified the need for quick, portable housing, says Gobinath.

Shree Ram Ravichandran (co-founder, Modulus Housing) and Gobinath, two IIT Madras alumni, started the company in 2018. Their first investors, their fathers, helped them with ₹15 lakhs.

Since then, it’s been a long road. During the pandemic, there was a scarcity of hospital beds. It was then that the start-up pitched the idea of building portable hospitals to the principal scientific advisor. Eventually, the start-up built around 3,000 hospital beds across 21 states.

Apart from working with major clients such as TATA, Lenovo, AIF, and Shapoorji Pallonji, Modulus Housing is aiming to expand abroad in South Africa.

“We did our pilot export order to Malawi (East Africa) last year,” says Jobi. There are also subsequent requirements from the team, and we will be in talks with them after the specific usage period is over, according to Jobi.