Clearly, the scenario in Indias cement industry is ripe for further consolidation. A building boom is in the offing and construction will be the next big wave in the country not just of urban housing and commercial complexes but also of the Prime Ministers favourite Golden Quadrilateral and national highways linking the entire nation. And then there is vast scope for a rural housing boom with rising incomes. Fruits from all this and much more will be reaped by players who benefit from consolidation. In any case, the industry with 53 operating companies and 118 manufacturing facilities is certainly too large and fragmented for consumers to benefit from economies of scale and booming demand. Even globally, demand for cement is said to be rising at an annual average of around three per cent, wherein the export market is widening, with the expanding European Union of 25 countries and over 500 million people. The United States remains the worlds largest cement importer, while Chinas continued economic boom is resulting in over 6.5 per cent annual growth in cement demand. Only with scale economies can such a growing demand be met. Obviously, the highly fragmented smaller firms will not be able to participate and be competitive in such conditions only underscoring that further consolidation in the industry is imperative.