"In the affordable housing sector, the demand - supply gap still remains large so the question is not of sales but project execution, timely delivery and cost management. In the MIG and HIG space, there is serious oversupply which in my estimate, cannot be absorbed in anything less than 3 years. I don’t expect a sharp rebound in the MIG and HIG space in 2014 and expect the affordable housing space to remain buoyant."
Rohit Poddar, Managing Director, Poddar Developers Ltd shares his views with Sandeep Sharma about his company, growth in CY2013, realty scenario in CY2014, hot geographies, new project launches, issue of rise in building material prices, real estate regulator and solution to growing housing deficit. Edited Excerpts...
Could you tell us about your company, mission and objectives?
Poddar Developers Ltd is a focused value housing development Company, that aims to develop high quality satellite townships, located close to Suburban railway stations, at highly affordable prices with low monthly maintenance. The township comes with the Poddar School, Poddar healthcare, numerous sports facilities, clubhouse and high quality infrastructure.
How was the CY2013 in terms of projects announced and business generated?
A very good year - we grew at over 100% per year in top and bottom line.
Do you see turnaround in real estate sector in CY2014?
In the affordable housing sector, the demand - supply gap still remains large so the question is not of sales but project execution, timely delivery and cost management. In the MIG and HIG space, there is serious oversupply which in my estimate, cannot be absorbed in anything less than 3 years. I don’t expect a sharp rebound in the MIG and HIG space in 2014 and expect the affordable housing space to remain buoyant.
What’s your take on the issue of rising building material cost?
We are all aware of the cement cartel, but nothing effective has been done by the authorities in charge. Steel prices are affected by the exchange rates so they have been in a lot of trouble over the last year in particular due to the fluctuations. Other materials haven’t increased by that much in comparison to previous years and this is because the GDP has plummeted by 50% and hence real estate is also faced headwinds.
Which are the hot geographies for real estate development in India?
NCR and its surrounding areas. Additionally, any area where manufacturing, services, IT etc are doing comparatively well or there is a demand - supply gap.
Which segments out of residential and commercial would be the winner in 2014?
Neither in an absolute sense but residential comparatively much better than commercial.
Are you planning any new project launches in 2014? If yes! please share the details.
Yes we have several launches in the periphery of the Western suburbs and also the Central Suburbs.
Could you comment on the issue of real estate regulator?
Personally, I welcome a real estate regulator. However the regulator should be impartial, effective and efficient and not another Centre for corruption. Additionally all stakeholders should be considered and treated fairly, including customers and developers.
What’s the solution to India’s growing housing deficit?
Effective Government policy and Government will.
What are the latest realty trends?
Reputed brands and business houses are doing much better and this trend will only increase for the future.