Oct 15 2015 | Realty Zone

Sandeep Ahuja, CEO, Richa Realtors

In the Mumbai Metropolitan region (MMR), the market has seen price correction in the last two years but still the there are no takers. Some micro markets in the city have performed well especially the eastern suburbs comprising areas like Mulund, Ghatkopar, Thane. Navi Mumbai has also performed well in the last five years due to the proposed airport and the enhancement of the infrastructure in the neighboring areas. Affordability still remains a concern in Greater Mumbai where the demand has dropped. The buyers are still holding back despite of price correction and various schemes been offered by the developer.

Sandeep Ahuja, CEO, Richa Realtors shares his views with Sandeep Sharma about core competencies of Richa Realtors, realty footprint, performance in the last year, emerging trends, signature projects, market scenario in MMR, project portfolio, green building development, Single Window clearance system, rise in input cost, shortage of skilled manpower, smart cities development and boosting real estate sector.

Tell us about your company, objectives and core competencies?
Richa Realtors have been in country’s real estate industry for three long decades. With 22 landmark projects constructed over 2.5 mn sq ft over the years we contributed largely to the transformation of the city’s (Mumbai) real estate landscape. Further, we are constructing 1crorer sq ft which will be spread over Mumbai , Pune and Bangalore. Over the years we have developed a loyal customer base as they are attracted to brand Richa due to our stringent policies on ensuring quality and timely completion of all our projects. Our major objective has been trust and quality, we ensure that all our projects are delivered in specified timelines. We give complete details of the plan and the process to be followed, provide with timely updates and regularly keep in touch with you during the development phase. Recognizing the importance of honoring time commitments, we stick to the possession schedule, and even offer a penalty in the unlikely event if time overruns. Redevelopment execution is our major strength. Tenancy management is handled with great professionalism yet empathy.

Could you brief us about your company's footprint in the real estate sector?
Since our inception we have developed various milestone projects, predominantly in Mumbai and Pune. We have successfully completed 1.3 million sqft of development and are in the process of developing another 10 million sqft. In Mumbai, projects like UNMESH in Vile parle and HORIZON in Dadar west has defined our quality of work. We are coming up with projects like PARK MIST and Park Marina which will be located in serene location of Shivaji Park in Dadar , our other landmark project is shaping up at Kalina which is BOUGAINVILLE All these projects will be luxury projects. We are also coming up with affordable projects in Thane and Mulund, Chembur. In Pune, we have completed INDADHANU in Kothrudh. In future, we are planning to expand our reach in cities like Bangalore and Delhi – NCR.

How did your company fare in FY2014-15 in terms of business generated, growth rate and your expectations from the current financial year?
We are expecting a turnover of Rs 150 crore in the current financial year at consolidated level. YOY increase of over 40% in turnover is projected next couple of years.

Could you provide us insight about the emerging trends in the Indian real estate sector? According to you, which segment of the real estate will be the top runner in the next five years? And Why?
One should keep in mind the fact that Indian real estate market is sentiment driven. The dynamics of the market are driven by macro economic factors. After the May 2014 general elections, the overall market sentiment was uplifted with the NDA government coming into the power. But this didn’t result in major changes. The demands for residential properties across major cities have been sluggish for the last two years. However, the silver lining for the sector has been the emergence and increase in demand for commercial real estate. On the other hand, the prices of residential real estate have dropped down by 10 – 12 % in the last six quarters but this has not reflected in good sales. With both the central government and state government pushing for the need of affordable housing and accomplish the target for ‘Housing for All’ by 2022 this has encouraged the developers to come up with affordable projects which are in price range of 30 – 70 lakhs. According to me, the commercial and affordable segment will flourish in the next five years as these segments have potential due to the current Economic conditions.

How is the market scenario shaping up in Mumbai Metropolitan region? Whether buyers are still shying to take property related decisions?
In the Mumbai Metropolitan region (MMR), the market has seen price correction in the last two years but still the there are no takers. Some micro markets in the city have performed well especially the eastern suburbs comprising areas like Mulund, Ghatkopar, Thane. Navi Mumbai has also performed well in the last five years due to the proposed airport and the enhancement of the infrastructure in the neighboring areas. Affordability still remains a concern in Greater Mumbai where the demand has dropped. The buyers are still holding back despite of price correction and various schemes been offered by the developer.

Could you provide us insight about your current project portfolio including any of your recently completed signature projects?
We have successfully completed 20 projects in Mumbai mainly in Dadar and Prabhadevi. Our ongoing and upcoming projects include Park Mist, Park Marina and Anandalaya which are located at Shivaji Park, Dadar. Our other project, Bougainvillea is located at Kalina, Santacruz . We also have projects coming up at Chembur, Pune, Mulund, Khopoli, Chandigarh, Thane. Our projects are built to maximize the potential of the space, both in terms of the physical infrastructure and the social amenities. Its design accentuates light and space. Our other project, HORIZON is strategically located at Dadar, is a perfect island of calm amidst the vibrance of a city. In Pune we have completed Indradhanu at Kothrudh.

What’s your take on sustainable construction and green building development? What's your contribution towards green building development?
Green and sustainable Construction is the need of the hour as it is environment friendly and saves lot of money in the long run. We do intend to have the LEED rating system. LEED certification gives a proof to you, your clients and the public at large that the project has achieved stated environmental goals and the building is performing as designed. We have also applied for IGBC certification and plan to come up with green project. Green homes have benefits in the long run, the initial cost of construction is fractionally high compared to the conventional building but the premium is worth investing as it promises long term benefits.

The benefits include;
1) Lesser dependence on external water resource thereby lower water bills.
2) Lesser consumption of electricity on account of DGIU, Solar and LED fixtures, minimize use of ventilating equipments etc thereby lower energy bills.
3) Better acoustical properties thereby pleasant home atmosphere and peace of mind, health to inhabitants.
4) Liveable conditions in the surrounding which help healthy thinking and living.-OK
As a contribution we will be certifying all our projects as green building.

Could you comment on the need and importance of Single Window clearance system for real estate projects?
Rapid approvals are one of the biggest challenges for any developer. Delay in approvals, have led to untimely delivery, escalation in the project cost and interest cost with delayed delivery which doesn’t allow the developer to exit the current project and enter the new one. Single Window clearance will fast track the approvals. However, a project needs various approvals from various bodies which are tough to interlink. The current government are making efforts to fast track the approvals. A single window system is need of the hour.

What's your take on the increase in overall construction cost owing to rise in building material and labour cost?
Recently, the RBI governor asked the sector to reduce the prices in order to boost the sales and revive the sector. The developers are also keen on slashing the prices but are not finding a rationale behind doing so. The input cost has increased drastically in last 10 years. The labour cost has also climbed up which hasn’t allowed the developers to cut the prices.

What kind of solution do you recommend to overcome shortage of manpower in the construction sector?
I won’t say there is shortage of manpower. However, the quality of manpower is a question which the industry needs to solve. The realty industry is waking up to the benefits offered by technology and automation, the industry is looking at it as one of the solutions to tackle the labour crisis in the market. There is a 30 % shortage of quality labour, which will grow in the near future. Technology is definitely a solution to overcome the hurdle of labour issue and is cost efficient. To ensure that the construction is not hampered by the absence of labour, we already have cranes as an alternate for manual jobs like weightlifting at the construction sites to ensure that the work is carried on in momentum and there is no hindrance for delay. We also use pumps for sheltering to ensure that the work is moving at a faster pace.

As the country gears up to develop 100 Smart Cities and is focusing on setting up manufacturing hubs as part of 'Make in India' campaign. What kind of opportunities do you see for your company?
The government has announced 96 cities in the Phase I, the opportunity is big, as cities like Nashik and Navi Mumbai have lot of potential as these are residential and commercially enriched. Also, many developers are patterning with the government to develop smart cities. These cities will open up avenues not only for the Tier I developers but also for developers from Tier II cities.

What kind of measures is required to be initiated by the government to boost real estate sector in India?
The approval and passing of the Real estate (Regulation and Development) Bill will change the dynamics of the real estate industry. The government has to give clarity and fast track REITS. Fast approvals, relaxation of certain norms are certain steps that the government needs to take to boost the sector.


Advertise Here [728 W x 90 H pixels]