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Kumar Urban Development Ltd (KUL) is a real estate development and construction company which focuses on residential and commercial development in the cities like Pune with presence in Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Panchgani & Nagpur.

"Currently, the real estate sector is concerned with the government approach. I believe that we as an industry lack clarity on several fronts. Be it land acquisition, compensation to land owners, lack of transparency in getting project clearance are some of them. We think, as long as these issues are not tackled effectively, the uncertainty would continue to cloud the sector

Kruti Jain, Director, Kumar Urban Development Ltd (KUL) shares her view withSandeep Sharma about her company, prestigious projects, current and future realty scenario, potential of affordable housing, green building development, need for a real estate regulator and solution to India’s ever growing housing problem. Edited Excerpts…

How long you have been associated with the real estate sector? Could you brief us about your company and its achievements in the real estate sector?

KUL is operating in the real estate sector for over four decades now, with primary concentration in Pune, Bangalore and Mumbai cities. KUL has been at the forefront of innovation in design, architecture and technology to provide the best for its eclectic customers. KUL has a legacy of constructing homes for more than 14,000 happy customers, and counting. It has delivered its promise of ‘building trust’ to its residential and commercial customers, and corporate. The credibility of the group has, therefore, only increased over the years. KUL has come to be known as name to reckon with for international quality Design, Development, Construction and Marketing of Residential and Commercial Complexes. Understanding the need for “Green home”, our company has pioneered various projects. Currently, our company spearheads with various project in our endeavor to provide safe and eco-friendly housing options. Recently, we have launched Kul “Eco Scapes” in Khardi which will soon be a landmark project to be carried out in this region.

Which are your most prestigious projects till date? And what make them so special?

We have carried out several projects in Pune and Mumbai, which have set new standards in construction activity. Our Pune project had various amenities that were custom built. Our Khardi project will be another prestigious project for us that will be drawn inspiration from the natural elements like waves, sand dunes, contours, etc.

Apart from Mumbai and Pune, which are the other geographies you are looking to explore and why?

We are looking for opportunity in entire India and would definitely initiate steps to make our presence felt in various part of the country. We are hopeful of realizing this dream very soon as we continue to explore for various opportunity. However, having said that, our prime focus will continue to be this part of the region as we expect persistent growth in demand.

What’s your take on the potential of affordable housing segment in Tier-I and Tier-II cities?

That’s good question. You are right in your observation. And, as housing availability and price become pressing issue, I think there will be strong housing demand in the Tier-I and Tier-II cities. Housing construction looks to have reached saturation point as metro cities are soon becoming land-locked. Further, high prices and rising interest rate are making home buying in metro-region unaffordable. Given this scenario, we might see shift in demand to neighboring regions or, as you said, Tier-I and Tier-II cities. They hold good prospect in the coming time.

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What’s your contribution towards green building development so far?

As we spoke earlier, KUL pioneered various projects in this regards. We offered several projects that were constructed with the idea & designs draw from the natural elements. While we strive to offer better amenities to our customer, we have decided to provide them these services with little or no impact on the environment.

Where do you see the real estate sector heading in the short term?

Currently, the real estate sector is concerned with the government approach. I believe that we as an industry lack clarity on several fronts. Be it land acquisition, compensation to land owners, lack of transparency in getting project clearance are some of them. We think, as long as these issues are not tackled effectively, the uncertainty would continue to cloud the sector. We have been demanding complete transparency in project approval, FSI and other essential factors that govern real estate sector performance. Once, the government turn sensitive to these concerns we can see bounce back in this sector. After all it is one of largest contributor to GDP of the country following agriculture and also one of the biggest employment opportunity generators.

Are you also exploring luxury housing segment?

We are already present in this segment. In fact, our offerings in some part of Pune, Mumbai are completely caters to this segment. As I told you earlier, we are pioneer in this regards and have several projects experience.

How do you plan your project lifecycle and manage to complete your projects in the defined time-frame?

As a developer we try to understand and analyze each part of our project in depth. From infrastructure to designing every part of it is assigned to the experts for fast processing. We always value time so we work harder towards execution, which helps us to complete our projects on time and without any hazels. Also we always keep in mind that our project managers should have development background. In order to focus attention on completing our projects, there are 5 phases: collect, process, organize, review and do it. For this we use various software’s and management tools.

Can you comment on the use of construction technology in your projects?

We are working towards an integrated approach for the promotion of our KUL projects, cost-effective, environmentfriendly, disaster resistant building materials and technologies for sustainable development of housing. We have already incorporated many current advanced technologies in our KUL projects. We believe Innovations and new methods in construction industry helps to reduce cost, time and improve quality. Adopting new technologies is as important as they bring in a systematic way of working, maximize output in a short time and make projects cost effective.

How do you tackle project funding issues? Are you open to PE funding for your projects?

As most developments are long term , We as developers always look for long-term financial options for project finances such as long-term loans from housing finance institutions, banks, Real Estate Mutual Funds, FDIs, foreign collaboration, collaboration with land owners and high net worth investors.

Are you in favor of having a real estate regulator in India?

Yes we do need a real estate regulator in our industry. It ensures justice to real estate industry and protects consumer’s rights and interests. I believe when all the sectors do have a regulator than why not a real estate industry. It’s one of the biggest investments that a consumer does.

What’s the solution to India’s growing housing deficit?

Post liberalization, Indian economy is progressing at brisk pace. Apparently, there is substantial rise in housing demand. But it is facing housing scarcity issues. Different government bodies have launched various schemes to tackle this problem; however it is seen that the shortage only keeps on increasing due to ever increasing population. In such situation affordable housing plays a major role and the Government seeks to promote various types of public-private partnerships. The best solution is not only to build multiple homes, but also to ensure that they are built at the right location, available at an affordable price to households that are in most need and of adequate quality to endure in the longer term. Government should also ensure the ready supply of fully serviced and planned housing land, sufficient to satisfy housing demand and the supply of low/nil cost land for affordable housing.

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