Delivering Projects With A Difference
Manab Paul, Founder- Sree Balaji is a first-generation Bengali entrepreneur behind the inventive genius of ‘Panthaniwas’. Speaking to Realty+, he briefs on this unique concept and the overall Kolkata real estate.
Sree Balaji has emerged as a leading construction developer right from the acquisition of land, appointment of architects, to construction and after sales. In the last decade the group has handed over 11 projects in 11 years.
Panthaniwas is one of its initiative, which offers residential projects in favourite weekend getaway destinations. Panthaniwas launched its first project at Shantiniketan in 2010 with a vision to let the citizens of Bengal own a part of the Red Soil and stay amidst a rich cultural heritage. Offering low-cost residential projects at unconventional destinations at pocket-friendly prices with all luxurious amenities for the masses – is what Panthaniwas strongly believes in.
As A First Generation Entrepreneur, How Was The Initial Journey Of Establishing Sree Balaji?
I started my real estate journey in the year 2004. Like many others, the initial journey was not at all smooth and easy. Each and every challenge taught me a perfect lesson for my future. When I started construction business in extension of south Kolkata zone, the real estate activity was very less and did not seem to have a great future also. The scope of promotion / advisement was also very less and comparatively costly. The socio-economy structure along with political scenario in Kolkata was completely different from today. Handling a real estate project in that period was not only different, the sector was very unprofessional and in some of the cases, was illegal and full of malpractice. There were neither any industrial guidelines for the buyer & builder nor any administrative / government’s correct approach.
What Are Some Of The Unique Characteristics Of Kolkata Real Estate Market?
Kolkata real estate has always been very conservative and comparatively very competitive in terms of pricing compared with the other metro cities. Kolkata real estate customers are mostly MIG & higher MIG segment buyers. Nowadays HIG housing is also doing well in some parts of Kolkata like Alipore , Balligunge etc. Rajarhat , New Town & EM By pass too, have become a preferred location for HIG buyers . However, 75 – 80 % buyers are of MIG & higher MIG and flats between 15 – 50 Lakh move very fast. The right location for such projects should have good connectivity (road – metro – rail) with main city / nearest hospitals / schools/shopping etc.
The most positive feature of Kolkata real estate is that it has always delivered the product to the end user without big scam and jugglery. Before planning a real estate project in Kolkata the important factors to consider are – project’s location, connectivity, and amenities & facilities around. The cost of maintenance must be such, as not to burden the buyer and project must be delivered at the earliest, in a phased manner to minimize the pre EMI burden to the buyers.
Affordable House is the most lucrative word to the real estate developer in India nowadays. And out of all metro cities, Kolkata is the most successful destination for this, as most of the buyers are Bengali & service class. Flats between 10 – 30 Lakhs sell like anything and Flats in between 30 – 50 Lakhs sell considerably well. The new demand in Kolkata is that for Bungalows with / without land in between 35 – 60.
In Kolkata, as the cost of real estate is under-priced compared to other metro cities, therefore the opportunities are still better and wider for developers. The project with right planning performs well and considering the buyers are mostly service class and Bengali community , the out of box planning projects like luxury second home ( Studio Apartment / Bungalows ) and Life style real estate products like a destination oriented project where luxury blends with aspiration label are also in demand . The approach of present administration, governing bodies, various competent bodies has changed significantly which is very positive for the sector. Overall real estate market in Kolkata is steady and full of opportunities.
Brief On The Upcoming Projects By The Company And Their Distinct Features
Sree Balaji is the only brand that offers affordable second homes to the buyers and that too in the most desirable locations in Bengal & Odisha. The locations and the price bracket in which we operate, there are no other organized players present. We offer Studio Apartments, Luxury Suites, and Bungalows, in the most preferred tourist destinations. These projects cannot be considered as regular residential homes but, are a blend of ‘Luxury – Affordability – Society Status’, to enhance the aspirational level of a buyer.
These second home we offer in name & style Panthaniwas which is now one of the most famous / popular / trusted brand in Kolkata. The locations of these projects are most unique and virgin in terms of real estate activity. These areas have never before experienced any real estate activity in the past. Sree Balaji took the challenge and turned these locations and projects famous and lucrative for the buyers.
We are the pioneers in this unique practice of real estate. Each Panthaniwas consist a club house named Panthashala which is very popular among the tourists and all the owners of Panthaniwas are entitled to a complimentary membership, which adds even more value to the project offering.
Sree Balaji real estate vertical Panthaniwas can be best described as ‘A Conceptual Project’ rather than regular real estate projects. We offer second homes to the market ranging from Rs. 9 Lakh to 1 Crore. Our projects are in destination like Shantiniketan – Bolpur (the cultural capital of India), Dooars (Lap of Himalaya , just beside Garumara National Park), Digha (most famous Sea Beach), Raichak (banks of Ganges), Puri (the most famous Pilgrimage Beach destination). Such huge version of products, affordability and choice of destinations make our projects successful.
What Are The Growth Plans For The Company In Year 2020?
Till date, we have handed around 700 units and around 900 units are under constructions. About 2200 units will start in next 2 years, in various destination under Panthaniwas vertical. We are also planning a micro city at Sonarpur (extension of south Kolkata) in the year 2023 where around 4000 units are proposed along with school, market and medical services.