Infuse Energy in Real-estate
Infuse Energy in Real-estate
The Sumer Group was established by late Shri Sumermalji H Shah in 1965. Since then the company has been involved in projects across Mumbai, Alibaug, Indore, Pavana and Goa. Rahul Shah, CEO, Sumer Group gives insight on the property market and the company’s growth plans.
With 30 million square feet of development under its belt and a further five million square feet soon to be developed, the real estate group is headed by the third generation entrepreneur. According to Shah, finance is only a problem when the project or the track record of the developer is a problem. “With the coming in of REITs, FDI and private equity firms, there is enough money available for the right project and for the developers with processes and systems in place,” he said.
The Distinct Developments
In 2004, the company executed Asia’s largest slum redevelopment project in Chandivali, Mumbai rehabilitating 16,000 families evicted from the Sanjay Gandhi National Park.Approximately 45 acres of the land in Chandivali, was developed under the SRA scheme. The other prestigious projects included mill land development such as Mafatlal mill, Swastik mill, etc.
At that time the property buyers showed tendency towards purchasing flats in the buildings with majority residents from their own community. Realizing this need, the Sumer Group started building community specific complexes like that for Jains or Muslims or Gujarati which became a characteristic of some of our residential developments.
I still believe that word of mouth is the best-selling strategy.
Some of the pertinent challenges faced by the developers are the delay in approvals and laws getting changed, scraped or amended without prior intimations. This creates an atmosphere of apprehension and generates a deficit of trust between the developers and end-users. Single window clearance and a defined time period is what we are requesting from the government. Things will certainly fall in place after its implementation. With the implementation of RERA only genuine players will survive in this industry.
Many landowners or business owners with money to invest had projected themselves as the developer. Their lack of knowledge and unprofessional behaviour affected the image of the overall industry. Regulating the industry is a very good initiative for those people who want to perform.
The biggest demand of the buyer from the developer is the timely completion of the project. Media has played a big role in informing customers and making them aware about the happenings in the real estate industry and it is educating customers to make well-informed choices.
The young home buyer’s first preference is for amenities with in the complex,flexi-home configurations and connectivity to other parts of the city are an important factor too. Thus, infrastructure development is a dire need if the housing is to become economical.
Real estate is a high investment business. People who are genuinely doing real estate are not here to fool people.
The Indian real estate is quite different from the rest of the world. There are a number of stakeholders involved in a real –estate industry from the developer, designer and project constructor to banks, government authorities and allied industries. In other countries, the construction & design procedures, bye-laws and approval systems are well-defined. Also, the technological advancement has helped them achieve economy & performance in the construction of buildings.
The Indian real estate is still learning and maturing. For instance, to promote affordable housing, a developer needs cheaper land which would invariably be available at the outskirts of the city. The same should then be connected to city centres with excellent connectivity modes like metros, monorails, railways, highways and bridges to persuade people to move to outskirts. Banks also have a key role to play as reduced interest rates will help lower strata of the society to buy affordable projects. Finally, the structured government policies will encourage participation from private players to create infrastructure for affordable housing.
If the government is willing to give lucrative schemes, incentives and opportunities, then there are a lot of developers who would like to participate in the public-private collaborative projects.
The Marketing Strategies
The media shy company till recently did not even made marketing brochures for its projects. Being a company based on traditional business ethics, the projects were sold mostly through the word of mouth marketing.
After 15-16 years, the scenario has completely changed. The customer is more aware, tech-friendly and corporate in nature. The developers too are learning the new ways of marketing to address these evolved buyers. As of now we are doing four projects in Mumbai. All these under constructed residential projects cover about 15 million square feet. Our company too is now creating project brochures, models and online portals to disseminate the latest information and status of the projects to the client.
The Future Plans
One has to establish one’s forte and work towards it. If you want to grow and expand, you have to go the way the world is growing. Real-estate is our expertise and we plan to focus on it rather than getting into ten different things. We are constructing projects in Alibaug, Pavana and Goa outside Mumbai.
The focus is on growing our expertise as well by engaging international architects, landscape consultants and construction contractors to assist and work with our in-house architecture & planning department. Exploring new concepts and bringing in technology from other parts of the world is one of the ways we plan to expand the vision of the company and scale of projects.