Interview with Sanjay Gupta, Founder, Sadguna Realty
Sanjay Gupta, Founder Sadguna Realty is a young aspiring developer who wants to be seen as one of the most trusted builders in Mumbai. The acts of newly introduced RERA are something that he has been following voluntarily since joining his family construction business in 1992. In an informal chat with Sapna Srivastava, he elaborates on his philosophy.
Sanjay Gupta’s aesthetically designed three storied residence in Chembur suburbs of Mumbai is warm and welcoming. More so, the setting of the interview, an opulent high ceilinged living room seems in contrast to the humbleness of Sanjay and his wife Renu.
Reminiscing about his professional journey, Sanjay concurred that from young age he was inclined towards his father’s construction business. “Our family is primarily in movie exhibition and owns cinema theatres in Chembur, Juhu and Panvel. We were also developing real-estate across Mumbai in partnerships. Due to my passion for this sector, even before completing my commerce graduation in 1994, I started working on the real-estate projects. Till recently, we had been constructing projects as independent companies, but then I realized that in today’s world where branding and marketing has become a necessity, we need to have an established entity that can show the track record of our work and can market the brand. This led to the inception of real-estate firm Sadguna Realty in 2013.”
Sanjay’s business acumen is evident in the way he has kept pace with the changing times. He has aligned his realty business with market trends and consumer demands but, what has remained constant is his approach towards the real-estate business. “I have always believed in working on one project at a time and am personally involved in all aspects from land acquisition, design & planning to buying materials & construction and delivery. Our projects are either redevelopment or joint venture developments. We work with experienced architects, engineers and MEP consultants to keep the construction time-bound and deliver them within 18 months,” he said.
In an era when delays in project delivery even by most reputed of developers has become a norm, delivering a project within one and a half years comes as a pleasant surprise. Realizing the dilemma, Sanjay was quick to clarify, “If a builder has started a project with the right intent of handing it over on time, he will make sure the entire process is geared towards it. I am completely involved in the single project I take up, procure materials in bulk to keep the cost down, complete the project, get the Occupation certificate & MoFA clearances and then sell the product. So there is no pre-launch marketing gimmick, people buy completed ready homes. The capital for each building comes from my own resources and is utilized for that very project only. There are no debts or interests to be paid to PEs. As I construct one project at a time, the capital is not diverted to buying another land or property. This is the reason, the project gets completed fast and sold almost immediately as buyers are getting ready possession homes, offices or shops.I also stay invested in the projects by keeping a few units for myself. Thus I have my own vested interest in developing a product with good quality materials as I am an owner too.”
I believe, the buyer has put in his hard earned money for a purchase of his lifetime. As a developer, giving the guarantee of the quality of his home becomes a moral responsibility. Therefore, our projects come with a 10 year guarantee for building construction, materials and waterproofing.
Winds of Change
Commenting on the disruptions caused in the realty sector by RERA and GST, Sanjay agrees that added burden of 12% GST has hit hard the home buyers. Developers too are working on very thin profit margins due to high land cost, rising construction material prices and additional costs for RERA compliances. “Developer cannot increase the product costs as buyers cannot afford increased prices. He has to absorb the increased cost of construction within his margins. There are very few new launches, as developers are completing the existing projects and selling inventories. So while, home prices have not gone up, for next 5-6 years, they will not come down as well,” explained Sanjay.
On the positive side, according to him, RERA and GST will streamline the processes, encourage ease of doing business, weed out the wrong doers from the real-estate sector and boost customer confidence. “It is not just the real-estate but all businesses and the entire country is going through a change. In my view, the positive results will start showing in next two years.”
Speaking on the consumer trends, Sanjay opines that he buyers are now much more aware of the market trends and choices due to the varied sources of information available. “The home buyers are now more confident in buying after the introduction of RERA. They want to check their options before making a decision.” He also feels that the realtors or brokers form an integral part of the developers business as they enlarge the reach of the product. Commenting on his association with Sai Estate Consultants as realtors he said, “They bring the consumers to the sites of the project through marketing initiatives on digital media, hoardings and other mediums. Given their reach among the masses, it brings our projects closer to the buyers, converting them into actual sales.We see our growth in the growth of our realtor partners and work closely with them in terms of project prices and discount offers for the genuine buyers.”
In New York, majority of homes are rented accommodations. Similar trend is visible in Mumbai, where buying a property is becoming far too expensive and beyond the reach of common man.