Maverick or Productive Disruptor?
Amit B. Wadhwani, Director, Sai Estate Consultants, believes brokers in Indian realty carry the stigma of being ‘unsophisticated and unrefined’ among homebuyers. With a mission to shake things up, Amit may just be walking his talk.
SECCPL’s capacity to sell primary real estate units rose from 2400 units to 3800 units annually in 2018. Impressive numbers, especially considering Amit Wadhwani surprisingly doesn’t come from a broking background. Just 33 years old and a former Jet Airways flight steward, he started the company to support his family. Amit’s curiosity about the equity market, mutual funds and real estate business led him to start trading while he was still working in airlines
His initial strategy was to avoid getting into competition with local big brokers and instead connect with those interested in renting flats. He did this through free online ads. He quickly utilized his knack of understanding the mind of the homebuyer, and based on their response to his ads, provided his professional services.
Just how did such humble beginnings lead to the current success the company seems to be enjoying? Amit says, “A combination of hard work, dedication, honesty and humility has brought me to where I am today. I had a dream and I strived to achieve it. I have also been fortunate to have a talented and able team who have been part of SECCPL’s growth journey.”
An Unconventional Inception
What drives SECCPL is Amit’s passion for getting people the homes of their dreams at prices they can afford. But such single-minded passion can sometimes go awry. The company is infamously the recipient of the Maharashtra Real Estate Regulatory Authority (MahaRERA)’s first-ever ruling.
The regulatory body imposed a fine against the property broker last year for advertising multiple unregistered residential projects. Sai was directed to stop advertising, marketing, booking, and selling apartments in the unregistered projects immediately. Sai was also made to pay a fine of Rs. 1.20 lakh for a violation period of 12 days.
But Amit believes that RERA is the best thing to have happened to real estate, as it has given brokers much-needed endorsement. Homebuyers can also now have faith in the system, and real estate brokers can take the opportunity to add that extra bit of professionalism and transparency to their operations.
Organizations that are characterized as ‘mischief-maker’ are often those who hold the keys to transforming an industry. Disruption is a function of transformative leader, those who create a culture that promotesrather than discourage going against the grain.
In some parts of the industry, Amit has earned a reputation of being rigid and difficult to convince. SECCPL is sometimes viewed as a one-man show, run primarily on its founder’s set ideas and strategies. Far from being a one-man show, SECCPL with current valuation at 1240 croreshas team strength of about 500 and is led by a core team of professionals with diverse backgrounds and talents. Leading from the front, along with AmitWadhwani, is Vicky B.Wadhwani.
Rahul Grover joined SECCPL as the current President – Sales & Operations after a stint at property portal, Housing.com. RohitRuparel, also an ex-Housing.comemployee is the Senior Vice President Sales and Operations.Richendra Nanda, Amit’sbrother in law, is the AVP- Operations who plays a key role in driving high-pressure performance. Close ally and also ex-jet airways, Michelle Rodriques handles quality assurance, while Salome Peters, XLRI alumina heads Human Resources.
‘SapneAapke Mission Hamara’
Sai believes in offering homebuyers affordability at every level, whether in the small budget or premium range. Today, Sai conducts sales of 250 crore+ every month. It is India’s only and largest real estate broking company that bears 100% media and marketing costs completely de-risking the developer of any non-performance. None of SECCPL processes are outsourced, and it has its own contact centres to field responses from end users across the globe.SECCPL deliberately avoids over-negotiating with homebuyers, keeping in mind the amounts they are already investing in buying property.
Sai Estate Consultants manages all aspects of property purchase, which includes marketing the project, sales, providing loans to consumers and ensuring that the developers deliver in the said time frame. Project management is done holistically to ensure that sales are at a peak, thus differentiating them from other broking firms.
“SECCPL’s sales mantra is very simple. Make your buyer your priority. Know him, his problems, and his needs. Customer is king and the one who understands this and follows it will be successful.” Wadhwani
Amit also handles the professional marketing of over 100 projects currently, promoting real estate on radio, outdoor, print, digital and television across the nation. He is essentially the face (and voice) of the company utilizing a strategy of personal branding for its marketing and promotion. Wadhwani says, “Today the buyer wants to know in whose hands they are placing their lifelong savings. The personal touch is very important for a purchase as crucial as a house. A customer knows that when they are dealing through SAI, they are in the able hands as the founder is fully involved. Why this works, is because I personally ensure that each of SAI’s customers is happy and satisfied.”
The Buyer – Developer Connect
As a channel partner SECCPL has been taking up complete responsibility of selling a real estate project. The company aims to be a developer’s direct business associate and the vital link between consumers and developers. Says Wadhwani, “Developers are happyas we are taking up the entire project sales for them. Our marketing techniques are transparent, organised and reachable without any hassles. Going forward SECCPL shall be changing their marketing techniques as per trends in order to incorporate the consumer sentiment and demands. This will help us reach the right target, besides adopting a personalised approach create a great connect and conclude a fruitful deal.”