Interview with Lalit Dharmani, MD, A Lalit Dharmani Project
Lalit Dharmani promoter of a young, dynamic construction brand LD is a businessman with his heart in the right place. Talking to Sapna Srivastava, he elaborates on his realty business and righteous beliefs.
The setting of the interview during a hectic real-estate event venue was much in contrast to the calm and sombre persona of the interviewee. Finding a quaint corner amid much of the hustle & bustle, I proceeded to ask Dharmani, how his company brand came about. “During 1960s my father dabbled in various businesses from wood carpentry workshop to steel fabrication and saw some tough times. After graduation in 1992 I joined his business of drums & barrels manufacturing and from one factory we expanded to three factories. As I had always been inclined towards real-estate business, in 2002 after a detailed discussion with my father, we started the real-estate vertical. We constructed a residential project in Chembur called Callista offering 1 and 2 BHK iPad-ready green homes. Another project completed was under Slum Rehabilitation Scheme (SRA) started in 2006. Gradually we started doing some small scale projects. Till now we have completed eight projects, out of which one is commercial development Origins 108 on 20, 000sqm plot in Chembur and rest are residential projects. It was in 2012, that I decided to give our real-estate business a formal brand name LD, the Lalit Dharmani Group. In current times, company brand, track record and creating a legacy of works is very important. When tying up for business, one wants to know your previous track record, similarly a buyer would want to know the legacy of works a developer has done,” he said.
To stand apart in the crowd, we focused on quality as the differentiator for our projects. Why shouldn’t a 1-2 BHK residents too be given the same quality and amenities as a luxury 3BHK project resident? Thus, even our budget homes are fitted with best quality materials and home automation features.
The Discerning Factor
Having come from a humble background, Dharmani understands what buying a home means for a common man. As he rightly said, a middle class person buys a home from his life’s savings. Therefore, a developer should provide him good quality construction, superior materials and amenities that can add value to his life. He added, “I believe, the homebuyer irrespective of the size of housing unit should be given value for money and that is what we endeavour to achieve in all our developments. For instance, Green building consultant Godrej & Boyce guides us in selection and use of holistic and sustainable materials & techniques that are beneficial for the customers as well as the environment.”
Reminiscing about his learning curve in the realty sector, Dharmani is clear that he would not want to engage in a SRA development again. He explained, “The slum rehabilitation projects are financially very viable as the land cost is very low but getting SRA clearances and tenant approvals is difficult. However, slum dwellers are mostly uneducated and easily influenced by group leaders or other parties with vested interests. It is hard to deal with them and sometimes with illicit persons who get involved and try to pressurize the developer.”
Talking about his on job training, Dharmani light heartedly reveals that he learned the ropes of the trade on ground by being on project site and getting involved in each and every aspect of real-estate. “Similar to running the factories previously, where I got hands-on training in every department from shop floor, to marketing etc., in real-estate too I have understood all the facets of construction, marketing and sales. I make sure that I am easily approachable by clients whenever they need so, to give them the confidence that their money is safe. A buyer is investing lakhs or crores of his money thus, he has the right to ask each and every detail of the project and promoter.” To read more: http://realtyplusmag.com/balancing-materialism-holistic/