Raymond Realty to Build Aspirational District
Raymond Group, India’s leading textile retailer has ventured into real estate through Raymond Realty to monetize its land in Thane. K Mukund Raj, Chief Executive Officer, Raymond Realty briefs Sapna Srivastava on the Company’s strategic plans.
What attracted you to be associated with Raymond Realty?
For the last 13 years I was with Larson & Tubro’s Realty vertical, which is a division of an established larger construction organization. Raymond Realty parented the challenge of being part of a start-up and lead a completely new venture. What it had going for it, was the brand that has been established for years. With the brand to support and available land in a very prime location I felt, this was a great start up to build as an organization.
Is Thane market going to be a challenge?
There is an oversupply in this market.. Many established players like Kalpataru, Oberoi Lodha, Piramal and Hiranandani have acquired land here and are into similar ticket size as us. The advantage we have is the location. By virtue of being located on Pokharan Road, the project is in close proximity to Eastern highway, railway station and upcoming Metro station at Cadbury Junction. The social infrastructure around it includes Jupiter Hospital, malls like Korum and Viviana and renowned Smt. Sulochanadevi Singhania School. Also, we have engaged experts in all segments such as Hafeez Contractor as master architect, Cracknell for landscape design, Epicons as structural consultants, Faquih & Associates for interior design Ramboll as MEP consultants and Godrej & Boyce for Green certification. So, as long as we can deliver a product that is as good as of any established developer, I believe we may have an advantage.
What has been the marketing strategy of the Company?
Initially we did a soft launch, where we only offered it to Raymond Group employees. Then we extended it to the distributers of Raymond across India. Thirdly, we offered it to the parents of kids studying in our Singhania School situated within the vicinity of the project. These are the three segments we first targeted as a captive market. We received almost 530 expressions of interest from these segments within 15 days of the announcement. Subsequently we started converting this experience of interest into bookings by taking 5% in advance as part of the payment plan. We have converted 50% of the Expression of Interests into confirmed bookings. The recent launch with the channel partners got us another 120-130 bookings in a matter of a month of the project announcement. Initially we launched two towers and a total inventory of about 620 units. The experience of interest itself for these two towers being 530 forced us to rush and launch the third tower. Today, in total we have an inventory of about 830 units out of which about 430 units booking is done. So, we have already sold 50% of our inventory.
On the 14 acre land parcel the plan is to construct 10 towers of 40-42 story, aggregating about 2800-3000 apartments. According to the income tax mandate, we have to complete the project within 5 calendar years. Our current plans are directed at achieving this target. As of today we are not planning anything beyond Thane. Monetizing the whole 120 acres land will take us a decade to complete. We aim to first establish ourselves well and deliver within time.
We are launching our 4th tower just so that a customer doesn’t have to leave without getting the chance to book an apartment of his choice on a floor of choice within his desired ticket size. Our target for this FY is that we should be in the rate of 800 to a 1000 sales. We are also planning to do a public launch to increase visibility. That should again get us a sizable number of walk in sales. Also read http://realtyplusmag.com/thinking-mumbai-out-of-the-box-pedro-b-ortiz/
What were the major considerations in project design?
The market assessment showed a high demand for compact, smart 2BHKs apartments. We planned reasonably priced homes, but rather than calling them affordable, we termed them as aspirational homes because of their premium designs and amenities on offer. Close to 5 acres of central landscaped greens provide great open space along with the best of amenities. We have two configurations of 515 sq. ft. and 640 sq.ft. RERA carpet area, smartly designed to maximize floor space and cross ventilation in each room. For 515 sq. ft apartments, our target audience is a first home buyer living within this micro-market in a 1BHk, wanting an upgrade. The price tag starts at 1.06cr as an all-inclusive price. Including stamp duty, GST, registration, infrastructure cost, club house and other things. We don’t have any surprise elements in our pricing, you get what you see. The 640sq. ft apartments starting at about 1.35cr, again all-inclusive have slightly bigger rooms and are ideal for families. In future, we might also be adding 3 and 4 BHK flats in separate towers, as we are already getting enquiries for the same.