Realty+ Webinar on ‘Investment & Fund Strategies’ A Resounding Success
Realty+ Master class webinar on May 2, 2020 focusing on the investment strategies and avenues of raising funds for the real estate industry was watched live by more than 8000 viewers. The discussion was highly appreciated by the prominent professionals of the industry for its expert speakers and the most relevant information on the topic.
Boman Irani, CMD, Rustomjee Group and VP CREDAI National speaking on the outlook of the industry going forward said, “The next 18 months if not more will be extremely difficult. For the real estate industry, this will be a good time to bring home loans down to about 5%. This will give people that confidence to investment in homes. Also an income tax exemption on the asset as well as the interest paid on it will kick start an entire home buying spree. The government would even make up the lost revenue on indirect taxes. In real estate, the important thing going forward will be finding the right partner to fit the bill. Also, I would hope a onetime restructuring of viable projects is done by the bankers. In addition, the government needs to strongly cut premiums and stamp duty in order to promote housing.”
Sunil Rohokale, MD & CEO, ASK Group explained, “Real estate in the last few years has been struggling. So, pre Covid 19, the industry was already in trouble. I believe this situation has made us stop and rethink, has given an opportunity to put the past behind and find a new normal. The way forward for us is heightened governance, disclosures, good quality products, understanding customers and evaluating risks/ opportunities. This is going to be an era of productivity, control, risk management and proper capital investment which will be expected from every stakeholder when investing in property. I believe everything is not lost.”
Mohit Malhotra, MD and CEO, Godrej Properties Ltd sharing the steps residential real estate can take for recovery said, “For the short term we will face issues with liquidity, inventory and economic impact of the lockdown. However, I remain optimistic for the long term of real estate. The residential sector which has being going through a cyclic downturn for a while now will see an upturn as people’s confidence comes back. In a year or two e will see a surge in demand. We will also see consolidation of the market, wherein the top 10 players across India will share the market. I see and era of partnerships between all the stakeholders of the market. A lot of opportunities will be created for those with good brands and balance sheets.”
Giving a financiers perspective, Karan Bhagat, Founder, MD & CEO, IIFL Wealth, shared “Demand eventually will come back. What we need to ensure that excesses are reduced. Either the debt, operating cost or even cost of capital, all will have to be reduced. This will lead to consolidation and the industry shrinking. This will facilitate stronger partnerships and innovation among stakeholders. To get long term capital it is not only financial but also strategic in nature. As we look at sovereign funds the right capital which is sustainable in the long run often has an element of strategies in it. We need to be open to dilute equity, share gains and profits and build long term strategic partners.”
Vinod Rohira, MD & CEO, Commercial Real Estate & REIT, K Raheja Crop speaking about commercial real estate stated, “Post Covid there will be a lot of confusion due to the unpredictability. However, demand is not switching off, it is just postponed. Once we know what we are dealing with then we can find the solution. Technology will be the way out of this situation. Commercial business I don’t see getting disrupted permanently. Having one of the youngest populations in the world, being social is very important to millenials. They have a massive demand on how they perceive their world and being social and interacting with each other is important to them. Driven by this, they will be back to work the minute the fear subsides. As for WFH, it is not a new concept and it does not work in the long run. We have tried it before and it didn’t work then and won’t work now. People need other people and offices to be productive.”
Venkatesh Gopalkrishnan, CEO, Shapoorji Pallonji Real Estate added, “Right now it is very difficult to predict demand. We are as for now focused on getting our projects up and running in the next 6 months. If we look at interest rates they are at a 15% a year growth. This plays a very important role when we look at the macroeconomic level of residential real estate. Next year with the demand coming back to the economy we will hopefully see a 5%-6% GDP. If the interest rates continue to stay low, the residential demand will move up. It is going to be challenging for the next 6-12 months but we remain optimistic. We need to focus right now on liquidity, governance and value partnerships.”
Amit Goenka, MD & CEO, Nisus Finance & Investment managers & Nisus Fincorp Pvt Ltd concluded the discussion expressing positive localized demand from young buyers becoming the demand driver. “There will be a need to create more products and services at the local level. Service levels are most critical as without service there is no product. So, physical as well as digital services will continue to be accentuated. We need to align to longer goals and challenges to overcome the impact of the covid situation. There is a need for more strategic development, short promises and quick solutions will no longer help. It is also critical to create long term funding and finance partnerships. And finally, demand will not disappear it will just slowdown.”
The discussion was followed by the question and answer session with the panelists answering numerous queries put forth by the audience and industry peers. The Webinar was organized in association with Nisus Finance & Investment Managers and See & Recruit. The Technology Partner for the webinar was Indus Net Techshu.