YOUNG LEADERS SHAPING INDIAN REALTY
Realty+ 40 under 40 Conclave had young leaders of Indian realty sharing their inspiring journey, thoughts and ideas for the future.
“The new leadership of real estate business is more transparent, fearless and innovative. Young minds are challenging traditional ways of working and finding their own new path more so in the current disruptive scenario,” was the view of the veteran of the industry Ramesh Nair, Real Estate Expert & Former CEO, JLL India.
Sharing their opinions on the present state of the real estate, Anshul Singhal, Managing Director, Welspun One Logistics Parks pointed out the present challenges in warehousing which was the increasing price of steel primarily. “Warehousing is a very sensitive business from construction to land cost. Steel is the main component of a warehousing construction constituting 70-75% of the cost. Therefore any hike in steel prices directly impacts profitability.”
Binitha Dalal, Head of Fund Raising, Rustomjee Group concurred that the short term challenge for developers is the price rise of raw materials. But, the long term issue is that of completion of projects on time due to shortage of materials and labour.” Ram Raheja, Director, S. Raheja Realty added, “Number of clearances required in our industry is another big roadblock in faster completion of projects. GST has cause the issue of double taxation for developers. These two things should be changed to make developments affordable for people.”
Sudarshan Lodha, Co-founder, Strata sharing his views from an asset management perspective stated, “From demand side main issue is educating investors on new ways of investing in real estate. From supply side, bringing sellers and developers on digital platform and persuading them to make investing process digital is a challenge.” Uddhav Poddar, Managing Director, Bhumika Group concurred, “On financing side, there is a lack of funding available from banks especially for retail real estate.”
One thing evident is the transparency in processes that has been initiated by the young guns of the industry. Indeed, Indian real estate leadership has evolved. The young generation leaders can be called risk takers, technology driven or experimental.
Reshaping Revenue-Generation Models
Binitha Dalal shared, “We have been primarily operating in residential segment but, are now coming up with commercial projects as well which have seen good response from customers and buyers especially with the advent of REITs. Revenue generating model like Fractional ownership is also coming-up in a big way in real estate.”
Anshul Singhal said, “For us revenue generation happens through ‘Rent”. During Covid warehousing was one sector that witnessed huge leasing demand as online shopping went through the roof. We have continued to be selective in development management and have recently raised India’s first domestic fund in warehousing and aunched India’s first warehousing portal.”
Sudarshan stated, “Our first focus is on revenue generation for our investors and are creating a platform where we can provide opportunities through which they can generate revenues three times the residential returns. We are doing entire transaction digitally from KYC, investing, reporting, tracking etc. and people are gradually accepting the digital way.”
Ram Raheja stating the luxury residential trend said that despite pandemic luxury homes sales did well due to lower home loan interest rates and stamp duty cut. “Through backward integrating within our own firm we are now creating ‘Built to suit homes’ for our luxury home buyers.”
Uddhav Poddar sharing the retail realty scenario said, “We moved to complete revenue share to help the retailers in our mall last year. We started virtual site visit for our customers with personalised video call to show them the unit. We are in fact now handing out spaces for fit outs to clients and not a single retailer has backed out which shows the confidence in this segment despite challenges.”
Ramesh Nair giving an overview stated, “While rising raw material prices are a cause of concern, the new revenue generation models like Fractional ownership, REIT and E-commerce present a bright future for the young real estate professionals.”
The speaker’s collective view was that pandemic has brought people together. Developers providing help to residents through property management app, being in touch with customers and helping them through their financial difficulties to trying to deliver the project on or before time during the crisis, the real estate sector players have showed empathy for one and all from employees, construction workers, vendors to residents and customers.
Being “successful” is knowing your own potential and being able to trust yourself enough to take risks. The young generation leaders are mindfully strategic yet creatively expressive and technologically fluent and business-minded but preserve relationships and are compassionate.