Tag Archives: Ashish R Puravankara

Kochi Marine Drive NRIs top pick

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Bottom Line: Be it Marina One or any other property, Kochi Marine Drive is a tempting proposition for NRIs and HNIs looking for property along coastal lines in Kochi.  

Marina One, Kochi Property, Sea view apartments, Sea Facing property, Waterfront property, Coastal property, Kochi real estate, CRZ free property, India real estate news, Indian realty news, Real estate news India, Indian property market news, Realty Plus, Track2Realty, Second homes, Leisure homes, Luxury homes‚ÄúAn NRI client from Mumbai once told me that sea facing property in the city is so damn expensive that even he can‚Äôt afford it. It seems all the properties in and around Juhu or Worli are meant for born rich and celebrities and not for those professionals who come up in life after years of hard work on an international assignment,‚ÄĚ Manohar Nambiar, a property broker from Mumbai shares his experience.

Nambiar has now shifted his base to Kochi and dealing with a number of NRI clients who wish to have a coastal property. Thankfully, none of these clients have the kind of predicament that he used to find among the NRIs of Mumbai where the sea facing property would command the base price of INR 40 crore onwards.

Today, he is selling properties of a number of leading developers in the most upmarket coastal zone of Kochi, Marine Drive. The coastal properties in this part of the world are in the range of INR 3-5 crore. This is something that most of the well-to-do Keralites and those returning from the Gulf and other parts of the globe can afford.

Kochi Marine Drive fact file

The face of Kochi Marine Drive has changed in the last over a decade

With luxury properties in the range of INR 3 crore onwards, Kochi Marine Drive is a top pick among the coastal properties

Most of the NRIs from Kerala are investing in Marine Drive

The luxury apartments do not reflect Kerala’s trademark hip roofs of clay tiles 

Marine Drive walkway that starts from the High Court Junction and continues until the Rajendra Maidan is a top pick among the tourists

There are several boat jetties along the walkway of Kochi Marine Drive 

Marine Drive is a picturesque promenade in Kochi that is facing the backwaters. It is one of the most popular hang out for the residents of the city as well as tourists due to the magnificent view of the backwaters and Kochi Harbor. The walkway is perfect to enjoy a relaxing stroll at any time of the day and hence a property on this stretch is high on the wish list.

Old timers in the city remind that until the 1980s, the Shanmugham Road was the literal Marine Drive with the Kochi Lake and the adjoining Arabian Sea to its west. In the 1980s GCDA (Greater Cochin Development Authority) started the Kochi Marine Drive project on the lines of Mumbai Marine Drive and hence after the face of the present Marine Drive(from Shanmungham Road to the present Marine Walkway) was changed.

Kochi Marine Drive is today most sought after property destination in the city. However, the land prices and the property rates here are not artificially inflated and that makes the destination even more attractive. The Marine Drive stretches from the Jankar Jetty in the north to the Ernakulam Boat Jetty in the south.

Though a coastal area, Kochi’s Marine Drive is not a secluded locality nestled in the lap of nature. As a matter of fact, a number of food joints and malls have come up which make it the de factoshopping destination. There are several boat jetties and the International Boat Jetty Complex along the way.

The market value of land around Marine Drive is as costly as INR 75-85 lakh for each cent (435.6 square feet). The land availability is, however, a tough challenge here since more than a dozen builders have occupied the land parcels and launched projects. The apartment in this area costs around INR 10,000 per square feet onwards.

The prices, though highest from Kerala‚Äôs standpoint appear to be modest for those who are exposed to luxury coastal housing in other major cities of India. However, Ashish R Puravankara, Managing Director of Puravankara Limited finds a rational behind this when says, ‚ÄúJust look at the salaries of professionals in Kochi. They are nowhere near the salaries of a top notch professional in Mumbai.‚ÄĚ

Kochi Marine Drive has changed so much in the last over a decade that anyone having visited the locality a decade back would not recognize the place. This is one upmarket area of Kochi where even the building designs are not reflective of Kerala’s trademark hip roofs of clay tiles. The modern futuristic buildings are coming up with flat concrete, glass and steel, instead of wood.

It is a game of luxury property now along the Marine Drive of Kerala. However, it is not a game for any developer. As a matter of fact, some of the largest developers in the last six to seven years have also tasted failures over here. Having said that, the new developments in this market are quite attractive in terms of pricing, offerings, value proposition and overall livability quotient.  

Ravi Sinha


End-user property markets not struggling: Ashish R Puravankara

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View Point: Ashish R Puravankara, Managing Director of Puravankara Limited feels the new regulatory changes and the changing market dynamics are not that challenging for the end user driven markets. 

Ashish R Puravankara, Puravankara Ltd, Puravankara Projects, Bangalore real estate market, Provident Housing, India real estate news, Indian realty news, Indian property market news, Real estate news India, Track2RealtyVisualising an industry consolidation soon, Ashish Puravankara feels it is time to invest in technology and make affordable housing the growth driver. Excerpts of an exclusive interview with Ravi Sinha: 

Ravi Sinha: How are you coping up with the challenges of market slowdown?

Ashish Puravankara: Beginning with demonetization to Real Estate Regulation Act (RERA) and Goods and Services Tax (GST), all come with their own implications to the real estate industry. The announcement of demonetisation created a sort of disruption in the market that largely impacted buyers’ sentiments. In preceding months, the rollout of RERA and GST followed, which made the buyers tread cautiously with their investments and spending. We believe these initiatives from the government will pave the way in transparency, accountability and efficiency in the ecosystem.

Ravi Sinha: To what extent has it affected your top line and bottom line?

Ashish Puravankara: The same has not impacted us much. Though in the initial phase there was a slight stagnation in the sales due to the overall slowdown and uncertainty among the buyers. But once things started settling down, there was a spike in the customers’ enquiries for our projects. Out of these queries, many were converted to sales deals. A large credit for this performance goes to our focused fiscal planning and preparedness for the structural economic reforms.

Ravi Sinha: What has been the learning of the last 5 years of market uncertainties?

Ashish Puravankara: The transition of the real estate market has changed the dynamics of the sector completely. After the advent, multiple policies and regulation of the real estate industry has seen a paradigm shift with systemic checks and streamlined process.

Post the IT and its revolution, there is a significant rise in the job opportunities which is further fuelled by the emergence of e-commerce and start up culture. This has led to a significant increase in the white-collar migratory population especially in the metros. These demographic transitions have also pushed demand for homes in these cities. But post the initial rush the residential sector witnessed a slight stagnation in the last two years.  Realising the undercurrent, several developers have seen the value in   diversification of their offerings by venturing into affordable housing segments.

Ravi Sinha: What has been your experience in the affordable housing?

Ashish Puravankara: Realizing the burgeoning need of high-quality, affordable homes in the country, we launched Provident Housing Ltd., (a wholly-owned subsidiary of Puravankara) in 2008 to meet the aspirations of mid-income and first-time homeowners. We have the distinct advantage of being the first organized player to move into the affordable housing sector. Till date over 16.28 million sq. ft. of projects have been launched across 4 Southern cities with over 5000 happy and satisfied homeowners. Additionally, about 6000 units have been planned for new launches.

Ravi Sinha: Has the after effects of demonetization been a real challenge for the sector?

Ashish Puravankara: Demonetization has an impact on the residential market sentiment, especially regarding new launches, sales and enquiries, which dipped a little during the initial phase (of demonetization). The impact was a little hard in those markets which were dominated by investors.

But in the South, specifically the Bangalore market which is primarily driven by end-users, coupled with steady economic activity and powered by a high percentage of the white collar migratory population, remains stable in comparison to other key markets. In fact, post the initial lull, Bengaluru‚Äôs real estate market, witnessed renewed consumer confidence in the quarter of January ‚ÄďMarch 2017.¬†

Ravi Sinha: How about RERA and GST affecting the business cycle?

Ashish Puravankara: As with the implementation of any new policy there will be some teething issues but the long-term views will be positive. Market buoyancy can be envisaged post RERA implementation. The same will not only bring back confidence in the end users but will give the customers better clarity to make an educated decision to buy a home they desire. For the developers in the initial phases, we adapt to the new environment. I believe that RERA will be a game changer for the overall industry which eventually will transform into growing customer and investor confidence.

The role of GST for the Indian real estate sector will be of an enabler as it will create a level playing field for all organised developers in the country. There are multiple benefits for both developers and homebuyers with the GST implementation. A single consolidated tax system brings more clarity, transparency and avoids double taxation which is relevant in the sector where developers and end users end up paying multiple taxes and duties.

Ravi Sinha: How is GST affecting the supply chain of real estate?

Ashish Puravankara: Inefficiencies in the supply chain will slowly decline, resulting in prudent working capital management and better pricing power for all stakeholders in the value chain. Specifically, the impact of taxes on construction materials, cement and steel will come down considerably for developers which ranges between 12-18%. With the rates in place now, the implementation of GST to our business is expected to bring down the project cost for developers, thereby leading to lower acquisition cost for under-constructed apartments.

Ravi Sinha: What has been your understanding about consumer psychograph with these policy changes? 

Ashish Puravankara: RERA has now put the buyer in the driver’s seat as exhaustive data is available at the click of a button and is ratified by the regulatory body. The confusion and any allied fears that a potential customer could have are now abated and there is certainty of project completion and most importantly peace of mind. With enhanced transparency the customer confidence will only see an upward trend. 

Ravi Sinha: To what extent the slow moving market in the metro cities is tempting you to go for Tier II and III cities? 

Ashish Puravankara: While there are immense opportunities in Tier II and III markets, we are not planning to enter any new markets in the immediate future. Currently, our core focus is to strengthen our operations in markets where we exist. The appetite is big in markets like Pune, Hyderabad, Kochi and Coimbatore where we already exist. We are identifying land parcels in these locations to scale up our presence. Having said that, we are also keeping our options open. We regularly conduct feasibility studies, research and identify demographic trends in the secondary market. If we come across any feasible business potential, we intend to pursue the same.

Ravi Sinha: Which are the segments that you find safe bet today?

Ashish Puravankara: Affordable Housing is a segment that will gain momentum in time to come. We are investing significantly in our premium affordable housing arm ‚Äď Provident. In the next couple of quarters, you will witness Provident launching new properties in existing markets. With the government giving ‚Äėinfrastructure‚Äô status to affordable housing projects, this has given the needed impetus to the real estate industry.¬†

Ravi Sinha: What would be the next growth driver in real estate?

Ashish Puravankara: With the RERA-rollout, the real estate market will witness consolidation in the next two to three years. Only serious and focused real estate players will survive. With new launches slowing down, this is a great opportunity for us to invest in technology which will be the next growth driver in real estate.

Ravi Sinha: Moving forward, what is your outlook of the business in the medium to long-term perspective?

Ashish Puravankara: We aspire to evolve into a lean and strong organization, by leveraging on our expertise in the areas of land acquisition, design and innovation, sanctions and marketing.  We have set aggressive growth targets for the next five years which we are confident of achieving by implementing concrete measures focused on human capital management, project management and advances in construction technology.

Our vision for the next few quarters is 8-10 million sq. ft. of launches between both our brands, Provident Housing and Puravankara Ltd., with Provident having a larger share of the pie in terms of volume. We could leverage our existing land bank or sign up new deals especially JDs & JVs in the upcoming years.