Tag Archives: Atul Modak

Rebirth of integrated townships in 2013-V

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Atul Modak, Kohinoor Group of Companies, Kohinoor India, Mumbai Real Estate, India Property, Track2Media, Track2Realty, ravi sinha, india realty news, india real estate news, real estate news india, realty news india, india property news, property news india, ndtv.com, ndtv, aajtak, zee news, india news, property news, real estate news, 99acres.com, 99 acres, indianrealtynews.com, indianrealestateforum.comTrack2Realty Exclusive: Neeraj Bansal, Partner-Real Estate & Construction at KPMG India says although more and more developers are rooting for integrated township projects, the project execution has been disappointing owing to multiple factors. The primary among them is delays in obtaining approvals from various departments.

In addition, with the sector going through a downturn, developers are facing challenges in acquiring funds to develop the high cost project. Furthermore, R&R issues such as inadequate compensation for land have resulted in inordinate delays for integrated township developers.

Owing to the execution delays, a number of PE funds are looking to exit their investments in large township projects as time and cost overruns have had an impact on the expected returns for the PE funds.

Due to the potential offered by large integrated townships in alleviating the problems associated with increased urbanisation and shortage of housing, it would be in the overall interest if the government proactively promotes development of integrated townships.

The government needs to be a facilitator, providing support to prospective developers for creating external infrastructure (power, roads, water), relaxation of stamp duty and development charges, green channel/single window clearing procedures and monitoring mechanisms.

“There is a dire need for planned suburban development which should aim at sustainability. In the course of suburb development, infrastructure and commercial development precede residential development. Governments must aim at encouraging infrastructural and commercial developments in an identified suburb which would spur residential catchment development. This ensures that the suburb becomes self sufficient for all needs at short distances,” says Surendra Hiranandani, Founder and Managing Director of Hiranandani Upscale.

Integrated township also needs a certain level of good urban governance and services in terms of water, sewerage, waste management, road network, transport and power. At present states like Gujarat, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Karnataka have attempted to come up with their own township policies which have regulations in place for the multiple proposed townships.

…..to be continued

Year of restructuring ahead

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Atul Modak, Kohinoor Group of Companies, Kohinoor India, Mumbai Real Estate, India Property, Track2Media, Track2Realty, ravi sinha, india realty news, india real estate news, real estate news india, realty news india, india property news, property news india, ndtv.com, ndtv, aajtak, zee news, india news, property news, real estate news, 99acres.com, 99 acres, indianrealtynews.com, indianrealestateforum.comTrack2Realty Exclusive-Yearly Analysis: The unprecedented restructuring of project portfolio, selling of land bank, exiting non-core business and the job cuts have yet not led the Indian real estate into the desired comfort zone. The realization to shed the flab has on the contrary left some of the developers to outsource the project execution and pay more.

For instance, leading players like DLF and others have completely outsourced the project execution in the expert hands of infrastructure biggies like Larsen & Tourbo and Shapoorji Pallonji.

Mid size developers with limited resources and cash crunch can’t even afford that luxury. Some of them are exploring the idea of asset light model of operations where they get into a joint development with the land owner on a partnership, instead of buying the land. Others are opting for specialised profiles as sales drop across the country with some metros and leading micro markets showing alarming trends.

Marketing gurus of realty sector who made fortunes during the hey days are baffling for explanations today and builders have no inclination for high flying white collared professionals but opting for those specialised profiles who can tide them over the slowdown.

Most of the realty companies have either shed or are in the process of shedding flab. At the same time they are on prowl for cost managers, technical auditors, legal experts, energy efficiency specialists, quality surveyors, and construction project managers. Projects are stuck and millions of square feet remain unsold, forcing developers to hire a second set of CEOs to handle more work and fund managers who can sell off excess land-banks.

“There is a slowdown in the market and if builders do not finish projects on time, they will lose customers,” said Sachin Sandhir, South Asia MD of Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), an independent regulatory body of realty professionals.

Some developers admit in the year 2013 ahead, perform or perish will be mantra and importance of timely possession of houses will be key to survival. Suddenly, realty players, it seems, are at last taking project deliveries seriously. “The thrust this year has been in ensuring quality workmanship, timely delivery and reasonable costs. If you look around, there are several residential projects which are ready for possession,” says one developer.

Buyers today are asking for the option to compare the features of the projects on offer – from the quality of construction to the amenities on offer – from a huge supply of ready-to-occupy apartments. The trend of projects adopting phase wise completion will only grow from here, so that buyers can check maintenance standards of a society before making the final investment. Consumers today are aware of the potential of different developments, thereby raising the bar in quality of deliveries.

Quality has suddenly become the buzzword in the realty sector to tide over the unprecedented crisis meet with the uncertain times ahead. Builders are now hiring quality surveyors, construction project manager, energy efficiency specialists and others who can get them quick buyers.

“Overall from a developers’ perspective, fiscal discipline is the biggest learning where they need to balance debt-equity ratio. Whichever companies have maintained this fiscal discipline are today doing well. Quality and delivery is equally important and even in this slow market companies which have delivered the promised apartments on time have not suffered much. We have been seeing that standing on the index consumer confidence is what ultimately matters,” says Anshuman Magazine, CMD of CBRE, South Asia.

Removing the flab pronto is being discussed in boardrooms of these builders. Delhi-based Raheja Developers created verticals where each team looks at a particular project so that business can be closely monitored. Many other developers have started trimming workforce. A leading realty company said requesting anonymity that with no major headway on fresh projects and debt piling up as sales falter, the heat is mainly on the marketing and sales teams.

“There have been some major lay-offs in the sales and marketing team but overall there is apprehension within the company that axe may fall on other departments very soon,” said an employee of a Mumbai-based realty company.

Job cuts are one of the many restructuring measures by the realtors. Many consultants agree that real estate developers have been under pressure for the past one year. Funding for the industry has almost dried up, high interest rates have dampened sales and debt-servicing costs are inching up. For some developers, cutting down on workforce helps as new projects have dwindled due to delayed approvals and fresh funding crunch.

“This is happening in a silent way. For example, every division has been given a task of reducing their workforce to a certain level through assessment levels,” said a source close to the development at one of the companies.

Job cut has been mere indicative of the overall mantra of cost cutting in the sector. While the firms claim rising input costs have hit them hard, their expenditure in the balance sheet shows cutting corners have been at every level, most notably a significant drop in employee expenses, cost of construction and materials consumed, etc. In the past one year, inflation in input costs has been 10-15 per cent, realty firms say. However, their overall costs have fallen many times, owing to fiscal consolidation by firms, limited new launches, downsizing staff, the slowdown in construction and a delay in deliveries.

 

Kohinoor City takes integrated township to a new level

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By: Ravi Sinha

Track2Realty Exclusive

Atul Modak, Kohinoor Group of Companies, Kohinoor India, Mumbai Real Estate, India Property, Track2Media, Track2Realty, ravi sinha, india realty news, india real estate news, real estate news india, realty news india, india property news, property news india, ndtv.com, ndtv, aajtak, zee news, india news, property news, real estate news, 99acres.com, 99 acres, indianrealtynews.com, indianrealestateforum.comAn integrated township at the heart of a city like Mumbai? You must be joking. Right?

Well, I also had the same reaction when I was first told about Kohinoor City, a city within the city in the urban metropolis of Central Mumbai. After all, the concept of integrated township itself has been a result of rapid urbanisation leading to the peripheries where the Government has not taken the infrastructure for a holistic living. But here somebody was talking about an integrated township in Mumbai at Kurla-Vidyavihar.

At a time when urban living in Mumbai is fast shrinking, who would like to believe the tall claims of a real estate developer? An invitation to visit Kohinoor City was accepted by me not just out of sheer curiosity but more out of suspicion. I was more eager to see how a realty project is being packaged with a moral high ground of providing quality living with a decent budget. Who would believe that Mumbaikars can live with plenty of greenery and pleasing landscapes?

But here a pleasant surprise was awaiting me when I entered Kohinnor City. At a first look Kohinoor City is no different than any other township on periphery, far away from urban jungle of any metropolis. But what makes its positioning unique is the fact that it is located at the heart of the city like Mumbai, added to its infrastructure that is aimed at quality living with all the necessary amenities. And it is here that one needs to introspect as to how various other integrated townships have failed to evolve as a flagship project of the concerned developer.

May be the roots of this realty company into education is what actually has made the difference. A positive intent is, no doubt, writ large over the City. After all, an integrated township demands huge investment and hence high rise & high density is the prevailing norm. But what I find in Kohinoor City is that the conventional community living has not been compromised with. It is actually a low rise & low density project.

Kohinoor City is a strategically located, well-connected township having residential and commercial spaces, educational complex, Asia’s first and world’s second LEED Platinum rated hospital, a LEED Gold rated mall and a hotel. A Lifestyle clubhouse is already operational. A state-of-the-art 550-seater auditorium is also coming up in the educational complex.

Kohinoor City is situated very close to the commercial hub of Mumbai that is Bandra Kurla Complex. There is close proximity to public transport with well connected road, rail systems and upcoming metro. It has close proximity to both domestic & international airports. And as Atul Modak, City Head of Kohinor Group says, “In a nutshell, it is well connected to south Mumbai, all suburbs and Navi Mumbai.” (See the interview section).

This 1.5 million square feet integrated township has all the amenities one can crave in a contemporary township. Atul Modak, Head, Kohinoor City Project, says, “Kohinoor City has a great locational advantage. The old mindset of people about ‘Kurla’ has been a challenge to our project but it is fast changing due to other developments in the vicinity. But the response from our customers shows there is a paradigm shift and people are proud to be Kohinoor Cityzens. In fact, Kohinoor City being the first major developmental project started in this area in 2005, has set off a trend for rapid development of the Kurla-Vidyavihar belt.”

What makes Kohinoor City unique is the fact that it is not just designed with the conventional theme of “live, work, play” of any other integrated township. Rather the vision that Mumbai being the financial capital of India and hence the need for business destination has also been kept in mind. While the hospitality sector in general has failed to replicate the successful model of hotel lounges in India, Kohinoor City has taken the first movers advantage with Kohinoor Elite.

After all, when the City was planned in 2005, the Group had the vision to foresee its future positioning with business destination as well. Atul Modak says, “The connectivity of Kohinoor City to Mumbai city, central and western suburbs and Navi Mumbai because of its strategic location is one of its strong USPs. The connectivity will get even better once the double decker Santa Cruz-Chembur Link Road and the Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar metro are ready.”

At a time when the real estate companies with integrated townships even on the peripheral locations are cribbing for the astronomically high input costs, Kohinoor City is a case study in understanding as to how a decent township can be set-up even at the heart of the city. The fact that there is overload on all the possible infrastructure of Mumbai, there is an urgent need for more of such self sustainable integrated townships.

Community living should be the USP of an integrated township: Atul Modak, Head, Kohinoor City

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Atul Modak, Kohinoor Group of Companies, Kohinoor India, Mumbai Real Estate, India Property, Track2Media, Track2Realty, ravi sinha, india realty news, india real estate news, real estate news india, realty news india, india property news, property news india, ndtv.com, ndtv, aajtak, zee news, india news, property news, real estate news, 99acres.com, 99 acres, indianrealtynews.com, indianrealestateforum.comWhile the city of Mumbai is known for living in cramped space with high-rise & high-density being the norm, Kohinoor City has opted for low-rise and low-density township. The integrated township in the heart of Mumbai at Kurla-Vidyavihar has been designed with the vision to provide community living with all the recreational space and ultra-modern amenities. In an exclusive interview with Track2Realty, Atul Modak, Head of Kohinoor City says an integrated township should mean not only enjoying the luxury of urban living but something more to it. Excerpts of the interview:

Q: How was Kohinoor City planned?
Ans: As against the current trend of ‘high-rise & high-density’ townships, we opted for a ‘low-rise & low-density’ model. Besides, in the concrete jungles of this great megapolis, sadly there is not much place for nature. So we decided to give our customers plenty of greenery and pleasing landscapes. In high-rises, people are cut off from each other partly due to a hectic lifestyle and more so because of the dense population making them long for their own space and privacy. We were convinced that low-rises with exciting features like balconies (which are fast disappearing); green and colorful landscapes would tempt people to come out into the balcony and admire nature. They could also look across at other faces (not unrecognizable specks as in high-rises) which would gradually get familiar. This would encourage social contact and mixing, bringing people closer together.

Q: Focus has been more on community living. Right?
Ans: What we considered was the need to provide plenty of recreational space and all ultra-modern amenities. It truly had to be a ‘city’ where all their needs and luxuries could be met. And so we conceived the township with a shopping mall, playground, auditorium, banquet hall, schools, hospital, educational complex, an innovative budget hotel with no compromise on service to customers. All this was to make sure that it wouldn’t be necessary for them to move out of Kohinoor City for anything. All they would need to do is reach out for them, and this has been done keeping every age group in mind. Kohinoor City is a completely new paradigm in lifestyle planning. It is a gated community which offers one composite development for today’s highly aspirational Mumbaikar.

Q: When was it conceptualised and what are the USPs of Kohinoor City?
Ans: It was conceptualized in early 2005. Kohinoor City is the only integrated township in the central Mumbai offering ‘value-for-money’ to the customers. Its connectivity to Mumbai city, central and western suburbs and Navi Mumbai because of its strategic location is one of its strong USPs. The connectivity will get even better once the double decker Santa Cruz-Chembur Link Road and the Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar metro are ready.

Q: Integrated townships are generally seen as a satellite town phenomenon. How did you plan it in the heart of the city?
Ans: The Kohinoor Group has always kept customer oriented approach while planning for future. Nowadays customers are interested in buying their home near the workplace with their children’s school in the vicinity for their convenience. Moreover, they insist that their family should get all the advantages of urban living. Hence, considering the customer satisfaction, we planned Kohinoor City at the heart of Mumbai.

Q: Doesn’t such city within city become too expensive a project to afford?
Ans: I think, a city-within-city project adds more value to a buyer as he gets a lifestyle living and also saves on travel time and expenses. The overwhelming response we got from our customers, both residential and commercial, speaks for itself how the concept has been well accepted by them.

Q: Does such integrated township invite huge investment opportunities as well?
Ans: Yes. This integrated township has invited huge investment opportunities to residential as well as commercial customers. Customers who have purchased flats and office spaces in Kohinoor City are sitting on lucrative returns. This kind of appreciation in rate could not have been possible in a satellite township.

Q: How much is the total investment in Kohinoor City – land cost and over all?
Ans: It is rather difficult to calculate the total investment cost as work on the project started in 2005. Our CMD Unmesh Joshi believes in taking matters one at a time and utilizing our resources to give customers not only what they want, but that little extra which ensures customer delight.

Q: What are the locational advantages/disadvantages of Kohinoor City?
Ans: Kohinoor City is situated very close to the commercial hub of Mumbai that is Bandra Kurla Complex. Moreover, there is close proximity to all kind of public transport-road, rail systems and upcoming metro. It has close proximity to both domestic & international airports. In a nutshell, it is well connected to south Mumbai, all suburbs and Navi Mumbai.

The traffic on the approach roads is the concerning issue to our project. The completion of Santacruz Chembur Link Road will ease this problem.  The old mindset of the people about ‘Kurla’ is a challenge to our project, which is in the stage of transformation due to other developments in the vicinity. But as I have already said, the response from our customers speaks louder than words that there is a paradigm shift and people are proud to be Kohinoor Cityzens. In fact, Kohinoor City being the first major developmental project started in this area in 2005, has set off a trend for rapid development of the Kurla-Vidyavihar belt.

Q: What are the plans for the next phase of Kohinoor City?
Ans: We are developing the last residential phase in Kohinoor City which houses comfortable, stylish luxury residences with 2 BHK, 3 BHK, Duplex houses and Penthouses with a private terrace. The other amenities such as Retail, Commercial Offices, 3 star business budget Hotel Kohinoor Elite with an array of services available in four and five star hotels, 175-bed multi-specialty LEED Platinum rated Hospital, LEED Gold certified mall, educational complex International school, Marathi school, Management schools and Lifestyle clubhouse are already operational. A state-of-the-art 550-seater auditorium is also coming up in the educational complex. With all these accomplishments, Kohinoor City has now become a landmark in central Mumbai.