Tag Archives: Babulal Varma

Leading through innovation in luxury projects

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By: Babulal Varma, CMD, Omkar Realtors & Developers

Babulal Varma, Indiabulls real estate, BSE, Bombay Stock Exchange, 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, KP Singh, DLF, Unitech, Emaar MGF, ndtv.com, ndtv, aajtak, zee news, india news, property news, real estate news, 99acres.com, 99 acres, indianrealtynews.com, indianrealestateforum.comIndiabulls real estate, BSE, Bombay Stock Exchange, 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, KP Singh, DLF, Unitech, Emaar MGF, ndtv.com, ndtv, aajtak, zee news, india news, property news, real estate news, 99acres.com, 99 acres, indianrealtynews.com, indianrealestateforum.comTrack2Realty Exclusive: Omkar luxury projects are being developed rapidly at upmarket locations like Worli. Malad, Parel and BKC in Mumbai and designed to offer homes according to the niche lifestyle of the affluent clientele.

For instance, the boutique residential Omkar Meridia at BKC Crossing has been designed to offer elements of Singapore style superior development with premium facilities for the occupants like valet parking, rooftop garden and swimming pool.

Another iconic luxury residential complex, Omkar Alta Monte at Malad suburb has been designed by Callison (USA), a leader in architectural design and offers world class amenities.

In addition, our upcoming landmark development at Worli, comprising three sea facing residential towers, marks the debut of world-renowned architects Foster+Partners into the residential space in India.

The challenge of establishing our brand for this market segment has been to ensure delivery of global amenities, elite designs for interiors & exteriors and world class technology standards in construction.

To address these issues, we have engaged international industry experts, like UK-based design firm HBA for interiors, CBM Engineering (USA) for engineering works, UK-based LDA for landscaping, UK-based Buro Hapold for structural designing, Larsen & Toubro for construction amongst others. Modern technology systems include fully automated jump formwork system and quick deck shuttering system for reduced construction cycle time.

Point of difference like appearance, performance, quality or service defines the way a potential customer thinks for a given brand. For us, international designers and state of the art technology along with value-added services create a point of difference that make Omkar brand stand out from the competition in luxury residential market.

After all, the very term ‘luxury’ has been over used and abused in Indian market to the extent that now you really have to create a ‘wow’ factor to be taken seriously and trusted.

Our belief that product and design innovation is a seamless process is creating a paradigm shift in consumer expectations from real estate developers. Also, our equal emphasis on quality construction in both luxury segment and resettlement sector has made us a trend-setter in Indian real estate space.

In fact, our corporate campaign too builds awareness around the brand’s proposition of holistic development of Mumbai. The campaign titled Mumbaipedia is a tongue-in-cheek look at India’s most meaningful city and creates a sense of belonging with Omkar brand, by witty descriptions.

In a nutshell, we believe in the philosophy of not going overboard on branding with under delivery of projects from business standpoint. We are rather under promising with over delivery and hence we don’t need to hard sell our projects.

Our brand campaigns are more about conveying messages to evoke human connection with the brand than selling projects and hence campaigns like Mumbaipaedia have been conceived.

We believe if consumers’ goodwill is earned then it elevates the company to a level where balancing the brand positioning at the top and the bottom of pyramid is not a challenge. After all, human emotions and dynamics of relationship are everywhere the same, only the project offering is different.

Challenges of parallel brand positioning

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By: Babulal Varma, CMD, Omkar Realtors & Developers

Babulal Varma, Indiabulls real estate, BSE, Bombay Stock Exchange, 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, KP Singh, DLF, Unitech, Emaar MGF, ndtv.com, ndtv, aajtak, zee news, india news, property news, real estate news, 99acres.com, 99 acres, indianrealtynews.com, indianrealestateforum.comIndiabulls real estate, BSE, Bombay Stock Exchange, 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, KP Singh, DLF, Unitech, Emaar MGF, ndtv.com, ndtv, aajtak, zee news, india news, property news, real estate news, 99acres.com, 99 acres, indianrealtynews.com, indianrealestateforum.comTrack2Realty Exclusive: Firstly, building on the company’s strong experience in the realty segment and the pioneering vision of creating new benchmarks for an aspirational lifestyle, we identified market value preposition in the two sectors.

For the bottom of the pyramid (BoP), we developed a systematic approach for slum clearance and construction of slum rehabilitation projects. For the ToP we conceived iconic projects in the most upscale locations of the city that could redefine the concept of luxury living.

Secondly, we strived to construct a brand image that contributes to establish a connection between the company and the consumers. This resulted in a long term partnership and loyalty.

Financial strength, buying decisions and geographical location were our main parameters for brand positioning in the BoP and ToP market segments respectively. This process is gradual and requires an in-depth understanding of target audiences.

Our seasoned team of professionals with expertise in real estate, communications, infrastructure & construction outlined the concepts for brand development based on the extensive project briefing and goal assessment.

To establish credibility among the bottom of the pyramid, it is essential to understand the needs and wants of the customers. The challenge lies in providing not a cheap product but in offering a product which would be considered value for money.

We have traditionally worked out a business model that is based on relationship. By bridging the trust deficit between the residents and the developer, we are able to create a consensus leading to faster slum clearance and timely project delivery.

Another important aspect in creating a correct brand image in this segment is the customization of the product to have a better fit with the needs of the market and to ensure ready acceptability of the product.

To realize these goals, we believe in working with the best in the business for all our projects including redevelopment. Thus, Larsen & Toubro handles most of our slum rehabilitation projects, which enables fast track construction and timely and qualitative delivery.

This has built goodwill for the company among all the stakeholders and helped create a positive brand image of the company in the redevelopment market.

A real estate segment that has in past few years seen a surge in demand is that of luxury housing for the top of the pyramid. This is mainly due to the rise in the number of HNIs, influx of global lifestyle trend due to rising incomes of corporates and entrepreneurs and an increase in the number of non-resident-Indians (NRIs).

Image building strategy for wealthy customers relies on exclusivity and uniqueness. We recognized that apart from the high design standards, innovative technology and luxury quotient, the neighbourhood of the property is equally important.

Balancing branding at the bottom & top of the pyramid

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By: Babulal Varma, CMD, Omkar Realtors & Developers

Babulal Varma, Indiabulls real estate, BSE, Bombay Stock Exchange, 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, KP Singh, DLF, Unitech, Emaar MGF, ndtv.com, ndtv, aajtak, zee news, india news, property news, real estate news, 99acres.com, 99 acres, indianrealtynews.com, indianrealestateforum.comIndiabulls real estate, BSE, Bombay Stock Exchange, 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, KP Singh, DLF, Unitech, Emaar MGF, ndtv.com, ndtv, aajtak, zee news, india news, property news, real estate news, 99acres.com, 99 acres, indianrealtynews.com, indianrealestateforum.comTrack2Realty Exclusive: In recent times a lot of people have asked me as to whether Omkar Realtors is making a strategic shift from the slum redevelopment to super luxury segment.

Those who have understood our philosophy of catering to both the bottom of the pyramid (BoP) as well as the top of the pyramid (ToP) are questioning whether balancing our brand positioning has been challenging in a market where every other company is zeroing down on communicating to specific target audience.

However, I must say with fair amount of conviction that we as a company feel the demand for quality housing has been consistently rising in all the segments, ranging from luxury residential, mid-income housing to low cost homes.

While, most realty firms operate in one or two of the related segments due to the convenience of similar business model and consumers, walking through the roads less travelled has traditionally been seen as a challenge.

From our own experience I can vouchsafe that we had a lot to introspect before taking an unconventional path of creating panache on either side of the project spectrum.

Since the company traditionally has been into the slum redevelopment segment, there has been no case study worth mention of getting into the extreme continuums of the realty business of super luxury residential segment. The challenge of this unique business model was to establish strong presence of the Omkar brand in the respective markets.

However, this has not been the sheer lure of scaling up the ToP that was the driving force. Rather it has been an evolution and hence the company achieved success through detailed audience research, market & product analysis, perseverance and working with the best.

Our vision has always been to provide the best “luxuries for all” in each product category, be it rehab, mid-segment or high-end. The definition of luxury does vary in different target segments.

Learning redevelopment from global experience-III

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By: Babulal Varma, MD, Omkar Realtors & Developers

Babulal Varma, Indiabulls real estate, BSE, Bombay Stock Exchange, 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, KP Singh, DLF, Unitech, Emaar MGF, ndtv.com, ndtv, aajtak, zee news, india news, property news, real estate news, 99acres.com, 99 acres, indianrealtynews.com, indianrealestateforum.comIndiabulls real estate, BSE, Bombay Stock Exchange, 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, KP Singh, DLF, Unitech, Emaar MGF, ndtv.com, ndtv, aajtak, zee news, india news, property news, real estate news, 99acres.com, 99 acres, indianrealtynews.com, indianrealestateforum.comTrack2Realty Exclusive: The case of Japan is one of the most inspiring and creative as conviction of betterment leads the policy and practical solution formulations. Gate Tower Building is a 16-story office building in Fukushima-ku, Osaka, Japan. And what makes it notable is the highway that passes through the 5th-7th floors of this building. The highway is part of the Hanshin Expressway, a network (239.3 km) of expressways surrounding Osaka, Kobe and Kyoto, Japan. The Gate Tower Building is Japan’s first building to have a highway pass through it. And it had been nicknamed “beehive” referring to its appearance as a “bustling place”.

The Umeda Exit of the Ikeda Route of the Hanshin Expressway system passes through this building. The expressway is the tenant of these floors. The elevator doesn’t stop on floor 5th-7th; floor 4 being followed by floor 8. These floors consist of elevators, stairways, machinery and other stuff.

The highway passes through the building as a bridge, held up by supports next to the building, making no contact with the building itself. The building has a double core construction, with a circular cross section and special care is taken by providing surrounded structure to the highway to protect the building from noise and vibration.

Generally expressways are built underground, and passing through a building is an extremely rare occasion. It dates back to 1983, when the redevelopment of this area was decided upon, “building permits were refused because the highway was already being planned to be built over this land. The property rights’ holders refused to give up and negotiated with the Hanshin Expressway Corporation for approximately five years to reach the current solution.”

What Mumbai needs is a strong commitment to planning. Many of the case studies show that successful projects had well thought-out plans at their bases. The case studies reveal that one very successful strategy is the creation of strong economic development agency that has independence, power and financial resources necessary to move difficult projects through the development process.

Some key initiatives by the state government would go a long way in revitalizing the urban renewal challenge, particularly in context of Mumbai. This includes granting incentive FSI to developers for construction of  LIG/MIG housing in lieu of their free-sale component;  single-window and time bound disposal of  Annexure-11  for slum redevelopment schemes;  premium for fungible FSI under SRA projects should be lower compared to non-SRA projects and higher delegation of authority for fast track clearances to key authorities.

Learning redevelopment from global experience-II

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By: Babulal Varma, MD, Omkar Realtors & Developers

Babulal Varma, Indiabulls real estate, BSE, Bombay Stock Exchange, 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, KP Singh, DLF, Unitech, Emaar MGF, ndtv.com, ndtv, aajtak, zee news, india news, property news, real estate news, 99acres.com, 99 acres, indianrealtynews.com, indianrealestateforum.comIndiabulls real estate, BSE, Bombay Stock Exchange, 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, KP Singh, DLF, Unitech, Emaar MGF, ndtv.com, ndtv, aajtak, zee news, india news, property news, real estate news, 99acres.com, 99 acres, indianrealtynews.com, indianrealestateforum.comTrack2Realty Exclusive: Hong Kong has emerged as a world class city with tall vertical structures, sector-by-sector massive development, open spaces and greenery and most prominently, Floor Space Index (FSI) of 5–35. Similarly for urban revitalization, there are several policies and programmes in American cities.

The pursuit of growth through economic development has become the key strategy in efforts to revitalize older American cities. All levels of government have come to play roles in the complex inter-governmental process of designing, funding and implementing economic development programmes.

With the advent of urban renewal in 1949, and for the succeeding 45 years, the federal government has taken a proactive role in urban development and revitalization, principally through a plethora of grant programmes involving physical development, social transfer payments and economic development initiatives.

These are various revitalization strategies emphasizing physical development tools for individual projects, regional growth management, public-private partnership efforts which worked alone or a partnership with variety of strategies and programmes in various cities.

The use of public investment was made as a catalyst to spur private investment in a particular redevelopment project. The creation of downtown tax districts was used as a tool, not only to raise funds to carry out particular projects but also as a device to manage and promote the city’s core.

The use of private, non-profit development corporations was brought under practice. A number of the case study cities found that complex and highly entrepreneurial projects could not be managed by traditional city agencies. They, therefore, created private, non-profit entities to oversee project development.

..…to be continued

Learning redevelopment from global experience-I

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By: Babulal Varma, MD, Omkar Realtors & Developers

Babulal Varma, Indiabulls real estate, BSE, Bombay Stock Exchange, 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, KP Singh, DLF, Unitech, Emaar MGF, ndtv.com, ndtv, aajtak, zee news, india news, property news, real estate news, 99acres.com, 99 acres, indianrealtynews.com, indianrealestateforum.comIndiabulls real estate, BSE, Bombay Stock Exchange, 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, KP Singh, DLF, Unitech, Emaar MGF, ndtv.com, ndtv, aajtak, zee news, india news, property news, real estate news, 99acres.com, 99 acres, indianrealtynews.com, indianrealestateforum.comTrack2Realty Exclusive: Urban renewal has led to economic rejuvenation of various countries and we shall have to find our own unique solutions while learning from best global practices. While Singapore and Malaysia’s transformation was led by sagacious leadership, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Chicago, Birmingham and New York effectively used their political process to drastically improve quality of life, economic output and employment opportunities.

In the Indian context, Mumbai city is leading the redevelopment process though the volume is still a fraction of the overall potential. Mumbai’s problems are unique and need solutions which are also unique as socio-political fabric of the society and ethnicity is diverse.

We have been observing the global developments in the sphere of redevelopment and are open to experiment with any innovation and value addition locally.  However, any such initiative to value-add can pick up steam in the Indian context only if the government is willing to trust and extend support in cases which impact the immediate society at large.

Redevelopment, particularly in cities which can only grow vertically such as Mumbai, needs to be accorded a macro perspective rather than a micro outlook. Even as we set certain benchmarks for our own states and other nations, our industry should keenly observe the learning curve of redevelopment pattern prevalent abroad.

When Hong Kong initiated redevelopment projects, it had to ensure that the target locations and the priority project areas, upon completion of urban renewal, would be attractive places to reside and work. Accordingly, strategic planning guidelines were charted out to guide their developments.

As a redevelopment module, it shortlisted 200 priority project areas. Upon redevelopment of the 200 priority project areas; there were major improvements to the dilapidated urban areas, which were transformed and brought up to modern city living standards. The major urban decay problem of the city was, hence, largely resolved.

The Urban Renewal Authority’s 4Rs strategy is now well established and gaining recognition in the community. The 4Rs are Redevelopment, Rehabilitation, Reservation and Revitalisation which, when applied together, enables a holistic approach to unlock the full potential of urban renewal.

Under this 4Rs strategy, redevelopment at a project site is used as an anchor around which other complementary modes of urban renewal take place. For instance, this might involve the redevelopment of a cluster of rundown residential buildings. In the nearby areas, efforts will be made to rehabilitate the old but serviceable buildings, conserve buildings of special interest, preserve historic architecture and revitalise the shopping, leisure and local community activities.

…..to be continued

Initiatives for slum redevelopment beyond just housing

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Babulal Varma, Managing Director, Omkar Realtors & Developers

Babulal Varma, Indiabulls real estate, BSE, Bombay Stock Exchange, 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, KP Singh, DLF, Unitech, Emaar MGF, ndtv.com, ndtv, aajtak, zee news, india news, property news, real estate news, 99acres.com, 99 acres, indianrealtynews.com, indianrealestateforum.comIndiabulls real estate, BSE, Bombay Stock Exchange, 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, KP Singh, DLF, Unitech, Emaar MGF, ndtv.com, ndtv, aajtak, zee news, india news, property news, real estate news, 99acres.com, 99 acres, indianrealtynews.com, indianrealestateforum.comThere are many initiatives taken for the overall development of the slum dweller rather than just housing them. It is this gesture of ours which has helped us acquire more and more projects for redevelopment. We now have the slum dwellers approaching us, for us to redevelop their site. We on our own have also gone ahead and are now even getting the redevelopment buildings constructed by companies like L&T.

We are proud of this bond which we have created between the slum dwellers and us and have completely changed the outlook people had towards slum development. It is no more an exploitation of the poor by the rich, it is no more a one way street housing only for the ones who can afford high prices. It is no more breaking you from your social fabric; it is no more of sharing common toilets and living in unhygienic conditions. It is no more of exploitation and use of force to clear slums.

We as concerned and responsible developers are proud to say that it is now about partnership in progress and beautification of the city. It is now about overall development. It is now about creating space for infrastructure and growth while maintaining the social infrastructure and uplifting the lives of the slum dwellers.

While, on one side there is no land available for any of the development activity, this 50 per dent land of Mumbai under the slums is enough of a raw material for the next many years to come. Added to this are the old buildings and society developments which are giving away and thus need immediate attention.

We have realized that if you take the people along with you and look after them well, you can create a lot of goodwill and thus make this dream project of the Mumbai Government and every Mumbaikar, to be the next Shanghai “A Dream come true.”

Slum redevelopment ensures inclusive growth

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Babulal Varma, Managing Director, Omkar Realtors & Developers

Babulal Varma, Indiabulls real estate, BSE, Bombay Stock Exchange, 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, KP Singh, DLF, Unitech, Emaar MGF, ndtv.com, ndtv, aajtak, zee news, india news, property news, real estate news, 99acres.com, 99 acres, indianrealtynews.com, indianrealestateforum.comIndiabulls real estate, BSE, Bombay Stock Exchange, 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, KP Singh, DLF, Unitech, Emaar MGF, ndtv.com, ndtv, aajtak, zee news, india news, property news, real estate news, 99acres.com, 99 acres, indianrealtynews.com, indianrealestateforum.comThe business of redevelopment has a long gestation period but the end result is better living for the poor, improved civic amenities and infrastructure of the city and additional housing for the influx. The realization is very clear—with the growth of economy the standard of living also has to go up, and it has to go up for all and not only a few. It has to be an inclusive growth.

When a westerner visits Mumbai, he is amazed to see how magnificent high-end buildings co-exist with the slums. It does not leave him impressed rather leaves him amazed. It does not strengthen his confidence level to invest in the country but confuses him.

It is this confusion of theirs which we need to remove so that they can gain more confidence to invest in our country. We cannot dream about being a Shanghai if we do not bring in synergies and look at an overall plan taking due care of all strata of society. We need to provide for decent, hygienic living conditions for all.

We thus ensure that while we undertake any slum redevelopment project, we work on it in the literal sense of development. The people are provided with not only a decent building with apartments to live in but we also ensure that we impart them with basic knowledge on hygiene and the way to live in and take care of an apartment. We also help them in many a case with vocational programs and training.

Redevelopment is all about being partners in progress

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Babulal Varma, Managing Director, Omkar Realtors & Developers

Babulal Varma, Indiabulls real estate, BSE, Bombay Stock Exchange, 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, KP Singh, DLF, Unitech, Emaar MGF, ndtv.com, ndtv, aajtak, zee news, india news, property news, real estate news, 99acres.com, 99 acres, indianrealtynews.com, indianrealestateforum.comIndiabulls real estate, BSE, Bombay Stock Exchange, 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, KP Singh, DLF, Unitech, Emaar MGF, ndtv.com, ndtv, aajtak, zee news, india news, property news, real estate news, 99acres.com, 99 acres, indianrealtynews.com, indianrealestateforum.comJust over a decade ago nobody would have even thought about the redevelopment. What then changed in the last two decades? Well, almost about everything changed as far as vision about the urban infrastructure and living is concerned. India suddenly became from a developing country to the next big superpower in the making. The Indian economy opened its doors to the outside world and the economy just started shooting up.

It was to impact the entire country and where maximum it could have impacted was none other than the financial capital Amchi Mumbai. Finance being the backbone of all business activity, the financial sector showed a major boom in activities and suddenly the already over- crowded city saw a major jump in influx. So fast was this growth that the already overburdened infrastructure just could not keep up pace and crumbled. Growth, after all, has its own disadvantages as well.

To match up with this new demand and to cope with this influx a lot had to be done and done fast. Thus was born the need for redevelopment. Mumbai over the years had been almost over 50 per cent covered with slums. The old time buildings had been depleting. Being an island city there was not much scope to grow horizontal and there was no land available. Infrastructure and civil amenities could also not be expanded as many land parcels were encroached and it was difficult to clear the same for any expansion work.

The Government thus came up with the SRA scheme and the redevelopment scheme. These schemes are designed in a manner so as to bring in a fresh look to the city, increase its capacity to take in the increased manpower, help in clear land to expand infrastructure and add the additional required civic amenities.

Easy as it may sound, it is a mammoth task and requires a lot of patience and creation of a strong goodwill by virtue of being humble, understanding and delivering to the promises made. One need to get into the grass roots and understand the day to day living of people, their social fabric and then design and implement the project which best meets their needs.