Tag Archives: Director

Upgrading lifestyle actual luxury across all categories

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Opinion: Luxury is not merely a segment that offers expensive homes at premium locations. Luxury is consistently offering buyers in every micro-market the best technology, the best design and the best amenities that help them upgrade their lifestyles.

Omkar 1973 Worli, Mumbai real estate market, Sea facing apartment, Ultra luxury housing project, India real estate news, Indian realty news, India property market, Track2Media Research, Track2RealtyI say this in the context of the fact that Indian real estate sector, of late, has seen an influx of offerings with the Luxury tag.  And most of the offerings vary in comparison. Whether it’s the ticket size, location, amenities, brand affinity, services, innovation or design, the Luxury tag hangs proudly and in the face.

So, where do we draw the line or set a qualifying benchmark to demystify the so called ‘Luxury’ term in India’s housing sector. I would go a step further; how should the customer in different categories perceive and logically accept the offering as ‘Luxury’.

Being at the helm of a leading brand which operates at both ends of the realty pyramid- ultra luxury and free housing- we too grappled with this dilemma but have largely managed to convey and convince the ‘luxury’ quotient in our offerings.  However, certain misconceptions and misleading claims continue to thrive in the industry.

I feel that the term ‘luxury’ in the context of Indian real estate business has to be perceived and judged by micro category of consumers and their realistic aspiration values.

For example, there is a perception that free housing under SRA scheme, specifically in context of Mumbai, does not mean luxury. In Mumbai, SRA (slum redevelopment) is a mode of acquisition of land. Mumbai hardly has any open land. The land either comes from mills, which has workers residing next to it or it comes from old buildings, which need to be demolished and redeveloped and finally from the slums.

The point here is that quality development in SRA means luxury housing to an urban-challenged slum community while also delivering true luxury offerings to an open market.

When you offer a good quality 1 BHK apartment, with a well-planned society, to a slum dweller, you are offering sheer luxury to that person/family. Moving into a proper apartment, in a semi high-rise, for urban-challenged citizens in Mumbai not only means luxury but a life-transforming development.

Now the same theory would not be applicable in case of a LIG or MIG dweller who is already staying in a non-SRA structure. His or her luxury quotient rests in the upgrade they are wanting to. The upgrade would be a mix of bigger house and better amenities. That is luxury to them.

So, in short, upgrading your lifestyle is luxury. For a slum dweller, moving from a 75 square feet house to a 270-290 square feet home with a lift, continuous water supply, a security guard etc, is luxury.

For a middle class family, moving from a regular 600 square feet apartment to a 1000 plus square feet one with a gymnasium, a terrace garden and multi-level parking is a luxury. This is how we differentiate ourselves from our competitors in the micro market, by providing the consumer something extra; by upgrading their lifestyle with the best in class amenities, the best design and the best infrastructure.

However, despite the above interpretation, the term ‘luxury’ still continues to be misdirected by a faction of the industry. By industry, I mean stakeholders and sales channels which influence the end-customer.  Content creators too, sometimes, form a part of this bracket.

Having said this, I feel the onus of interpretation rests at consumers’ doorsteps and mindset. Today’s home buyer is more evolved and much more analytical in differentiating between actual luxury and projected luxury.

Customer in order to assess actual luxury need to experience and closely study the  products, the amenities, construction quality & technology and various collaborations which indicate the difference between multiple offerings which carry a common pitch. There is a strong need to peel the extra layer while judging the importance and luxury quotient of various facets which goes into creating a new lifestyle living offering. Here, the responsibility rests equally with the brand and as well the customer.

To cite an example, our luxury offerings Omkar Alta Monte and ultra-luxury offering Omkar 1973 Worli in the micro markets of Malad and Worli respectively have been consistently selling beyond the market average in those micro markets. The feedback from the experts and industry observers including a highly credible realty media pinpoints to finer luxury factors such as design, finishes, nature and quality of amenities, depth of services and collaborations viz a viz similar luxury offerings in the micro market.

Mumbai continues to take the lead in driving the luxury and ultra luxury market in India. The Mumbai luxury realty market will see a big shift in the future. You need to see the kind of houses that are being delivered, the kind of amenities and services on offer and compare them to the older buildings in prime locations in South and Central Mumbai. The old buildings in areas such as Peddar Road, Cuff Parade and Marine Drive have a very high capital value. But, the new buildings, even in the suburbs, have so much more to offer in terms of amenities. In the next 20-25 years, the entire city will have to be rebuilt and that is where a lot of luxury products will come up. That is the need of the market.

As long as you make a good product, give the buyers the right location and the right amenities, they’re happy and willing. In case of promising new players and first-time projects, consumers can still get to experience the quality on offer with the sample apartments and a sales experience which rides high on transparency and knowledge dissemination about all the project facets.

In the future, we will have to evolve and keep in mind with the new trends, the new tastes, the new technology and buyer preferences. Even brand leaders need to lookout for something better that they can offer to their customers and constantly evolve with time because innovation too is luxury.

By: Gaurav Gupta, Director, Omkar Realtors & Developers

Focus shifting beyond metro cities-II

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By: Abhay Garg, Director, Curo India

Abhay Garg, Director, Curo India, India real estate news, Indian realty news, Property new, Home, Policy Advocacy, Activism, Mall, Retail, Office space, SEZ, IT/ITeS, Residential, Commercial, Hospitality, Project, Location, Regulation, FDI, Taxation, Investment, Banking, Property Management, Ravi Sinha, Track2Media, Track2RealtyTrack2Realty Exclusive: The numerous options available in these markets are a great advantage. With many constructions under progress, be it commercial space for offices, shops or residential houses/apartments, there is plenty of options to choose from.

If one wishes to lead a peaceful professional and personal life, Tier II and Tier III cities are good choices. They are any day better to the environment pollution, traffic congestion, power and water shortages, and choking civic systems that have become integral to the lifestyle in Tier I cities.

There is always better camaraderie among people in smaller towns as there is sufficient time for socializing. More NRIs prefer to come back to India to lead such a life distinguished by its family values.

Modern retail is also expected to grow by a whopping 50-60 percent per annum in tier II and III cities of India over the next few years, compared to only 35 percent in tier I cities.

Clearly, the metro citizens are not the only ones aware of various brands, fast-food, and modern lifestyle – thanks to satellite TV and inexpensive mobile phones, smaller towns have got an evolving consuming class that aspires to be like the big-city consumers.

A recent study confirms that the tier II cities are seeing a rapid rise in consumer spending. While the modern trade sector grew 28 percent in 2012 all over India, this was overshadowed by sales in modern retail stores in cities such Jaipur, Indore, and Surat which grew by around 40, 39 and 27 percent, respectively. This trend of expansion of modern retail in smaller cities is going to strengthen in the future, the study says.

Like anywhere else, selecting the right location for stores is the key to success in smaller towns too. There are various angles to be considered. The basic parameter of successful retailing is the aggregate demand generated by the catchment area, and most national retailers see the population base as critical in choosing which cities to open stores in.

High streets in smaller towns are doing quite well. People there have never been exposed to the kind of atmosphere that modern retail offers. High streets in these small towns are working with brands to raise awareness levels of customers.

All the above factors put together have created a demand in the Real Estate and Retail Sector. The influx of knowledgeable professionals is on the rise, which is a factor for growth of smaller economies. The present trends coupled with favourable Government policies, point the needle towards a promising future.

Focus shifting beyond metro cities-I

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By: Abhay Garg, Director, Curo India

Abhay Garg, Director, Curo India, India real estate news, Indian realty news, Property new, Home, Policy Advocacy, Activism, Mall, Retail, Office space, SEZ, IT/ITeS, Residential, Commercial, Hospitality, Project, Location, Regulation, FDI, Taxation, Investment, Banking, Property Management, Ravi Sinha, Track2Media, Track2RealtyTrack2Realty Exclusive: The property rates and cost of living in the metros like Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore have been soaring drastically over the years and owing to this, these cities have reached a kind of stagnation in terms of real estate and retail growth.  This scenario has shifted the focus of investors as well as the customers towards the tier II & tier III cities.

Many Retailers are expanding to smaller towns and cities across India to tap a new breed of customers who are getting richer and increasingly willing to shell out money to shop at modern retail formats. Also, these cities are now becoming new real estate hubs in India with both commercial & residential projects getting developed at a fast pace.

Urbanisation and rising household income are some of the major factors that influence demand for residential and commercial real estate and growth in the retail sector. Real estate follows industrialization, as people come to work they bring their families and settle in and around big cities.

This has increased the demand in the residential segment. Growth in this segment is thus primarily driven by growing urbanisation, rise in the number of white-collar professionals, rising incomes, etc. The residential segment is again witnessing growth in demand for luxury and super premium homes among the globe-trotting executives, new and successful businessmen, non-resident Indians (NRIs), and so on.

However, with growing urbanization beyond the metros, it can now be said that most of the growth in the real estate industry can be visible in tier 2 and tier 3 cities. Despite being a highly fragmented market, affordability of homes has made these cities lucrative for customers.

People have started investing in tier two and three cities now because the tier one cities have reached a kind of torpor. As the peripheral infrastructure including transportation, education and employment improves in these cities, the real estate industry is seeing consequent growth.

The rising income levels and the growing business environment have also enabled the development of the retail sector in these cities. The industry reports estimate that 35 per cent of the retail space will grow in Tier II and Tier III cities, in the coming years.

Major Indian and multi-national companies have established their business in these cities. Today, one can witness a gamut of business activities that were never heard of before.

Tier III cities like Lucknow, Ludhiana, Jalandhar, Guwahati, Surat, Nagpur, Indore, Goa, Mysore, Coimbatore, Visakhapatnam, Kochi, Vijayawada, Mangalore, Trivandrum and Baroda have great potential for growth. One of the reasons that make these cities a preferred choice for investment in business and real estate activities is the cost factor. As compared to Tier I cities, the capital values are much lower in Tier II and Tier III cities. The cost of labour too is low.

The rental is proportionate to the capital prices, and manpower is less because of the cost of living. This is one of the reasons that many IT and ITES companies are setting up business here. Retail giants and other business conglomerates are eyeing these cities as potential investment destinations.

…to be continued

Women more than just developer’s wife

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By: Kruti Jain, Director, Kumar Urban Development

Kruti Jain, Director, KUL, India real estate news, Indian realty news, Property new, Home, Policy Advocacy, Activism, Mall, Retail, Office space, SEZ, IT/ITeS, Residential, Commercial, Hospitality, Project, Location, Regulation, FDI, Taxation, Investment, Banking, Property Management, Ravi Sinha, Track2Media, Track2RealtyTrack2Realty Exclusive: Historically, the involvement of women in matters relating to real estate has been there as it was always a small scale family run business. So, handling administrative and employee management was a common role of developer wife’s.

But on the service side the opportunities were minimal. This was for multiple reasons not only education but also lack of infrastructure and security for women to work independently. Also, in a male dominated society as ours, women are confined to the role of housewives. This is especially true for women in the rural areas of the country. Their consent or advice is barely taken in financial matters.

However, things are changing at a fast pace. The 21st century has seen the emergence of women as power wielders in great force. Now, women are leaders everywhere you look–from the CEO who runs a Fortune 500 company to the housewife who raises her children and heads her household.

With more women playing a greater role in the boardroom, equality in women legislative rights, and an increase in the number of impressive women role models in every aspect of life, one would think that women might have just gained true equality. However, there are miles to go before this utopian dream turns into a reality.

Women have conventionally been allotted prominent roles only in traditionally women-centric fields such as nursing and other similar professions. However, things are changing rapidly now. An increasing number of women are dominating the male stronghold areas.

Women are in every possible field today and the real estate is no exception. Considered to be a very male centric industry, a rising number of women are joining the real estate sector and excelling at it. It has to be noted that it is the organised sector of the industry which is spearheading this revolution.

As a woman and third generation into the business of real estate, personally I feel privileged to have grown up in an atmosphere where being in the business was a natural progression. However, I do understand that all women are not that privileged and at times they do feel some discrimination at various level.

I try my best to encourage more women employees in my organisation and most importantly give try to prove equal opportunity employer in the true sense of the term.

Having said that, I must say women are joining this burgeoning industry in several key capacities in good numbers lately. The rate of involvement of women in real estate is growing at a healthy pace and there is no ceiling for women’s growth and income. Most of the international firms already have women in their teams who are actively working on projects. In India, there is a slow but promising change for the same.

A woman in today’s scenario stands at the same pedestal as men. She is independent, self-earning and intelligent enough to make decisions for herself. A broader market vision, positive, interpersonal and warm board dynamics, and increase in corporate goodwill are what women bring to the table when they reach the upper echelons of companies. Successful and happy women communicate a feeling of empowerment for other aspiring women and are a source of inspiration to all.

In this business, it is very important to maintain good interpersonal relationships. The ability to get work done and a compassionate approach towards people is what makes a woman a better leader.