Tag Archives: PNC Menon

Ravi Menon a business leader as first co-worker

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Gen Next Business Leader

Bottom Line: What it takes to emerge as a business leader for a second generation when the father has built a legacy of trustworthy brand? Not living in the shadow of father and at the same time not sitting on the laurels of past achievements is really challenging for the scion. Ravi Sinha meets Ravi Menon, Chairman of Sobha Ltd who has today created his own identity. 

Ravi Menon, Chairman Sobha Limited, Real estate professional in India, Beast property professionals in India, Best developers in India, Best real estate brand in India, Bengaluru property market, Bangalore real estate, India real estate news, Indian realty news, Real estate news India, Indian property market news Realty Plus, Investment in Sobha property, Track2RealtyIt is 8PM and the corporate office of Sobha Ltd at Sarjapur-Marthahalli Outer Ring Road, Bangalore wears a deserted look as most of the employees have left for home. A casually dressed young man is still working with a graphic designer on the open floor space.

On first look it seems the not-so-performing employee has been given a dressing down by the management and compelled to work till late. But wait! On a closer look the employee turns out to be the young scion of India’s most admired real estate company.

Meet Ravi Menon, Chairman of Sobha Ltd and son of PNC Menon whose legacy gives the son liberty to rest in his cabin and enjoy the laurels that the company has earned. But it seems there is something professional in the DNA of this family. Hence, the colleagues respect Ravi as first co-worker in the office whose personal involvement and eye for detailing is what has helped brand Sobha to get to the next level of brand reputation.

In a business like real estate where the shelf life of employees is pretty short and the parting ways is often painful and unpleasant, Sobha employees respect the team leader for his dedication and personal involvement. It is the dynamism of the second generation entrepreneur that today Sobha has a very cosmopolitan culture and the company has attracted right talent from diverse backgrounds from all parts of the country.

“In his mid 30s he has completely sacrificed social life as his only dedication is to work; making sure the processes are improved. I have not seen any other second generation in the business working like this,” says JC Sharma, VC and MD of Sobha.

Top 5 business mantra 

Focus on product is the key

To deliver it at the right price point is market differentiator

Timely delivery is key to gain respect

Ability to sell in a focused manner is critical 

Building a brand is a long term plan and right path will help build a long-term sustainable brand 

Stepping stones

For Ravi it was a conscious decision to carry forward the legacy of family business and immediately after completing his Civil Engineering Degree from Purdue University, US, he joinedthe then nine year oldentity, which had already established a strong brand in Bangalore, and was known in the market for high quality development work.

“It wasthe interest in architectural design,and buildingstructures that led me to study and work in this field, and fortunately for me I got a fabulous platform to begin my work experience with Sobha and my father. Sobha was a company that always had a culture to bring the best technologies and practices from across the globe and incorporate them in the local context,” says Ravi.

Under his leadership, Sobha has been working on some of the most unique projects in India.For a young business leader the work is engaging and provides challenges and this environment is full of excitement and stimulation.

Before joining, did he ever thought work culture & demands of this business would compromise his personal life/freedom?“I consider myself fortunate to be working in a business that I enjoy. This naturally leads one to get passionately involved in every aspect, to learn more and at the same time bring gradual improvements and further strengthen the business. When I am not at work, the rest of my time is completely spent with family,” he says.

As a matter of fact, after graduating from university,and then moving to India,he had the realisation that his knowledge about the business and the country was not up to the mark. He nevertheless took it as a challenge to learn it on the job. Fortunately, he hadthe opportunity to interact and learn from his father, PNC Menon whose professional acumen is globally acknowledged.

Sobha’s Initial Public Offering (IPO) was at the end of 2006 and this was the opportunity for him to understand deeper about the business. He could learn as to how dynamic the business is and it is important to understand the cycles, trends, changes in policies that affect the business. His work ethics nevertheless makes him learn new things everyday.

In the context of the Indian real estate, many second generation entrepreneurs had to struggle to change the brand philosophy after taking over the mantle. Majority of them even struggled to cope with the petty shop mindset within the organization. Ravi Menon, however, has been fortunate to share the same brand philosophy of his father.

“My father is manwho is extremely passionate about his work; has the highest values systems; and delivers products only at the highest levels ofquality standards. He attracts and employs the besttalent towork with him. The brand Sobha was built only because of the firm focus ondelivering international quality products on time,” he shares.

There has been no clash of generation in this case because th framework of brand Sobha was well defined in terms of the product, financial structure, land strategy, and sales & marketing. Ravi maintains that while the company may continuously look at the relevance and effectiveness of this business framework at any point of time and slight changes and fine tuning are made, even now the broader framework which was defined is still very much relevant and gives them competitive edge.

It’s my choice

Your role model in life & real estate: My father 

Your favourite architecture globally: Burj Khalifa and Emirates Towers in Dubai

Your favorite real estate market: India

One thing you dislike about real estate: Sector not given industry status to harness true potential

Turning point

Every professional has his turning point. What has been the defining moment for Ravi Menon? He thinks Sobha’s first integrated township project, Sobha City in Thrissur, Kerala, is the kind of landmark project that makes him proud. It is a 55 acre campus and built around a 6.5 acre man-made lake that is one of the largest rainwater harvesting facilities in the country and caters to Sobha City’s total potable water requirements. The Sobha City Mall, their first commercial retail venture which opened in 2015, is a landmark development that makes him feel like a personal milestone.

Ravi’s brand philosophy is pretty simple to be focused on improving the quality of products consistently. He believes that brand perception is shaped by the quality of products and hence he has been conscious of the quality of products and its timely delivery. Today, a large number of Sobha buyers are repeat customers and they are growing by word of mouth.

“Our brand philosophy hinges on ‘passion at work’ which signifies our attention to minutest details, carried out passionately. Our company’s overall brand personality is that of obsessive perfectionist. We deliver what our customers need. Moving forward to the next level is a part of the journey that we are undertaking daily,” he says.

Open letter to stakeholders 

“I believe that Government has already taken few steps and is likely to take few more positive steps to bring real estate sector in the mainstream. With RERA coming into play, there will be more transparency and accountability in the system. Push for Smart Cities, Housing for All and other similar such programs will usher change. We all must work towards building TRUST amongst our customers and stakeholders” 

Innovation quotient

In terms of brand positioning he asserts that Sobha brand has always stood for international quality products delivered on time at a reasonable price with transparency. According to him, these are hallmarks which keep the brand differentiated in the market and he will continue with this position.

“One of the major steps that we have taken recently is introduction of precast technology to make more than 6000 homes on an 81 acre plot within the city of Bangalore. Two years back we stepped into an altogether new segment which is called Dream Seriesfor the first time. We have erected our precast factory within the Dream Acresproject site using some of the best machinery and know-how from Germany,” Ravi shares.

A humble professional in him believes his contribution to the Indian real estate is as much as the performance of the brand. Today, he is heading a team where the processes are chained with a solid backward integration model focused at creating best quality products and highest delivery excellence. He nevertheless is open to admit that there is much more to be done in terms of improving processes, technology, skilling of manpower and living responsibly as a good corporate citizen.

What the world does not know about Ravi Menon? 

“When I was growing up, I used to watch lot of movies in Malayalam. Mohanlal was one of my favorite heroes. I have watched almost all his films in the 1990s” 

Business lessons learnt 

He has been hands on with the operations as the first co-worker. Each and every day has been a new day for him when he gets engrossed with work. He is so passionate about construction, design, architecture, marketing and strengthening the processes that he personally gets down to the minutest of details.

The young business leader thinks out of the box and comes out with ideas that could lead to market disruption. He recently conceptualised Sobha ConnectProgramme where team Sobha meets thousands of existing customers at especially designed carnival programs at their properties. This unique approach was carried for more than six months in 2016.

Sobha got connected with about 3000 of the existing customers, covered more than 4300 units in about 36 properties. Not many developers would dare to do this anticipating buyers’ backlash if the product does not meet the expectations.

Similarly, Sobha Privilegeoffered the customers promotional offers and privilege points for referrals. Then there was Sobha Alliancethat was an exclusive partnership program with an opportunity to earn by promoting Sobha homes. Similarly, for the Sobha employees he offered Sobha Advantage programme that is a sales referral opportunity.

“We also introduced the Sobha Hackathonprogram centered on the notion of innovation. Objective was to encourage our people to come up with innovative spark of an idea into a working prototype. They could choose a field they were comfortable with ranging from sales and marketing to construction and engineering. All regional teams participated and showcased their innovative ideas which are now in various stages of implementation,” says Ravi.

Future calling

Ravi is not satisfied and there are more market disruptions in the pipeline. Focus is hence shifting on more mixed-use developments in future. He believes that apart from good quality homes, people are desirous of having an aspirational life style – whether it is harmony with nature or having a sports and fitness laden set of amenities or integrated with commercial (shopping, food, business and entertainment) facilities where they can live, work and play.

Are these market differentiation borne out of challenges during the slowdown? The son in him gives credit to the foresight of father, “Sobha has been self-reliant to a large extent from the very beginning. In 1995-96, when the company faced difficulty in procuring quality wooden doors, aluminum window frames and concrete blocks we decided to set up our own factories of woodwork, glazed metal frames and concrete blocks. This was the beginning of the backward integration model.”

“Today, I can say it was my father’s foresight and vision that is working so beautifully for us. Our unique business model is our true differentiator which enables us to hold our head high and never compromise on quality,” he adds.

The second generation is really serious to take the legacy of father to the next level of expansion. The company under his leadership is working towards increasing its footprint and volume of business in the country. Amidst a growing debate that the entry of corporate conglomerates have changed the brand dynamics of business, Ravi feels both the corporates as well as core developers have a place in the market.

“Both types have unique strengths of their own. While the large corporate groups have an added advantage of their legacy, trust and financial muscle, the niche developer can go deeper and cash upon proven potential of delivery and having created excellence in their chosen field of expertise. The key lies in professionalizing the processes. Location, cost, design and architecture, quality, timely delivery and transparency will always play an important part in helping developers to command premium today and tomorrow,” he feels.

Sobha is currently working on 39 real estate projects in nine cities measuring 42.94 mn sqft and 33 contractual projects in nine cities measuring 8.96 mn sqft of developable area. In total, there are 72 ongoing projects measuring 51.90 mn sqft of developable area.

“My immediate priority is to first get these ongoing projects executed well and as per our standards and within time frame. We also plan to launch new projects in Bangalore and Chennai regions in the next 3-4 quarters measuring a total area of about 5.15 mn sqft,” he says.

Brand Sobha of PNC Menon is definitely into the safe hands of Ravi Menon. After all, he is not behaving like a boss, scion, rich or powerful but the first co-worker of the brand.


SOBHA forays into Gujarat with over INR 500 crore investment in GIFT City

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News Point: SOBHA Limited marks its foray into Gujarat market where the company will make an investment of over INR 500 crore towards residential development in Gujarat International Finance Tec-City (GIFT City).

Sobha Logo. Sobha Ltd, Bangalore real estate, India real estate news, Indian property market, Track2RealtyWith its footprint in GIFT City, India’s 1stOperational Smart City and International Financial Services Centre (IFSC), SOBHA increases increase its residential footprint to 10 cities in India.

Speaking on the occasion, Ravi Menon, Chairman, SOBHA Limited said, “Ahmedabad is a prominent business centre of Gujarat. It isthe second largest cotton textile centre in India after Mumbai with equally strong pharma, petrochemical and automobile industries. Rapid infrastructure development over the years has augmented the IT and ITES sectors as well tremendously, making it an important investment destination. These, together, have given a fillip to commercial and residential real estate market in the city. To fulfil this increasing demand, the Government of Gujarat initiated the full-integrated city project of GIFT City between Ahmedabad and Gandhinagar, where SOBHA will contribute significantly in fulfilling the residential demand.”

With a total built up area of 1.3 million square feet, SOBHA will develop close to 1000 housing units in the fully-integrated city built on the walk-to-work concept. This investment is in line with SOBHA’s focus on developing affordable housing projects in major cities across the country. 

Commenting on the development, Ajay Pandey, MD and Group CEO, GIFT City said, “GIFT City is experiencing unprecedented growth in the commercial developments and corporate participation. We are delighted to have SOBHA committing such a significant investment at GIFT to complement and participate in GIFT’s journey in becoming a global financial and services hub. It has also emerged as one the prominent landmarks in the office market, after witnessing rapid office development by companies from BFSI, IT/ITES and other services sectors. As a result, more developments will be needed to cater to the increasing demand at GIFT City,” he added.

J.C. Sharma, Vice Chairman and Managing Director, SOBHA Limited said, “SOBHA has set benchmarks in the Indian real estate sector with its precision and international quality homes across segments. Our uniquemodel of backward integration makes us the only real estate player in India to have all the competencies and resources in-house to deliver a project from conceptualisation to completion. With our investment in GIFT City, SOBHA aims to meet the increasing demand for affordable housing while contributing to Hon’ble Prime Minister’s vision of ‘Housing for All’. This also aligns with the vision of GIFT City of offering world-class services and infrastructure. We look forward to working on this project and associating with GIFT City to introduce first-of-its-kind housing project.”

Spread over 886 acres of land, GIFT City features include a district cooling system, underground utility tunnel, and automated vacuum waste collection, many of which are being introduced in India for the first time. The city is designed for walkability and includes commercial and residential complexes.

GIFT City has so far received investment of over INR 11,000 crore with allotment of ~16 mn sq ft of built up area (BUA). Presently, ~200 companies are operational at GIFT City, employing around 8000 people.

Till date, SOBHA has completed real estate projects and contractual projects covering about 88.93 million square feet of area. The Company currently has ongoing real estate projects aggregating to 41.37 million square feet of developable area and 28.48 million square feet of saleable area, and ongoing contractual projects aggregating to 7.17 million square feet under various stages of construction. 

Currently, the Company has a real estate presence in Bengaluru, Gurugram, Chennai, Pune, Coimbatore, Thrissur, Kozhikode, Cochin and Mysore. Overall, SOBHA has footprint in 26 cities and 13 states across India.

SOBHA’s product portfolio ranges from a 650 sq. feet unit to the presidential villas with about 12000 sq. feet. On the Contracts side, SOBHA has constructed a wide variety of structures for corporates including office complex, convention centres, software development blocks, multiplex theatres, hostel facilities, guest houses, food courts, restaurants, research centres and club houses.

Some of SOBHA’s prestigious corporate clients include Infosys, Taj Group, Dell, Biocon, Bosch, LuLu Group, Manipal Group and others.

When father & son share the same business philosophy

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As Sobha Ltd stands at the top of Best Practices in Indian real estate, Ravi Sinha speaks to the father PNC Menon (Chairman Emeritus) and the son Ravi Menon (Chairman) to understand where they differ in perspective and what makes them stick to the core professional philosophy over such a long period of time.

PNC Menon, Ravi Menon, Sobha Limited,  Bangalore real estate, Bengaluru real estate, Bengaluru property market, Best practices in real estate, Clash of generation in business, Best real estate brand in India, Best business family in India, Best real estate family in India, India real estate news, Indian realty news, Real estate news India, Indian property market news, Track2Realty, Invest with reputed builderRavi Sinha: What has been the outlook of PNC Menon about best practices when he started the business?

PNC Menon: Coming from interior decoration business, I had always believed in delivering world class quality. When I decided to enter India’s real estate industry, I could clearly identify the gap in quality standards. As a result, I chose to build an organization that was more focused on creating a new, higher level of quality standards that India’s real estate industry had not yet experienced. Driven by our backward integrated business model, which is unique world-over, and timely delivery, we have achieved this objective.

Ravi Sinha: With market dynamics changing fast what are the recent changes you have introduced Ravi to sync the company with emerging best practices?

Ravi Menon: Market dynamics are changing and we are aware that urban population is rising, more so in India. There is massive shortfall in infrastructure and urban housing. Due to climatic change and rising environmental concerns, more resilient buildings which are environment friendly will be required. There is also a perceptible change in the way people live, work and play. People are living longer; households are getting smaller; there is increased mobility; and of course technology is transforming the way people think demand the kind of homes they want and carry on with their lifestyle. Keeping all these in mind, we have taken new initiatives at Sobha to stay ahead of the curve.

Ravi Sinha: How easy or difficult it was to manage your brand reputation in the initial days? Do you feel the burden of often unreasonable expectations today?

PNC Menon: I believe that any brand is established by consistent delivery of quality within committed timelines. There is no additional burden of expectation, except, of course, the ongoing passion to improve quality standards on a continuous basis. 

Ravi Sinha: In today’s digital world the buyers come together for mass campaigns. How do you differentiate between consumer activism and consumer blackmailing?

Ravi Menon: We welcome consumer activism and take up customer complaints/issues seriously and quite speedily as far as possible and deal with it with honesty and openness. We make efforts to understand their issues by adopting a personal approach and try to help resolve it. This signals to them that we value their opinions. This helps in managing expectations and reducing negative feedback.

In case of consumer blackmailing, we take the threat seriously but at the same time don’t allow it to cloud our judgment. In such situations, the key is to remain calm and professional. We try to look at options available and take steps to find a reasonable solution. However, if the consumer is unreasonable, irrational or fake, we leave them to get exposed amidst other stakeholders to draw their own conclusions. We value customer feedback and strive to accommodate as far as possible. However, we do not engage or encourage consumer blackmailing, if any.

Ravi Sinha: The buyer has changed today and so has expectations vis-Ă -vis transparency and communication at each and every level. What is your outlook on this change over the years?

PNC Menon: We have always believed in and practiced a philosophy of 100 per cent transparency and communication, regardless of whether we are interacting with our customers, investors, employees or any other stakeholders. This philosophy has not wavered. In fact, this approach has been embraced by our Board and as such, we have strengthened our communication channels across both Sobha India and Sobha Middle East.

Ravi Sinha: Dealing with informed buyers has its own challenges. What changes you had to make in terms of transparency and communication?

Ravi Menon: We want buyers to be more informed and rather strive to make more relevant information available to them. If buyers are truly informed, they will be able to discern better and can take a calibrated decision on parameters of quality, timeliness and transparency. They would also become aware about our uncompromising business ethics, values and transparency in all spheres of business conduct, which have contributed in making us the most admired and trusted real estate brand in India.

We have a two way communication with our customers through our various touch points such as customer care cell, a dedicated customer portal and our interactive corporate website. These help us in making available uniform and consistent information to the customers round the clock. Additionally, a dedicated Customer Relationship Executive (CRE) is available for any clarification/information at all times. Even after hand-over, facility management department provides valuable support to our customers in maintenance related issues. 

Ravi Sinha: During your early days fiscal management was simple game of profit & loss account. Do you find it too complex now with company being listed entity  and hence burden of compliances?

PNC Menon: Prior to our IPO in India, we had developed internal systems and processes to enable sustainable growth, which helped us to adequately meet the challenges of the industry. Our experience with the IPO has only further strengthened the organization’s ability to meet corporate governance requirements and stakeholder expectations.

Ravi Sinha: As the second generation did you ever feel the need to change the way fiscal management was traditionally being practiced?

Ravi Menon: We have been prudent in managing the finances from the very beginning by utilizing all our resources efficiently and keeping utmost transparency in our dealings. Post listing, we ensure that there is regular flow of correct information to all our stakeholders. 

Mastering the real estate cycles is key to our business as it is cyclical in nature. This has not changed fundamentally for us prior or post our listing. We have been able to use our capital wisely during different cycles primarily due to our integrated model which helps us to manage and control the supply chain to suit the changing conditions. 

Ravi Sinha: Scale to capacity mismatch is an inevitable reality of today’s market when every developer wants to grow bigger. How easy it was in the initial years?

PNC Menon: Sobha delivers a fully integrated model of real estate development spanning multiple activities of design, engineering, MEP, joinery, glazing, joinery, landscaping and infrastructure. We have also carefully assessed the market potential for real estate in India and accordingly have created the required organizational capabilities. Sobha currently delivers 7 million square feet delivery per annum across India, across all product segments.

Ravi Sinha: How easy or challenging has been the transition when you took a conscious call to expand the scale and geographical footprint? 

Ravi Menon: With over 7 million square feet of area for the past 5 years (including real estate and contractual business), the company has sufficient manpower and machinery to increase its delivery capability, if need be. In FY16, we did around 11 million square feet which was the highest execution done by us till date. We have the capacity to scale up further.

We conduct our own market study and post assessment of demand, we launch projects. We have observed good absorption level in all our projects which almost gets sold out by the time projects get completed. Therefore, we are left with minuscule unsold inventory, if at all. In the last FY15-16 our unsold inventory in completed projects was only 0.18 million square feet; out of this, 0.08 million square feet comprised of the plotted development projects.

We do not wish to establish ourselves as an opportunistic developer and will never launch more than we can deliver. Rather, if projects and business opportunities do not fit with our overall values, we do not pursue it. For us integrity comes first. If we see that an opportunity may threaten our corporate values, we see it as an opportunity not worth taking. 

Ravi Sinha: The branding cost was peanuts during your early days, compared to today’s multimedia age. Do you ever feel the company is nowadays spending more than necessary for image build-up?

PNC Menon: Regardless of sector or geography, brands get established only with consistent delivery of the product with the best quality and as per the committed timelines. There is a  growing need for organizations, including Sobha, to be seen and heard at various consumer touch points. Technology and especially social media facilitates this “connect” with consumers. We are constantly exploring new and innovative ways to leverage multimedia in order to raise our brand equity, not only at an organizational or corporate level but also at the project level. 

Ravi Sinha: Quest to be a brand instead of advertising to sell the project costs more. What is your outlook on brand management and its inherent expenses?

Ravi Menon: For us, our brand is very sacrosanct. People trust what existing customers say about the product that gives credibility to our brand. We rely more on the word of mouth publicity and consider our buyers as our brand ambassadors. This not only strengthens our brand image but also helps us sell better. Most of our customers are happy and they recommend Sobha Homes to their acquaintances and friends.

To engage deeper with our customers, we recently launched “Sobha Connect Program”. We believe brand management does not entail a gloss of heavy advertisement alone. A brand gets made if the intrinsic qualities of the product are world class, guided by uncompromising work practices and ethics and has top end delivery excellence, peppered with transparency and trust. 

Ravi Sinha: Do you feel the heat of increasing peer pressure and competitive challenge today, compared to your initial days?

PNC Menon: No! From my perspective, the challenge has always been an endless pursuit of excellence. It is more of an internal challenge. As an entrepreneur, I have always believed in building a meritocracy-focused organization. This has enabled me to identify top talent from multiple geographies, industries and backgrounds. Furthermore, this selection of top talent at the management team or Board level has provided me with great comfort and confidence – and the transition thus far has been a smooth one.

Ravi Sinha: Ravi, being the scion of the family business, how much do you control the organisational decisions and to what extent you allow the professionals to take independent decision?

Ravi Menon: Sobha is known for being a process driven organisation which is run professionally. All our practices and processes have helped strengthen our bonding with stakeholders including our employees and build immense trust. We have at present about 2,800 professionals on rolls and we value and promote professionalism and merit. 

We adopt newer cutting edge management practices. The pack is led by one of the most able professionals in the Indian realty sector, Mr. JC Sharma, Vice Chairman & Managing Director, who is most respected name in the industry. We believe in empowering our people and there is enough freedom to innovate and add value to our existing processes. 

Ravi Sinha: Defining demand was not a challenge in early days with real estate being a micro market business. Now with the challenge of geographical expansion and destination development, do you feel the sector is clueless with due diligence mechanism?

PNC Menon: Real estate demand is primarily driven by population dynamics and economic growth. As each of our key markets in India have different demographic and social factors at play, real estate demand for each of our cities must be assessed independently.

Ravi Sinha: What kind of professional functioning you have introduced for decision making in terms of identifying market, defining demand and adopting technological and scientific processes?

Ravi Menon: We have adopted the most advanced construction technology and have followed scientific processes to deliver eco-friendly projects. Achieving the highest standards of performance in each of the three pillars of sustainability being the economic, environmental and social aspects is what we as a responsible organisation aspire for. Our buildings are designed to be energy efficient. The best green practices are followed in all Sobha’s properties.

Today, facilities such as water recycling plants, solar powered lighting systems and organic waste converters are provided by default in most of Sobha’s projects. These facilities help in significantly reducing maintenance expenses. Sustainable initiatives are taken not only at our construction sites but also at our manufacturing facilities where every attempt is made to keep the carbon footprint low by following the best industry practices.

Ravi Sinha: What is one desirable best practice that you find missing in the business today? 

PNC Menon: Real estate is inherently a cyclical business. Well planned financial engineering is a critical strategic element that enables real estate developers to be well prepared for downturns, which are bound to occur. Based on my experience, the real estate business should be structured with 60 per cent of the total capital as equity and the balance 40 per cent as debt. This discipline of maintaining a healthy and consistent debt to equity structure is what all major developers have come to appreciate. In my opinion, those that will achieve long-term success will treat this best practice as a top strategic priority.

Ravi Sinha: What is one desirable best practice that you would like to adopt to be first mover in the business?

Ravi Menon: We believe in honest, transparent, value-laden hard work. We wish all employees to become true brand ambassadors of Sobha, know our process, the way we do and why we do it. We believe if each employee becomes our brand ambassador, it will surely fulfill our twin objectives of strengthening the brand and help sell better. We are looking at ways to make each employee knowledgeable, innovative and committed. Rest we think, will follow logically.


Indian investors looking at Dubai properties: PNC Menon, Chairman-Emeritus, Sobha Ltd

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Interview Point: PNC Menon, Chairman-Emeritus of Sobha Ltd feels India offers a great market for the NRIs but the demonetization will push investors to look at Dubai properties. Excerpt of an exclusive interview with Ravi Sinha.

PNC Menon, Sobha Chairman, Sobha Ltd, India real estate news, Best news website, news portal of Indian real estate, Track2RealtyRavi Sinha: How do you see the impact of demonetization on real estate market?

PNC Menon: The impact on the economy will be significant as a large part of the black economy would become part of the Indian economy. This is certain to reflect in next year’s GDP figures. The attack on black money through demonetization is also expected to boost government revenues in a significant way. With a large part of unaccounted cash coming into the system, a lot more money will become accountable and taxable than was the case earlier.

Ravi Sinha: Will it really affect the real estate investment cycle?

PNC Menon: As such, we expect a surge in Indian investments in Dubai property as a result of the recent shift. Now that the money is legal and cleansed, people are looking at various new avenues to recover some of their losses and ROI that is tax free is very attractive for obvious reasons.

Ravi Sinha: Any specific reason why you are so bullish on Dubai property?

PNC Menon: Dubai is now a very sought after destination to invest in tax-free property with solid returns for Investors and also for end users who are looking at a second home. For example, our flagship project, Sobha Hartland, is expected to provide the profit that end users and investor seek. In fact, a two bedroom apartment is estimated to yield more than 2.3 lakhs of tax-free rental income every month plus the annual advantage of 20-30% capital appreciation.

Ravi Sinha: To what extent the Indian real estate market is attractive for investors?

PNC Menon: India’s real estate sector has matured to a point where NRIs are now able to invest in a wide variety of products, across the affordable, mid-range and luxury segments. Based on our 22-year presence in India, NRIs continue to represent a healthy proportion of our client base, primarily due to our focus on delivering global quality standards which ultimately generate attractive returns for our investors. With tighter regulations, greater transparency, more affordability and enhanced price stability, NRIs will find interesting investment opportunities, as long as they have a long-term view and are discerning about which project to invest in.

Ravi Sinha: A number of NRI investors are not that bullish on the Indian property market for some time now.

PNC Menon: India is a huge market with over 1.2 billion people and an emerging economy on a global front. When we entered the Indian market in 1995, we had a clear vision to transform the way people perceive quality in the real estate sector. We were even then conscious that by introducing international quality processes at affordable prices without compromising on delivering a developer can capture a big market.

Ravi Sinha: Amidst cycle of uncertainties what is your mantra of survival in real estate?

PNC Menon: I have just entered into the UK market. But the two markets where I mostly operate – India and the Middle East – goes through cycles of uncertainties after every few years. The answer to survival issues lies in the somple business philosophy of not over-leveraging. In a business where the conventional wisdom of debt-equity ratio has gone for a toss, one of the important lessons that I have learnt is that if you have $100, you should not borrow more than $50.

Ravi Sinha: Dubai and UK markets are different altogether. But does the perception of Indian market ever bother you?

PNC Menon: I am concerned with the overall poor perception and projection of the realty business. And it is time we must in our collective spirit take some steps to instill trust factor.

Ravi Sinha: Do you think the homebuyers are getting unreasonable today in the wake of consumer activism? Any suggestions to improve trust quotient?

PNC Menon: The homebuyers are not unreasonable consumers to expect houses to be built in a year. However, they expect an update and constant communication along with transparency. We can think of updating customers on a monthly basis with photographs of completed construction levels. A YouTube link can be created to offer them live feed from the construction site. Depending on the size and complexity of the project, it varies from 36 to 60 months. Developers can always have a flexible timeline for possession in their contracts.


Sobha launches luxurious Sobha City in Delhi-NCR

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News Point: will launch its first luxury apartment project, Sobha City in Delhi-NCR tomorrow, Wednesday, June 29th, 2016.

Sobha City Delhi-NCR, Sobha Limited, JC Sharma, PNC Menon, Ravi Menon, Luxury real estate in Delhi-NCR, India real estate news, Indian property market news, NRI investment in India, Track2Realty, Home search  Sobha City is one of the largest group housing projects in Gurgaon which will offer best-in-class living experience to the customers. Located in sector 108 of Gurgaon, the project is much sought-after due to its close proximity to Delhi and Indira Gandhi International Airport.

Sprawled over 39 acres, Sobha City comprises of 1700 apartments across 22 towers with four units on each floor. The project offers 2BHK and 3BHK apartments that range from 1380 sq. ft. to 2342 sq. ft. Each unit is functionally planned with well-designed layouts and optimally-sized living spaces. With 85 percent open spaces, it offers an abundance of amenities along with magnificent view of the surroundings.

Speaking on the eve of the occasion, , VC & MD, Sobha Limited, said: “Over the years, Gurgaon has developed and transformed into a leading financial and industrial hub in India. It not only boasts a presence of over 250 Fortune 500 companies, but also caters to a population having third highest per capita income in the country. This has augmented the demand for luxury homes that meets the aspirations of people in the Delhi-NCR region. Additionally, Gurgaon being one of the fastest growing realty markets, offers high capital appreciation, making it a lucrative investment option. Sobha City, aims to fulfil the desires of quality conscious and value discerning customers. More importantly, the project underscores promise of international quality luxury, style and comfortable living.”

Jagadish Nangineni, Regional Head – NCR, Sobha Limited said, “Sobha City, Gurgaon is the first luxury apartment project from the house of Sobha. With this launch, we will have a product mix that will offer homes of all sizes in NCR region – 2 & 3 BHK apartments in Sobha City and villas at International City. Sobha City has been meticulously planned keeping customer’s core requirements in mind for a luxurious community living – both in terms of the apartment and amenities. These apartments are designed with a good balance of functionality, aesthetics and luxury. The amenities are the best in class – open grounds, parks, large water bodies and two clubhouses. Sobha City is going to be a landmark community development owing to its scale of development, shape of the land and location which is on the edge of Delhi.”

The common amenities at Sobha City include a large cricket ground having 45m radius, a lakelet, two oval club houses measuring 40,000 sq.ft with multipurpose halls, cafe, entertainment room, children’s play area, library and cards room.

In addition, it also offers multiple lawns and parks, specially designed camping grounds, paved pathways, swimming pool, cricket stadium, green landscaped outfield with more than a kilometre long walking and biking trail, designer landscaped greens and other amenities that match the pace and standard of living of today’s smart customers.

Sobha City gets A+ in Track2Realty Investment Magnet Report 2015

Posted on by Track2Realty

Location: Thanisandra Main Road, Hebbal Ring Road

Project type: Apartment & Villas in Township

Price: Rs. 85 Lakh-3.8 Crore

Project execution lifecycle: June 2011-May 2018 

Sobha City Bangalore, PNC Menon, JC Sharma, Bangalore real estate market, Indian property market, Neighbour home, NRI real estate investment, Indian property market report, Real estate newsmagazine, Track2Realty Investment Magnet Report 2015, Track2Media Research This is one of those projects that can elevate the attraction quotient of the location. Based on the Mediterranean theme, this 36 acres township has the kind of amenities that could make any developers’ marketing brochure a temptation to buy.

This is the kind of luxury living offering that has made Sobha standout as India’s leading real estate brand today with luxury being their calling card. All the residential apartments here are based on the Mediterranean themes, like Casa Serenita, Casa Paradiso, Santorini and Aristos.

The traction point and aspiration level with this project has been so high that despite of some bad press to the project in early days (due to cremation in the neighbourhood) the launch2sales ratio of the apartments in Sobha City has been higher than the competing projects in and around the location.

After all, the area is surrounded by the magnet called employment where IT SEZ located on the Outer Ring Road and close to Hebbal is home to companies like IBM, Target and Cognizant. This micro market has many attraction quotients today and Sobha City is on top of the aspiration level of high-end homebuyers.

Track2Realty Rating: A+

  • Location & Aspiration: 8/10
  • Physical Infrastructure: 6/10
  • Social Infrastructure: 5/10
  • Appreciation Potential: 7/10
  • Competitive Advantage: 8/10
  • Rental Potential:6/10
  • Launch2Sales Ratio: 8/10
  • Construction Quality/Timelines: 8/10
  • Livability Index: 7/10
  • ROI Cycle: 7/10

For full report grab a copy of Track2Realty Investment Magnet Report 2015