News Point: In the sixth edition of Rating & Ranking the Brand Performance of Indian real estate companies, it is quite evident that the resilient brands with certain degree of professionalism have weathered the market slowdown and regulatory changes better.
Amidst the market uncertainties, Track2Realty BrandXReport 2017-18finds that the developers like Sobha Limited, Prestige Group, Puravankara and Embassy Group have adapted to regulatory compliances and changing market dynamics better than the sector at large.
These are the brands that have further consolidated their reputation as the Trustworthy Brand. The testimony of the fact is quite obvious with their Brand Rank as well as Brand Score. Most of the Brand Leaders have improved their Brand Score, compared to the last fiscal year. K Raheja Corp is the only developer to make an entry into the Top 10 National Brands after a gap of two years.
What has been an interesting finding during this fiscal year is the fact that a number of relatively smaller developers but with impeccable track record of delivery and consumer satisfaction are breaking the myth that it is the sheer volume and premium that elevates a company at the Brand Leadership Chart.
On the contrary, some of the fastest selling developers with larger market share but mounting consumer grievances are losing out as the Desirable Brands. In the first round of scrutiny, this time the study rated pretty low to the developers where the share of aggrieved homebuyers has been more than 50%. What it has actually led to is the exit of a few leading names by the market share on the Brand Leadership Chart.
The fiscal year has been witness to the seasoned and responsible brands consolidating amidst the market uncertainties borne out of overall slowdown and a number of regulatory changes. Those who have adapted to the emerging market realities and have realised that it is the buyer who is the demand driver and not the investors have strengthened their market positioning. It is hence no surprise that most of the brand leaders are emerging out of the best performing markets.
On the contrary, the notoriety of the North Indian markets in general and Delhi-NCR is particular has led to many large players by market size either exiting the Brand Leadership Chart or are at the bottom of the pyramid. DLF is the only real estate company from North India to have its presence among the Top 10 National Brands, even though the company is nowhere near to its past glory.
Five of the Top 10 Brands are yet again from the South Indian markets, and developers like Sobha Limited, Prestige Group, Puravankara Limited, Embassy Group and Brigade Group are among the Top 10 Brands at the national level. As a matter of fact, Sobha, Prestige, Puravankara and Embassy are among the Top 5 National Brands in this year’s study.
Godrej Properties once again is the only corporate conglomerate to be among the Top National Brands and a brand that is at the top of the Leadership Chart in all the four regions. However, at the national level the brand has slipped one place to be 3rdNational Brand, as against the 2ndposition last fiscal year.
After the South Indian market, it is the West Zone where the Mumbai-based developers have pretty impressive presence at the Brand Leadership Chart. Other than the Mumbai-headquartered Godrej Properties, it is Oberoi Realty, K Raheja Corp and Lodha Group that is in the elite list of Top 10 National Brand.
In North India, the exit of one of the largest by market size, Supertech, in the wake of mounting consumer backlash is a testimony of the fact that size alone can no longer define the Brand Leadership. The story of another large developer by market size, Gaursons, is no different.
On the contrary, a relatively smaller developer with limited footprint, Gulshan Homz is strengthening its Brand Positioning. Similarly, two of the smaller brands by market size, Central Park and ABA Corp make their entry into the elite list of Top 10 Brands in the region. M3M India makes a comeback into the Top 10 Brands and its Trump association seems to be working in favour of the developer.
The trend of top developers consolidating their brand leadership is quite evident in West Zone as well where the top three names, Godrej Properties, Oberoi Realty and K Raheja Corp has improved their performances this fiscal year. Kalpataru makes a comeback into the elite list of Top Brands in the region after a gap of one year, while Indiabulls Real Estate also makes space into the list of Top Brands.
In the best performing and fiercely competitive South India, most of the Leading Brands like Sobha, Prestige, Embassy, Puravankara and Brigade have improved their Brand Score.
These brands have also consolidated their National Ranking and Sobha Limited continues to outperform the market. Embassy Group has remarkably improved its Brand Performance to be 3rdBest Brand in the region, while Salarpuria Sattva has also improved its Brand Ranking this year.
East Zone continues to be the least brand conscious part of Indian real estate. This is the only region where most of the leading names have lost their Brand Score this fiscal year. Ambuja Neotia continues to be the Brand Leader and the brand that has remarkably improved its ranking is South City Projects that makes a giant leap from 8thposition to now become 2ndBest Brand in the region.
Forum Group is another significant Brand Performer that makes a giant leap from 9thspot to be at 4th position at Brand Leadership in the region. Shrachi Group and Hiland enters into the big league of Brand Leaders.
In residential segment the exit of Tata Housing in the wake of controversies is no surprise. The top names like Sobha, Prestige, Godrej and Puravankara have strengthened their Brand Leadership. Sobha continues to be the Brand Performer in a segment that touches & shapes the Public Perception about the sector.
Unlike other segments where the leading names have consolidated their Brand Score, the trend has not been visible in Office Space segment. Embassy Group continues to be the Brand Leader for second consecutive year in this segment; improving its Brand Score as well.
Other than Embassy, K Raheja Corp at Number 2 could also improve its Brand Score this fiscal year. DLF could consolidate its brand reputation this year and after having dropped to 5thspot it now jumps at Number 3 in Office Space segment.
India’s 2ndlargest mall, Lulu Mall at Kochi enters into the Top Leadership position in the Retail Segment for the 1sttime and makes an impressive debut at Number 9 as news of developer’s 2ndmall in India brings it to the centerstage. Phoenix Market City is increasingly scaling up on Brand Index and promises to up the ante with uniform performance across the cities.
Embassy Group is by all means the Brand Performer in the Hospitality Segment that has improved its Brand Score and elevated itself to Number 1 in the segment. Brigade Group loses its Brand Leadership in the segment to fellow Bangalore-based developer; also loses its Brand Score this year.
Sobha continues to be Brand Leader in the Luxury Segment for 3rdconsecutive year; improves its Brand Score to further consolidate its Brand Leadership in the segment. But it is the Embassy Group that is the Brand Performer and Market Disruptor in the segment; enters the elite list of Top 10 Brands impressively at 4thspot. Another new entrant into the elite list of Luxury Brand Leaders is Mumbai-based Kalpataru that debuts at 10thspot.
The leading developer and once undisputed market leader in Redevelopment Segment, Omkar Realtors & Developers, has lost its Brand Score this fiscal year and yet maintains its Leadership Position. Brand Performer in Redevelopment Segment is Rohan Lifescapes this fiscal year that has jumped from 10thLeadership Position last fiscal year to be 8thCredible Brand this year; also improves its Brand Score. Other developers to improve their Brand Rank and Brand Score are Kalpataru Group.
Ashiana Housing continues to be Brand Leader in Senior Housing Segment but it is Antara Senior Living that is the Brand Performer in Senior Housing; makes a giant leap from 10thspot last year to be the 2ndMost Desirable Brand this fiscal year.
In the CSR, Sobha continues to be the Brand Leader and clear ahead of the competition curve. The Brand Leadership in the segment is followed by Embassy Group at 2ndspot and Rustomjee at 3rdrank.
Overall, the Brand Leader of Indian real estate for the 4thconsecutive year, Sobha Limited, has also been voted Top Choice by the consumers. It is followed by Prestige Group, Godrej Properties, Puravankara Limited and Embassy Group. Even the NRIs have voted Sobha as the Top Choice, followed by Prestige Group, Embassy Group, Puravankara Limited and Godrej Properties.
In terms of the media perception Sobha Limited is the only brand to have more than half coverage as positive news in its tonality (52% share) and least news with negative tonality (10%).
Only segment where Sobha fails to register itself as the Top Brand is the Employment Chart of the sector where Embassy Group is at the top of the Leadership Chart. It is followed by Oberoi Realty and Godrej Properties.