Sobha retains brand leadership; Embassy is the brand performer

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Track2Realty Brand Ranking 2018-19

Ravi Sinha

Bottom Line: In the 7th edition of Track2Realty BrandXReport 2018-19, Bengaluru-based Sobha continues to command the national brand leadership for the 5th consecutive times. However, the real brand performer of the year is Embassy Group that has taken a giant leap to be neck and neck with Sobha now.

In terms of the overall brand gain for the year, Embassy has been way ahead of the competition curve post the REIT listing. Embassy has jumped from its last fiscal ranking at Number 5 to now at Number 2. As a matter of fact, Embassy is just 0.4 brand score behind Sobha Limited. Moreover, Embassy has taken a lead ahead of Sobha in terms of NRI perception. Moving forward, Embassy Group with diversified portfolio could have an edge over Sobha Limited.  

The credit nevertheless goes to Sobha for emerging as the most resilient brand in the wake of such a strong competition from fellow Bengaluru developer, Embassy. What actually has helped Sobha to retain its brand leadership is the fact that its core focus is on the residential segment. This is the segment that makes or destroys a brand. After all, home buyers are more vocal than any other consumer of real estate segment with their endorsement or rejection of the brand. 

Godrej Properties has retained its brand rank as 3rd best brand at the national level. Bengaluru-based Prestige Group not only loses its 2nd brand ranking to Embassy but drops 2 level to be at Number 4 this fiscal year. The biggest loss of brand equity at the national level has been with Puravankara Limited that drops at Number 9 this year after maintaining an unexpected edge at Number 4 for previous two consecutive years. 

Bengaluru-based developers have yet again been ahead of the competition curve in being the torch bearers of brand leadership. Five of the top 10 national brands are from Bengaluru. These are Sobha Limited, Embassy Group, Prestige Group, Brigade Group and Puravankara Limited. The other two Mumbai-based brands, Godrej Properties and K Raheja Corp have their presence in the Bengaluru market as well.

Rest two brand leaders at national level are Mumbai-based Oberoi Realty and Piramal Realty. DLF Limited is the only brand from the North India to figure among the top 10 national brands.

K Raheja Corp and Brigade Group have also been brand performers of the year as both these brands have improved their ranking by 3 level. Raheja jumps from 8th position to 5th position, while Brigade scales up to 6th position from its previous rank at 9.

Lodha Group goes out of the list of top 10 national brands in the wake of consumer complaints. Piramal Realty enters the elite list of brand leaders for the first time. Adani Realty has also been very close to be among the top 10 national brands this fiscal year but eventually could not make it.  

East India

In East India, market leader Ambuja Neotia continues to be the brand leader for the 5th consecutive times. It is followed by the consortium of developers, South City Projects. Forum Group has scaled up from Number 4 last year to now at Number 3, while Srijan Realty goes down to Number 4. The biggest brand movement in the region is the entry of Siddha Group at Number 5 for the first time into the list of top 10 brands in the region.

Post Trump Tower Kolkata, while Unimark Group enters into the list of top 10 brands for the first time in the region, another Trump partner RDB Realty makes a comeback after a gap of four years. While Tata Housing loses its brand competitiveness in the region, another corporate conglomerate Godrej Properties exits the leadership chart. Hiland Group leaves the brand leadership chart in the region this fiscal year, while Shrachi Group and Mani Group lose their brand competitiveness.

West India

In West Zone, Godrej Properties retains its leadership position for the 5th consecutive time. K Raheja Corp scales up one spot to be 2nd best brand in the region, while Oberoi Realty scales down from 2nd best brand last fiscal year to now at Number 3. Piramal Realty makes a giant entry into the brand leadership chart of West India at Number 4. Adani Realty is the second most bullish entry into the league as the 5th best brand in West India.

L&T Realty is the third new entry into the brand leadership chart and Mahindra Lifespaces makes a comeback into the top brands of the region at Number 10 after two years. Sunteck Realty has strengthened its brand competitiveness in the region while Hiranandani and Kalpataru have lost their brand standing. Omkar Realtors & Developers, Tata Housing and Indiabulls Real Estate have exited the brand leadership chart of the region.

North India 

In North India, DLF continues to be the market leader and has also improved its brand score this fiscal year. Godrej Properties also scales up from 3rd position to now 2nd most desirable real estate brand in North India. However, the brand performer in the region is Ashiana Housing with 3 spots upward movement from 6th  best brand to now 3rd best brand of North India. Once most promising brand of the region, ATS Group, seems to be losing its brand competitiveness; falls from 2nd spot to now at 4th position on the brand leadership chart.

Mahagun has also lost its brand competitiveness a bit and slipped one spot down from 4th position last year to now at 5th spot. ABA Corp has been a significant performer in the region, a brand that entered into the elite list of Top 10 Brands last fiscal at Number 10 has now scaled up to 7th spot. Gulshan Homz is also continuously scaling up on the brand leadership, from 7th spot to now at 6th position.

Central Park has also been witness to one spot upward brand movement and from 9th spot last year it has scaled up to 8th position this year. Two new brands, Eldeco and Adani Realty, make their entry into the elite list of brand leaders in North India. M3M India and Tata Housing exit the brand leadership chart of the region this fiscal year.     

South India

In South India, Sobha Limited retains its brand leadership for the 6th consecutive year this time. Sobha has also touched its best ever brand score despite fierce competition in the region with Embassy Group scaling up significantly. Embassy Group has now jumped to be 2nd best brand in the region after its REIT listing. A new brand, Total Environment has entered into the list of brand leaders in the region for the first time.

Brigade Group and Godrej Properties move up one spot of brand leadership respectively from last fiscal year. Prestige Group slips down from 2nd best brand last fiscal year to 3rd position of brand leadership in South India this year. Century Real Estate and Mahindra Lifespaces exit the brand leadership chart in South India. Puravankara Limited also loses its brand cutting edge in the region and slips from 4th position last fiscal year to now at 6th level.

Residential Segment

Sobha Limited continues to be the brand leader in residential segment, thanks to its backward integration model. The leadership chart is followed by Prestige Group and Godrej Properties. Oberoi Realty, DLF Limited and Brigade Group move up the brand chain by one spot each this fiscal year. The Number 4 brand of the last fiscal, Puravankara, however, slips three position to be at Number 7 this year.

Piramal Realty makes its entry into the elite list of brand leaders in residential segment for the first time at Number 8. K Raheja Corp and Embassy Group are back among the top residential brands after a gap of three years. Lodha, Hiranandani and ATS exit the list of brand leaders in the segment this fiscal year.

Affordable Brands

Call it affordable housing, social housing, premium housing, affordable luxury or compact luxury, but the potential of the segment is so high that many of the established brands are creating their sub-brands to cater to this segment. Track2Realty BrandXReport2018-19 therefore ranked this segment for the first time.

The top performers in the segment are a mix of compact luxury, premium housing and low-cost housing. The list is Sobha Dream Series, Provident Housing, Happinest, Joyville, Sunteck WestWorld, Homekraft, Tata Value Homes, Signature Global, XRBIA Developers and BGA Realtors.

Super Luxury

Sobha Limited retains its cutting edge as best super luxury brand for the 6th consecutive time. The brand performer of the fiscal year is yet again Bengaluru-based Embassy Group that makes a giant leap from its 4th position to now 2nd best brand in the segment. K Raheja retains its 3rd spot for the third consecutive year this time but with improved brand score. Prestige Group slips down from 2nd best brand in the segment last fiscal year to now at Number 4. DLF Limited and Oberoi Realty retain their last fiscal performance at Number 5 and 6 respectively.

Piramal Realty and ABIL Group are the two new entry into the top brands in the super luxury segment. The entry of Piramal Realty at Number 8 is quite outstanding that has pushed Godrej Properties one spot down the value chain of brand leadership. Pune-based Panchshil Realty comes back into the prestigious list of top super luxury brands after a gap of 4 years. Mumbai-based developers Lodha Group, Omkar Realtors & Developers and Kalpataru exit the brand leadership chart in the segment.

Office Space

REIT seems to have altered the outlook over office space in India and most of the brands with income generating assets have improved their brand score this fiscal year. Embassy, backed by successful REIT listing, has not only retained its brand leadership for the third time in a row but also improved its brand score to all time high. K Raheja Corp, DLF Limited and Prestige Group retained their respective positions with improved brand score this fiscal year.

RMZ, Hiranandani and Godrej Properties retained their respective rank in the segment but with marginally lower brand score. Oberoi Realty has scaled up one spot to Number 8 this fiscal year while Brigade Group has scaled down to be Number 9 brand in the segment.

Retail Segment

Phoenix Mills has scaled up yet again as top retail brand after a gap of four years. The market leader for the last four years, DLF, slips down to Number 2 position on brand leadership chart. K Raheja Corp maintains its Number 3 position for 3rd consecutive year. Prestige Group jumps one spot to be at Number 4 this fiscal year. Oberoi Realty goes down one spot at Number 5 from its previous rank at Number 4. Brigade Group and South City Projects retain their standing as 6th & 7th best brand respectively.

Lulu Mall that entered into the list of top brands in the segment last year scales up one spot to be 8th best brand in the segment. Ambience goes out of the list of top brands in the retail segment. Emaar India is the only new entry for the first time into the list of top brand leaders in the segment.

Hospitality Segment

Embassy Group retains its brands leadership in the segment for the 2nd consecutive times. Prestige Group jumps one spot ahead from its last fiscal performance to be at Number 2 brand this year. The brand performer in the segment is nevertheless K Raheja Corp that makes a giant leap from its 5th position last year to now at Number 3. Oberoi Realty retains its Number 4 position for the 2nd consecutive time.

Brigade Group has lost its brand competitiveness in the segment and drops from its 2nd rank last fiscal year to now at Number 5. Panchshil Realty retains its last fiscal performance at Number 6. Phoenix Mills improves its brand score this fiscal year and yet drops one spot to be at Number 8. Pune-based ABIL Group and Bengaluru-based Salarpuria Sattva are two new entry into the list of brand leaders in hospitality.

Senior Housing

Not many new players or projects being launched in the senior housing. Ashiana Housing continues to be the market leader and brand performer for the 3rd consecutive year. Antara Senior Housing is yet again at Number 2 and Paranjape Schemes retains its Number 3 position. Brigade Group is at Number 4 for 3rd consecutive year.

Rakindo, Covai, Adani Realty and Mantri Developers have scaled up 1 spot each in the segment this fiscal year. Tata Housing is the brand loss story in the segment with ranking going down 5 notches, from Number 5 last fiscal year to now at Number 10.

Home Finance

HDFC Bank is far ahead of the competition curve in the home finance segment. HDFC is the only bank to be brand leaders of home finance for the 5th consecutive year. Indiabulls Housing Finance, Axis Bank and ICICI Home Finance maintain their brand leadership at the 2nd, 3rd and 4th position respectively. SBI, Bank of India, LIC Housing Finance and IDBI Home Finance lose their brand competitiveness respectively this fiscal year to drop 2 spots each.

Piramal Capital & Housing Finance is the brand performer in the segment that makes an impressive entry at Number 6. Tata Capital also makes a comeback at Number 5 this fiscal year after a gap of 2 years. DHFL and GRUH Finance exits the elite list of brand leadership in the segment this year.

Methodology Applied

The methodology has been three-pronged yet again: In-house research with whatever information available in the public domain. Whatever information may sound to be vague, but that is the reality in a business where the majority of the companies are not listed, even debt not on the books, and the developers’ reluctance, denial or non-cooperation in providing the data, including the fiscal data and inventory status.

Backed with the research of available data in the public domain, Track2Realty goes on a 20-city consumer survey. The consumers are asked many open-ended and close ended questions about their experiences & perception about the sector and the respective companies.

Track2Realty has this time completely changed the scope of study and brand evaluation metrics. The idea has been as much to give the brand rating a new look & feel in its 7th year, as using the new research methodology to assess whether there would be any change in result if evaluation metrics are broadened.

To broaden the scope of brand assessment, the Financial Performance parameter was changed to Fiscal Trust. The idea has been to understand to what extent the consumers trust the brand’s financial bandwidth. Of course, the open-ended and close-ended questions also provided the respondents financial figure to help them make their choices.

Similarly, certain other metrics were changed to make it more comprehensive. For instance, Media Perception was changed to overall Image Management. In a digital era where online reputation and social media management is more critical than the traditional media, it is quite logical to monitor the image of the brands in a holistic manner. All these brand evaluation parameters were changed after a thorough research of the buyer behavior and their outlook to assess a brand.    

And finally, we took the opinion of neutral experts in our jury board. In all this exercise more than half the weightage was given to the consumer survey.

Track2Realty is an independent media group managed by a consortium of journalists. Starting as the first e-newspaper in the Indian real estate sector in 2011, the group has today evolved as a think-tank on the sector with specialized research reports and rating & ranking. We are editorially independent and free from commercial bias and/or influenced by investors or shareholders. Our editorial team has no clash of interest in practicing high quality journalism that is free, frank & fearless.  

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