Journalist, writer, foodie, musician, travel buff, all rolled into one, that is Namrata Kohli for you. Namrata is a well known writer and journalist who has written extensively for domestic and international media. Especially known for her coverage of real estate issues, Namrata’s work has been published in leading publications such as The Times of India, Economic Times, Property Report Asia, and Gulf based magazines.
Namrata started her career by working with Bennett Coleman and has written on lifestyle, education, food, healthcare and travel. Recently, she edited “Indian Realty Year Book’-a one of a kind coffee table book on Luxury Real Estate with publisher Hundred Communications, in October 2013; which was featured on NDTV Profit.
When not spinning a yarn with words, she loves to infuse her creative energies into food, music or travel. A self confessed foodie, when not eating her mind is still on food – how by she loves to be ‘concocting meals.’ Playing harmonium and exploring new travel destinations are other passion of her life.
Namrata is a silver medalist in english literature from Delhi University and has done her mass communication from Indian Institute of Mass Communication. (IIMC) She was selected for a special Executive programme at Indian School of Business (ISB) Hyderabad, recently which was sponsored by Goldman Sachs.
Indian Realty Year Book
In a pioneering effort, publishing company Hundred Communications has come out of a first-of-its-kind coffee table book on luxury real estate.
Indian Realty Yearbook (IRY), the exclusive publication maps the universe of luxury real estate in India. Presenting a snapshot of the Indian luxury market, the book gives a guided tour of key projects in the luxury and branded home segment; cruising along the latest trends and introducing the-best-in-class luxury accessories, gadgets and gizmos. In short, IRY has everything to aid and abet the investor, in his business of cherry picking a home.
Delving into insights that go beyond just ‘facts’, the book deftly captures the ‘facets’ and the essence of luxury. It tries to define luxury in the Indian context, where the luxury residential market in India is headed and the distinguishing characteristics of the Indian luxury home buyer.
Editor Namrata Kohli who has put together IRY, says that it was ‘just the time’, to capture the luxury end of Indian real estate industry. “Luxury may be just five of the total residential real estate market but growing number of HNIs, makes this space the one to watch out for. In year 2012, India clocked the second highest growth rate of HNI population in the world, next only to Hong Kong, The country has been adding millionaires at one of the fastest rates in the world, and they drive the demand for a life, a living, a living space, which is at par with the best in the world. At the heart of this demand for luxury homes, is the fact, that Indians are becoming affluent, ambitious and aspirational.”
Coffee table book
Informative, insightful and perceptive this coffee table book is supplemented by impactful images that make it a visual treat. But the highlight of the book are perspectives shared from globally acclaimed names on several aspects of Indian luxury real estate – the world’s best, have converged onto one exclusive space ‘By Invitation Only’. Their views ‘quote unquote’ on design, architecture, construction, engineering aspects add value and appeal to the book.
Today, global leaders are betting big on India’s luxury real estate market- Swarovski is seen lending its shine to Indian real estate, Trump giving its trademark to Indian projects, Armani and Versace interior designing of Indian homes, Greg Norman creating premier signature golf courses, Philippe Starck making its foray- we can confidently say that India is where the best minds in luxury space are converging today. Nobody wants to miss a chance of being in India after China, which went from Mao suits to Armani and a ‘luxeplosion’ of sorts in the last decade.
Atul Pandey, Publisher Indian Realty Yearbook, says that with IRY we have captured, yet another important aspect of the universe of luxury- “As a boutique publishing house, we have so far mapped the segments of beauty, wedding, fashion and lifestyle, in the world of luxury. So far, the luxury residential home space was an unchartered terrain, but we saw potential in this segment. No wonder, there are so many such projects in various stages of construction throughout the country.”
IRY was launched recently by actor Chitrangada Singh, Soha Ali Khan and boxer Vijender Singh at an exclusive event of Indian Realty Awards 2013 held at Hotel Lalit, New Delhi. It was a televised event covered by NDTV Profit.
Hundred Communications (P) Ltd is the name behind some of India’s finest coffee table books across the fields of luxury, fashion, lifestyle, wedding, real estate among others. This boutique publishing house is known for its top end publications. Some of the annual publications include premium fashion guide- Fashion Resource Book and The Great Indian Wedding Book, a luxury coffee table book on signature weddings, launched by Sonam Kapoor last year.
In an informal chat, Namrata talks about her latest book IRY and other aspects of life to Jayashankar Menon. Excerpts from Interview:
JM: Tell me something about your latest launched coffee table book- IRY?
NK: Indian Realty Yearbook (IRY) is a coffee table book that encapsulates the luxury end of Indian real estate market. India is seeing the advent of branded homes in the organised space – as you know Grand Hyatt Branded Residences, Armani/Versace/Swarovski homes are being launched now, as also the Trump homes, Four Seasons Private residences- all this indicates an appetite for luxury in Indian real estate. These trophy homes or luxury homes celebrate the coming of age of Indian residential real estate. India has recorded the second highest population of HNIs in the world, and logically the first aspect that gets an up gradation is the living space. There is demand and hence there is supply. Slowly but surely, the story of luxury homes has begun and we felt the urge to document it. Our book aims to be a ready reckoner for anyone looking to buy in this segment, as also create in this segment- in that sense it is targeted at the HNI, as well as the industry stakeholders such as the developers.
JM: You are a well known journalist and writing for leading english daily of India, so what prompted you to undertake editing of IRY?
NK: I believe this was an exciting opportunity at the right time. I have been tracking real estate for last few years and have developed some insights and interest in this sector. Moreover luxury segment in the real estate sector had not been documented so far in a single place. As they say.. opportunity comes disguised as hard work – you just need to recognise it.
JM: India is the fastest growing economy, luxury segment is on rise, but still malls are craving for more sale conversion. Whats your take on this?
NK: True – sales conversion is not adequate. However, there are many high performing retailers, though there are many more under performers. India is a challenging market and one cannot use a cookie cutter approach to succeed here. I feel catering to the Indian buyer is not so easy. We have a certain culture, a set of values and brands that sustain in the long term are those that respect and understand the consumer. The Indian buyer may have a huge appetite for luxury but is value conscious. We may be lavish in taste but discreet in purchase. So, a good brand spends a lot of time understanding the consumer mindset – and evolves itself soon – just copy paste from a foreign market does not always work. As you can see, Mc Donalds sells lots of Aloo Tikki burgers and even KFC serves veggie burgers – these brands have tailored themselves to the market and hence are doing well.
JM: What were the key deciding factor before showcasing any luxury brand in IRY?
NK: To be able to qualify for the book, the brand had to be one with a proven track record, a good reputation and credibility. Two, a presence and interest in India was mandatory – however global in scope, it was important for the brand to have executed a project or be in the stage of execution. For example Foster + Partners is a well known architecture firm and now they are implementing the Ireo township at Gurgaon. Likewise for John Hitchcox’ yoo design studio – their designers such as Jade Jagger and Philip Starcke have designed homes in Pune and Mumbai. There were some brands not ready to talk, yet, about their work, and we respected that – they should feature in our second edition.
JM:What are your future plans? Apart from Indian Realty yearbook, when do you plan to write some book?
NK: A writer breathes through writing – I will embrace just about any project that offers creative excitement and makes for an interesting read. This could range from traditions rooted in the past to the present contemporary issues, the cultural and social milleu, travel and traditions, tourism and weddings – anything that pushes the boundaries of thought and expression. We live in such dynamic times that there is a lot to talk about.