Vadodara turns out to be favourable investment destination in the real estate segment

Investing in real estate constitutes largely to identify the right opportunity. The key factors to look for investment are requirements,  appreciation, value and various reasons – One of the crucial ones being – the city and the area. There are various cities in India that are favourable from investment point of view. One of the cities that is into the radar is the cultural centre of Gujarat – Vadodara, says Pankaj Srivastava Chief Operating Officer, Maitreya Realtors & Constructions Pvt Ltd.

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Pankarj Srivastava, Naresh Kanodia and Janardhan Parulaker at the inauguration of Maitreya Paradiso at Vadodara.

Maitreya Realtors & Constructions Pvt Ltd (MRCPL), the construction arm of the Maitreya Group of Companies, started in 1998 is a real estate company engaged in the business of commercial, residential and retail projects. Under the leadership of its CMD, Varsha Satpalkar, the company currently focuses on construction and development of real estate properties across the states of Maharashtra and Gujarat. The acumen of Pankaj contributes largely to the success of the company.

With the proud track record of building trust and delivering values to all its stakeholders, MRPCL is poised to become a leading brand in the real estate sector. The company is recognized for its quality, sustainable projects, transparent deals, timely delivery and services for all income groups. Its strategic alliances and partnerships, as well as highly competent in-house team, enables the company to undertake and smoothly execute construction of high-end bungalows, villas, residential apartments as well as shopping malls across the country. To its credit, the company has several sophisticated myriad housing projects in various cities of Maharashtra such as Pune, Aurangabad, Vasai, Dhule, Jalgaon and Sangli, to name a few; while it has also constructed several commercial projects in Mumbai, Sangli and Kolhapur.

Currently, MRPCL is engaged in designing, building and marketing of its several residential and commercial projects in Nashik and Sangali. Some of these key projects are:

Maitreya Greens – It is the first ever IGBC Gold pre-certified green project in Nashik. Spread across ten acres of lush green land, of which only 40 percent would be developed into six residential towers. Comprises of Ground plus 14 floors, these towers are constructed in a complete eco-friendly manner.

Maitreya Pandav Van – Located beside famous Pandav Caves, Pandav Van is a 40 Exclusive 2 BHK Twin-bungalows Scheme. Each bungalow comes with a private garden, car parking, balconies and terraces, planned in a way that it ensures full privacy and at the same time offers lot of open space.

Maitreya Sankul – Located amidst lush green landscape of Pathardi, Maitreya Sankul is a residential project that comprise of six storey buildings offerings 2 BHK spacious flats that easily fits into the budget of middle-income families.

Maitreya Sunrise – A perfect combination of commercial and residential units, Maitreya Sunrise consists of 62 residential apartments, 39 shops and 10 godowns. This finest complex is constructed at a prime location in Sangli which is well connected to railway station and bus stand.

A veteran for over 20 years in real estate sector, Pankaj is responsible for strategic planning and managing overall business operations of the company. He started his career as an Assistant Civil Engineer at Continental Constructions Limited following which he joined Larsen & Toubro Ltd as a Civil Engineer for a span of five years. His stint as a project manager in Gherzi Eastern Limited and Macquarie Real Estate helped him climb the ladder. In July 2010, Pankaj joined Tata Housing Development Co. Ltd as General Manager – Engineering after which he earned the designation of Vice President with Octamec Engineering Limited.

Today, Pankaj has successfully established Maitreya Realtors & Constructions Pvt Ltd by managing the company’s day-to-day operations smoothly. With a sound knowledge of statutory, municipal rules and regulations and labour laws, strong technical and commercial acumen, experience in macro and micro level planning and ensuring contracts are administered effectively and efficiently, Pankaj has capitalised the stature of Maiterya Realtors & Constructions Pvt Ltd in the real estate space. His scheduling and implementing construction projects by ensuring development of integrated Program Plan that addresses contingency and minimises interruptions and provides safeguards against project over-runs and implementation of project control has resulted into rapid expansion.

A Post Graduate in Civil Engineering from Birla Institute of Technology and Science – Pilani Rajasthan, has also attended a Short Term Course on Sesmic Designs from IIT Kanpur and course on an Internal Auditor for ISO Systems – BIS.

In a tete-a-tete, Srivastava shares insights on the real estate overview in Vadodara and how the city favours to be a favourable investment option. Exerpts:

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Naresh Kanodia at the opening of Maitreya Paradiso at Vadodara.

JM: What are the reasons which define Vadodara as a favourable investment destination?

PS: Various reasons secure defining Vadodara as a favourable investment destination. To mention a few, the city is emerging as an IT hub. There are major infrastructural developments planned in the city coupled with the industrial areas, which shall lead to improved connectivity to the city and increased employment opportunities within and around the city. The Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor passes through Vadodara, making it a key destination for attracting industrial investments.

Gujarat’s leading educational institutions are located in Vadodara, offering skilled and intellectual manpower in abundance for various industries and R&D activities. Interestingly it is an ideal destination for the Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) to settle down as well. It is also an emerging hub for various glass manufacturing companies and automobile ancillary plants. Various towns are home to Pharmaceutical and other Chemical manufacturing ventures.

Vadodara is home to a large number of reputed large scale industries and public sector units like Indian Petrochemicals Corporation Ltd (IPCL), Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC), Gujarat Alkalies and Chemical Ltd (GACL), and Gas Authority of India Ltd (GAIL). A large number of builders have also become a major part of Vadodara real estate.

JM: Can you talk about Maitreya’s projects in Vadodara?

PS: Maitreya Realtors & Constructions Private Ltd (MRCPL), the construction division of the Maitreya Group of Companies had launched its premium plotting project near Ajwa Funworld in the name of Maitreya Paradiso.

Maitreya Paradiso is located at the Rasulabaad Jharod crossing, before Ajwa Funworld. Surrounded by lush greenery, the project entails 120 plots ranging from 1800-8000 square feet targeting a range of buyers depending upon their choice and preference. Customers can buy these plots and construct their desired villas as per the standard elevation and specifications.  The Infrastructure that includes a attractive designed compound wall, grand entrance plaza, internal roads, electricity and water connections to individual plots, storm water drains, Sewage treatment plant, soft water supply and an elegant club house.

JM: What makes this project unique…

PS: It is a unique venture for those who wish to invest in land parcels or for those looking for their second home or thinking about their retirement homes. One can buy the plot and construct home as per his requirements.

With the urban development authority of Vadodara continuously encouraging many construction companies to establish residential areas, IT parks and shopping malls within the city, the city promises a bright future not only for itself but also for those who intend to draw on the prospects of an emerging cosmopolitan.

 

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CASE Construction Equipment launches 851 EX backhoe loader in India

CASE Construction Equipment, a brand of CNH Industrial, announced the full availability of the new 96 horsepower 851 EX Backhoe Loaders, the most powerful backhoe loader in India, according to a company statement. Richard Tobin, CEO of CNH Industrial, officially handed over the keys of the first full production unit of the new 851 EX backhoe loader to a key contractor Nabada Johari at a ceremony held at the CASE India plant in Pithampur, Madhya Pradesh, where it was designed and manufactured.

Speaking on the occasion, Tobin said: “India and the Asia Pacific Region are key markets for CNH Industrial, and we have maintained significant investments in order to provide the best products and support to our customers in the region. Our investments have also enabled us to develop the new EX Series backhoes at the Pithampur plant to meet the specific requirements of construction businesses”.

The new CASE 851 EX Series backhoe loader, which was previewed at the EXCON 2013 show in November 2013 at Bangalore, is the most powerful model available in the Indian market and fits at the top of the three-model range that also includes the 770 EX and 770 EX Magnum. The reliable and proven 96 horsepower 8000 engine, developed by CASE sister partner FPT Industrial, delivers a powerful performance and fast response time, enabling operators to maximize productivity. This coupled with the exceptional fuel savings of up to 13% resulting from the air aftercooler system, makes the 8000 series the most fuel-efficient engine in the market.

The load sensing hydraulic system delivers maximum power where it is needed, while the simultaneous operation of the hydraulic receivers maximises productivity and minimizes fuel consumption.  With the hydraulically shifted clutches the operator can change direction and travel speed on the go. The control valves deliver smooth speed and direction shifts, resulting in smooth and accurate operation. CASE is recognised around the world as a leading backhoe loader manufacturer with over 600,000 units sold. In India, it is a major player in this segment leveraging its expertise and strong local manufacturing capabilities.
The company has focused over the years its resources on the Pithampur manufacturing operations, dedicated to developing and producing its machines for the construction industry. Today the facility implements World Class Manufacturing methodologies to achieve the high levels of quality and efficiency of CNH Industrial’s facilities around the world. It produces market leading equipment, such as its range of vibratory soil compactors that holds the n.1 position in India and was recently expanded with the addition of the new DX1107 model. The continued investments in product development and of the production line at Pithampur are testament to CASE’s dedicated efforts towards achieving their long term goal of optimizing these operations for the domestic and global construction equipment needs.
CASE Construction Equipment sells and supports a full line of construction equipment around the world, including the No. 1 loader/backhoes, excavators, motor graders, wheel loaders, vibratory compaction rollers, crawler dozers, skid steers, compact track loaders and rough-terrain forklifts. Through CASE dealers, customers have access to a true professional partner with world-class equipment and aftermarket support, industry-leading warranties and flexible financing. More information is available at CASEce.com. CASE Construction Equipment is a brand of CNH Industrial NV, a World leader in Capital Goods listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: CNHI) and on the Mercato Telematico Azionario of the Borsa Italiana (MI: CNHI). More information about CNH Industrial can be found online at cnhindustrial.com.

Leyland Deere 435E Backhoe Loader launched in Chennnai

Ashok Leyland John Deere Construction Equipment Company Private Limited, a joint venture between Ashok Leyland and John Deere, launched its 435E Backhoe Loader (BHL) in Chennai, today. The current economic conditions demand even greater focus on efficiency and operating costs. Especially focused on these needs, Leyland Deere newly-launched 435E BHL, specifically targeted at first time users, offers ten percent improvement in fuel cost, a company statement noted.

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Built on the rugged and durable 435 BHL platform, Leyland Deere’s new 435E BHL offers reduction in cost of operations and delivers savings up to 20 percent of the EMI value, giving the product an important competitive edge. The 435E BHL is backed by best-in-class after-sales support with a service engineer-to-machine ratio of 1:8, rapid response mobile service vans and a dedicated call center. This enables Leyland Deere to offer Indian customers an industry-best Mean-time to Restore (MTTR), maximising availability of the machine and earnings for customers.The 435E delivers superior value by addressing a customer’s core needs of higher fuel efficiency, superior reliability and durability, greater machine up time and lower operating costs. Its rugged structure ensures performance under the most demanding operating conditions.

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While speaking on the occasion, Dr V Sumantran, Chairman, Ashok Leyland John Deere Construction Equipment Company said: “There is a huge scope for infrastructure development in India and the long-term growth story of this sector is still very much intact. With the ‘E’ standing for ‘Efficiency’, the 435E BHL is best positioned to cater to new entrepreneurs in infrastructure and construction industries. The new ‘435E’ BHL will join its sibling – the 435 BHL, and together, Leyland Deere will offer machines to cover the spectrum – SOLID PERFORMANCE with the 435 and SOLID EFFICIENCY with the 435E. Backed by class-leading service levels, we are confident that our new product will set new standards of efficiency and customer service and offer great return on investment to our customers”.

P Ravishankar, CEO – Ashok Leyland John Deere Construction Equipment Company added: “We have made significant progress in product development and channel growth with 155+ touch points, and have acquired over 1000 delighted customers in our two years of operations. The 435E BHL is a winning proposition, especially for first time buyers. Our innovative and strong C.A.R.E service, our increasing footprint and continued focus on customer needs, will definitely increase customer ROI”.

The 435E BHL is manufactured at Leyland Deere’s facility near Chennai that incorporates globally-benchmarked manufacturing processes like robotic welding, CNC cutting and a state-of-the-art paint shop to ensure the highest standards of quality.

Bentley Systems is Construction Computing’s ‘Company of the Year’ for Second Year Running

Bentley Systems Inc, the leading company dedicated to providing comprehensive software solutions for sustaining infrastructure, today announced that it was named ‘The Company of the Year’ at the Construction Computing Awards 2013 (also known as The Hammers) programme – marking the second year in a row that Bentley has achieved this recognition, according to a company statement.
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Bentley further announced that SpecWave Composer – Bentley’s specification creation, control, and compliance software – received the top award in the “One to Watch Product” category, which acknowledged new products launched in 2013 that are going to become “big” in the next 12 months. Bentley also was named runner-up in the “Architectural Software Product of the Year” category for GenerativeComponents, “Document and Content Management Product of the Year” category forProjectWise, and “Mobile Technology of the Year” category for Field Supervisor.
Sponsored by Construction Computing magazine in the UK, the Construction Computing Awards, which are now in their 8th year, showcase and acknowledge technology, tools, and solutions for the effective design, construction, maintenance, and modification of commercial buildings, residential and social housing, and civil engineering projects of all sizes. The winners are selected byConstruction Computing magazine’s readership, which includes IT professionals in construction, product, project design and service companies, and a panel of influential industry experts that judges the project categories.
David Chadwick, editor, CAD User and Construction Computing – U.K., said: “Bentley’s ‘Company of the Year’ award win for a second straight year is further evidence of this company’s steadfast commitment to providing innovative products and services to the construction industry that address both project and infrastructure performance. Examples previewed at Bentley’s recent Year in Infrastructure Conference in London include not only SpecWave Composer, but also ProjectWise Construction Work Package Server for managing the lifecycle of construction work packages and Bentley CONNECT services for connecting project participants in cloud and hybrid environments. A shared capability of Bentley offerings is information mobility for collaboration, achieved through B/IM – Bentley’s advancement of the reach and benefits of BIM. On behalf of the entireConstruction Computing staff, I congratulate Bentley on this latest recognition”.
Commenting on the awards, Huw Roberts, Bentley vice president, platform advantage, pointed out: “It’s truly an honor to be recognized by the readership ofConstruction Computing, and we thank them for their vote of confidence. We also thank the editorial staff of Construction Computing for doing a superior job of encouraging these IT professionals in construction to explore and consider the adoption of innovations like our B/IM advancement that supports collaborative BIM and helps the thousands of moving parts in construction to work as one, reducing risk and improving profitability for owners and contractors alike. We proudly accept this award on behalf of not only all of our colleagues but also all of our construction users around the world, who innovatively apply our products to accomplish great things in project and asset lifecycles”. For additional information about the Construction Computing Awards 2013, visit constructioncomputingawards.co.uk.
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‘B/IM’ signifies Bentley’s advancement of the reach and benefits of BIM for better-performing infrastructure assets, and better-performing infrastructure projectsthrough increased:
·         depth of information modeling – beyond design visualization to performance simulation, optioneering, and operational immersion;

·         breadth of information mobility – facilitating collaboration among multiple project disciplines and from design through construction and operations.

Construction Computing is the only UK magazine to focus specifically on IT solutions for the construction industry. The title is published six times a year and is combined with CAD User AEC Magazine. It has a circulation of just over 10,000 copies per issue.

The magazine’s editorial purpose is to provide information about all aspects of construction IT product and service use across the whole range of construction areas. Editorial content is placed in a construction company and construction project context. For example, how will any specific IT component improve the course of a particular construction project, and how will it improve the performance of the construction company and its relationship with the client? Content is presented so that IT can be shown to provide real construction business benefits such as increased profitability, lower costs, and faster project execution.
Bentley is the global leader dedicated to providing architects, engineers, geospatial professionals, constructors, and owner-operators with comprehensive software solutions for sustaining infrastructure. Bentley Systems applies information mobility to improve asset performance by leveraging information modeling through integrated projects for intelligent infrastructure. Its solutions encompass the MicroStation platform for infrastructure design and modeling, theProjectWise platform for infrastructure project team collaboration and work sharing, and the AssetWise platform for infrastructure asset operations – all supporting a broad portfolio of interoperable applications and complemented by worldwide professional services. Founded in 1984, Bentley has more than 3,000 colleagues in 50 countries, more than $600 million in annual revenues, and since 2005 has invested more than $1 billion in research, development, and acquisitions.

Sanjay Puri: Only Indian Architect to win 33 international awards

Achieved a lot globally, yet remains a very private and understated South Bombayite. With his classic sensibilities, he is an avid traveller, known more in Milan or Italy than within his own turf. That is Sanjay Puri, the world renowned architect for you.

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Brand in himself
Sanjay is a brand in himself and he is the only Indian Architect to will 33 coveted international awards. In fact, he is the only person in the world to have won three awards at MIPIM in March 2013.

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The MIPIM is the equivalent of the Cannes in the field of architecture and design. Sanjay’s project, ‘DCaves’ in Hyderabad has won ‘The Most Sustainable Hotel in the World’ at the A+ Awards in New York last year as well.
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Sanjay Puri and Associates, his firm is known not just for interesting designs, but also for contextual architecture. For instance, 72 screens in Jaipur takes its inspiration from the old traditional ‘jali’ screens of the architectural heritage of the region sheats the building on all sides further reducing the heat gain and rendering the building very energy efficient.
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Also, the Courtyard House in Rajasthan is relatively large house, due to the client requirements, is designed in response to the desert climate of its location and is built sustainably with natural ventilation being facilitated throughout the house and minimised heat gain to increase its energy efficiency.
Notable projects
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Few of his most prominent projects include the Chrome Hotel in Kolkata, DCaves Hotel in Hyderabad, H Hotel Lucknow, The Courtyard House in Rajasthan and more. Sanjay was also in the news lately for the Bombay Arts Society, which was launched in October last year.

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Globally, the firm’s biggest and most noteworthy projects include the Chapel at Murcia in Spain and Teresa 153 in Montenegro. Sanjay, not known in many social circles in India has been featured in over 200 international publications.
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Story behind the Enigma
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It is not every day that one gets to be in the presence of sheer creative genius, which is nothing short of inspiring. One such personality is Sanjay Puri, who has silently but surely been working his way to become the leader in architecture and design in the country.
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In an exclusive interview with Jayashankar Menon, the globally renowned Architect sheds more light on his education, growing up and rising to international fame. Excerpts:

JM: Can you talk about your education and the eventual beginning of your tryst with Architecture?
SP:  After finishing my graduation from Mayo College, I went on to pursue my dream of becoming an Architect and studied from the illustrious Academy of Architecture, Mumbai. My tryst with Architecture began at an early age and my formal training in the subject which gave me the means to channel my creativity in a productive manner. Like all creative minds, I find inspiration everywhere. Of course my biggest inspiration and something that I turn turns to even today is ‘The Fountainhead’ by Ayn Rand. This novel that is one of the greatest books of our times revolves around the life of the protagonist, an Architect who is so driven that he would rather struggle than compromise on his artistic vision. This is the mantra that I follow till today and is the thing that sets me apart from other Architects.

JM: Can you talk about your earlier career?
SP: I began my career by working under the Master Architect of my time: Hafeez Contractor, who taught me a lot of what I know on the subject. Subsequently, I went on to establish my own firm and in 1992 Sanjay Puri Architects was born. From then on there was no looking back. Today I am at the forefront, leading my impressive team of more than 72 employees in several projects in India and around the world.

JM: Your avant-garde architectural style is truly unique and a true expression of your creativity. What is the essence of your design theory?
SP: The essence of my design theory is creating innovative design spaces that are contextual but at the same time sustainable. The main aim is to evoke an exhilarating experience while infusing functionality effectively.

JM: Today you are the leading architect in the country with a name in India as well as overseas. You are the only architect worldwide to win awards in three categories at the latest MIPIM Architectural Review Future Projects Awards in France. Besides this you have also bagged over 33 international awards and numerous national awards garnering fame for yourself and your firm. How can you still be simple and down to earth?

SP: By nature, I am quite a simple and straightforward man, and do not believe in unnecessary embellishments on buildings. I prefer to focus on the form of the structure and pay more attention to the way the building feels and not just how it looks. I also do not look like a man who will allow success to go to my head and has managed to remain humble and unassuming in spite of having appeared in over 200 international publications and being a speaker in architectural events in Italy, Spain, Singapore, Serbia, Mexico and The Netherlands.

JM: Please describe your work?
SP: My utmost preoccupation is to evolve innovative design solutions and incorporate the geography of the location in a positive way into the design. Most of my designs have an element or principle of traditional Indian architecture that I try to imbibe in them in my own way. While designing a space, the most important thing to remember is not to hold back, to let your creativity flow undeterred. This is something that is missing in the run of the mill buildings that we see cropping up everywhere nowadays. I try to ensure that every structure I design and create is vastly different and unique from the previous one, and avoid repetition at all costs.

JM: Can you talk about Sanjay Puri Architects?
SP: Founded in 1992, Sanjay Puri Architects (SPA) today is one of the most sought after architectural and design firms in India. With a team of over 72 employees, the firm is an unmatched powerhouse of design. SPA has an extensive design portfolio that includes architectural and interior design projects in fields like hospitality, commercial, retail, educational and entertainment facilities as well as large urban projects and town planning. Currently we are involved in designing over 100 projects in 40 cities across India as well as projects in Montenegro, Spain, UAE and Mauritius.
SPA have won 34 International awards including the Chicago Athenaeum Museum of Architecture & Design’s International Architecture Awards 2012 & 2011, the World Architecture Festival Awards 2012, 2011 & 2010 , nine  MIPIM Architectural Review Future Project Awards & 5 World Architecture Community Awards, UK and two Hospitality Design, New York Awards. We also have innumerable national awards to our credit.
Some of the firm’s most notable projects include the Chrome Hotel in Kolkata, D Caves Hotel Hyderabad, D Hotel Lucknow, 72 Screens Jaipur, The Courtyard house Rajasthan and Bombay Arts society. Internationally the firm’s biggest and most noteworthy projects are the Chapel at Murcia Spain and Teresa 153 in Montenegro.

Real Estate Regulation Bill to create a positive change towards organised approach to real estate in India

The Real Estate Regulation and Development Bill, can be seen as a positive change towards a more organized and transparent approach to real estate in India. But with elections coming up, the fate of the Bill and its current form faces an uncertain future, says Sunder P, CEO and Co Founder of HomeShikari.com. In a free-wheeling interview, Sunder provides the Real Estate forecast in 2014. Excerpts:
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JM: What were the key external factors impacting the residential real estate market in 2013?
SP: The year 2013 saw a lot of key external factors affecting the residential real estate market. RBI guidelines, revisions on FDI, the draft Real Estate Regulation and Development Bill and a volatile economy are among a few.

JM: Will the proposed Real Estate Regulation Bill create any positive impact on the Real Estate horizon in India?
SP: The Real Estate Regulation and Development Bill, can be seen as a positive change towards a more organised and transparent approach to real estate in India. But with elections coming up, the fate of the Bill and its current form faces an uncertain future.
JM: Has the RBI guidelines on funding created a negative impact on builder cash flows?
SP: The change in RBI guidelines on the 20:80 funding has had a serious impact on builder cash flows. Most builders have highly leveraged balance sheets and the slowdown in demand has led to a serious pile up of inventory in most cities.

JM: What are the other deterrents for overseas investors in shying away to foray into Indian market?
SP: Transparency issues and associated risks with the residential real estate market too act as a deterrent for foreign investors. The REIT market for commercial real estate is just beginning to see some action. In the current scenario, organised bulge bracket investors see commercial real estate more favourably than the residential market.

JM: According to you, which category will see the highest demand in the outlying and newer areas of the city?
SP: The budget homes category will witness the highest demand in the outlying and newer areas of the city, especially because there is a good deal of price flexibility that developers display. The locational preferences are based on factors of affordability, followed by urban and social infrastructure to support living. Yet, within each of these sectors, price is still seen as the largest pain point amongst buyers. The investment market will therefore see less traction than the end-user market.

JM: Do you think the foreign investments into the commercial sector are likely to increase any time soon?
SP: Yes, foreign investments into the commercial sector are likely to increase with the formation of REITs. Commercial office spaces with long term lease agreements are going to attract more such investments. Growth is expected to be muted until a new Government is formed at the Centre after elections. Cities with large pile up of inventory like Mumbai, NCR and Chennai are likely to witness a slow down. Some pockets within NCR like Greater Noida may do well. Bangalore, by far is expected to outperform all other markets in 2014. Pune is expected to do reasonably well. Hyderabad has witnessed lackluster performance in 2013 due to the political uncertainty over Telengana row, but may see some renewed buying as things become clearer and since the market has almost bottomed out.

JM: How about the luxury and super premium segments?
SP: In the luxury and super premium segments where buyers are not D-I-Y is where middlemen (the professional firms) can play a role in assessing the needs and finding a good fitment. It may also work with the speculative investor class.

JM: What according to you is the cardinal problem in the Indian Real Estate arena?
SP: The key problem in the Indian real estate segment is the lack of accurate information to make an informed choice. The middlemen while having relatively better information are also handicapped. The only information that they probably have better access to, is availability. The rest is a matter of reverse bidding and price discovery, which middlemen do more efficiently than end users.

RC Golden Granites bag CAPEXIL Award in Export category

CAPEXIL, a non-profit organisation by the Ministry of Commerce, Government of India has coferred an award to RC Golden Granites for export. According to a company statement, a high member jury has recognised RC Golden Granites as best exporter nationally among the companies competed across India.
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R Chandrasekaran receiving 2011-12 Export REcognition Award from Dr EM Sudarsana Natchiappan.
RC Golden Granites, group company of Madurai Appu Hotels, has been bestowed with the award third time in the row – 2008-2009, 2009-2010 and 2011-2012. R Chandrasekaran, CMD, received the award from Dr E M Sudarsana Natchiappan, Minister of State for Commerce and Industry in a glittering ceremony held in Kolkatta.
Commenting on the honour, Chandrasekaran said: “It is indeed a great honour to receive the award as this is truly prestigious recognition that validates the achievements and contribution of our Granite export across globe. I feel very fortunate and accept this recognition in all humility. It’s an immense honor and it feels special as well to receive an award from CAPEXIL”
RC Golden Granites – a 100 percent Export Oriented Unit started in 2004 by Chandrasekaran. Today it’s amongst the top five Granites export companies in India producing enchanting pieces of granite monuments as per international customers’ requirements
RC Golden Granites is the brainchild of Chandrasekaran, who posses vast knowledge in the granite monument production business. He has managed one of India’s well known Granite Processing Unit for over 18 years in the position of General Manager in his earlier assignment. RCGG is already enjoying a wide customer base around the world. With a view to expanding the horizon of its business domain, he has been ardently applying his mind on the values that will draw the attention of global buyers for the products manufactured by his company. Save Draft

Kajaria Ceramics launch new display centres in Amritsar, Guwahati, Nagpur, Patna and Aurangabad

Kajaria Ceramics Ltd, the tile manufacturing giant, today announced the launch of display centres in Amritsar, Guwahati, Nagpur, Patna and Aurangabad.

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According to a company statement, the display centres innovatively showcase Kajaria’s extensive selection of tiles including ceramic tiles, polished vitrified tiles and glazed vitrified tiles, all set up in an attractive display of design and colours.
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Speaking on the launch, Ashok Kajaria, Kajaria Ceramics Limited said: “We understand that tiles are experiential products and nothing can drive preference quite like visual appreciation.  We are in a business which is increasingly becoming a business of aesthetics. These centres will showcase mock-up bathrooms, walls and floors – helping the visitors visualise the same experience in their homes, by making it tangible. Our comprehensive mock ups bring to life our fantastic designs and allow you to experience what it would be like to have your dream space become a reality. Visitors are free to Mix and Match our available designs to create the perfect combination that satiates their choices”.
Visitors can avail many exciting benefits at these display centres including a touch and feel experience of the complete range of wall and floor tiles that the company has to offer. Systematic and attractive displays to help visitors visually enjoy the products to the fullest.
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In addition to this, Kajaria’s expert team and center managers will consult and guide customers on the basics of tile installation, step by step guidance on the purchasing process so that there are no possible ambiguities. The team will also assist customers in selecting the right designs as per their preference and other material and technical aspect of tiles.
For over 25 years, the brand Kajaria has become synonymous with innovation and customer satisfaction. Today, the company has become a household name for tiling solutions and continues to delight consumers’ delight with perfection. Kajaria is the only company in the tile industry to receive the “Superbrand’ award seven times in a row. It has also been conferred with “Asia’s Most Promising Brand” award in the Premium Tile Category and is the most certified ceramic tile company in the world.
Kajaria Ceramics Limited is the largest Wall and Floor Tile manufacturing company in India with a capacity of 45.2 million square metres per annum and has a turnover of over Rs 1,700 crore. The company has seven manufacturing plants, one each in Sikandrabad (UP), Gailpur (Rajasthan), Vijayawada (AP) and four in Morbi (Gujarat). Kajaria has a pan-India presence with a strong distribution network of about 6,000 dealers and their sub-dealers along with 24 offices-cum-display centres.
Over the years the pace of technological advancement has increased in momentum. New techniques such as digital technology are diligently applied to create tiles that stand apart. Kajaria offers more than 1000 options of Ceramic Wall and Floor Tiles, Polished Vitrified Tiles, and Glazed Vitrified Tiles to the discerning customer.

Value and Budget Housing Corporation (VBHC) Hosts Christmas Carnival in Bangalore today

Value and Budget Housing Corporation (VBHC) is bringing in the festive season by organising a grand Christmas Carnival at their flagship project in Chandapura Anekal near electronic city, on December 22, 2013. Venue: VBHC Vaibhava, (near Electronic City), Property No. 51, Chandapura Anekal Main Road, Opposite Gobardhan Granite, Bangalore – 562106. The carinval that has started at 4.00 PM will last by 10.30 pm. Guests are having opportunity to avail of several special promotional offers at the event which include:

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v  Special discount on spot booking

v  Group gift offers

v  No loan processing fees for Spot Bookings

v  5 Gram Gold coin for Spot Bookings

v  Rs 25,000 to referral customers on Spot Bookings

v  Wedding and Graduation Apartment presents for your children, nieces, nephews, etc.

v  Guided site tours from 4-7 pm for all interested customers, entry free.

Along with the special promotional offers, numerous fun activities have been planned for the all the carnival goers.  These include:
v  Merry go round

v  Face painting

v  Inflatable playground

v  Tug of war

v  Ring the Bottle

v  Tata Nano Tour

v  DJ Party

v  Santa Claus

v  Free Gifts

v  Games and Prizes

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Indian Housing: The Game Changer Leading to Double-Digit Growth

The first day of the CREDAI Conclave kick-started yesterday with the first session, titled: Reebooting India Estate, where speakers such as Sushil Mantri, Managing Director of Mantri Developers; C Shekar Reddy, President of CREDAI and Managing Director of CSR Estates Ltd and Geetamber Anand, President Elect, CREDAI and CMD of ATS Infrastructure Ltd deliberated.

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Panelists at the first session of the CREDAI conclave agreed that there was not much scope for reduction of prices of homes unless the Government took steps to relax Floor Space Index norms, reduce tax burden on the real estate industry, implement single window clearance for real estate projects and reduce interest rates.
Developers opined that profit of real estate developers had gone down substantially and there was no scope for further price reduction. Mantri said: “Housing industry is in deep shortage. It is wrong to say that prices should come down. How can prices come down when there is a shortage of housing”.
Floor space index
Reddy urged the Government to do away with the Floor Space Index (FSI) concept, take the approval process online and reduce tax burden on the industry. “The real estate industry has a tax burden of 30-40 percent. This has to come down to less than 15 percent. There are multiple taxes on the industry, which eventually gets passed on to buyers,” Reddy said and added that these measures will create huge supply of homes and in a competitive market the supply will bring down home prices”.
Single window clearance
Anand hoped the Government would soon implement single window clearance system. ‘Every time we ask the Government to implement single window clearance, they say we understand but it hasn’t happened’, he said. The second session was on the topic of ‘Challenges opportunities 2014′. Speakers were RK Arora, Chairman and Managing Director, Supertech Ltd; Vijay Mirchandani, national secretary, Confederation of Real Estate Developers’ Associations of India; Jaxay Shah, MD, Savvy Infrastructure Pvt Ltd, Vice President, CREDAI; Kumar Gera, Chairman, Gera Developments Pvt Ltd
and Rajni kanth S Ajmera, Chairman, Ajmera Group. The panel discussion deliberated on ‘Will 2014 be better than 2013 was for real estate industry’.
Slowdown
The year 2013 was marked by a slowdown in the real estate industry. Will 2014 be better? Panelists at the third session of CREDAI conclave believe the industry is going through a temporary blip and will bounce back next year. RK Arora, Chairman and Managing Director, Supertech Ltd said, the slowdown in 2013 was led by sentiment and not so much by a slowdown in sales or a fall in demand for homes. Arora said since it was more of a sentiment led slowdown, home prices will not fall. ‘In fact, I think prices will go up, so it is a good time to put money in real estate,’ he said.
Arora said there was a lot of scope for growth in the affordable housing segment. “We have observed that 90 percent of the demand for housing is in the affordable housing segment. I think even in 2014, there will be good demand for this segment of housing,” he said.
Mirchandani said: “The aspiration for a home remains constant. The dream for a home will never be over. The weak sentiment towards housing is because of uncertainty in political environment. I think we will quickly recover.”  While Mirchandani agreed with Arora that the maximum demand for homes is in the affordable segment, he said the definition of affordable housing changes from city to city. “What is affordable housing in one city is luxury housing in another city but demand is always there for affordable homes,” he said. Mirchandani said with the increase in cost of land and construction material, the only way a developer can make homes affordable is by reducing the size of apartment. Shah gave a parallel to Dubai and US. ‘In Dubai and US, there were worse problems but they survived, so we are hopeful of 2014,’ he added.
Recovery
Gera said: “We expect real estate industry to recover in 2014, because of a change in Government at the centre. “In 2014 there will be change because we have Lok Sabha elections. The UPA Government is not giving priority to housing. Their focus is only on slum housing,” he lamented. Gera reiterated that 2014 will bring a positive change in every industry, which will improve the sentiments in the real estate industry. Gera also called for allowing foreign investment for individual housing. ‘A change must come. Foreigners should be allowed to invest in real estate sector like it is allowed in countries such as Spain,’ he concurred.
Ajmera, Chairman rued that the Government treated the real estate sector like an ‘untouchable’ industry. He urged the Government to give priority sector lending to the industry. “Banks finance only about 40 percent of construction financing, which constitutes roughly 70 percent of the cost of our project. Banks should finance 100 percent of the cost of construction,” Ajmera added.
The third session was on the topic: ‘Shaping the future – A Challenge’. Mohit Goel, CEO, Omaxe Ltd, and son of Rohtas Goel, Chairman and Managing Director, Omaxe Ltd; Viswajith Kumar, Director,  Navin Housing and Properties Pvt Ltd and son of Dr R Kumar, Managing Director, Navin Housing; Mohit Arora, Director, Supertech Ltd and son of RK Arora, Chairman and Managing Director of Supertech and Kruti  Kumar Jain, Director, Kumar Urban Development participated in the panel discussion.
The young turks of the real estate industry place winning customer trust and loyalty as one of their top priorities. Mohit Goel, CEO, Omaxe Ltd, and son of Rohtas Goel, Chairman and Managing Director, Omaxe Ltd, says that he has brought in aggression into the company.  “I am impatient in a good way and I believe in creating an emotional connect with our buyers. Anyone who does business with us should feel satisfied,” he said.
Kumar said one of the biggest challenge the current generation of developers faced was keeping in tune with changing customer preferences.  “Staying with the market is critical. Lifestyle changes are happening. We need to see how we can catch the pulse of young home buyer. It is part of the evolutionary process. If I don’t catch it, I won’t survive. We are trying to create a revolution in housing. Things are being done in same way. I want to change the status quo”.
Lack of transparency
Arora is worried that the real estate sector does not have enough transparency. “We need to be as responsible as a bank and we need to bring in more transparency for buyer. We need to build more trust in the industry,” he said.
Jain said: “Any city is identified with modern skyscrapers built there. Real estate is part of the identity of a nation. So I knew I had to be part of the industry”. ‘Every project has different challenges. This isn’t an opportunity any other industry will give us,’she added.
The fourth session was the keynote event. Dr Giriji Vyas, Union Minister of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation, C Shekhar Reddy, President, CREDAI and Managing Director, CSR Estates Ltd and Senior BJP leader, Venkaiah Naidu took part in the discussion.
Dr Vyas assured real estate developers that the real estate regulatory bill will be suitably modified if necessary. Speaking at a real estate conclave organised by CREDAI in New Delhi, Dr Vyas said the industry should not have any fears about the real estate regulatory bill. ‘There is no reason for worrying about this. We will talk to you first on the real estate regulatory bill,’ she said.
Mutual interaction
The Minister, in response to criticism from the industry said there should be more dialogue between the Ministry and the real estate industry. “Real estate has the potential to create the right economic environment. We are keen to bring in reforms for the real estate sector. The sector has to grow,” she said.
Multiple taxation
In what could be a relief for the real estate sector, Dr Vyas agreed that the Government will do a rethink on multiple taxation of the real estate sector. “We will think about relaxing Floor Space Index (FSI) norms as well and on relaxing loan facility to the sector,” she said.
Reddy raised issues related to the real estate sector such as FSI norms, multiple taxation, strict lending to the real estate sector and issues related to the Real Estate Regulatory Bill. “The Bill, if it is implemented in its current form will push up prices by 30 perfcent, instead of reducing it. We need a comprehensive regulatory authority that covers all the stakeholders of the real estate industry,” the Minister concluded her statement with the assurance that all the issues discussed at the conclave will be taken up by the Government.
Industry status
Senior BJP leader, Venkaiah Naidu asked for real estate sector to be declared as an industry. Speaking at a real estate conclave organised by CREDAI in New Delhi today, Naidu said the Government has not focused enough on creation of homes. “The NDA Government had brought in housing sector reforms but a lot more needs to be done. As a first step, the sector needs to be declared as an industry,” Naidu said.
Naidu also called for simultaneous reforms in the banking sector, land reforms and rationalization of interest rates. “Real estate developers should be given quick clearances. Also, housing sector has been removed from priority sector lending.  Back then, I had protested against it,” he said.
Naidu said during NDA rule, the then Prime Minister, Atal Bihari Vajpayee had brought down interest rate from 16 percent to seven percent for real estate industry. ‘Interest rates need to be brought down again,’ he said. Naidu also opined that the problems of the real estate sector, is a reflection of the problems that India faces. ‘There is a lack of decision making in the country. This is the reason for the present crisis,’ he asserted. Naidu said the NDA Government had taken India’s GDP growth to 8.4 percent, which has now come down to around 4.5 percent.  “There is fiscal account deficit, current account deficit and trust deficit. While people from outside are looking to come into India, businessmen from India are going outside. The Government should have clarity in mind,” he said. Naidu also said that CREDAI’s demand for abolishment of urban land ceiling, stamp duty rationalisation, priority lending to the real estate sector, should be taken up by the Government.
Fifth session was on Urbanisation – Dream of Young India, where the speakers incldued Anurag Thakur, President, Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha and MP and Lalit Kumar Jain, Chairman, CREDAI.
Thakur said: “It is important for the real estate sector to grow, because it will create many job opportunities. Overall growth today has come down. This needs to change. India is experiencing urbanisation at a fast pace. When people come from villages to urban centres, they want to buy homes. The question here is are there enough homes and are they affordable. When the NDA Government comes to power, it will improve GDP growth to 8.5 percent, which will in turn motivate people to buy homes. Therefore, we are pushing for more transparency in the real estate sector”. Jain said the industry was the victim of a corrupt system and not its beneficiary. ‘Real estate industry is transparent. We can debate on this’, he added.
Sixth session was on the topic of Road to recovery, where the speakers included Pankaj Bajaj, member executive committee, CREDAI, MD, Eldeco Infratsructure; Vk Sharma, MD,  LIC India; Rajiv Sabharwal, Executive Director, ICICI Bank and Vishal Kumar, MD, Xander Advisors India Ltd. Bajaj said new home absorptions were not happening because of negative sentiment in the country. “I think like every other industry, there is some deference of purchasing decision. Everyone is in wait and watch mode,” he said.
Timeline adherence
Sharma said: “There is a clear signal of a slowdown in upper and upper middle segment of housing. In the Rs 40 lakh to Rs 1 crore bracket of homes, there is a strong demand. The basic issue that home buyers have is that developers are not maintaining timeline. If you are not able to stick to project timeline, then you will be redundant,” he held.
On the issue of delays in projects, Sabharwal said that typically projects with bank funding don’t get delayed. “Projects usually get delayed because approvals don’t come on time.  The other reason for delay in projects is when a developer does not have financial closure for a project and is dependent on debt to finance the project. Bankers also suffer when delays happen,” he said.
Kumar said the mood among private equity players was very bad. “There are very few traditional players left now. A few years back, there were 132 PE players and today we might have ten players, of which only three are doing PE deals while the rest aee doing debt deals,” he said. Kumar said PE players were however making good returns on the deals they were doing. “Earlier, if one out of ten deals gave decent returns, now half of the deals give decent returns. Deals will be fewer but larger,” he concluded.