Rakesh Chand Gupta, Managing Director, RPS Group
Sometimes, progress and development run in cycles. Consider the case of Faridabad, located on NH 2. About 20-25 years ago, it was a leading industrial town. Eventually, owing to certain policies that came into force, industries shut down and shifted to other places, and the city moved to the fringes of the headlines. However, Faridabad is now making its way back to the centre-stage. Today, around 5,000 acre is being industrially developed, and another 5,000 acre has been acquired for residential and other projects. Highlighting such facts and more, Rakesh Chand Gupta, Managing Director, RPS Group, talks about the resurrection of Faridabad's real estate and his company's activities in conversation with Shriyal Sethumadhavan.
Since inception, Faridabad has been the preferred location for all our projects. This is the only city in NCR where infrastructural development has been in its initial stage; where growth and development were on the agenda of the state government; and where the potential of the city was a promising factor in itself. Also, I would like to quote the axiom, 'Charity begins at home'. Being proud residents of Faridabad, we wished to see the city scale new heights. So why move out when your own city is calling you?
It would be a little unfair to compare metros with non-metropolitan cities. Metros like Mumbai and Delhi are preferred because they offer the best infrastructure and employment opportunities. But, pollution and the unavoidable crowd have definitely made life in these cities difficult. Scarcity of land and rising property prices add fuel to fire. Faridabad offers all the facilities available in the metros along with mental peace and satisfaction. Again, it is also one of the cities in the NCR where the real estate prices are not as high as in Delhi or Gurgaon. Hence, better infrastructure, good transport, easy accessibility, proximity to Delhi and the other NCR cities, along with affordable prices make this city a complete property destination. Being the most promising city in the NCR in terms of property and all-round infrastructural development, Faridabad is the future hub for residential and commercial purposes.
Around the mid-1990s, city developers came together to initiate something unique for the city and its people. Faridabad had no concept of a mall till then. And thus, Crown Plaza, a commercial complex, was planned, spreading over almost 10 acre (NH 2, Sector 15-A). Also, the Green Valley Township is our first large-scale township implemented as a JV between RPS Group and Omaxe.
Amongst our independent projects is RPS City – an integrated, self-sustained township that comprises living destinations with multiple variants. Savana, RPS Palms and Rhythm are all ongoing projects as part of this township. It is well connected to the metro, highway and roads. We have also launched our first ongoing IT park project, RPS Oxypark, on the main Mathura Road, near Badarpur flyover.
With these projects, we have evolved from being a co-developer to a developer and have worked with internal strength and determination, to offer the best results today.
This is what the industry needs – good connectivity, skilled manpower, infrastructure and affordable rates, all of which Faridabad offers.
In India at present, 'green' is the buzzword. The citizens of Faridabad are quite vigilant and understand the need to conserve energy. This concept has been accepted and implemented in most projects today. And we have taken the lead, especially in incorporating the concept of zero discharge water. RPS Group is also in the process of planting over one lakh plants all over Faridabad; these will be surrounded by tree guards.
Our vision defines our parameters and principles, and we have certainly achieved what we initially aimed for. But the journey is endless. In 2010, we had a turnover of about Rs 181 crore, and we are expecting an additional 20 per cent for FY11. Along with our ongoing projects, we are also working on some new ventures that are in the initial stages.
Partners in progress
In 2005, when RPS launched Savana – part of a residential township – it was the first of its kind, and we planned to sell around 2,300 units. The project location, when selected, was quite remote. But eventually, developers started executing projects in this area. So, in the last five years, both RPS Group and Faridabad have been growing – and growing equally well.
Established: 2005Top management (promoters): Shanti Prakash Gupta, Chairman; Rakesh Chand Gupta, Managing DirectorNo. of employees: About 100Centre of operation: New Delhi (corporate office)Ongoing projects: RPS Savana, RPS Palms and RPS Oxy ParkUpcoming projects: Other residential and commercial ventures on land parcels ranging up to 100 acre are in pipeline.Turnover: About Rs 181 crore
Faridabad as a real-estate proposition
"Faridabad has traditionally been an industrial area and hence a poor cousin to Noida, Ghaziabad, Gurgaon and other satellite towns of Delhi," says Gulam Zia, MRICS, National Director - Research & Advisory Services, Knight Frank (India) Pvt Ltd. "The city's connectivity to Delhi has been extremely poor since it passes through all the industrial belts of Mohan Cooperative and Badarpur border. All this resulted in more than an hour of travel time from Delhi. However in the recent past, the road network has improved considerably with various flyovers constructed over the traffic bottlenecks. This has resulted in a travel time of half an hour from Delhi and clearly affected real estate prices. For instance, the rate in Nehar Par, the place where the majority of development is taking place, ranges from Rs 1,581 – Rs 2,600 per sq ft. Many buyers from Delhi are now attracted to Faridabad because of better connectivity. Many private developers like BPTP, Eros, Omaxe and others have launched projects that have been well received by buyers and investors alike. Going forward, with the Metro work also getting completed in a year or so, public transport shall receive a tremendous boost, further improving the real-estate market of Faridabad."