Vinay Phadnis, Chairman and Managing Director, Phadnis Properties Ltd
The housing property development arm of Phadnis Infrastructure Group, Phadnis Properties has transformed the Pune skyline with its various successful housing projects. Continuing the legacy of constructing innovative and luxurious apartments, the company is set to play a significant role in the development of Indian urban infrastructure. Vinay Phadnis, Chairman and Managing Director elaborates on the company's operations, projects and future plans in conversation with SHUBHANGI BIDWE.
Phadnis has witnessed the changing dynamics of the real-estate industry in Pune. What have you observed?
Pune is currently witnessing a transit phase with huge industries being set up including 300 German companies developing their facilities in Chakan and other prominent places. Projects across 7,500 hectare are being developed in Khed with the MIDC region in eastern Pune, the Saswa, Baramati and Satara area is witnessing huge activities. Multinational companies such as Mercedes Benz, JCW and Whirlpool are setting up their facilities in the city, generating demand for 1 lakh homes. Pune is also a major education hub with around 21 universities located here. This too fuels the demand for residential units. Its proximity to Mumbai also makes Pune a major investor-friendly city with rates being quite affordable. The maximum rates in the city are currently between Rs 5,200 and Rs 5,500 per sq ft. This attracts a lot of homebuyers to the city.
How does operating in Pune benefit you in terms of sale and profits?
We mainly concentrate on mass-housing projects covering around 40 acre. Our current project in the eastern ranges comprises 850 flats, while another one at Balewadi comprises around 700 flats. Pune offers a safe and healthy living environment enabling us to offer most modern amenities to our customers.
How is the city attuned to the latest building trends?
The city has witnessed many changes in the development plans of the Pune Municipal Corporation. Buildings with a height of over 100 m and 22 storeys are being developed. The onslaught of multinationals has led to a growth in the commercial space in the city with plans now afoot for the development of metro and road projects.
What is your view on building green?
Pune is witnessing a lot of interest in green building initiatives. Huge spaces in residential societies are being earmarked for landscaping and gardening. Also, eco-friendly materials are being preferred for development. Our project at Keshavnagar boasts of green initiatives such as rainwater harvesting, an ETV system and water treatment plant. We have also used landscaping in huge places. Further, the development has large windows that provide natural light and brightness to these homes.
What is your take on the sector's call for industry status?
Although the sector has been demanding this for a long time, the Government is not responding. It has now become an urgent need with the housing sector playing a major role in the Indian economy. Granting industry status will enable developers to avail of finance at lower rates. This, in turn, will reduce the rates of projects.
How do you see today's scenario for projects?
Inflation or recession is more evident in premium flats and commercial spaces. But demand for middle and lower housing is rampant. We are currently executing projects across 35 lakh sq ft worth around Rs 900 crore in Pune. These will be completed in a period of two years.
What is the advantage of building integrated townships?
Development of integrated townships enables us to offer common amenities such as swimming pools and clubs to the entire township, saving a lot of cost and space.
Elaborate on the technologies or systems used in your projects.
Never content to offer typical houses, we offer variety in our projects. Our projects are constructed in a 16-day cycle of shuttering. We use RMC and other good quality shuttering materials to increase speed of construction.
How about government clearances?
Since most of our projects are executed on the corporation level, clearances, except maybe for environment, is never an issue.
Elaborate on your hospitality properties in Alibaug and Lonavala.
The hospitality industry is doing well in India except in Pune and Mumbai where there is gross oversupply. Three and four-star hotels are more in vogue currently. Our Alibaug property is a five-star hotel operated by the Radisson Group. This is a 157-room hotel with one of the best spas in India. The Lonavala hotel boasts of 23 rooms and a good conferencing facility.
Your projects are mainly concentrated in Pune, Alibaug and Lonavala; do you have any plans to go pan-India?
For real estate, we are concentrating only on Pune and Mumbai, with a new project soon to be launched in Mulund. As Pune offers tremendous growth opportunities, our operations are likely to be concentrated in this city for the next five years. On the other hand, we plan to expand our hospitality business across India.
Elaborate on your JV with RIMC international.
We have our own management company through which we operate properties. RIMC international has been in this industry for the past 25 years and manages 5,000 properties in Germany. So we automatically benefit from their experience, besides getting their support in SOPs and operations.
What is the nature of this partnership?
The JV was formed three years ago; at present, we are operating one property in Alibaug at Mandva beach through this. Additionally, a 300-room Radisson hotel is being developed in Mumbai, a 75-room property in Vasai and a 125-room property in Belgaum.
Tell us something about the Local Body Tax the government has been trying to introduce recently?
LBT is a one-time tax. According to it, the corporation charges Rs 15 per sq ft and 1 per cent from the flat sale. So there are no hidden charges, though the tax levies an additional 1 per cent burden on buyers.
What are your plans for the future?
We are currently developing 30 lakh sq ft and plan to develop an additional 25 lakh sq ft in the next five years.
Year of establishment: 2003
Top management (promoter): Vinay Phadnis, Chairman and Managing Director
No. of employees: 400
Centre of operation: Pune
Ongoing projects: Residential: Eastern Ranges (Mundawa); Commercial: Green Square (Baner), Om Kailash Ganga
Upcoming projects: Oakwook (sus)
Completed projects: Seren (Baner), Saga (Baner), Sarvaada (Kondhwa), Sujal (Karvenagar), Green Square (Baner)
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