Mahindra Lifespace Developers Ltd (MLDL) today launched a new business vertical with ‘Happinest’, focussing on offering quality housing at affordable prices to a wider cross-section of people. MLDL is the real estate and infrastructure development arm of the $ 16.5 billion Mahindra Group. In keeping with the Group’s philosophy of enabling people to rise while driving positive change, Happinest is aimed at families having a current, combined monthly income of Rs 20,000 - 40,000 per month. The first two projects will be launched in Q2 of this financial year at Avadi in Chennai and Boisar in Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR).
Commenting on the launch, Anand Mahindra, Chairman, Mahindra Group, said. “Our commitment to sustainable urbanisation is to be in businesses and develop projects that promote culture, connectedness and community. Happinest epitomises the concept of shared value where companies seek to do business in a manner that combines profitability with advancing the economic and social conditions of the communities which they operate in. I welcome this foray into the affordable housing space which is critical to India’s growing urbanisation.”
According to Arun Nanda, Chairman, Mahindra Lifespace Developers Ltd, “Mahindra Lifespaces has always believed in pioneering new approaches and business models, be it the Mahindra World Cities or Green residential developments. Happinest is our strategic endeavour to address the large and under-served home ownership market in India by using our manufacturing and innovation mindset to create mass solutions at affordable prices.”
“India is urbanising fast and more than a third of urban Indians cannot afford to buy their own homes. Happinest stands for our intent to enable a cross section of Indians fulfill their dreams of home ownership in a safe, secure and healthy environment. Enduring and thoughtful design, swift execution using technology and enabling access to home ownership through financial inclusion will be both the enablers and the pillars of success”, said Anita Arjundas, Managing Director & CEO, Mahindra Lifespace Developers Ltd.
Currently, urban India has an estimated 19 million families either living in slums or in low income neighbourhoods on rent and this housing deficit is likely to rise to 38 million by 2030. Targeted at the large, under-served home ownership market in India, Happinest is built on three pillars of trust, better living and affordability.
Happinest homes are focused on offering its customers safe and secure neighbourhoods with good transport connectivity in well planned developments. Addressing the cultural and social nuances of the target customer’s lifestyle has been important elements of the design process, like the provision of balconies, community spaces etc. Design has also looked at energy conservation while ensuring that these homes are equipped to address the future lifestyle needs of the customers.
The company has also invested in innovations to ensure speedy execution and lower costs for its Happinest projects. It has collaborated extensively with IIT Madras to validate a cost effective and innovative foundation and is using hybrid technology solutions such as more of form work to enable speed. Ready-to-fit components will be used thereby reducing on-site work and quality variation to enable faster delivery to customers. MLDL will be leveraging Mahindra Group’s proven manufacturing expertise - standardisation, prototyping, greater application of automation and light weighting - to bring down the project cost. The building envelope is designed to ensure higher thermal insulation to reduce heat gain, while the window to wall area ratio has been kept to an optimum size for better climate control. Further, all Happinest projects will be environment friendly and continue to exemplify the green development philosophy of Mahindra Lifespaces.
Thoughtfully planned quality homes at affordable prices are important. But equally important is access to finance for potential customers. For this the company has tied up with credit scoring agencies like Inventure and micro home finance companies like Mahindra Finance, Muthoot, etc, to reach out to the right customers and meet their home finance requirements.
From the developer perspective, Mahindra added that the return on capital (RoC) of such affordable projects would be equally good, or even better than the RoC from conventional projects. He called upon the government to provide an enabling ecosystem within which projects like these would succeed.
Happinest homes will be launched first with a project in Chennai, followed by MMR.