- Navin Makhija, Managing Director, The Wadhwa Group
The proud bearer of a 47-year-old legacy, Mumbai-based Wadhwa Group is currently developing residential and commercial projects across approximately 15 million sq ft. Timely completion of projects coupled with strong planning and design innovation gives the group an edge over competitors.
´We would like to be one of the most desired companies to work with and work for in the industry,´ says Navin Makhija, Managing Director. In a tOte-a-tOte with SHRIYAL SETHUMADHAVAN, he shares more on the company´s approach to project execution and technologies in use. Excerpts from the interview...
What made the company take to innovation as part of its evolution?
At the Wadhwa Group, innovation plays an integral role in achieving customer satisfaction and enhancing our brand image. The industry has gone through a radical transformation in the last four to five years with the introduction of advanced technology, changes in transaction patterns and policy reforms. One needs to be in complete sync with the sector, and hence, we continue to strengthen our name in the industry by bringing-in new age tech and generate exceptional workforce. We have a unique design philosophy ´Ventilit´ that runs through all our projects, which are of ´Height, Light, and Air´.
Cross ventilated apartments, with higher floor to ceiling height and large windows maximise sunlight in the house. Our luxury projects are a class apart, and we incorporate the latest technologies, modern designs and grand architecture to make every project a luxurious habitat for all our buyers.
Tell us about a construction technology that you commonly use in your projects, and investments made in this direction.
The key success for completion of a project is efficient design, space planning, and the proper use of construction technology.
As a developer, we have to keep ourselves updated on modern and innovative engineering and utilise the same for our projects. Mivan, an aluminium formwork is used in almost all our properties. We use it in developing a typical 30-storey building as it helps reduce the slab cycle time, and the resultant surface can directly take gypsum putty or gyp plaster followed by paint. Cement plaster is completely ruled out and a lot of time (on the entire project cycle) is saved. The benefit it offers is always far larger than its cost. The quality produced is better, less steel and concrete are used, and the developer saves on various fronts.
The Panvel Township is a big project for the company...
Our Panvel Township is a 431-acre site, and we are in the last stages of approvals. We are evaluating various development models. Decisions in the development model, with regards to JVs, will be taken in due course of time. The project will be developed in three to four phases over the next 10 to 12 years. Phase-I will be 142 acre, and we expect the work to start early.
What are the challenges faced when raising funds for projects?
We have an excellent track record regarding approvals, transparency in paperwork and on time delivery of projects. Nowadays, it is clear that to raise funds for a project, a developer needs to have an exceptional track record and a recognised brand name in the industry. This plays an important role when raising funds for a project.
Tell us about execution-related challenges; how do you strategise to ensure no time and cost overruns?
Execution-related challenges can strike anyone at anytime. Realistically, it is not possible to control cost and budget. But with a pre-planned strategic approach, one can be aware of the challenges a developer can face during execution. We have an outstanding track record for on-time delivery of projects to our customers, and we would like to continue keeping it that way. We, as a group, follow a strict policy of having business review meetings to discuss and keep a close watch on our budgets, plans, and anticipate any challenges that we may come across in the future and prepare a backup plan for the same.
Take us through the company´s growth in the past three years.
The company has shown exceptional growth in the last three years. We have an outstanding track record in the quality of construction and on-time delivery of projects; our brand is known to all in the industry, and we are working towards a more national and international recognition. We are in support of the government reforms that are coming in for the sector that will help in making it a more transparent industry to work in. We are also clear in our intent to move towards our goals, and the tie-ups and business deals we are involved with other partners and associates.
The company´s projects are also executed through JVs...
It is evident that with an experience of 47 years and an outstanding record in the real estate sector, the Wadhwa Group gets an incomparable deal with regards to JVs. In the past three years, we have taken 57 lakh sq ft of work, where we own 50 per cent of it. And, all of this is with JVs where we entered at the right time. We are currently working on 14 new assets.
We have been seeing many announcements from the government on FDI in real estate, Housing for All, smart cities, RERA, etc. Your thoughts?
While there has not been much on ground action, ultimately the intent of the government is to bring in more transparency. Rules are getting stricter as well as pro-buyer to protect their interests and tighten this industry. This will also act as a filter between authentic developers and fly by night operators.
Can we expect any announcements from the company in the near future?
We are hungry to do more work. We want The Wadhwa Group to be the most desired and preferred company in the industry. We would like banks and landowners to work with us, and customers to buy properties from us. Just being No. 1 regarding development and size is not what we are aiming for, but it is the overall development and approach that will help us achieve our desired goals.
Year of Establishment: 1969