Nikhil Jain, CEO, Ramprastha Group
It helped revolutionise the construction industry in the National Capital Region. Indeed, Ramprastha Group, the first company to venture into the development of self-sufficient colonies, has created an enviable legacy through its development techniques and unique craftsmanship. Nikhil Jain, CEO, elaborates on the company's operations, projects and the Indian real-estate industry with CW.
What prompted your foray into the development of self-sufficient colonies?
Our vision to provide a high-quality, sustained living experience to our customers was the main driver behind the development of these self-sufficient colonies. They provide a harmonious living experience through the integration of schools, hospitals, community centres, sports facilities and commercial spaces with row houses and apartments.
What advantages do these colonies offer?
As these are larger developments, more facilities and utilities such as schools, hospital and commercial spaces can be combined and developed simultaneously. This, in turn, offers uniformity as well as ease of access to residents. The development of different kinds of structures, such as commercial and residential buildings as well as schools and other facilities, enhances our confidence in tackling challenges in design, planning and execution.
Primera is one of your upcoming luxury housing projects. Please highlight its USP.
Set within Ramprastha City, Gurgaon, Primera is a 450-acre township that offers premium three-bedroom apartments clubbed with world-class facilities and lifestyle amenities. The project is located on the the Dwarka Expressway and is 15 minutes away from Indira Gandhi International Airport.
With the entire industry reeling from the economic slowdown, how feasible are luxury projects?
Although the first two quarters of 2012 witnessed a decline in the luxury real-estate market, it gradually picked up in the third quarter. Nevertheless, the luxury and super luxury market in Gurgaon was not affected by the slowdown and real-estate prices kept escalating, giving developers options to launch more luxury projects here. The region registered a 30 per cent increase in absorption in the first quarter followed by 22 per cent in the second quarter and 29 per cent in the third.
Your company mainly operates in the NCR region. How do you view the real-estate market in this region compared to the rest of India?
The real-estate scenario in the NCR region has seen a surge in the recent past. Good connectivity, world-class infrastructure and availability of housing options have drawn the interest of the buyers to this market. Close proximity to the international airport and metro connectivity have made Gurgaon and NCR the most sought-after destinations in India. This region witnessed a lot of activity in both demand and supply in 2012. It also witnessed an influx of big companies to set up their offices, resulting in faster growth in rental values. With many corporate establishments within the city, the demand for commercial and residential real estate has catapulted compared to the other metros. A high rate of return also attracts investments from HNI, NRIs and institutions who benefit from the region's close proximity to both central and south Delhi, the commercial hubs of the country.
How much do socio-political factors in the region affect the real-estate market? What are the upcoming trends?
Real estate in Gurgaon continues its strong surge. Improving infrastructure and business environment, coupled with growing income and the changing lifestyle of residents, are encouraging real-estate developers to develop more frenetically in this cyber city. The emerging real-estate trend has been the investment pattern and the end user's profile clubbed with the lifestyle quotient. Investments in rental real estate are a flourishing trend amongst investors, with the end user's age profile coming down to the 30s compared to the 40s earlier. The lifestyle quotient is a key ingredient for customers while considering purchase of property.
What are your reactions to the recent Budget? Does it favour the builder fraternity?
Many systemic elements have been set right in the Budget to improve the condition of the real-estate segment. The extension of additional tax rebate in the range of Rs 1.5 lakh to Rs 2.5 lakh for the first time will boost the sentiments of home buyers and renew their interest in this sector. The stimulus of Rs 6,000 crore and Rs 2,000 crore to rural and urban housing respectively, will improve liquidity in the sector. However, the sector is disappointed that it was not granted infrastructure status. The imposition of 1 per cent TDS on properties worth over Rs 50 lakh will also have an impact on the overall growth of the real-estate industry.
Year of establishment: 1962
Top management (promoters): Balwant Singh, Chairman
No. of employees: 250
Centre of operation: NCR
Ongoing projects: Gurgaon: The Edge Towers, The Atrium, The View, Skyz, Rise, AWHO Project; Ghaziabad: Ramprastha Greens
Upcoming projects: Primera, and plotted developments in Gurgaon
Completed projects: Delhi: Ramprastha Colony, Rampuri and Vasant Lok Community Centre; Ghaziabad: Emerald Apartments, IFCI Buildings, Alaknanda D-block
Turnover: Close to Rs 1,000 crore
Current order book: Currently constructing close to 4,000 units
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