Sanjay Jain, Managing Director, Siddha Group
While numerous developers are expanding their business by foraying into various segments of the real estate industry across India such as IT, retail and hospitality, the Siddha Group continues to lay emphasis on developing 'low cost' residential projects. With a significant presence in the east of the country, notably Kolkata which has only in recent years come under the ambit of development, and in Jaipur, Sanjay Jain, Managing Director of Siddha Group is gung ho about his company's future. In an interview with CW, he elaborates on the real estate scenario in the two distinct cities and also dilates on the challenges and future plans for his company.
Give us an understanding of Siddha Group's journey since its inception.
Siddha began its journey into real estate in 1986, when it first created a commercial multi-storied complex in Jaipur - called Jaipur Towers. It was the first-of-its-kind at that point in time and is still referred to as a landmark project on MI Road, Jaipur. The group further expanded its base by entering the Kolkata market in the year 1992 by constructing a residential apartment building, christened 'Aashray'. Again, this was a first-of-its-kind duplex apartment building developed during that period. Today, the company is one amongst the major real estate developers in Kolkata as well as Eastern India.
Highlight the landmark projects taken up by your firm.
We have developed a number of residential and commercial complexes as well as a township project. Some of our landmark projects include Raj Aangan, a 141 acre township project, which was co-created with the assistance of the Rajasthan Housing Board at Pratapnagar, Jaipur. The project is famously referred to as an 'NRI Township' at Jaipur and comprises 303 luxurious bungalows. Also, some of our projects in Kolkata include Siddha Point and Siddha Park at Park Street. Siddha Point was featured as a landmark project in the West Bengal Industrial Development Corporation (WBIDC) calendar. Another innovative project is Xanadu, a unique New York styled studio apartment complex. Located on Rajarhat Main Road, Kolkata, this complex comprises 340 exclusive studio apartments.
What made you examine prospects in the real estate markets of Jaipur and Kolkata?
Initially a business house based in Jaipur, we decided to foray into cities best known to us. We realised that there was a need for low cost quality housing in Jaipur and Kolkata. This further encouraged us to develop projects in these regions. We have altered our business model to proactively adapt to the emerging environment and are convinced that the future markets lie on the outskirts of Kolkata - in Rajarhat, Madhyamgram, Khardah, BT Road, Narendrapur and Garia. These are places from where a new Kolkata will emerge. Moreover, the city's middle-class population occupies a large segment, which will progressively replace the urban rich and emerge as the preferred customer segment in the future.
What are the challenges faced in these regions?
In Kolkata, though the development of infrastructure is in progress, the process needs to be carried out swiftly as infrastructure directly affects the real estate market. Wider roads are required to be built so that they can be connected with areas that have large housing complexes. There is also a requirement of major industries in this part of the country as industrialisation will bring more people into the city. The IT industry too needs to grow further as this would directly assist our industry.
Your materials are sourced from?
Most of the materials are sourced from local manufacturers. However, there is always an opportunity for new suppliers as we believe in the process of research and development and upgradation of our suppliers.
You have also tied up with architects Agarwal & Agarwal for your projects?
Led by JP Agarwal, Agarwal & Agarwal is the most updated architectural firm in Kolkata. Their designs are in tune with the latest trends, globally. We do not have to look out for international architects as their designs are practical and need-based, which suits our Indian lifestyle. They have been associated with us for more than two decades because of their valued services.
What are your strategies to be ahead of the competition?
We believe in principles such as innovation, quality and timely delivery, transparency in our dealings and customer satisfaction, these are our main strategies to stay ahead of the competition.
The company is amongst the first to introduce the concept of studio apartments in Kolkata...
To the best of my knowledge, Xanadu has been the first-of-its-kind studio apartment project with a host of amenities and facilities in the country. We have received an excellent response for the concept, innovation and quality of the complex in Kolkata. However, as the concept of a family is still very strong in this part of the country and industrialisation is also slow, we expect the demand for studio apartments to steadily grow in the future.
What are your plans to generate better sales revenue and ensure a strong turnover?
We are looking at large projects to be undertaken in the immediate future. These projects will be large residential complexes with modern amenities and facilities. We are also planning to enter the Bengaluru market soon. With our ongoing and upcoming projects, we should be delivering approximately 2,000 apartments per year from 2015.
Year of establishment: 1986
Top management (Promoters): Chandra Prakash Jain (Group Chairman), Sanjay Jain (Managing Director) and Siddharth Sethia (Joint Managing Director)
No. of employees: 375 plus (Kolkata, Jaipur and other group companies)
Centres of operations: Kolkata, Jaipur
Ongoing projects: Siddha Town Rajarhat, Siddha Town Madhyamgram, Siddha Pines-Block Woods and Silver, Xanadu Condominium, Siddha Sphere, Marble Arch, Siddha Aangan, Siddha Jewels, Siddha Lovelock, Arch Shivam
Upcoming projects: Siddha Sphere II, Siddha Grandeur, Siddha Nirvana, Siddha Town Khardah, Siddha Town Narendrapur, Siddha Arch, Siddha Point and Siddha Basil Completed projects: Siddha Pines, Xanadu Studios, Siddha Point, Siddha Park, Siddha Fifth Avenue, Siddhashree, Siddha Gibson, Siddha Vinayak Aashray, Riddhi Siddhi, Siddha Ashray, Rajkamal, Arch Galaxy, 64B, Mani Karn, Raj Aangan, Siddha Regal, Jaipur Towers, Siddha Towers, Arihant Towers and Jain Kunj