Big B

We aim to become one of the largest real estate companies in the country

April 2011

Sanjay Lunkad, Director, Rohan Builders and Developers Pvt Ltd

A strong, multifaceted, multidisciplinary and vibrant organisation – Rohan Builders strives to achieve the highest degree of technical excellence while maintaining the finest standards of business practices in all its endeavours. The company, incepted in 1993, already has over a dozen awards to its credit. These include the CNBC CRISIL Credai awards, the BAI Well-Built Structure Award 2010 and the Praj Intrapreneurship Award 2009. Sanjay Lunkad, Director, talks about his company and its plans for the future with Shubhangi Bidwe.

You have initiated three unique concepts; Plus homes, Smart homes and Open homes. Please elaborate on your vision.
The Plus Home design is Rohan’s very own design approach and an innovation unique to all Rohan homes. Plus stands for perfect ventilation, lively light, utmost privacy and smart space. Rohan sticks to this fresh design approach across all its properties, where natural sources of light are incorporated to fill interiors. Large openings like doors, windows and courtyards are positioned to create optimum cross-ventilation, always keeping the air fresh. The living room and dining area are placed at right angles (L-shaped), and the living room is in a proportion of 1:15 so it doesn’t feel confined and narrow. Further, the number of passages are reduced, resulting in more living space overall. The unique design ensures that windows do not open into the neighbouring window. Also, a foyer at the entrance ensures that visitors don’t walk straight into the living or dining areas.

The Smart homes have an enitre system of futuristic digital technology that makes life easier and safer. Some state-of-the-art features include a remote control to control all the lights; the digital home gateway that greets you with a welcoming pre-recorded greeting; a wireless keypad and special bedside switches that let you open the door without getting up; event calendars and reminders that store pre-recorded messages; WiFi hot spots in certain amenity areas; broadcast systems to send messages to all society members and payment dues, reminders and polls on your LCD display.

Security features in these homes include emergency pendants and buttons that are especially helpful when there are elderly people in the house; burglar alarms and emergency alerts through SMS, email or a voice call; smart card-based entry; multi-device surveillance cameras covering all external doors, terraces and windows; a coloured LCD display for controlled access to visitors; a photo log of visitors that can be viewed on the Internet; smoke detectors and gas leakage detectors and electronically equipped security cabins.

The three most striking features of a Rohan Open home are the ample light, air and openness. In these homes, the windows are located below the height of 18 ft to enable light to penetrate through. The floors are clinically divided to create split-level spaces and, at the heart of it all, is an open, central courtyard. All these architectural elements harmoniously come together to create wide, sweeping spaces.

What are the various technologies deployed in your projects?
We have adopted cellular lightweight concrete (CLC) block technology in almost all our projects. The blocks used in this technology are made of fly ash – a waste material – instead of steel. They are lightweight, which makes the whole structure lighter. Besides, we have initiated the use of hollow concrete pre-stressed slabs for construction of compound walls.

You are the recipient of the BAI Well Built Structure Award 2010 among others. CRISIL has upgraded your rating to DA2+. What made you qualify for this recognition?
Quality, customer focus and transparency are the main factors that have contributed to our qualifying for this recognition. We have also been awarded with seven-star recognition by CRISIL recently.

What differentiates the real-estate market in Pune from that in Mumbai and other metros in the country? Is it an advantage operating out of a not-so-crowded realty market?
The realty market in Pune is also crowded, though not as much as Mumbai or any other metro. It is primarily dominated by double-income families and investors in search of an option to Mumbai, as Pune still has some scope of getting land for development compared to metros. However, for many years now, real-estate demand in the city has pivoted on the rise of the IT industry, which may not create the same demand henceforth. Therefore, we have also planned projects in other metros like Mumbai and Bengaluru.

What are your views on India’s current real-estate market? When do you expect the realty industry to reach an all-time high?
The Indian construction industry is likely to grow manifold in future. As infrastructure in the country develops, real estate will also grow. However, the model of development is likely to undergo a change as more and more developers are opting for BOT and PPP projects. Similarly, a large business chunk is also likely to come from SRA projects. The real-estate business employs a large number of unorganised small and medium agencies, and a burgeoning crunch in labour resources is a damping factor in the growth of this sector. However, mechanisation and skill up-gradation will ease the problem. It will also improve the productivity and earning capacity of the work force, resulting in a positive impact on the business as a whole. As far as
material and equipment sourcing is concerned, India is a global market and many countries including China source materials from us. Thus, we will have to use our locally available materials like sand, aggregates and stones very judiciously.

What are your views on the ethics practised in the industry? What more needs to be done to make builders accountable for their actions?
Being ethical has several connotations that extend to customer satisfaction and delight. Short-term benefits are not the norm now as good transparent processes are more sustainable for the business and hence, should be followed.

Nowadays, builders sell their projects on the basis of built-up area rather than carpet area. What are your views on this?
It would be a good practice to make the customer aware of both the carpet as well as built-up areas of the property while selling.

How important is ‘going green’ to you? Give us some examples of sustainable practices in your projects.
Sustainability for us is a multi-faceted concept that begins at the conception of a project and continues through its implementation. We employ materials, energy and water resources; minimise site impacts; and address social and health issues. We make each of our projects environmentally responsive through the use of advanced design methodology and technology.

We manufacture materials like CLC blocks that are lighter, water-resistant and made up of energy-intensive material like steel. We also use pre-stressed technologies like hollow core slabs, primarily for boundary walls, and have made several innovations in shuttering, like developing in-house wooden I beams that are less expensive, have good mobility and require less support. We also manufacture a basic cup-lock mechanism for scaffolds. Additionally, most of our projects use scientific ways of solid waste management, rain water harvesting, vermicomposting, etc.

Where do you see yourself in the coming years?
We strive to achieve the highest degree of technical excellence while maintaining the finest standards of business practices in all our endeavours. Our strong teamwork, dedication and sheer hard work have won us an award every year since the day we started. We aim to become one of the largest real estate companies in the country.

Tell us about your plans to get into the renewable energy sector.
While we foresee a big future for renewable energy, we plan to use it more as a backward integration to make our projects more eco-friendly and sustainable.

The Union Budget 2011 does not give infrastructure status to real estate. What are the implications for the industry in general and, in particular, for players like you?
As infrastructure and real estate are both interdependent, the development of both needs to go hand-in-hand. Therefore, if the government supports real estate and infrastructure development, in tandem, cities will be better planned and holistically developed.

Budget 2011 does not address the huge gap between supply and demand in the mid-market housing segment. Please comment.  
Budget 2011 has shown a clear interest in the affordable housing segment, as sops are being provided in that realm. However, a large chunk of demand coming from the middle income group, for packet sizes of Rs 35-60 lakh, is being totally ignored. This may have a negative effect on real-estate players, especially those who operate in the mid and high-income segments.

Company details:

• Year of Establishment: 1970
• Top management: Chairman & Managing Director: Suhas Lunkad, Directors: Sanjay Lunkad, Milind Lunkad, Bharat Desadla, Deepak Bhatewara and Vinay Shrishrimal
• Centres of operation: Mumbai, Pune and Bengaluru (real estate); Pan India (industrial)
• No. of employees: Over 1,500

Ongoing projects:

• Pune: Rohan Ishan, Rohan Mithila, Rohan Garima II, Rohan Leher, Rohan Jharoka
• Bengaluru: Rohan Jharoka, Rohan Mihira.

Upcoming projects:

• Rohan Leher Phase 2, Pune;
• Rohan Seher Phase 2, Pune;
• Rohan Jharoka Phase 3, Bengaluru;
• Rohan Tarang Phase 2, Pune;
• Rohan Madhuban Phase 2, Pune

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