We strongly believe in the potential of the luxury residential space
Real Estate

We strongly believe in the potential of the luxury residential space

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- Ramesh Ranganathan, CEO, K Raheja Corp Homes Known for stylish luxury apartments and beautiful villas, K Raheja Corp Homes sets the benchmark for world-class architecture and extravagant amenities. Ramesh Ranganathan, CEO, shared insight on various aspects, from approvals to technology adoption, in a virtual conversation with SHRIYAL SETHUMADHAVAN. Ranganathan focuses on new launches and streamlining processes, aiming to reduce project launch time to 24 months. Quality and safety are paramount, aided by site inspections and workforce wellbeing. And customer satisfaction remains a top priority, reflecting the essence of the brand. This interview showcases K Raheja Corp Homes’ proactive approach and unwavering dedication in shaping the real-estate landscape. Tell us about the key business strategies and initiatives that have contributed to the growth of K Raheja Corp Homes. K Raheja Corp Homes is the residential arm of K Raheja Corp group, operating primarily in Mumbai, Pune, Hyderabad and Bengaluru. Our key focus has been on catering to the needs of upgrade customers – individuals seeking to elevate their living experience by moving to better homes with improved amenities and spaces. Execution and delivery performance have played pivotal roles in our success. We maintain an unwavering commitment to timely quality construction, ensuring we always deliver on promised timelines, which has fostered a high degree of trust among our customers. Our customer-first approach is a core value, as evidenced by our absence of pending RERA cases and no outstanding customer issues, which if any, are promptly addressed to prioritise customer satisfaction. How does the company prioritise and ensure safety at construction sites? Safety is a way of life for us, and it applies to everyone walking onto our site, including our customers, contractors, workforce, employees and third-party labour. The first step we take is to be particular about compliance associated with safety. When we onboard contractors, we clearly explain our expectations while they work on a K Raheja Corp site. Strict monitoring of safety measures is the second part of our approach. We also undergo internal third-party audits and external audits to ensure we are performing at the best possible standard. When operating in cities like Mumbai and metros, where we develop projects within existing communities, safety becomes even more critical owing to the proximity of residents. Ensuring safety extends beyond the work environment; we also focus on how we manage labour colonies and the living standards we offer to our labour. Ultimately, we bear the responsibility for the wellbeing of all our labour. Tell us about the company’s commitment to eco-friendliness and green building practices. In terms of sustainable initiatives, I believe our group has been a pioneer in this space since the concept of green buildings gained popularity in India. Pioneering the industries’ responsibility towards contributing to a green society, K Raheja Corp group signed a memorandum of understanding with the CII-Green Building Council to construct green buildings, back in 2007 and has remained committed since. K Raheja Corp Homes has voluntarily adopted various sustainable standards. Despite not being listed, we consider it essential to embrace all aspects of ESG (environmental, social, and governance) due to the heightened level of consciousness surrounding sustainability. Our sustainable initiatives encompass a wide range of parameters, including waste management, water management, water conservation, building efficiency, energy-efficiency, and the implementation of integrated building management systems to manage operations post-handover. Additionally, we analyse the life and performance of our assets after handover to ensure long-term sustainability. How does the company maintain the highest standards of quality throughout its development? We have the very obvious ISO certifications in place to ensure that all processes are correctly and duly followed. However, more important, our focus is on getting it right the first time. We aim to minimise rework to strictly adhere to delivery timelines. Over the years, our stakeholders have understood our styleof working, and they know the aspects we prioritise in product delivery. When onboarding new contractors, we share our entire SOP with them and walk them through our expectations. We even demonstrate the method statement for laying tiles, fixing windows, doors, and more. Continuous training is provided onsite, considering the high level of attrition among labourers. Our governance processes, both corporate and onsite, involve training, MIS, project ratings and thorough analysis to ensure customers receive snag-free apartments upon handover. Customer satisfaction remains our top priority. If any issues arise after delivery, be it six months or 12 months down the line, we act immediately to rectify the problem – no questions asked. There have been many challenges owing to the pandemic and other economic factors. How has the company adapted to these changing market conditions? During the pandemic, our immediate reaction was to conserve cash without disrupting the progress of work onsite. There was a huge labour exodus but we made every effort to retain some of the labour onsite. We ensured they were well taken care of, providing them with food sanitized living spaces with the prescribed protocols and healthcare, regardless of the construction activity. Our priority was to settle their nerves amid the uncertainty caused by the pandemic. Gradually, construction activity resumed onsite. In addition to taking care of our workforce, we focused on conserving cash by reducing wasteful expenditure and tightening our belts. Our top priorities were making critical payments to contractors to ensure they could continue to perform onsite and pay employee salaries on time. Although we were not operating at our optimal best, construction continued without interruption. Customers witnessed our commitment as we poured more concrete during the lockdown. We worked diligently through these difficult and uncertain times, understanding that cash flow management is crucial in this business. Ensuring positive cash flow at all times and avoiding locking up money in non-performing or illiquid assets has been a key factor in our success as a development company. Throughout, we have remained prudent in managing our cash flows. Any recent innovative technologies that the company has embraced to deliver complete projects at speed? We are trying to manufacture offsite; for example, in terms of doors, we have shifted towards using premanufactured doors. This allows for easier assembly onsite, simply plugging them into the four walls, streamlining the process and speeding up construction. We are also introducing mechanisation into our processes, such as spray painting with mechanised paints. This has significantly increased efficiency and productivity, with output now five to 10 times higher than traditional methods involving manual painters. Apart from these, we are utilising other cutting-edge techniques such as MIVAN and BIM models in our projects, all aimed at enhancing construction speed and delivering better value to our end-users. How do you approach collaborations with stakeholders to drive mutual success? Collaborations occur at various levels, starting from the contractor or consultant level. Some contractors have been working with us for decades and they have been growing alongside us as we have expanded. Our association with design firms, architects and consultants has also been long-lasting, with many of them working with us for an extended period. At the customer level, our partnerships extend to repeat customers who have previously purchased properties from us. It is a significant aspect of our approach as many of these customers have chosen to upgrade their homes or opt for properties with added amenities over time. We value and nurture these partnerships, ensuring a strong bond with our clients. Additionally, we are witnessing partnerships in redevelopment projects. Societies developed by us decades ago are now seeking redevelopment and they are keen to partner with us again for designing homes for the current generation. The company recently entered a development agreement for a luxury project in Mumbai. Is luxury going to be the way forward? There is demand across the board, be it luxury, premium, mid-premium or affordable housing. As an economy, we are experiencing rapid growth, making India one of the fastest-growing economies in the world. The pandemic has also played a role in highlighting India’s potential, attracting global interest in investing here. The key for us is to identify our core competence and determine where we can make the most significant contribution. We strongly believe in the potential of luxury space and the premium segment of the market, particularly in Mumbai. Our track record as the go-to developer in specific micro-markets, catering to upgrade customers, further reinforces our positioning. Our approach is to be the preferred developer in any market we operate in, whether it is a Rs 10,000 per sq ft market or a Rs 100,000 per sq ft market. We focus on providing customers with an opportunity to upgrade their lifestyles and we will adopt this positioning in various markets and play accordingly at different price points. For instance, in Mumbai, our offerings may range from Rs 25,000 per sq ft to even Rs 1 lakh per sq ft and Rs 50,000 per sq ft. In cities like Pune, the pricing could be anywhere between Rs 6,500 per sq ft to Rs 10,000 per sq ft. Similarly, our focus will be on providing value in markets like Bengaluru and Hyderabad by identifying the best price points that work for those areas. Are you eyeing the northern region as well? It’s currently a time of consolidation. Even though we are already present in four cities, we have only scratched the surface of the potential in these markets. Our focus is on penetrating deeper into Mumbai, Pune, Bengaluru and Hyderabad, as these markets offer significant opportunities for growth. Since the pandemic began, we have had around five to six project launches. Recently, we launched Raheja Modern Vivarea and a couple of projects in Mumbai. Additionally, there are subsequent phases being launched in Pune and Hyderabad, and we are also planning to relaunch our new project in Bengaluru.FACT SHEET Year of establishment: Been part of the group for four decades. The brand name, K Raheja Corp Homes, came into being in 2020. Top management: Ramesh Ranganathan, CEO; Raman Sapru, Director - Design, and Engineering; Ashish Dhami, Executive Vice President - Sales and Marketing No. of employees: 341 Areas of operations: Residential real estate (ultra-luxury, luxury, premium homes and villas) Completed projects: Approximately 10 million sq ft delivered; 7,500+ families Ongoing projects: Modern Vivarea, Valletta and Maestro in Juhu, Mumbai; The Glades in Pirangut (Pune). Upcoming projects: Projects across Juhu, Central Mumbai, Hyderabad.

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