Realty Corner

An Endless Journey

Chitty BabuOver the years, Akshaya has grown by leaps and bounds, as it went about creating 149 landmarks that have dotted the skyline of Tamil Nadu. While maintaining an upbeat mood about its 150th project which has several firsts to its credit, T CHITTY BABU, Chairman & CEO of Akshaya Pvt Ltd, says, “The search for the better never ends at Akshaya”…

You had a commendable journey till now. How do you make dreams and aspirations of a perfect living come true?

The key to ‘make dreams and aspirations come true’ is to live the dream and to passionately go about giving it life; and when this is practiced day in and day out, you create a series of steps that will lead to making your dreams come true. Right from the beginning I was clear on my goals and how I would go about attaining them, passion for your work mixed with a clear principled approach has helped me build an ethical and transparent and uncompromising business practice.

How do you keep abreast of the latest technology?

This happens at two levels; one, at a personal level, I always believed that you never stop learning, which keeps me constantly looking up on the happenings in my sector, be it technology, design, architecture or new materials or green building developments; taking time out to keep oneself abreast of the latest in the construction and infrastructure industry ensures that I am constantly moving with the learning curve, especially while travelling to technologically developed nations. The second level learning happens to us at an organisational level; internal meetings, discussion, presentations, training initiatives across various departments ensures that we as an organisation stay updated on the latest happenings in our category.   

From among the 149 projects executed by you, which one do you consider your landmark project? Why?

Singling out any one project will do injustice to the other projects, because our each project has an element of uniqueness that has defined our journey since inception. We look at each project as a benchmark that needs to be exceeded by the next project, hence all our projects carry our unique trademark – Green Buildings, Star Ratings, Awards & Accolades, Smart Homes, Elder-Child Friendly homes and the list goes on. And as I always say, “the best is yet to come”

Tell us something about your 150th project ABOV.

ABOV is the 150th milestone project that has been launched to commemorate with Akshaya’s 18th anniversary. ABOV is the tallest residential tower of Tamil Nadu launched in its bustling capital Chennai. This is a landmark construction for Tamil Nadu in itself as it stands tall in about 1.66 acre land with 433 ft high. ABOV is Indian Green Building Council (IGBC)’s pre-certified platinum building and also CRISIL 5 Star Rated. Claimed to be the only building to have 31 homes with 32 swimming pools in this part of the world, this tower will also set record for being the tallest residential tower in the State to house one house per floor with 6,700 sq ft single plate homes having 360-degree view. The property has many firsts to its credit and will be the benchmarked project for Tamil Nadu. With ABOV we are attempting to redefine premium luxury living; it will test our commitment to offer uncompromised ultra-luxury homes. We have brought in partners from across the world to put ABOV together including designers, architects and vendors. The minutest attention to detail in design, decor and fitments that match the best in the world will make ABOV a benchmarked project that others can emulate to reflect international styled condo living.

What is your take on the affordable housing segment? What steps should the government take to promote these kinds of projects?

Affordable housing is a very loosely defined term. Private developers in the country focus on the middle and high income group where the demand and supply of housing gap is not very wide; however it is with the EWS and LIG sector where the gap is yawningly wide and has traditionally been taken care of by government bodies. The ideal way out on creating more stock of affordable housing units is to encourage a PPP model as well as bring out policy reforms such as single-window clearance, tax sops and priority lending to buyers as well as builders in the affordable housing segment, re-use of recovered slum land for commercial development etc which can not only help reduce the cost of construction but help developers cross-subsidize affordable housing units.  

What is your outlook on building environment-friendly space?

As developers we can take care of one portion of creating ‘Green Buildings’ which we at Akshaya have committed that all our projects will be green buildings. The second part of green building which is yet to fall in place is ensuring that the building remains / retains its greenness throughout its life time; this calls for educating the home buyer on keeping the building green throughout its life cycle of 30-40 years. Although there an incremental cost, green buildings is the only route for creating urban living space.

What is your outlook for the sector? What is your assessment of the Indian real estate market in terms of size and value, and its potential for growth?

In terms of size and value, the organised realty sector represents hardly 5% of the market potential but there is no denying the impact the realty industry has on the economy as one of the largest employment creators in the country. This is a sector with project timelines of around 3-4 years, hence what I would have launched in the year 2010 will see completion now, hence you cannot take an annual assessment of this sector as is normally done with other industries, we need to look from a 5 years band to read the market correctly. While the potential is enormous, we hope a lot of policy initiatives and ethical business practices will go a long way in building a robust realty sector in India.   

Your success mantra is…

Passion, Principle, Practice

What are your future expansion plans?

Akshaya has been synonym to residential units for the past 18 years. But now we wish to move further. In next five years to 10 years we will be in the businesses of healthcare, commercial property, retail, schools, integrated mini cities and commercial projects. We also plan to come up with projects across South India in a phased and planned manner in the near medium and long term.