Realty Corner

Rishabh SiroyaRISHABH SIROYA considers the Development Control Rules his Bible. At 28, he is Director of Siroya Group, and belongs to the flock of young leaders who dream big for their companies and strive for their fulfillment. With big plans for the company on his mind, the dynamic and suave Siroya is all set with a hands-on approach and a slew of initiatives to achieve them.

Instead of taking the already trodden path, Rishabh Siroya, Partner, Legend Siroya Developers believes in focussing more on developing his team of young and passionate professionals.

After completing his Bachelors in Marketing from Dubai, Siroya took business courses at Wharton and Harvard. But he soon realised that was not his true calling and then the family business beckoned. The first year with the family’s jewellery business was more like a roller coaster ride gaining a plethora of experiences and understanding the nuances of the industry. But he was yet to find his footing. In 2008, Rishabh joined the family’s real estate business in Mumbai. By then Siroya Developers had built a name for itself in the sector. Nonetheless, the struggle was hardly easy for him. Being a family member, if anything, only meant things were even more challenging. Siroya’s first project as a partner was all about seizing the opportunity and proving his mettle. Excerpts of an interview with him…

What prompted you to get into the business of real estate development? How challenging and remarkable was your journey till now?

I was always attracted to real estate, I found the business very fascinating as it involves meeting and working with so many people coming from so many different backgrounds, from lawyers to architects, to engineers to contractors and from tenants to landlords, you just learn so much every single day! I wouldn't imagine myself doing anything else.

What kind of change in thought process did you bring into your organisation?

We have been doing real estate in India since more than 20 years, but we have never tried to brand ourselves or undertaken any kind of marketing initiative. We were always well known in the community, but never to the general public. My first order of business was to start advertising, but because there was no initial marketing done before, convincing my seniors to undertake the ‘expense’ was very difficult.

I have always believed that no matter if your business is small or big, advertising about your products and your company is one of the core essentials of doing business successfully.

Tell us about your participation in project conceptualisation and strategy planning.

I take keen interest in every detail of my projects from the acquisition stage till the time each flat is handed over to the buyer. I want to be updated about every detail, like the flooring in the kitchen, the colour of the lobby, the trees in the garden, just everything! I have lots of my consultants come up to me and say, you shouldn't be doing this and I tell them, why not? I am my hardest customer, if I can’t convince myself to buy an apartment in my building, I won’t be able to convince others!

In which untapped sectors in India do you visualise the potential for growth?

We never thought of seeing rates like 1,00,000 per sq ft in Mumbai, we never thought that there could be a potential for an IT park outside Pune, we never thought that there could be a potential for housing complexes in Boisar, but someone did and they are reaping the benefits of their vision. So, potential is everywhere, we just have to be patient.

What are the technological innovations adopted by you in your development projects?

There have been lots of advancement in terms of different styles of construction like the MIVAN style or the pre-cast style but even though they tend to reduce the overall time taken for completion, they sometimes tend to challenge the flexibility for combination of apartments, or even breaking down internal walls as per the buyer's convenience. Hence, it has not been adopted in our projects.

Lack of manpower is troubling the industry. What are the steps you are taking to solve this?

There is a shortage of skilled manpower and in an industry that is growing with such rapid pace it is hard to retain such talents sometimes. Initially, we used to hire only through references, but now we have gone forward and hired head-hunting agencies to hire professionals. We have also amended our hiring criteria to see that new people are hired not just on the basis of their qualification but also with similar passion for the work that we do.

What are your suggestions to fill the housing shortage in the country?

There is a housing shortage of about 27 million homes across India and with every day that passes by it is increasing as backlog piles up. Most projects get delayed because of delay in receiving permissions and certain projects that do get approved get delayed in receiving occupation. Each project requires more than 100 permissions and NOCs from various departments, and this process needs to be streamlined for the smooth execution of projects.

What are the differentiating factors of projects made by you?

The biggest differentiating factor in our projects is the experience we create for each buyer. We don't believe in a system run organisation, we believe in people and we believe in nurturing relationships.

What is your company’s contribution towards accepting eco-friendly and sustainable measures?

All of our sizeable projects conform to environment-friendly norms, whereas the smaller projects do have rain water harvesting and planning is done in a way to boost cross ventilation and the use of glass as much as possible enables natural light in the homes reducing the overall consumption of electricity.

Is there a dream project that excites you? Tell us more about it.

I consider every project as my first one and frankly, that is what excites me because there are so many new things you get to learn in every project. If we are talking about ‘Dream Project’, I would love to build an island off the coast of Marine Drive, something like the Palm Islands of Dubai.

In what direction is your company heading? What would be the most determining factor in your company’s growth in the near future?

Our company has been in existence since over 20 years. It has come a long way in building the trust that is called ‘Legend Siroya’ today. There was a time when we used to only undertake one project at a time and today we have more than 20 projects that are under construction and about 30 more in the pipeline.

Our strength lies in the fact that we don't compare ourselves to anybody, we don't compete with anyone. Our biggest competitors are us and that is the philosophy that enables us to work harder and bring new things to the table in every project.