Realty Corner

Vertical development is the best way to meet the growing demands

Aditya Deshpande, Vice President Business Development, City Corporation Ltd

Pune-based City Corporation Ltd has built a reputation for impeccable design detail and skilled construction practices, since its inception in 1996. We find the company’s plans for 2013 during a tête-à-tête with ADITYA DESHPANDE, Vice President Business Development, City Corporation Ltd.

What made you enter the real estate market? How has the realty sector evolved with the second generation joining it?

Real Estate has always been an area of my interest since childhood, as I have grown up in that atmosphere. Ever since I was a kid, my father Mr Aniruddha Deshpande, has been bouncing ideas to me, and we have had several animated discussions on the same. Hence, real estate was always the sector I wanted to work in and I pursued an education with the same goal.

Over the past five years, the real estate industry as a sector has evolved greatly. This can be attributed to most second generation joining the parent organisation and the sector on the whole adopting best practices from more developed markets. Additionally, today, the customer is very well educated and exposed to global practices and he knows that he has several options. This has made it necessary for organisations to evolve in order to be successful. It is imperative to have an in-depth research in place before launching new projects as the product is the king today.

When did you join City Corporation Ltd, and what are your key responsibilities here?

I was 23 when I joined the industry which was three years back. I completed my Bachelors in Business Administration (BBA) from Symbiosis before pursuing a Masters degree in Entrepreneurship from Cass Business School London.

At City Corporation Ltd, my responsibility includes handling marketing, sales and CRM. Additionally, I also look into all new ventures for the group.

Elaborate on the initiatives planned by the company for 2013 and also throw some light on the vision that you have envisaged for the company.

2013 will be a significant year for us. Our flagship project Amanora Park Town has matured greatly, and we will launch several new premium offerings including a hotel in its premises. We will also leverage the experience gained through Amanora to launch two new township projects in 2013. There are also plans to launch a wellness resort and a high-end villa project in 2013.

Which are some of the projects completed? What are the ongoing projects that are under development?

We have completed several stand alone projects before the launch of Amanora Park Town. Over the past two years we have completed four sectors within Amanora Park Town and handed over close to 2,500 apartments. We have several sectors under development such as Future Towers designed by Dutch master architects MVRDV, Gateway Towers, which is the first building in the world to be marveled by Swarovski. At 45 stories and 150 m, it will also be the tallest structure in Pune city.

Elaborate on why you chose to opt for a township concept and thus got Amanora Park Town in place, rather than divulging into stand alone buildings.

The township concept is the future. It is a win-win model for everyone as:

· The developer takes the burden of infrastructure away from the municipal authorities.

· The size of the project allows the developer to offer the customers much more value by providing everything they need within the complex.

· The developer has a much larger canvas to work with making it possible to create state-of-the-art structure to offer better value and hence command a premium.

It is very satisfying to be able to channelise your energies into one project to create something world-class.

Is vertical development the need of the hour in Pune? With mega projects and high-rise buildings in Pune, will the supply be met and the prices sustainable for the home-buyers?

Pune has grown a lot over the last five years or so. Hence, the number of people moving to Pune because of key drivers such as IT, automobile, education is large. Here, developers offering the right product will always have a large demand to cater to. Vertical development is the best way to meet the growing demands of the city. Vertical development has been the chosen route for several metros worldwide and has been a successful model.

What are the challenges that the sector is facing and what kind of regulatory changes do you seek from the government?

The lack of good infrastructure to support the rapid development in Pune city is a major problem that needs to be addressed. The government has been proactive with policies such as the township policies, support for vertical development etc, which are all steps in the right direction. These need to be supplemented by decisions to create better infrastructure.

Elaborate on the latest trends that the real estate market is seeing today.

The real estate market today is all about new concepts and quality of products offered. You need to step into the buyers’ shoes and understand what is important for them. There is no place for shabby offerings anymore. The high-end residential market has seen luxury and design taken to a new level with developers associating with designers such as Swarovski, Armani, etc.

Is your company planning any diversification? If yes, which areas?

In 2013 we will enter the hospitality segment with a hotel and a wellness resort in the offing.