IN FO­CUS:

It is nat­u­ral to won­der why cer­tain realty projects such as “Worli 1973”, “W54” or “Three Sixty West” are so named. Or why some devel­op­ers come up with es­o­teric names rang­ing from those of Greek gods to for­eign flora for their projects. In fact, the namin

Bureaucracy Today - - INSIDE INFORMATION - ◆ By Ashutosh Li­maye

Con­trary to com­mon per­cep­tion, nam­ing projects is a well-re­searched and ex­e­cuted ex­er­cise. Most lead­ing devel­op­ers in­vest a great deal of psy­chol­ogy and mar­ket­ing thought in this process. The aim usu­ally is to best con­vey the value propo­si­tion and mar­ket po­si­tion­ing of the project in one or a few words.

Con­trary to com­mon per­cep­tion, nam­ing projects is a well-re­searched and ex­e­cuted ex­er­cise. Most lead­ing devel­op­ers in­vest a great deal of psy­chol­ogy and mar­ket­ing thought in this process. The aim usu­ally is to best con­vey the value propo­si­tion and mar­ket po­si­tion­ing of the project in one or a few words. At other times, the goal may be to stir up a cer­tain as­pi­ra­tion in the minds of tar­get clien­tele or as­so­ci­ate the project with uber-lux­ury or se­lect global lo­ca­tions.

For ex­am­ple, con­ti­nen­tal names in­tend to con­jure im­ages of ex­otic Euro­pean lo­cales and life there. Gen­er­ally, it is the theme-based or lux­ury projects and gated town­ships that get named in such a fash­ion. The de­vel­oper tries to evoke a sense of “ar­rival” in the buy­ers’ minds apart from rep­re­sent­ing the global am­bi­ence and ex­clu­sive­ness such a project would of­fer.

Two up­com­ing projects in Mum­bai have been named af­ter “Paris” – fea­tur­ing French-styled apart­ments – and “Mi­ami” – as the project gives a great view of the Mahim bay. In Ben­galuru, the Pres­tige named two projects af­ter Lon­don’s Kens­ing­ton Gar­dens and Welling­ton Park, as they have a lot of open spa­ces, green­ery and recre­ational fa­cil­i­ties.

In Noida (UP), a mixed-use project un­der de­vel­op­ment is called “Twin Tow­ers” – per­haps with the in­ten­tion of mak­ing an im­pres­sion as an ed­i­fice. There are names as­so­ci­ated with ar­chi­tec­tural styles too. For in­stance, a project in­spired by Ro­man ar­chi­tec­tural style is called “Romano”. Projects can get other names too. “Fa­ble Cas­tle” in the Na­tional Cap­i­tal Re­gion is so called be­cause it is based on fa­bles by Walt Dis­ney.

An­other project in the NCR is called “La Vida”, which means “live life” in Span­ish. De­vel­op­ments around the Bud­dha F1 rac­ing cir­cuit in the NCR have build­ings named “Speed­way Av­enue”, “Grand Stand” and “Grand Cir­cuit” to evoke vi­sions of the pro­fes­sional car rac­ing ethos In Ben­galuru, a lux­ury of­fer­ing flaunts its elit­ist tag through the name “White Mead­ows” which nat­u­rally con­jures up im­ages of pas­toral grass­lands.

HOW IT ALL BE­GAN

In Mum­bai, this trend was most prob­a­bly kicked off by the Hi­ranan­dani Group at their flag­ship town­ship in Powai, where each build­ing was named af­ter a Greek god or a for­eign lo­cale. The de­vel­oper con­tin­ued with this prac­tice, and be­cause of its suc­cess, this unique ex­er­cise was adopted by sev­eral other devel­op­ers and fur­ther in­no­va­tions fol­lowed.

Dif­fer­ent devel­op­ers fol­low dif­fer­ent schemes. Go­drej Devel­op­ers of­ten names its build­ings af­ter for­eign flora and pre­cious stones. Thane’s Vas­ant Vi­har area has many build­ings named af­ter In­dian flora and trees, many of them hav­ing a spe­cial place in In­dian cul­ture.

For­eign flora has emerged as a com­mon favourite of devel­op­ers across In­dia, with many res­i­den­tial build­ings, and en­tire town­ships, named af­ter ex­otic flow­ers. So we have “DLF Camel­lias” – in­spired by ever­green shrub flow­ers said to sym­bol­ise de­sire, pas­sion and re­fine­ment – in the NCR and “Sobha Mayflower” – in­spired by what is con­sid­ered to be the tree of love – in Ben­galuru.

Now devel­op­ers are get­ting more in­no­va­tive and ex­clu­sive with very dis­tinct project names with greater re­call value. Omkar’s “Worli 1973” project in this up­scale precinct of Mum­bai stands out not only be­cause crick­eter Vi­rat Kohli and an as­pi­ra­tional gen­try have bought sky vil­las there, but also due to the unique­ness of its name, which is de­rived by merg­ing the lo­ca­tion’s lat­i­tude (19°) and lon­gi­tude (73°). This may very well be an­other first for Mum­bai, though there are other projects us­ing num­bers in their names.

An­other de­vel­oper has used its ini­tial “W” to name projects. One of its projects is named “W54”, clearly de­rived from this ini­tial fol­lowed by the num­ber of units it was ini­tially sup­posed to have. “Three Sixty West” pre­sum­ably gets its name be­cause its height is 360 me­tres and all apart­ments face the west­ern di­rec­tion. “Av­enue54” prob­a­bly gets its name be­cause se­lect roads are called av­enues in San­tacruz and the area’s pin code ends with 54.

So in­tense is the com­pe­ti­tion of us­ing unique tags that most devel­op­ers main­tain a shroud of se­crecy around their projects’ names un­til they have ac­tu­ally kicked off their mar­ket­ing cam­paigns. This is done to re­duce the pos­si­bil­ity of los­ing names to com­pe­ti­tion, as a ro­bust copy­right mech­a­nism is still non-ex­is­tent.

AFFIN­ITY TO FOR­EIGN NAMES

Call it a post-colo­nial legacy or the uni­ver­sal hu­man psy­chol­ogy of find­ing for­eign-sound­ing names more at­trac­tive, but there is no deny­ing that In­dian cus­tomers psy­che equates such names to bet­ter value propo­si­tions, in­ter­na­tional con­cepts, de­sign and ameni­ties. Not only NRIs but lo­cal buy­ers too are im­pressed by the idea of world-class de­signs and ameni­ties as­so­ci­ated with for­eign names.

In­creas­ing glob­al­i­sa­tion has ex­posed In­di­ans to in­ter­na­tional lo­ca­tions, and the global ap­peal of such names at­tracts the jet-set­ting, niche set of buy­ers. Also, such names are seen as neu­tral and cos­mopoli­tan. Given the tan­gi­ble re­sults of us­ing such names in re­cent years, it is a trend which is here to stay – and devel­op­ers are bound to get more and more in­no­va­tive with the sci­ence be­hind nam­ing their projects. ■

So in­tense is the com­pe­ti­tion of us­ing unique tags that most devel­op­ers main­tain a shroud of se­crecy around their projects’ names un­til they have ac­tu­ally kicked off their mar­ket­ing cam­paigns. This is done to re­duce the pos­si­bil­ity of los­ing names to com­pe­ti­tion, as a ro­bust copy­right mech­a­nism is still non-ex­is­tent.

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