Ir­fan Razack – CMD, Pres­tige Group, on the Group’s Suc­cess in 2017

Go­ing for­ward, fac­tors like rapid ur­ban­i­sa­tion, in­creased mi­gra­tion to cos­mopoli­tan and Tier I cities, and the Gov­ern­ment’s fo­cus on in­fra­struc­ture and af­ford­able hous­ing will give the re­quired im­pe­tus and push to the real es­tate sec­tor…

Images Retail - - FRONT PAGE - – By Ir­fan Razack, CMD, Pres­tige Group

RE­TAIL MALLS HAVE BEEN DO­ING EX­TREMELY GOOD BUSI­NESS. IN THE RE­TAIL SPACE, WE WILL BE OPEN­ING THE MYSORE CEN­TRE CITY MALL IN JAN­UARY. FO­RUM PRES­TIGE SHANTINIKETAN, WHITEFIELD IS EX­PECTED TO BE READY IN THE SEC­OND QUAR­TER OF 2018

Last year, GST and RERA played a very sig­nif­i­cant role in re­defin­ing real es­tate in In­dia. Both Bills were in­tro­duced in 2017, which re­sulted in the mod­i­fi­ca­tion of sev­eral rules/reg­u­la­tions re­lated to the real es­tate and con­struc­tion in­dus­tries.

Af­ter GST was im­ple­mented, we also had to re­align the fi­nan­cial struc­ture and un­der­stand how to ex­e­cute new launches, keep­ing in line with the new laws. Hence, a lot of time was spent in un­der­stand­ing the le­gal im­pli­ca­tions of all these changes. As a re­sult, no new prod­ucts came into the mar­ket in terms of new launches, but we had sat­is­fac­tory sales from our ex­ist­ing in­ven­tory. From that as­pect, I think we have done very well as a com­pany. While the mar­ket as a whole wit­nessed some tur­moil with sev­eral de­vel­op­ers ex­tend­ing of­fers and schemes to en­sure sales, at Pres­tige, with­out launch­ing any new prop­er­ties, we man­aged to meet our sales tar­gets by sell­ing from the cur­rent in­ven­tory that was un­der pro­duc­tion. Look­ing back, 2017, I feel, turned out to be a bril­liant year for the com­pany. In April 2017, we re­struc­tured the com­pany by seg­re­gat­ing the re­tail, res­i­den­tial, of­fice and hos­pi­tal­ity port­fo­lios into four sep­a­rate seg­ments. This helped us look at the busi­ness from a dif­fer­ent per­spec­tive. We in­tend to scale these seg­ments over time. We are also ex­plor­ing new cities and hope to be in the West and North by the end of 2018.

The res­i­den­tial real es­tate mar­ket has picked up pace. The de­mand is grow­ing steadily. I feel that the long-term im­pact of the re­cent eco­nomic re­forms will only add to the grow­ing en­thu­si­asm and pos­i­tive out­look for real es­tate in In­dia. With rapid ur­ban­i­sa­tion, the de­mand for hous­ing in the af­ford­able and mid-in­come group seg­ments has al­ways seen an up­ward growth tra­jec­tory. As long as de­vel­op­ers are able to pro­duce homes be­tween 25 lakhs to 100 lakhs, there will al­ways be a con­stant de­mand.

Go­ing for­ward, fac­tors like rapid ur­ban­i­sa­tion, in­creased mi­gra­tion to cos­mopoli­tan and Tier I cities, and the Gov­ern­ment’s fo­cus on in­fra­struc­ture and af­ford­able hous­ing will give the re­quired im­pe­tus and push to the real es­tate sec­tor.

In fact, the de­mand for com­mer­cial space is seen as a lit­mus test for the over­all health of the econ­omy.

With busi­nesses flour­ish­ing glob­ally and sev­eral pro­cesses get­ting out­sourced to In­dia, the ab­sorp­tion of com­mer­cial space is on the rise. We have near zero va­cancy in our of­fice de­vel­op­ments. We are launch­ing 2-3 large-scale IT de­vel­op­ments in Bengaluru. Si­mul­ta­ne­ously, we will be de­vel­op­ing an IT Park in Pune and an of­fice build­ing in Gift City.

Re­tail malls have been do­ing ex­tremely good busi­ness. In the re­tail space, we will be open­ing the

Mysore Cen­tre City Mall in Jan­uary. Fo­rum Pres­tige Shantiniketan, Whitefield is ex­pected to be ready in the sec­ond quar­ter of 2018. Both our hos­pi­tal­ity projects, The Sher­a­ton Grand and The Con­rad will start op­er­a­tions from Fe­bru­ary.

Progress is im­pos­si­ble with­out change. It is up to each one of us how we choose to evolve as in­di­vid­u­als in this ever-chang­ing world. As we en­ter a New Year, full of new hopes, dreams and pos­si­bil­i­ties, I would like to take this op­por­tu­nity to thank all our pa­trons and friends for their con­tin­ued sup­port, and wish ev­ery­one a won­der­ful and pros­per­ous 2018!

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