Megalith adopts factory approach to affordable housing projects
Will build houses close to where jobs are available
In an industry struggling with high costs and low margins, Bengaluru-based Megalith Ventures is looking to mass manufacture homes, and to make them affordable for the economically weaker sections (EWS), while ensuring they remain close to employment opportunities are.
The company will sell a 2 BHK in Nelamangala, 24 km from Bengaluru, for ₹14 lakh beginning April.
“In South India, there is no institutional play in real affordable housing as most homes are available upwards of ₹30 lakh. We formed Megalith only to cater to the requirements of EWS and lower income group (LIG) and won’t do any other product under this brand,” Mallanna Sasalu, founder and CEO, Megalith Ventures, told Business Line.
The company will follow the mass manufacturing model, where it will replicate the same architectural design, layout and floor plans across all projects, saving operating costs.
The homes will use precast technology, where building elements like slab, roof, beams and columns are custom designed, and then joined at site, reducing the time by up to 64 per cent compared to conventional methods.
“We have entered into an MoU with a Finnish company for providing machineries and will undertake onsite manufacturing. So we will go for projects with a minimum area of 20 acres to bring in economies of scale,” said Sasalu.
The buildings will be modular in nature, without basements or stilts, but will offer open parking.
“These measures will bring down cost of construction per sq. ft. to ₹1400 compared to ₹1800-₹1900 that most developers currently incur. Our selling price will be ₹2800-₹2900 per sq. ft., which is lower than others but still profitable for us,” said Sasalu.
City on the Outskirts
Megalith will focus on projects only on the outskirts, where the city has already grown substantially.
The company has acquired three land parcels around Bengaluru. The Nelamangala project is spread over 24.5 acres and will have 3900 units with price tags of ₹10 lakh and ₹14 lakh for one and two bedroom homes respectively.
“Nelamangal is surrounded by four industrial townships and nearly 80 per cent of the target buyers don’t travel to the main city for work. We are targeting these workers who can afford to replace their rent with EMIs for homes,” he said.
The other two projects will come up at Bidadi and Samana Attibele.
“We have decided to procure land either through outright purchase or go for joint development. Customers will be identified through surveys around the project location and we will also help them avail loan and subsidies,” Sasalu added.
“We formed Megalith only to cater to the requirements of EWS and LIG and won’t do any other product under this brand”