Hot 100 developers
The 7th anniversary brings you a list of remarkable developers in infra & real estate. BY TEAM CW
How do magazines celebrate an anniversary? Get a new logo and a new look, rework content to reach out to a wider and newer reader base, organise a fête or something akin to that…the possibilities are numerous. But we are doing no such thing.
With this issue, we welcome the 7th Anniversary of the magazine and in keeping stoutly with tradition, Construction Week decides to take stock. In this issue, we list out the most influential and established real estate and infrastructure companies that have made a mark in the sector. And not revenue-wise or mere scale and number of projects. The developers have displayed immense resilience in a market that has not treated them well last two years. We applaud that. Most of them are on the brink of selling assets and moving out of non-core business to raise money for future and better projects. And such determination is noteworthy.
So here goes our list and when you read through it, we hope you will understand why they made it to Hot 100.
With wide interests in infrastructure, power, ports, mining, logistics, and agriculture, the Adani Group rarely fails to make headlines. Adani Power remains committed to helping India on its path to attaining energy sufficiency. Two months ago, the company signed an MoU (memorandum of understanding) with the government of Chhattisgarh to develop two critical projects by investing more than Rs 25,000 crore. The projects will not only enhance the economic growth of the state but will also create substantial employment opportunities for the people of Chhattisgarh.
The giant power company has entered into an MoU for due diligence with the Welspun Group to buy two ready-to-build coal-fired power plants. The two plants, located in Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh, have all the necessary clearances and can generate about 4,000MW.
A feather in the cap for the company came when it entered into an agreement with the Indian Railways to supply 50MW electricity at Rs 3.69 per unit for three years. This is the first step in migration strategy of Railways to procure power directly from generators as ‘deemed licensee’ instead of discoms. Adani Power will supply power from its 4,620MW Mundra plant in Gujarat.
VICE CHAIRMAN & MANAGING DIRECTOR
The infrastructure arm of the billion-dollar Shapoorji Pallonji Group, Afcons Infrastructure has several firsts to its credit. It is the first Indian EPC contractor to install a process platform under float-over technology of the HRD Process Platform for ONGC. The company is also constructing the Rohtang Pass tunnel, the longest tunnel in the world at an altitude of 13,000-plus feet, besides designing and constructing an arch railway bridge over the Chenab river, by far one of the toughest bridge works undertaken by Afcons due to its geological and engineering considerations.
K Subrahmanian says, “For continued success in an international EPC environment, our philosophy of operational excellence is a must. It encompasses operational efficiency, productivity, innovation and commitment to delivery to all stakeholders.”
An oft repeated mantra of their execution strategy is simplification. The team is known to undertake an in-depth study of the design and methodology and work towards developing solutions that lead to simpler construction methods. Often, the company goes beyond its scope and proposes changes in design if it can lead to earlier delivery of projects.
For over three decades, Ahuja Constructions has been punctuating the Mumbai skyline with their buildings. Today, the Ahuja universe of projects can be classified into three categories – Star, Stella and Galaxy. Ahuja Star properties offer the highest level of luxury living. Properties in the Ahuja Stella category have been especially created to cater to the dreams and needs of the fast-growing aspirational segment; Ahuja Galaxy properties focus on community living, combining thoughtful amenities and best-in-class facilities in the concept of a modern township.
Considering that real estate generates second highest level of employment and contributes approximately 6% to the GDP, the company is keen that it achieves an industry status thus giving the sector a much-needed boost. This will entitle them to obtain funding from financial institutions, be recognised as a priority sector, especially by the Reserve Bank of India, and facilitate ‘single window clearance’ for projects.
The company plans to develop one million sq-ft year-on-year and wants to attain an enterprise value of $1 billion by 2017.
AKSHAYA PVT LTD
T CHITTY BABU
CHAIRMAN & CEO
When most people pay mere lip service to green buildings, Akshaya Pvt Ltd has decided to build only green buildings. Currently, the company has to its credit four Platinum-rated, six Gold, three Silver and two IGBC certified green buildings. It makes a conscious effort to not only minimise construction waste but also reuse construction waste on-site. Homes are designed to allow sunlight and cross ventilation, while making use of water efficient fittings.
Simultaneously, Akshaya has been working for progress of the real estate sector and perceives that changes can come only with the joint efforts of both the industry bodies and the government. Babu says, “It is essential that the government encourage developers to build low cost and affordable housing for the masses and review the existing FDI guidelines for investment and development in real estate to increase the flow of foreign capital into the sector. There is a need to streamline government policies and introduce reforms to boost the real estate sector.”
A vision the company has is to be a pan India leader through focus on service, quality, innovation and adoption of latest technology.
AL FARA’A GROUP
DIRECTOR, PAN INDIA MANAGEMENT
Although the Al Fara’a Group is well established in the Middle East for decades, it was in 2011 that Gangaramani decided to set up operations in India. Gangaramani says, “The Indian construction industry could look at following the footsteps of global companies in terms of a diversified approach in line with current business, emphasis on quality, safety at each and every stage, risk mitigation, and healthier management of finance.”
The Al Fara’a Group is happy to get recognition and is currently executing projects such as the Nagpur Metro, 400 railway stations in India, the Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor, EWS housing projects, the Nhava Sheva Trans-harbour link, and looks forward to be involved in the construction of 100 smart cities in India.
Realising the challenges faced by the industry, he says that the hazards are difficult to control in a constantly changing environment. “While safety can be implemented, other challenges are labour availability for projects, local interferences, cash crunch, and timely procurement of raw materials. Fluctuating prices of materials poses a big challenge. He cites his recent experiences of new projects that are clear indicators that the industry is poised for a bright future,” he adds.
AMAN SINGH GEHLOT
At a time when most developers are steering clear of developing commercial space, Ambience Group has constructed a corporate office tower in Gurgaon and is ready to rake in Rs 150 crore as annual rental income.
The group has a presence in Delhi and Gurgaon and is developing a 150-acre project, Ambience Island, in Gurgaon that comprises premium homes, Leela Ambience hotel with over 400 keys and a shopping mall spread across 1.8 million sq-ft.
Recently, it entered the Noida market where it plans to build 280 flats in the 3.5 acre project at an investment of Rs 465 crore. It is also planning Ambience City township in Panipat.
Gehlot says, “We are looking to list our commercial assets as a real estate investment trust (REIT). However, it is a concern for the sector that it has not yet been granted industry status. This hinders developers from acquiring single window clearance and takes forever to get all clearances in place. An industry status will boost sentiment and allow the sector to access capital and funds at cheaper rates.”
AMBUJA NEOTIA GROUP
Neotia’s ingress into the real estate industry was pure chance. The family was entering the cement business in Gujarat and Neotia knew it would be complicated to manage and was unwilling to relocate to Gujarat from Kolkata. He turned his attention to real estate. Today, the group has diversified interests in hospitality, healthcare, education, food & beverages, and infrastructure.
Recently, Ambuja Group announced its plan to set up seven luxury resorts across in the next five to seven years with investments in excess of Rs 350 crore. Neotia is optimistic that Kolkata is sure to emerge as a priority tourist destination and is preparing to pave the way. In another move, the company recently opened its 5th university in South-24 Parganas district.
On granting industry status to the real estate sector, Neotia says it would help in easier availability of funds. “The industry should work together to promote the cause and insist for desired policy changes. This will motivate companies to take up integrated township projects, while at the same time incentivise buyers by passing on the benefits of any cost reduction.”
Ansal API operates in a range of business verticals such as integrated townships, condominiums, group housing, malls, shopping complex, hotels, SEZs, IT parks and infrastructure, and utility services. The realty major was also one of the early companies to sign up technology majors IBM and Cisco for transforming its Sushant Golf City residential township into a smart city. Golf City has received permission to acquire a total of 6,500 acres to develop the township for a million people. The total investment in the project is estimated to be Rs 70,000 crore. Delhi-based Ansal API has developed over 260 million sq-ft of area so far. It is currently developing 18 integrated townships and has a land reserve of 9,731 acres, of which 7,250 acre has been acquired.
A few months ago, the real estate and infrastructure developer issued non-convertible debentures to provide foreign investors a platform to participate in India’s growing credit markets and struck gold when a Singapore-based foreign portfolio investor bought into it.
Going forward, the company plans to take its expertise to smaller towns thus taking the benefit of planned development to people living in those towns.
At a time when most infrastructure developers fight shy of getting involved in build-operate-transfer (BOT) projects, Ashoka Buildcon ventured into this and turned it into a success. Parakh says, “There’s a certain amount of risk in BOT projects. The higher the risk, the higher the rewards. Over the years we have made this our strength and developed a strategy to address the risks, analyse them, and ultimately gain profit from them.”
Although Ashoke Buildcon may not be in the big league, the company has been consistently bagging new projects. It’s a matter of pride for the company that it has a reputation of completing projects in record time. The current order book for the company including that of power, T&D and roads stand at Rs 3,100 crore.
However, for Parakh, delegation is a difficult skill to acquire. Every perfectionist would be dragged to the thought ‘if you want to do something right, do it yourself’. In today’s competitive world this will take you nowhere. It’s through the thoughtfulness of delegation that Ashoka Buildcon has built its management. Most directors, presidents, general managers in the company had joined as junior engineers and executives. “However, we took care to ensure that the right person gets the right job,” he adds.
BG SHIRKE GROUP
CHAIRMAN & MANAGING DIRECTOR
The BG Shirke Group has been in the field of execution of residential, commercial, industrial, infrastructural and special civil engineering projects like sports complex, airports etc. for over 60 years. The company has so far executed more than 200,000 dwelling units using ‘3S’ system, which includes speed, safety and strength, both in India and overseas. Currently, the group prefers to execute large housing, industrial and commercial projects on turnkey lumpsum basis by the use of proven prefabricated products and/or also by the conventional methods and materials.
Recently, the company diversified in infrastructure developments and completed two road projects on NH-4, part of a Golden Quadrilateral and one road project
It is also one of the few construction companies to to manufacture new building materials and construction equipment under one roof. The Concrete Equipment Division (CED), set up in 1988, manufactures automatic concrete weigh batching and mixing plants with transit mixers.
BHARTI LAND LTD
MD & CEO
It was only early this year that Bharti Land Ltd announced its foray into the premium residential segment starting with Delhi-National Capital Region (NCR). Hitherto, it mainly operated in the retail and commercial segments.
The development comes a few months after Sayal was appointed MD & CEO in August last year, to “conceptualise and implement a scalable business strategy and provide overall leadership to the business”.
Sayal says that he would also explore and seek new business opportunities via joint development models to scale the realty business to the next level of growth. “We currently have around 4 million sq-ft of commercial real estate development while another 8 million sq-ft of commercial and residential development is underway. We have recently entered into an agreement with Eros Group to develop a residential project in Faridabad, which will be a smart community project with a perfect blend of quality construction and technology.”
Bharti Land is also launching a marquee commercial project, Worldmark, which is located at Aerocity. The project will have 1.5 million sq-ft premium office and retail space.
CHAIRMAN & MANAGING DIRECTOR
According to the reports that emerge from real estate consultancy companies, the southern real estate market has always found demand – be it in residential or commercial. Hence, it’s not surprising to find a regular stream of new launches in the metro city of Bengaluru. A company at the forefront of new launches has been Brigade Group. The company has announced its intention to launch projects of 7.70 million sq-ft in FY15-16. Of these, 5.80 million sq-ft would come from residential projects, 1.60 million sq-ft from commercial and retail projects and 0.30 from hospitality projects across Bengaluru, Mysore, Chennai, Mangalore, Kochi and Ahmedabad. Late last month, the company said that its Brigade Meadows phase-I spread over 60 acres has been completed.
Over the last 29 years, the company has created many landmarks, Jaishankar regrets that Indian developers have been unable to be meticulous in material, resource and cost planning, which often leads to cost overruns. What is worse is that scope of works and specifications are not drawn up-front that would minimise or eliminate variances during project execution.
GURJEET SINGH JOHAR
An infrastructure company with diverse interests ranging from roads & highways to power to telecom transmission to water projects, C&C Constructions has ventured into most arenas of the country’s development. When the government made certain that the Dedicated Freight Corridor would materalise, C&C Constructions committed to pull out the bottlenecks along India’s growth path by working on the world-class railway project.
Last month, the company has bagged a $141.28 million contract from Engineering Projects (India), Oman, for road and civil works in the Sultanate of Oman.
The company has also begun construction work of the Shillong-Nongstoin-Tura road and has made good progress despite the land acquisition hurdle which is a common problem in Meghalaya due to its peculiar land tenure system. The work along the 264.30km Shillong-Nongstoin-Tura road at an estimated cost of Rs 1,494 crore started in early 2011 and the timeline to finish the project was March 2014, which has already been missed.
C&C is also executing the World Bank-funded road widening project on the Theog-Hatkoti stretch and has been offered a revised deadline stretching to June 2016 after the project ran into problems.
A new Gurgaon is fast rising along the Northern Peripheral Road, the widest expressway in the country with its parallel metro rail line, connecting Asia’s largest residential colony – Dwarka to the NH8. In the midst of this is the Chintels Metropolis, the land bank currently under development that includes 240 acres of luxury housing projects comprising the three prime sectors. “We estimate an investment of approximately Rs 5,000 crore in developing nearly 15 million sq-ft residential and commercial projects in the areas of Metropolis and Cosmopolis along Dwarka Expressway in both its Delhi and Gurgaon segments within the next 8-10 years,” says Solomon.
Taking a cue from established players, Chintels launched a subsidiary contracting company Chintels Infracon to enable efficient backward integration for on-time delivery of real estate projects. It will manufacture CLC blocks for ongoing projects but may gradually diversify into electrical, interiors, metal and glazing products.
The company also has tie-ups with partners like Sobha Limited and ATS who are known for their quality construction.
City Corporation is well-known for Amanora Park Town, a 400-acre township in Pune. And Deshpande says proudly that Amanora qualifies as the first township as per the guidelines of the government of Maharashtra. It involves the developer creating and maintaining the entire infrastructure of the township.
Over the next year, the developer plans to launch over 20 lakh sq-ft in the affordable category. However, he adds, “The biggest challenge today is the clearances from the government, which takes a couple of years for large township projects. The RBI has put constraints on real estate finance like ceiling on construction finance as well as customer finance. And while it has relented on housing loans, the government single-window clearance remains elusive.”
Deshpande would prefer the ‘Swiss challenge’ method of bidding for infrastructure projects. Under this, third parties are allowed to make better offers (challenges) for a project during a designated period while the original bidder is given the right of first refusal and the right to counter-match any superior offers given by a third party.
Bansal rues that the Indian construction industry is yet to come at par with global companies. Citing the example of the Burj Khalifa, he adds that construction of the building started in 2004 and the building was opened in 2010. “Within six years, the developers were able to construct the tallest building in the world,” he says.
DB Realty has several projects coming up in Mumbai, but the ones they are focusing on are DB Skypark near the Mumbai International Airport (the first residential project in the vicinity), DB Turf View, Project Bandra and DB Orchid Heights. “A key challenge faced is getting approvals. Obtaining the IOD and CC for buildings is a long drawn out process, extended only by the fact that CC is only applicable for a specific number of floors. Once that floor is complete, developers are thrown back into the approval process, effectively causing delays in completion,” he adds. Additionally, there are always some changes in rules. “We are currently in a regulatory limbo as rules and regulations are changing over short periods of time. It is for the betterment in the long run but in the here and now, it becomes difficult to ascertain any substantial changes coming your way,” he adds.
At a time when Make in India campaign is being much talked about, Suryavanshi believes that it can be a success in the long term only when Indian companies will focus on innovation and sustainability. He is keen that Indian companies take a cue from global counterparts and focus on safety too. For him, an issue that causes delay and arbitration but hardly gets enough mention is issuance of inaccurate Detailed Project Reports (DPR) before tendering — a consequence of being designed by incompetent consultants. “The bidding process is archaic and should be overhauled. The government shouldn’t build public infrastructure using lowest bidder criteria alone. It should look at those who can build best quality infrastructure using a points system that evaluates track record of the company, history of timely completion, plant & equipment capabilities, availability of skilled labour, etc.”
Secondly, he adds, the government should make all the necessary clearances available for the developer at the start of the project. Also qualification criteria should be tweaked for players with expertise in one infrastructure asset class (eg, bridges) to be able to bid for another asset class (eg, canals) even if they do not have prior experience in that specific asset class.
KUSHAL PAL SINGH
After raising Rs 2,000 crore by selling stakes in two projects, India’s largest realtor DLF is planning to monetise some more housing projects through private equity as property sales continue to remain subdued. The company is looking at monetising select residential projects through private equity till the real estate market improves. In another move, the company has appointed JP Morgan and Morgan Stanley as merchant bankers for proposed sale of promoters’ 40% stake in the company’s rental arm DLF Cyber City Developers to institutional investors.
It is also expanding its portfolio to develop four million sq-ft of office space in two information technology-focused projects in Chennai. The first will see the company expand its DLF IT Special Economic Zone (SEZ) in Manapakkam, about 8km from Chennai airport. In the second project, it will build a SEZ for IT and ITeS at Taramani, the city’s IT hub. The proposed investment in these projects would be about Rs 2,000 crore and Rs 2,500 crore respectively. The company is banking on the state government to give all clearances through a single window clearance system.
VICE CHAIRMAN & MANAGING DIRECTOR
Affordable housing might be seen by builders as a stop-gap to tide over the presently sluggish real estate scenario. It could be that they are biding time with various offerings till the market picks up and they can focus once more on ultra-high-end offerings. However, India’s growth story will see the need for focused development of more offerings in the mid-range, and low-income group housing, for quite some time to come, if it is to meet the government-backed goals of ‘Housing for all by 2020’. And Goradia cannot stress on this enough.
In keeping with this policy, the company launched Planet North, an affordable luxurious integrated township project spread across 25 acres at Shil-Thane. Goradia says that the launch of this project will benefit the mid segment of home buyers bringing them closer to experiencing luxurious living in Mumbai.
Dosti Realty has also entered into an agreement with Indian Hume Pipe Company to develop nearly 3.5 acre land parcel in Mumbai. The total land parcel includes 2.08 acre freehold land, while 1.39 acre is under slum rehabilitation scheme.
DS KULKARNI DEVELOPERS
CHAIRMAN & MANAGING DIRECTOR
“The strength of character, integrity, hard work, modesty have always painted the picture of a perfect human being before me. There is nothing like these intrinsic values that have inspired me more. It is what I have come to worship as fellow being, is a oft repeated theme for this construction magnate based out of Pune.
While the developers myriad projects dot the Pune skyline, it was his announcement to launch DSK Dream City, a township project under the Maharashtra Special Township Act at Loni on the Pune-Solapur highway with an investment of Rs 8,000 crore that surprised many. The project will have an IT park on 20 lakh sq-ft, a seven-star hotel, 15 academies for sports, 26 cricket pitches, 14 gardens, including a botanical garden, and a total of 250 amenities. A larger project the company is developing is Nanded City, a 700 acre township situated on the Pune-Sinhagad Road.
However, the crunch of the current fiscal situation seems to have hit him too. A few months ago he came out with a public issue aggregating to a total of Rs 200 crore and use the issue proceeds for some of the projects under development.
CHAIRMAN & MANAGING DIRECTOR
For a few years last decade, Gammon India had found a knack of winning most of the projects put out to tender. Those were the days when issuing closed tenders was the norm and few were invited to bid. With competition, more concessionaires have entered the infrastructure sector and they have been firm in demanding transparency in the bidding process. The privilege that Gammon India enjoyed seems to have come to an end.
Considering its expertise in roads and highways, the company now strongly contends with varied players. In September, Gammon India bagged a sizeable order worth Rs 1,710 crore from NHAI for four-laning of Udhampur to Ramban section of NH-1A in Jammu & Kashmir under phase-II. At the same time, it also won a Rs 397 crore road project from the Goa government.
The firm has reporting been losses in the past couple of quarters on poor sales and higher finance cost. According to reports, the beleaguered infra company has sold its stake in nine projects valued at Rs 6,750 crore to Brookfield and Core Infra India Fund, a deal that will fetch Rs 563 crore as well as reduce its debt by Rs 1,718 crore. Of the nine projects in which Gammon Infrastructure Projects sold its stake, six are road projects and remaining three are of power.
TV SANDEEP KUMAR REDDY
With an order book swelling to over Rs 10,000 crore, Gayatri Projects is on a roll. In a major boost to its road project operations, the Hyderabad-based infrastructure company has bagged multiple orders worth Rs 3,318 crore from the NHAI under the EPC mode.
Similarly, Gayatri Infra Ventures Limited, the asset development arm of the company and its other entities are currently working on seven operating and one under construction road projects, adding up to gross capital employed in excess of Rs 5,000 crore. The energy subsidiary, Gayatri Energy Ventures is in the final stages of developing a 2,640MW power project in partnership with SembCorp Industries, Singapore.
Speaking about delays in infrastructure projects, Reddy says, “Highway developers had expected traffic to grow by at least 8% every year, but many operational toll-based projects are seeing a big mismatch in traffic estimates from the time the projects were awarded and actual traffic on ground today, which has remained muted, hurting the ability of the developers to service debt,” he says.
For Gera, in the current challenging environment of sluggish sales, there has been a huge spike in approval related issues as well as extortion from blackmailers who use the RTI process to obtain a file and then raise frivolous issues with the officials to delay the project and extort huge sums of money. For him, the health of the real estate sector reflects the health of the economy at large. “The lack of timely regulatory approvals, false stop notices, complex financing processes are factors obstructing the sector to transition to a level of maturity. Although the new regulatory bills are being formulated keeping in mind their success in other industries, the Real Estate Draft bills and acts are still pending approval,” he says.
The realty player is eyeing 50% increase in sales over the next two years to more than Rs 650 crore, even as it plans to add another one million sq-ft of development over the period.
The company currently has a portfolio of 6.28 million sq-ft of projects including commercial and residential across three markets — Pune, Bengaluru and Goa. It expects to clock around Rs 400 crore this fiscal.
With 15 power generation assets of which eight are operational and seven are under various stages of development, six operational highways covering a total length of 2,851 lane kilometre, a multi-product 4,300-acre Special Investment Region in Tamil Nadu, developer of two major airports in India, GMR Group has come a long way.
Last month, the Group announced that its subsidiary Kakinada SEZ has signed an agreement with Japan’s JGC Corporation (JGC) for co-developing Japanese-oriented Food Processing Park at its Kakinada SEZ.
In a global deal, GMR Megawide Cebu Airport Corp (GMCAC), a joint venture between GMR Infrastructure and Megawide Construction Corp of Philippines, recently broke ground for the construction of Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA) Terminal 2, which is expected to be complete by 2018.
Recently, two of its gas-based plants, with capacity of 1,138MW, in Andhra Pradesh were awarded allocation of gas which allows it to operate over the next six months. As someone who has launched 28 different businesses over the years, Rao has build assets worth $5 billion from a mere $11 million in 1999.
MANAGING DIRECTOR & CEO
In a bid to unlock capital invested in their commercial portfolio and hasten the pace of growth going forward, Godrej Properties sold 4.35 lakh sq-ft commercial space at its Bandra-Kurla Complex for Rs 1,480 crore. The funds received through the deal will be utilised to repay debt and support future growth opportunities.
“Currently, both the real estate and infrastructure sectors are facing challenges like high cost of land, unskilled manpower, lack of infrastructure and a cumbersome approval process, to name a few. Real estate in India is a massive opportunity even if we simply consider the employment it generates and the urbanisation expected over the next few years,” says Godrej.
He adds that at several instances has each sector made representation to the government to accord it an industry status. “We would be happy to see greater transparency and accountability come in — both on part of the businesses and statutory authorities,” he adds.
Over the next few months, the company plans to launch new projects in Mumbai, Bengaluru and NCR. “We will also launch new phases of our existing projects in Ahmedabad, Nagpur, Pune and Chennai,” says Godrej.
DR GVK REDDY
FOUNDER CHAIRMAN & MANAGING DIRECTOR
A leading Indian conglomerate with wide interests in energy, airports, infrastructure, transportation and hospitality, GVK has several firsts to its credit. After setting up India’s first independent power plant in Andhra Pradesh, GVK expanded itself to a slew of CCPP – Combined Cycle Power Plant (gas/naphtha based), thermal (coal based) and hydro power projects across the country. The company made its foray into the aviation sector when it bagged the mandate to operate, manage and develop GVK Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport (GVK CSIA) in Mumbai. In transportation, the group has four road projects under its transportation vertical, totalling to 2,816 lane kilometre. In hospitality, GVK has premium hotel projects in Hyderabad, Chandigarh and Chennai with a total key base of 1,093, and has plans to set up hotels in Mumbai and Bengaluru. Last year, the group acquired the Australian coal mines in Queensland with eight billion tonne reserves and a capacity of more than 80 million tonne per annum for $1.26 billion. It will also set up a 500km rail line and a 60mtpa port as part of the ‘pit-to-port’ logistics solution.
PRESIDENT & CEO
Consider some of the circumstances under which home-grown infrastructure giant, Hindustan Construction Company (HCC), has helped in nation building. Setting up hydroelectric projects 11,000 feet above sea level, working in places where temperatures dip to -40o Celsius not to forget low oxygen levels, surveying at high altitude terrains and traversing roads with hairpin bends with scarce human habitation, and carrying work materials to sites that have a six month cut-off period due to heavy snowfall and or besides being hostile areas. These and some more are just a few of the conditions under which HCC has created engineering marvels where nothing stood earlier.
Karambelkar says, “Our projects are highly complex. Moreover, considering that majority of core infrastructure projects are built in remote locations, it makes it that much harder to implement them.”
The company has built hydro-electric power projects, created long tunnels in remote locations, India’s highest altitude dam, over 65% of the installed nuclear power capacity of India, and the country’s largest and first light water reactors.
VICE-CHAIRMAN & MANAGING DIRECTOR
Last month, Housing Development and Infrastructure Ltd (HDIL) announced plans to invest Rs 150 crore for the first phase of its affordable housing project in far off suburban Mumbai. It is also launching two luxurious projects in another part of the city. With a land reserve of 243.99 million sq-ft, HDIL has developed over 100 million sq-ft of commercial, residential and retail space.
Currently, 43 million sq-ft sale area of projects are under construction, with 23 ongoing projects. Of this, residential portfolio is 31.15 million sq-ft.
“The real estate sector is heavily regulated by various governments. Developers are required to comply with numerous laws and regulations, including policies and procedures established and implemented by local authorities in relation to land acquisition, transfer of property, registration and use of land. The time frame of implementation of the new liberal policies is not clear. There is a significant delay in getting approvals for projects,” says Hariprakash Pandey, senior VP, finance, HDIL. The company is eager that this sector be granted industry status to improve funding chances, bring in transparency and enhance consumer confidence in buying property. It will also help stabilise home prices.
CHAIRMAN & MANAGING DIRECTOR
One of the most familiar faces in the industry, Niranjan Hiranandani has never shied when making an opinion or building landmarks across the country. At the Construction Week India Awards in September, he had expressed that measures taken by the central and Maharashtra government in terms of ease of doing business have not percolated to the ground level and that developers continue to face various issues such as delay in clearances.
“Very often, builders face numerous challenges like delay in approvals and clearances thus leading to cost escalation. For long, the industry has been demanding single window clearance system. The government is taking steps towards this, but they are not being implemented effectively,” he added.
In terms of projects, the developer has commenced work on an office tower Hiranandani Signature at an investment of Rs 180 crore. The Group also unveiled its luxurious private apartment’s project, One Hiranandani Park, located in Thane’s Ghodbunder road. Hiranandani is also considering tourism-related real estate development in Maharashtra.
IL&FS ENGINEERING & CONSTRUCTION
MANAGING DIRECTOR & CEO
After more than two decades of demonstrating its capabilities in sectors such as roads/expressways/highways, buildings, dams, and power projects, the company has initiated forays into new business segments such as airports, seaports, rail and rail-based systems, oil and gas pipelines, refineries and water treatment. Khattar believes that the infrastructure sector needs to sell its ideas more forcefully in terms of doing projects the way it should be executed. “Infrastructure companies constantly avail of global technologies but find it hard to implement them in India. A reciprocal approach from the authorities for discharging corresponding deliverables and approvals is often lacking. A pro-active mindset can help in overcoming some of the challenges we face for completion of projects,” says Khattar.
However, what has come as a relief is the swell in order books as more projects are announced. But challenges at the operation levels continue with delays in order execution and the resulting impact on operating costs and interest payouts.
CHAIRMAN & MANAGING DIRECTOR
As of last month, IRB’s construction order book stands at about Rs 9,650 crore, which will be executed over the next three to four years. The infrastructure developer is upbeat on orders visibility from the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) and aims to bag road projects for another 200-300km by March under the ‘build-own-operate’ (BOT) model. Last month, private companies announced new projects worth about Rs 225,000 crore in the July-September period, 54% more from a year earlier, in what could boost economic activity in the coming months. “New projects announced under the PPP model have received good respond from developers. These projects are seeing capital commitment from the private sector which is feeling more confident than before,” said Mhaiskar.
Recently, the company announced its decision to set up an infrastructure investment trust by March next year to sell or transfer stake in SPVs to facilitate generation of funds. Thus, the role of IRB will be to adopt ‘BEST’ policy which means IRB will ‘bid’ for the project, ‘execute’ the same, ‘stabilise’ it and then ‘transfer’ the same to the trust.
E SUDHIR REDDY
CHAIRMAN & MANAGING DIRECTOR
Most infrastructure companies are diversifying their portfolio and gaining expertise in various sectors to keep with market demand and spruce up bottom line. And IVRCL is no different. The company, which started with water projects, has gained a foothold in new areas such as buildings and industrial structures, power transmisison and transportation. “Water is close to my heart, more so as I belong to an agriculture family. Water projects are our contribution to betterment of India. I am very happy about our desalination plant in Chennai, the first of its kind in Asia,” so Reddy has said.
Over the last few years, it has also made its mark overseas. In one its biggest projects overseas, the company has bagged an EPC project valued at Rs 3,624 crore from the ministry of interior, Saudi Arabia. The scope of work includes constructing pre-fabricated residential complexes and includes designing/building mass housing in three locations. The project is to be completed in about 36 months.
The company is not immune to current market conditions. It has been reported that the company is close to raising around Rs.1,000 crore by selling some of its assets.
JKUMAR INFRA PROJECTS
In infrastructure circles, Gupta is a man of his word. Known to complete every project he has bagged, in spite of insurmountable circumstances, he is also reputed to help clear hurdles during execution. It would not be far from the truth to say that of the 10 flyovers constructed in Mumbai alone, half of those would be by JKumar.
Last month, the company announced that its joint venture firm has bagged two orders worth Rs 1,134 crore from JNPT Port Road Company. At the same time, a work order of Rs 539 crore was issued by NHAI for redevelopment of the Karal Phata bridge.
A feather in its cap was when it emerged lowest bidder for construction of viaducts of the Rs 10,700 crore Ahmedabad Metrorail project. The company is already working on metro projects in Delhi and Navi Mumbai. Over the years, JKumar Infra has improved its chances of bagging prestigious projects across the country. This is a far cry from the times when all Gupta wanted was to maintain PWD buildings and consider construction of small projects and pipelines.
EXECUTIVE CHAIRMAN & CEO
The Jaypee Group is better known for its Yamuna Expressway project, a 165km access controlled six-lane super expressway along the Yamuna river connecting Noida and Agra on BOT basis. It is also working on some prestigious projects such as the Sardar Sarovar (Narmada) project, 900MW Baglihar Hydroelectric Project in J&K, and the 990MW Punatsangchhu II Hydroelectric Project in Bhutan.
Besides this, the company also has several interests ranging from cement, power, real estate, fertiliser, hospitality and healthcare.
However, the current market conditions have taken a toll on the company’s finances. It is in talks with a prominent company to sell its entire 20-22 million tonne cement portfolio in a bid to significantly improve its financial health. The group is among the top five cement players nationwide even after divesting around 9 million tonnes of capacity to peers like UltraTech, Shree and Dalmia Bharat for over Rs 7,000 crore.
Its board of directors has also approved the proposal to divest its wind power plants in Maharashtra and Gujarat on slump sale basis. The plants have an aggregate of 49MW.
Bhagtani has a new theory on what he has learned from global companies. “Real estate companies must consider third party involvement, adapting new age technologies by creating a lifestyle and not just a home, and spend less time in acquiring approvals from authorities and ensure transparency,” he says. He is aware that the third party involvement might not go down well with the fraternity.
His pet peeve is the rules for bidding for a project. “The basic structure consists of the formulation of detailed plan, specifications of the facility based on the objectives and requirements of the owner, and invitation of qualified contractors. For a transparent and competitive environment, the government has been relying on standardising documents/processes for PPP projects. The process of selection should enable the selection of competent experts,” he says.
He is eager that authorities do away with the many layered taxes to achieve a dream of Housing for All by 2020. But he is optimistic that the new RBI policy to reduce the minimum risk weightage on individual housing loans for low cost homes will revive sales apart from lending support to Housing for All scheme.
K RAHEJA CORP
MANAGING DIRECTOR, REAL ESTATE DEVELOPMENT
At a time when most developers are grouching about limited land parcels available, K Raheja Corp has been busy making bids for exclusive land. If word in the market is to be believed, K Raheja Corp is in the fray to buy a 30-acre land parcel along the Thane-Belapur road near Mumbai. And while the land is suitable for an information technology park, the bids that have been submitted are in the range of Rs 200-210 crore. A few months ago, a reputed international bank sold its prime land parcel in Mumbai to K Raheja for Rs 230 crore.
The group has several projects on the anvil which are in the process of closure. In the meantime, it is completing sections of its six large to medium projects. Bhatija says, “In India, investment in the sector has largely been private and due to limited cross border fund flows, there is an increased burden on private players. The challenges are high cost of finance, lengthy approval processes, high transaction cost, reduced availability of liquidity and a more congenial environment for the inflow of FDI.” There is also a need to fast track creation of REITS and Real Estate funds and a market created to improve the liquidity in the system through investment by retail investors/public.
Several parts of the city of Mumbai are dotted with Kalpataru project. Having created successful townships, commercial and residential complexes in and around Mumbai and Pune, the group is now largely focusing on the super-premium luxury segment. “The focus has been to partner with best-in class professionals to create masterpieces in strategic locations, keeping in mind the aspirations of the new generation,” says Munot.
He is keen that Indian firms learn from organised markets and work towards more stable seamless processes. “There is immense scope for improvement in the Indian real estate sector considering the breakdown of the product lifecycle. Global firms have been extremely instrumental in bringing new technical capabilities, improving efficiencies, enhancing quality and providing funds in real estate development,” he adds.
“Following proactive ideologies would help influence Indian players to be visionaries and redefine the scenario. Several prominent private equity investors have ventured in Indian real estate since the sector was opened for global investors. Encouraging global participation will continue to open new frontiers bringing in opportunities and learnings,” he says.
RASESH B KANAKIA
With its vast portfolio of residential buildings, the Kanakia Group is a well-established name in the real estate domain. Kanakia’s vision also encourage him to venture into entertainment, education and the hospitality sector.
“Our focus in the coming years will be on developing hotel and residential properties. We plan to invest more than Rs 500 crore over the next two years, which will be utilised for buying land parcel and construction,” says Kanakia. With a portfolio of over 13 million sq-ft across categories including residential, commercial and hospitality, the company currently has 13 lakh sq-ft of area under development in the residential space and 15 lakh sq-ft in the commercial segment.
Recently, the group entered into an agreement to infuse more than Rs 200 crore in a 700,000 sq-ft project in Mumbai. The amount will be used to repay debt raised for the project. Kanakia will replace the majority stake owner and lead the consortium with other three partners.
A few months ago, it unveiled its four storey-tall Eiffel Tower at BKC Kanakia Spaces, an artistic creation that will be part of the upcoming Kanakia Paris. The 40-feet tower is expected to become a landmark within BKC.
KEC INTERNATIONAL LTD
MANAGING DIRECTOR & CEO
A strong player in the transmission & distribution business, KEC International has been making strides in bagging large orders. Last month, the company won new orders worth Rs 668 crore in its T&D, cables and solar businesses. It is also executing several international orders in the transmission space. It secured a Rs 253 crore order from Zambia and orders worth Rs 222 crore from its wholly owned US subsidiary SAE Towers Holdings Llc.
Elaborating on challenges, Kejriwal says, “Right of way and land acquisition are challenges encountered by transmission line construction companies which result in cost/time overruns. Then there are project challenges of constructing lines in difficult climatic conditions and hostile terrain.” Remedies like plug-and-play model of awarding projects where approvals are taken in advance or creation of a SPV which will seek all approvals are some ways in which we can resolve the RoW and land acquisition issues. It has four projects under execution at five locations in J&K. Extreme weather conditions, high altitude and difficult logistics arrangements are some issues. However, it is executing the projects with modern construction techniques.
KK GUPTA CONSTRUCTIONS
KK Gupta Constructions, a fledgling company, has developed infrastucture projects catering from design to procurement to construction and maintenance. But Gupta moans that infrastructure companies continue to be beleaguered by challenges, especially during completion. “Some are old problems that continue till date and many of these challenges are a result of shortage of payments, legal, regulations, and environment,” he says.
Considering that the construction industry is regarded as schedule-driven industry, achieving project completion within duration is necessary for the success of the project. It is the changing nature of the work that is a cause of concern. He is also surprised that even after contracts have been drawn up on a particular project after having bid successfully for it, there are changes made.
The company has also aligned itself with new investors and is looking forward to grow its infrastructure business in Rajasthan, Gujarat, and Madhya Pradesh. The infusion of new capital into the business will also allow the company to look at new avenues of growth and consider the mining projects after the government opened up the sector again.
CHAIRMAN & MANAGING DIRECTOR
In Pune’s rapidly expanding real estate industry, Rajesh Patil is regarded as a bit of an oddity. He has a reputation of being a maverick, and instead prefers listening to influential voices from outside the industry. They simply couldn’t relate to his world view. But when most developers are reeling under dismal sales, Kolte Patil has marched ahead.
Early this year, the company announced its plans to invest Rs 3,000-3,500 crore in 13 new projects in the city. It will develop over 6-8 million sq-ft area in the next three years. With these 13 projects the company will create a supply of over 6,000 homes between FY15- FY17. It has a total land bank of 50 million sq-ft in and around Pune.
The company, which also has a presence in Bengaluru, entered the Mumbai market with two society redevelopment projects. Its aim was simple: Margin expansion. The aim for the next three years is to double revenue to Rs 1,500 crore.
Last month, the developers bought out its partners in its SPV company Corolla Realty by shelling out Rs 164 crore (approximately $25 million), according to a stock market disclosure. It also raised Rs 110 crore through issue of redeemable non-convertible debentures. And to top that, it plans to re-enter commercial property development next year after a long gap of eight years.
LALIT KUMAR JAIN
CHAIRMAN & MANAGING DIRECTOR
With 6,004 units under construction in Mumbai and Pune, Kumar Builders (KUL) is one of the oldest real estate company headquartered in Pune. Jain, nicknamed the green man of Pune, and past chairman of Credai, has preferred to build integrated townships that are affordable to the middle class, are modern, self sufficient and fully equipped.
Kumar Builders’ recently launched 103-acre Kul Nation at Manjri, Kumar Properties, a township.
Considering the spate of projects under construction, the developer has raised Rs 280 crore from Xander Advisors India. The money will partly refinance existing debt and partly for projects.
The government’s plans for developing 100 smart cities over the next five years seems to be heading for reality. While the task seems ominous, at a micro-level, KUL wants to be ahead of the curve, who has also developed projects along ‘smart’ lines over the last few years. “The increasing adoption of global best practices and latest technologies in the building construction sector has by and large been embraced by the real estate community for some years now,” says Jain.
It is no surprise that L&T Realty a 100% subsidiary of the $14 billion Larsen & Toubro, has followed fast in the illustrious footsteps of its parent organisation in a span of just three years after establishment. The company made a successful foray into residential complexes in 2012, when it sold 400 apartments in Parel, Mumbai, within four days of the launch. Joshi says, “The challenges remain common to all. The multiplicity of approvals and their timelines are definitely a challenge. As a business, we ensure that we start projects only after all approvals are received. We are also selective in choosing partners with similar values and capabilities.”
In a strategy to exit non-core business, the company is in talks with three entities to sell more than one million square feet of retail space at Seawoods in Navi Mumbai. The company is eyeing close to Rs 1,500 crore from this transaction. It is also planning to monetise its 67-acre land parcel in Bengaluru by developing a residential township. In the first phase, the company will develop 3,200 highend apartments.
LARSEN & TOUBRO
DEPUTY MANAGING DIRECTOR & PRESIDENT
India’s largest technology, engineering, construction, manufacturing and financial services company with revenues of over $15 billion has elevated Subrahmanyan to deputy MD & president last month. Prior to this, Subrahmanyan, a member of the board, was senior executive VP, infrastructure and construction and headed L&T Construction. In his three decades at L&T, he has driven many large projects, including airports in India and metro systems in Qatar and Saudi Arabia. The company will continue to monetise its non-core assets and will keep unlocking value by listing subsidiaries that are unrelated to its core infrastructure business. With this in mind, the E&C company has formed a new unit, Smart World and Communication, to cater to smart cities, security solutions and communication projects, expecting the business to grow to $1 billion in 3-4 years.
Last month alone, the company said its construction arm has won contracts worth Rs 1,376 core in power T&D business. In the domestic market, the solar business has bagged multiple orders, which upon completion would take the total installed capacity of solar plants by the company to 643 MWp, one of the highest executed by an Indian EPC company.
The Lodha Group has developed some magnificient buildings and continue to awe with announcements that are much more grandiose. In September, it announced The Luxury Collection, a new umbrella brand that aims to be the world’s finest, first-of-its-kind, international end-to-end luxury portfolio. With its headquarters in London, The Luxury Collection will be curated out of the luxury capital and will offer rare and exquisite residences artfully created with the highest level of design, workmanship, and service.
At a time when property firms are struggling to meet sales targets, the company clocked gross residential sales of Rs 7,800 crore last fiscal. “We are looking to do about Rs 9,000 crore of new sales this year. We also intend to deliver a little over 6,000 homes this year,” he says.
The company’s diversified portfolio is concentrated in a handful of large projects. Its four largest projects are Palava City in Dombivali, the Park in Worli (including Trump Tower), New Cuffe Parade in Wadala and World Towers in Upper Worli. Palava, which is under way, alone is spread across 4,500 acres and already has 12,000 people living in it. It has one ongoing project each in Hyderabad and Pune and plans to enter Bengaluru some time down the line.
N NAGESWAR RAO
It’s a good thing that foreign institutional investors (FIIs) continue to show an interest in India’s still-growing infrastructure sector, even as Indian companies are staggering under debt and prolonged projects execution. And while some developers aren’t in too much distress, some are clearly cashing out.
In keeping with this trend, Hyderabad-based infra player Madhucon Projects has sold its 100% stake in Madhucon Agra-Jaipur Expressways Ltd (MAJEL), an operating toll road, to Singapore-based Cube Highways and Infrastructure for Rs 248 crore. The company won the 25-year contract for the project from NHAI to widen the two-lane road into a four-lane highway on BOT basis. The transaction allows the group to monetise its well-established asset to meet its liquidity needs and adds to the growing list of high quality road assets in Cube Highway’s portfolio.
With an order book is about Rs 6,400 crore, the company is a major player in roads & highways irrigation, power, mining, and tunnelling. It recently commissioned the second unit of the phase II expansion of its Simhapuri thermal power project in Andhra Pradesh. It’s also one of the few companies to have reported a net profit of Rs 8.59 crore for the Q1 2015, an increase of 32% over the corresponding quarter last year.
CEO, REAL ESTATE
Since taking over as CEO in 2009, Arjundas has been established the Group’s focus on sustainable urbanisation. last year, the company announced two projects in Mumbai and Chennai under ‘Happinest’. “The business model rests on “low margin-high volume with quick turnaround” principle which if achieved can offer returns on capital that is higher than the conventional real estate developments,” she said in an earlier interview to Construction Week. Having met with success in its first phase, the company has announced phase II.
In June, the company announced it expansion into Bengaluru’s housing property market with its maiden project, Windchimes. The company is investing Rs 450 crore on development of a property spread over 5.8 acres near Indian Institute of Management.
A couple of months ago, the company signed a pact to set up an industrial park in Chennai in collaboration with Japan’s Sumitomo Corporation for over Rs 400 crore. This will be its second project in Chennai, after the Mahindra World City Special Economic Zone in Singaperumalkoil.
Although Man Infraconstruction is known for its several projects, the company derived its kick when ace investor Rakesh Jhunjhunwala picked up three million shares early this year. At this time last year, despite posting a weak Q3, Shah said the company would likely see a tepid Q4 too and the reason for the same is the shift in the company’s business model.
Realising that infrastructure projects were not tilted in their favour, it decided to venture into real estate contracting and development. It then went on to sign an MoU for the redevelopment of 12 buildings in Mumbai that would have a saleable area of 465,000 sq-ft.
Earlier, the company bagged an order worth Rs 1.05 billion from Gujarat Pipavav Port for executing civil construction works for port infrastructure.
However, one of the lowest order book size (it was a mere Rs 400 crore early this year), the company is optimistic and expects it to swell to Rs 2,000 crore on the EPC side.
On the real estate side, in the next five year’s time, the top line expected to be around Rs 8,000 to Rs 9,000 crore.
CHAIRMAN & MANAGING DIRECTOR
Mantri Developers has several ambitions. It supports green projects and wants to build the first zero waste project. And Mantri, the man, will tell you about his belief in PQRST – punctuality, quality, reliability, speed, and trust. Hailing from Pune, Mantri, based out of Bengaluru, and executing 10 projects in his adopted state, always longed to bring his own colour to Pune. He has fulfilled that dream by foraying into the Pune market with two projects with an investment of Rs 350 crore.
“New and exciting projects keep me going. We are investing a lot in our village concept, where the entire complex is self-sufficient. We want to control the environment better within the project compound and deliver a great experience for our users. I am really excited about some of our upcoming projects in this space,” he says.
The developer is now offering residential apartments and penthouses as part of its Mantri Webcity project. The project is being touted as the first techno-residential project inspired by new age technologies like nano technology, robotics, cloud computing, among other things.
With the online marketplace catching up, the developer recently sold a penthouse in Bengaluru for a sum of Rs 6 crore on Snapdeal.
The highlight of the year for Mantri was his election win as chairman of Naredco, a realtors’ body. Mantri is now highly active in taking up the cause of real estate developers. At a time when developers are desperate to acquire clearances for projects (some projects need as high as 80 clearances), he has been championing for a single window clearance and has managed to bag an assurance from the state government that it would receive priority.
He is also keen that the segment sees opening of FDI on affordable housing. “Foreign funding was need of the hour to meet the long term capital requirements and the real estate sector will have to source funding from both private equity players and non-banking finance companies (NBFCs),” he said at a recent conference.
Mantri is keen that the government needs to call for public-private-partnership for carrying out development on lands meant for affordable housing. As chairman of Naredco, he has also taken up the issue of the acute shortage of sand and would like the government to provide incentives for pre-fabrication to reduce dependence on sand.
The company has four upcoming residential projects of which two are in Mumbai, one in Pune and one in Solapur.
If you take a good look at residential and commercial properties developed by the Marathon Group in Mumbai, you wil realise that they stand apart from the milieu. And Shah attributes this accolade to the company’s policy of adopting designs that are quite uncommon. Says he, “The design should offer space and appear sturdy. Then one needs to ascertain that quality raw materials are being deployed for the structures. Green construction should be encouraged and promoted. High quality technology and materials should be utilised for construction purposes.”
The company has made it a habit to adopt technologies such as Mivan, PERI and STEN in its construction. Green building features such as low-E glass, energy efficient lifts, and solar envelope study are some of the innovations it uses widely. Shah cites an example of a suburban building built 25 years ago and continues to command South Mumbai prices. It was constructed with shear wall as opposed to the big columns that were popular. Shear walls is a rigid vertical diaphragm that offers lateral resistance to a high-rise as they are subject to lateral wind and seismic forces. “It worked,” he says.
CHAIRMAN & MANAGING DIRECTOR
While it is common for the promoters of greenfield ports to seek specialist private cargo handlers to run their specific facilities, here is a case where the developer of a private port on India’s eastern coast is looking for help from a port owned by the Indian government to spruce up its operations. Karaikal Port Pvt. Ltd (KPPL), the entity that runs the port at Puducherry, and a subsidiary of infrastructure and real estate firm MARG Ltd, have put forward a proposal to the Chennai Port Trust to use its deep draft mechanised berth at Karaikal to handle coal for Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corp. Ltd (TANGEDCO) or take two of its berths on lease. The company is also in discussion with three entities to set up an LNG terminal, expected to cost around Rs 2,500 crore, inside the port.
MARG is also one of the early companies to venture into the business of fabrication of railway wagons.
And understanding the huge demand for architects and interior designers, the company launched MARG Institute of Design and Architecture, Swarnabhoomi (MIDAS). It will focus on nurturing, inspiring and equipping students with the best of knowledge, tools and training.
FOUNDER & CEO
With 40 ongoing projects in Pune and a total of 24 million sq-ft under development, Marvel Realtors has delivered a total of 25 projects in Pune, Goa and Bengaluru. The developer also launched another contemporary and superlative residential condominium – Marvel Piazza in Pune’s mini boom town – Viman Nagar. Given its closeness to Lohegaon aerodrome, Marvel has all the prerequisite sanctions from the Ministry of Defence.
The company is also an advocator of modern construction technologies. It adopts L&T Doka formwork systems for greater shuttering speed, which helps reduce the number of days required for RCC work by around 10 days. Like most builders, it uses concrete made in its in-house RMC plant, and prefers AAC (Autoclaved Aerated Concrete) blocks, which are environmental friendly.
While delay in delivery of projects is a common occurrence, things are about to change if the latest initiative by Marvel Realtors is anything to go by. Their ‘assured delivery’ campaign aims to deliver homes on the committed date.
In another move, Marvel has bought out stakes of four different private equity firms including ICICI Prudential AMC, OCH-ZIFF Capital Management, Capital First and now HDFC PMS during this year for a total of Rs 712 crore.
AAV RANGA RAJU
NCC Ltd has a major win this year. It has been re-allocated 972 acres in Srikakulam district of Andhra Pradesh for development of an agri-based economic zone. The land was earlier allocated for a 1,980MW thermal power project to NCC and was cancelled as the project was stalled due to opposition. Meanwhile, NCC, which is setting up a 1,320MW thermal power plant in Andhra Pradesh is set to complete the divestment of its stake. The plant is expected to be completed in 2016. Post divestment, the company plans to focus on its core business of construction.
In its other infrastructure projects, NCC Ltd is making efforts to divest its stake in road projects SPVs and the proceeds will be utilised for bringing down debt. “The most notable decision was the launch of the rights issue of Rs 600 crore in October 2014 that helped the company reduce debt and stabilise its operations,” says Raju. “We also decided not to bid for BOT and BOOT projects in roads and power and focused on monetisation of matured assets.”
In FY16, the company is expecting a slight dip in its top line as the contribution from the EPC works of Krishnapatnam Power Project will be lower.
CHAIRMAN & MANAGING DIRECTOR
Building construction technology has improved by leaps and bounds and is presently on par with global standards. It is for this reason that the Nahar Group prefers to work with global architects and designers and adopt innovative construction techniques like slip form construction and pre-fabrication. During the construction of high rises, strict safety parameters are followed. “Every tall structure is subject to powerful winds and low temperatures that occur at high altitudes and towers must be able to withstand such pressures. The soil testing and the foundation need special attention apart from the other aspects,” says Nahar.
He would like the industry status conferred on the sector as it will have a spin-off effect on the entire economy with creation of jobs in core construction sector and its allied industry. he wishes the government would push for policies that aid in due diligence of clearance of titles of land. “There are often multiple claimants to the land. Litigation if any takes a lot of time in getting the title cleared,” he says.
DR ANOOP KUMAR MITTAL
CHAIRMAN & MANAGING DIRECTOR
Last month, National Buildings Construction Corporation (NBCC) bagged a project worth Rs 126.33 crore in Hyderabad. Acharya NG Ranga Agricultural University (ANGRAU), Hyderabad, has entrusted the project of civil works at different colleges of ANGRAU in the state of Telangana to NBCC. For the month of September, the company secured total orders amounting Rs 276 crore from various clients.
Mittal is also hopeful of prospective orders coming in once the government puts into action implementation of smart cities. “It will take some time before orders start flowing in. We expects inflows to start by FY16 end or early FY17,” he said. NBCC is seen as a key beneficiary of the Modi government’s focus on infrastructure sector. PM Modi launched three housing schemes aimed at developing the urban infrastructure – Smart Cities mission, Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) and Housing for All. The three missions are likely to entail a total expenditure of around Rs 4 trillion over the next few years. In mid-2015, NBCC had a total order backlog of Rs 25,000 crore in which it expects margin of 9%.
CHAIRMAN & MANAGING DIRECTOR
Nirmal Lifestyle was recently in the news when it became known that a mall promoted by the company was shutting down. Jain cited high rentals and maintenance charges were making it unviable to run the mall. In the near future, it is expected that the property may go in for redevelopment.
Nirmal Lifestyle is a brand reckoned with over 30 years of development in Mumbai. Its sustained development design for Mulund has brought the suburb in the forefront of city’s expansion. Jain is keen that the industry learns from global companies through their smart cities. “They factor in world-class civic infrastructure and facilities. We have various planned infrastructure like coastal roads, Metros, Monorail coupled with Trans harbor link. The other aspect is the ‘walk-to-work’ concept which may see light of day in the smart cities of the future,” he adds. Of course, he is quick to add that various government agencies will have to ensure fast approvals in order to fructify this dream. With the government keen on working out a solution to ease of doing business and creating conducive environment for developers, we are not far from delivering projects of global standards.
As president of MCHI-CREDAI, Jain has been in the forefront of taking up several battles of this sector.
CHAIRMAN & MANAGING DIRECTOR
A decade old company, Nitesh Estates has soon risen to be a strong contender in the real estate arena in the south. Today, the company has a portfolio of 20 projects, of which 10 are under construction, offering a revenue potential of Rs 4,600 crore. A few months ago, it announced its intentions to move beyond its home turf Bengaluru and explore opportunities in Goa, Chennai and Kochi, and set up income-generating projects such as office space and malls. The move follows a $300 million investment deal between Goldman Sachs and Nitesh Estates (NEL) to focus on income-generating assets to spur growth.
In a marked new development, the company also announced its entry into the Pune market. Nitesh Estates has acquired the one million sq-ft Koregaon Park plaza centre, a shopping mall, spread over six acres. With this acquisition the company’s shopping mall portfolio is now 2.2 million sq-ft. It is also developing a 1.2 million sq-ft shopping mall in Bengaluru.
The feather in its cap is that it owns India’s first Ritz Carlton hotel, a 277-room luxury five star hotel in downtown Bengaluru.
CHAIRMAN & MANAGING DIRECTOR
Dabbling in the luxury real estate segment alone is not a game that most developers are attracted to. The market is diffident. Buyers are wary. However, for Vikas Oberoi building quality homes for customers is a priority. However, Oberoi is careful before stepping into a project. Due diligence is most important. A characteristic that could be attributed to his passion for flying and one that calls to play safe. Just like a good pilot would be cautious of flying in rough weather, so also Oberoi will not venture into any project without understanding its implications. Having completed about 35 projects till date, Oberoi understands that as a company they need to manage a portfolio. “Our attention on design, detail and functionality, a thorough understanding of the customer and product has made us introduce quality developments,” he says.
Early this year, the company forayed into the central suburbs of Mumbai with the launch of its twin developments, Eternia and Enigma, at Mulund. Last month, in a prelaunche, it announced its million square feet project at a suburb in Mumbai and the Worli Oasis will be an additional trigger end of this year.
CHAIRMAN & MANAGING DIRECTOR
For the last couple of years, Mohit Goel, CEO and scion of Omaxe, has made huge systemic changes in Omaxe. Leading from the front, Goel is leading the company through the growth phases. While father Rohtas Goes would have been careful with taking some of the new emerging risks, Mohit has plunged head-on. “Our construction expenses are going up in our balance sheet because we have started focusing on built-up area. Before that, we were focussed on plotted development where construction used to never happen.” says Goel.
Omaxe has also announced 6-7 new projects last few months in cities like New Chandigarh, Lucknow, Ludhiana, Bahadurgarh etc., and is focusing on delivering existing projects in these cities.
Last year, the company raised about Rs 150 crore through sale of non-core land parcels as part of its strategy to focus on completion of ongoing real estate projects and cut debts. The company’s debt stands a little over Rs 1,000 crore which it plans to pay through its internal accruals. There is probability that it will increase debt by 10% to 20% depending upon the opportunity. It is waiting for the opportunity that will be thrown to this sector in terms of smart cities.
At a time when aspirational projects are not taking off, developers are looking at alternate modes of revenue and projects. Mumbai-based privately held developer Omkar Realtors and Developers, known for luxury and redevelopment projects, is foraying into the affordable housing space and is coming up with townships on the outskirts of Mumbai.
The developer has also obtained mandatory majority consent of eligible tenants for redevelopment of Mahalaxmi Dhobi Ghat spread over nearly seven acre in south Mumbai. With this the slum redevelopment project that has been pending for nearly a decade is expected to commence in the slum adjoining the drying ground. At present, Mahalaxmi’s real estate is reported to cost around Rs 40,000 per sq-ft. And the company has already found investors in Piramal Fund Management, which is is set to invest Rs 200 crore in the project through the portfolio management services (PMS) route. Earlier, Piramal Fund Management had invested Rs 200 crore in Omkar’s 1973 project in Worli from which it has successfully made a Rs 500-crore exit.
The company is presently developing projects spread over 20 million sq-ft area by 2017 with specific focus on the island city and the suburban districts.
RAVI KIRAN AGGARWAL
Developers continue to battle mounting debt issues. And while some get lucky finding an investor to tide things over for some time, others have preferred to sell out. Orbit Corporation, faced with a debt problem has chosen to pare its debt and ensured that things have stabilised for the company. The company currently has six live projects.
“We are going to add another one project on stream, so we will have seven live projects and it will make sure that the topline, which we are seeing at about Rs 35-40 crore, would be bumped up further by 20-30%,” says Pujit Aggarwal, MD & CEO.
In the past two years, the developer has seen sales dwindle as homebuyers wait for the economy to overcome. For Orbit, which is struggling to repay creditors, delayed project approvals and changes in local building regulations have made the situation worse. Aggarwal expects the transfer of development rights (TDR) market prices to rise. He feels the real estate market may look up provided the government walks the talk. “The government has to play an important role if they are looking at home for all by 2020,” he said.
Ozone Group reached its high when private equity investor Blackstone invested Rs 175 crore ($29 million) in a Chennai residential project of the company. The project is part of a 42-acre mixed-use development named Metrozone, which also includes retail space and
hotel. Blackstone is backing only the residential unit.
Srinivasan who joined the company last year as CEO has his work cut out for him. The brand will concentrate on large scale developments and invest in strategic smaller developments across CBDs of Chennai and Bengaluru. His focus will be on improving operations, transparency, corporate governance in the brand and the industry.
Early this year, the developer raised Rs 145 crore ($21 million) from Aditya Birla Real Estate Fund through apartment bulk-buying route. The fund has underwritten 75 apartments in Metrozone. “The rationale behind sealing bulk-buying deals for us is to bring down debt and therefore increase operational efficiency of the company. The fund has released Rs 120 crore so far, of which Rs 100 crore will go towards loan repayment,” said Gopalan.
In his younger days, Paranjape was averse to being part of the family-owned business, and wished to do something on his own. He dabbled in the chemicals business for some years before venturing into real estate by pure chance. It has been a long journey from the days of developing single buildings to creating townships and luxury apartments.
Last year, the company filed draft papers with regulator Sebi for an IPO to raise up to Rs 600 crore. At a stake dilution of around 15%, the firm is looking to raise the money at a valuation of little a under Rs.4,000 crore.
Recently, members of Credai demanded changes in the Pune Municipal Corporation’s fast-track scheme. Paranjape, VP, Credai Pune Metro said, “It’s not surprising that the scheme received low response as it is applicable only to building permissions with less than 2,000 sq-ft area. We have been requesting the civic bodies to include layout plan in the fast-track scheme.”
The company is planning to invest about Rs 200 crore in Gujarat. It is entering Gujarat with a special project for senior citizens in Vadodara this year.
Red Fort Parsvnath Tower was the winner of the Smart Project of the year at the 5th Annual Construction Week awards this year in September.
Two months ago, Jain had announced his decision to abstain from project launches and focus on commercial office projects this year, as it battles weak home sales and a two-year slowdown in India’s largest property market, the national capital region (NCR). It is also looking to monetise its land parcels in south India to focus on north India. However, it has not kept its promise. Last month, it announced that it would develop a housing project in Jodhpur with an expected sales revenue of Rs 100 crore. The project comprising 400 housing units would be part of the 120-acre township.
In a new respite to the firm, its shareholders have approved the company’s special resolution to raise up to Rs 1,000 crore through private placement of non-convertible debentures (NCDs). In March, it had raised Rs 355 crore through private placement of debentures.
Parsvnath Developers posted a loss of Rs. 7.98 crore in Q1 of financial year 2015-16. Last year, it sold its township in Sohna Road, Gurgaon, to another developer for about Rs 700 crore. It is also trying to sell stakes to either PE funds or form joint ventures for its projects outside its core market, the NCR.
Although the developer is meeting market expectations and faring well on the bourses, there is a kind of stillness as far as executing projects are concerned. Bankers to Patel Engineering have sanctioned additional term loans of Rs 1,700 crore and enhanced working capital limits by Rs 805 crore after the company failed to make payments on time for existing term loans and working capital line of credit totalling Rs 7,000 crore. The company delayed payments beyond 60 days after the due date, say reports emerging from various sources.
Notwithstanding this fact, the company has executed some sizeable projects of great import. Last year, Patel Engineering in consortium with BHEL and Limak of Turkey emerged as the lowest bidder for the construction of the 1,000MW Pakal Dul hydropower project in Doda district in Jammu & Kashmir, The project estimated to cost Rs 9,000 crore would be one of the largest in the country.
Again, last year, it sold a 4-acre plot in Mumbai’s central business district for about Rs 300 crore as part of plans to sell assets to reduce debt. Patel Realty also signed a deal to sell the land to unlisted realty company Kanakia Spaces Ltd.
The 30-year old son of Ajay and Swati Piramal and the scion of the Piramal Group was little known in the real estate and infrastructure sector a few months ago. Two months ago, Piramal Realty announced its maiden venture, Piramal Vaikunth, a residential project developed on 32-acres of land in Thane (Mumbai).
Over the last few months, the realty firm has raised close to Rs.2,700 crore—Rs 1,800 crore from marquee private equity investor Warburg Pincus and Rs 900 crore from Wall Street investment bank Goldman Sachs. Besides this, the company has six projects in Mumbai, with a mix of residential and commercial office projects, totalling 10 million sq-ft. “In the last decade or so, real estate has changed in many ways. Approvals have become tougher and corruption in the system is much more. However, given the current situation, land availability is better now and at reasonable valuations, making it a good time for a new company like ours to buy land,” says Piramal.
Piramals are the largest investors in the Indian real estate sector after HDFC, with investments worth $3 billion already.
PRADEEP KUMAR JAIN
CHAIRMAN & MANAGING DIRECTOR
Agra-based infrastructure firm PNC Infratech Ltd, which specialises in construction of highways, bridges, flyovers and airport runways, has filed for an IPO to raise as much as Rs 530 crore, part of which would go to private equity investor Jacob Ballas. The fund will be used partly for repaying debt and investing in capital equipment. Mid-market PE investor Jacob Ballas had invested in the firm three years ago and is selling a little over a fifth of its holding and may clock 1.5x in returns on its investment.
Last month, PNC Bareilly Nainital Highways, a wholly owned subsidiary of PNC Infratech, commenced toll operations on the Bareilly-Almora (Uttarakhand border) section of UP State Highway 37. The concession period for the project is 25 years from the appointed date, including 24 months construction period. The stretch has one toll collection point.
In July, PNC Infratech said two joint ventures led by the firm have been declared as the lowest bidders for two NHAI projects worth Rs 1,506.84 crore. The projects involve rehabilitation and augmentation of four-laning of sections of NH-84 in Bihar, under NHDP Phase III, to be executed on EPC basis.
“The last one year has been a roller coaster ride for the real estate industry. Overall the expectation of the housing industry from the government was very high which has not been met,” says Prajapati.
When the government started off with positive steps towards the growth of the real estate sector by planning to boost the affordable housing segment, it helped in instilling some degree of confidence. Then cam the cuts from the RBI that brought in hope, which was followed by the passage of REITs in commercial projects. However, Prajapati says says that the Prime Minister’s “Housing for all by 2022”, is yet to see a roadmap.
The company is currently executing two major properties in Dronagiri, in pursuance of affordable projects.
Prajapati is keen that the key areas the government needs to prioritise its focus would be providing finance to housing industry at lower cost and creating an atmosphere where approval mechanism is faster. Also, focus on easing norms for buying land as it is the basic raw material.
The Navi Mumbai-Raigad realty developer has also welcomed the step initiated by CIDCO, to process approvals of projects through the online approval system for the real estate industry. “This is reduce corruption,” he says.
In September this year, Pratibha Industries secured work order worth Rs 376.07 crore from the government of Telangana for providing drinking water to Sangareddy segment from Singur source in Medak district, including operation and maintenance. The contract is for 10 years after commissioning. The project is to be completed within 18 months from commencement date.
Last year, private equity firm ChrysCapital increased its stakeholding in Mumbai-based infrastructure solutions provider by acquiring additional 3.64% stake through open market transaction.
When the government announced the Clean Ganga Project, it seemed a big opportunity for the company, as it is already doing a project with DJB, which is a sewerage network. This makes the company qualified for the whole Ganga concept. It is bagged an order from Sri Lanka, which is a Rs 1,100-crore water pipeline.
Although the company stocks have been performing well, there has been a stillness of sorts as far as bagging new projects are concerned. With the government looking at building waterways, there is a good chance for the company to build a new success story.
CHAIRMAN & MANAGING DIRECTOR
“As the luxury market gains momentum in India, people today are looking for novel, innovative amenities as an integral part of their homes. Price is not an impediment as buyers opt for quality first,” says Razack.
Recently, in one of the biggest commercial real estate transactions in Bengaluru, where the company has its base, it it set to unveil a little over Rs 1,000 crore deal to acquire a large stake in Exora Business Park. For nearly three decades, the Bengaluru-based developer built an enviable portfolio by focusing mostly on his home turf (85% of its ongoing projects are in the city). A substantial portion of the developer’s sales have not yet come in for revenue recognition. Revenues are recognised once a projects reaches the threshold limit of 25% completion. The company is sitting on unrecognised revenue amounting to Rs 9,000 crore. Much of these sales will kick in by FY16.
He was recently awarded the Sir M Visvesvaraya Memorial Award of the FKCCI. At that time, Razack said, “Governments and individuals in influential positions should be enablers for economic growth. Ease of doing business is still a slogan.”
PUNJ LLOYD GROUP
Punj Lloyd recently ventured into the power transmission and distribution space after it bagged two orders worth Rs 488-crore. The company has also won its first power project from BHEL for the civil, structural and architectural work of the non-plant works and raw water reservoir, roads and drains at the 800MW Kothagudem thermal power project in Telangana.
“As an EPC company, our work does not involve a closed working space exposing us to the nuances of weather and terrain. Our dependency is hence largely on the external environment. Also with our policy of least impacting the environment with our construction practices, we need to work around challenges posed by natural habitats. On the clients’ side, shrinking timelines for complex projects, lack of statutory clearances and delayed payments pose challenges,” says Punj. The group’s order backlog stands at Rs 21,466 crore. The company has bagged an EPCC contract at Paradip Refiney, from Indian Oil Corporation worth Rs 367 crore. The contract includes the residual basic rngineering including HAZOP study, detailed engineering, procurement, construction and commissioning of the coker LPG treating unit.
To meet the growing housing demand, like green and white revolutions, there must be a real estate revolution. Such a revolution will create surplus housing across the state and particularly in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region.
Puranik says the market will flourish for the next 30 years. “However, the government should focus on the approval procedure. We have to run from pillar to post to get approvals. There are almost 58 no-objection certificates the developers/promoters have to obtain before starting a project. That consumes almost two-to-three years. And, delay in approval escalates the cost of the project and the increased cost of the project has been always passed to the buyers,” he adds. The only way prices can be controlled is to ensure abundance of supply. For that, the state has to free new plots for development and reduce the high input cost of steel and cement.
In terms of technology, the company has its own value engineering and R&D division which is always in search of trends by attending workshops and seminars. It has recently adopted aluminium system formwork technology (Mivan) to aid in construction capability with higher speed and better quality. It is also exploring prefab/precast engineering technique since it’s environmentally friendly and takes care of construction.
Puravankara is very clear when he says that he does not build buildings for the mere investor. “Everything we build and design is from an end user point of view. It is not uncommon to have a combination of investors and end users each time a property development is announced. Fortunately for us about 98% of our buyers also register the apartments.”
He is happy that the Indian real estate market has gone through significant changes over the last decade. “Developers have corporatised their business, brought in corporate governance and high levels of transparency. Continued focus on best practices, technical know-how, construction management and human capital management would be key for this sector,” he adds.
The company has laid out a detailed five-year plan to achieve an annual group sales of over 13.3 million sq-ft by 2020. The area under execution is approximately 55mn sq-ft, thereby increasing development capacity in the next five years. However, what has helped the company was adoption of technology and mechanisation. “Mechanisation helps in completing a project on time, while allowing standard quality. Way back in 2003, we were one of the first few companies who adopted formwork and also Mivan,” he says.
CHAIRMAN & MANAGING DIRECTOR
Raheja takes pride in the fact that the company is a pioneer in bringing leading construction company and technology to India. Revanta by Raheja is being constructed by Arabtec, a leading construction company in UAE. making Construction systems used here is by PERI, a German technology, known for super-fast and world-class construction quality. Prefabricated shuttering scaffolding system and rail climbing system designed by PERI has decreased the slab cycle from 20-25 days to 5-6 days, thereby increasing speed of construction achieving the 7-day cycle per floor.
Presently, Raheja Developers is launching affordable housing as a senior citizen-living concept at Raheja Aranya City. He is firm that developers should not resort to undercutting in spite of grim market conditions. “The cost of land, atmosphere and sentiment when developers purchased was very good, but the owing to competition they decided that they’d make better apartments and sell it at a better price. However, subsequently, the price of land rose steeply and many new developers joined in without knowing the dynamics of the real sector. It is the late comers who are now selling out in distress,” he adds.
ALLA AYODHYA RAMA REDDY
FOUNDER & PROMOTER
City-based infra player Ramky Infrastructure Limited (Ramky Infra), which is saddled with a debt of around Rs 1,400 crore, expects a turnaround in the next 18 months. Explaining the strategy, Ramky Group executive director Goutham Reddy said that at the home front, the company has set a target of monetising assets worth Rs 1,000 crore in the next two years and will be staying away from BOT projects while abroad — especially Africa and Middle East — it will be scouting for new projects. Most infra players are finding it an uphill task to find buyers for their assets. Almost every road asset in the country is available for sale but in the last two years, the number of assets actually sold is very minuscule. Apart from trying to hammer out deals with buyers for its assets, the company is also bidding for new projects in water, road and building sectors but in the EPC space.
Meanwhile, the company, which is executing the four-laning of the Srinagar-Qazigund stretch may further delay with little progress on completion of 75%. It had been asked to maintain the existing road to facilitate smooth movement of traffic, but floods hampered work for several months.
DIRECTOR, SALES & MARKETING
Ravi Group was one of the early developers to launch a unique concept, BBHK. The concept adds flexibility to maximise available space, keeping in mind the price and space constraints in the city. BBHK enables the end users to convert their bedroom into a multipurpose room or study room and in the same way convert their living room in a bedroom where one can enjoy the benefits of two rooms at the cost of 1BHK.
Shah believes that the real estate and infrastructure industry have to unite and fight for an industry status. Although established in the business for 20 years, the company has been in the forefront of tackling some of the challengs that developers face to complete projects on time. The group has played a major role in development of Mira Road and successfully developed a total of 10 million sq-feet of residential and commercial projects with around 17,000 homes delivered in over 40 projects.
The company is the sole developer who has begun creating affordable homes in the heart of the city. It is also tying up with noted design companies from abroad who have set up offices in India to find a solution required for a particular site and is in tune with the land use demand.
One may find all sorts of products on e-commerce sites, but for the first time Reliance Cement, a subsidiary of Reliance Infrastructure has started selling cement online. The company claimed it is the first e-commerce cement company in India. To begin with the e-tailing facility is available in Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Maharasthra. Till early last month, the company had decided to exit this business by putting privately held Reliance Cement for sale.
In another move, the firm’s subsidiary signed a strategic MoU with Emirates Defence Industries, for manufacturing, services, knowledge transfer and technology development from the UAE. RDL and EDIC have agreed to jointly explore the opportunity for manufacturing and building capabilities in defense vehicles, aviation and associated areas, defence equipment and armament manufacturing, defence electronics, commercial and naval ships, MRO of military equipment/platforms. The company is confident that smart cities and defence manufacturing would the future drivers of growth for the company, and the acquisition of Pipavav Defence will be concluded in the current year.
In the last ten years, the company has developed 10 million sq-ft of residential, commercial and mixed-use real estate, with a substantial development in the pipeline across Mumbai. The company is also prominently involved in the redevelopment of projects. The company, along with some prominent developers, are focusing on projects that involve demolishing buildings constructed as early as 1940s to build high-rise apartments.
Recently, RNA Corp along with another developer handed over a plot of land to the Mira Bhayander Municipal Corporation for a ground-plus-12 floors gold-rated green building with state-of-the-art solar systems for the new headquarters. It will also carry out development on the plot for the authority. Aggarwal said, “We intend to develop the MBMC headquarters and have given 30% reserved land for the civic body to use.”
The Runwal Group made news recently when it bought 53,000 sq-m or 13 acres of land from capital goods company, Crompton Greaves, for Rs 1,015 crore.
In 2013, Runwal bought a two-acre land parcel in the Worli area of Mumbai from shipbuilder ABG Shipyard for Rs 245 crore. According to reports, the Runwal group raised Rs 200 crore from HDFC Property Fund to buy land from Crompton Greaves in Mumbai. Similarly, it reportedly took Rs 100 crore in debt from the Kotak Mahindra group’s non-banking finance company and another Rs 70 crore to fund the acquisition of ABG Shipyard’s plot in Mumbai in 2013.
The group also sold a three storey penthouse to an industrialist for Rs 202 crore. early this year, the United Arab Emirates-based sovereign wealth fund Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA) was in talks with the company to jointly buy land and develop properties in India.
At a time when malls are becoming increasingly popular, the Runwal Group has steered clear of any such plans as development periods are too long and it is difficult to predict the market situation then.
CHAIRMAN & MANAGING DIRECTOR
A common refrain one will hear from Irani is, “Two things are in fact closest to my heart ‘Homes for all and ‘Making education a priority. It is such intentions that led Rustomjee to build a mix of luxury and affordable projects across Mumbai.
As chairman of MCHI-CREDAI, he believes that developers should be allowed more say in policy-making decisions. “The process of development takes place over a period of time. There should be no retrospective changes to plans as the developer is answerable to the financer and the consumer. Policy-making should be done on a regular basis and developers should also be consulted. Because of ambiguity of rules and regulations, a project is questioned and what is right may seem wrong. Once an approval is given, unless there is genuinely something wrong, everything should not be scrutinised so much. CREDAI has consistently sought rationalisation of approval processes and single-window system.”
At a time when builders are rustling up offers to make the most of the upcoming festive season, Rustomjee prefers to keep its offers limited to discounts. The company prefers to offer a guaranteed date of possession, that speaks of integrity.
VISHNUBHAI M PATEL
The recently listed Sadbhav Infrastructure Projects will undertake restructuring of three of its road assets to reduce interest costs. The road major is in talks with banks like HDFC Bank, Kotak Mahindra, Axis and ICICI to refinance two of its three projects. This loan refinancing process will be completed this quarter. Sadbhav’s current consolidated debt stands at Rs 6,300 crore. Incidentally, the company is already working to convert loans for its Ahmedabad Ring Road project and expects FY16 finance costs to come down by Rs 100-110 crore.
The refinancing will aid in fetching better valuations at the time of sale. At construction stage the interest rates are much higher, but once the construction risk is over, there is scope for refinancing at a lower interest rate, which is what the company are vying for, and will also help in better valuations. The company also expects the Udaipur project to become operational this quarter. It has already applied for final commercial operations date (COD) to NHAI and is expecting approval soon. This will generate seven more check-posts.
ANIEL KUUMAR SAHA
CHAIRMAN & MANAGING DIRECTOR
Founded by Aniel Kuumar Saha, an imminent architect, the SAHA Groupe has been instrumental in developing luxury apartments that are the benchmark of quality and timely delivery in Noida, NCR.
One of the big projects the company is developing is Saha Amadeus, a residential project in Sector 143, Noida. ‘A Signature’ is a towering commercial complex and two green pre-certifications from USGBC & GRIHA. Meghdutam Encore, is a luxury residence comprising four towers and 320 dwelling units, while Cordillera will have 19 towers with 968 dwelling units built on a 10 acre master plan.
With developers struggling with low sales, increasing inventory, high debt and liquidity crunch since the past three years, Saha has a word of advice for them. “Developers in certain locations where prices rose drastically may go for a price cut to clear unsold inventory. However, affordable segment location does not have a scope of a price cut.”
Although, Saha Developers is not yet looking at affordable housing, the company is not ruling out the possibility in the long run. The developer is still waiting to completely sell its current stock before venturing into new projects. The Noida residential market is down by around one third of its potential as compared to last year.
BIJAY KUMAR AGARWAL
Though sales have been relatively slow, it’s raining prelaunches in Bengaluru. Salarpuria Sattva pre-launched five projects LAST month, including its first plotted development. “Pre-launches are doing well here and there is good demand,” says Agarwal. The company launched 2,000 units earlier this year and sold 70% of the total inventory. “We plan to launch another 2,000 units next quarter,” Agarwal said.
Sarjapur is a fast-developing parts of Bengaluru with good connectivity to key IT cluster areas like Whitefield, Electronic City, Outer Ring Road, Marathahalli and Koramangala. “There are about two lakh employees working in the Outer Ring Road stretch making Sarjapur Road a busy IT corridor. Home buyers enjoy the convenience of living close to their work place. Another good reason is that real estate prices on Sarjapur Road have been more affordable compared with certain similar upmarket counterparts,” says Agarwal.
The group has received the green rating for Integrated Habitat Assessment – GRIHA pre-certification from the Association for Development and Research of Sustainable Habitats (ADaRSH). They have received this certification for their residential project Celesta.
Last year, it pre-launched East Crest, a gated community residential project in East Bengaluru. This project with 667 units was the third launch for the company in Q4 2014.
A pan-India player, SARE Homes is developing seven integrated projects in major cities with approximately 33.3 million sq-ft of saleable area. But he too is concerned about the future of the real estate industry. “The current economic scenario is defined by escalating construction and land costs which results in delayed projects. Funding becomes an issue due to complicated government norms and restrictions and approvals at each stage of the project. This means additional financial burden. Often, water and sand crisis as well as environmental regulations also prevent us from completing our projects.”
With India moving towards the digital era, the government of India recently shared plans to launch a real estate portal that would cover around 50,000 properties for prospective buyers to bid in the initial stage. “There is a need to introduce transparency in our dealings and this move would ease the entire process of buying and selling of real estate properties,” he adds.
Recently, SARE Homes entered into an management and development partnerwhip with IDFC Alternatives Ltd, the investment arm of IDFC Ltd. SARE will monitor the projects the fund invests in and will get a management fee.
SHAPOORJI PALLONJI REAL ESTATE
CEO, REAL ESTATE
Construction has always been at the forefront of the Shapoorji Pallonji Group. However, doing business in a resource driven economy has its own challenges. Colah says, “Despite the challenges, our focus remains on delivery excellence: on time, with the best quality, delivering on commitment and further building upon the huge bank of goodwill and reputation. Our projects like SP Infocity Pune, SP Infocity Chennai, Shukhobrishti, and The Imperial have been recognised by national and international bodies for excellence and uniqueness.”
Colah is concerned about rising land costs since it’s one of the most important determinants of “affordability” in real estate. “With affordable land available sparingly within city limits, such projects tend to be located on the outskirts of metros. As employment opportunities continue to be provided mainly within city limits, it becomes imperative that the government along with other stakeholders incorporate holistic economic planning for each of our cities.” Recently, the group joined hands with Standard Chartered Private Equity, IFC and ADB to build 20,000 homes across the country.
CHAIRMAN & MANAGING DIRECTOR
Sheth is happy that the government’s plan to introduce the Real Estate Regulatory Bill will bring in the much-needed transparency within the industry. “Recently, it also announced a single window clearance for approvals on layout and building permissions by early next year. This is an excellent step and will help expedite projects, reduce corruption and malpractices and restore consumers’ faith in the industry and bring in a positive buying pattern,” he says.
Sheth Corp has also extended its real estate presence abroad. Sheth Estate (International) Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of Sheth Developers, and its international arm, is building Iris in Dubai. In Mumbai, the company has five ongoing projects in various stages of execution.
In order to provide homes with the quality promised, Sheth Corp prefers to rope in international architects and planners in most projects. It also believes in zero wastage, which means making optimum use of available resources and ensure minimum wastage of space in projects. Incidentally, Viviana Mall marked the beginning of the company’s retail journey, and is also its ambitious venture till date.
“The government is making a very serious attempt to kick-start the infrastructure engine again. In the next two-three quarters we will see a plethora of projects that will come out,” Mundra says. “A lot of pipeline that was frozen is thawing slowly. So we are pretty optimistic about the future.” In Q2 2014, Simplex had reported de-growth in revenues. In terms of infrastructure companies to start reporting a significant jump in the revenues as well as the order book execution, Mundhra says that it will take some time because at the moment the industry is pretty stretched on cash flows. “Once you see some signs of newer orders coming in and clients stress points on their stressed assets either changing hands or getting significant amount of recapitalisation again, I think this will continue for sometime.”
Last month, BBMP was all set to give the green signal to the Railways to start construction of the RUB near the Bengaluru-Chennai railway line. Work on the 6.6-km signal-free corridor between Okalipuram Junction and Fountain Circle is estimated to cost over Rs 200 crore. Simplex Infrastructure Limited is carrying out the work.
Known for their luxury projects, Sobha Limited has announced plans to invest Rs 3,500 crore over the next seven to eight years to develop a mid-income housing project in Bengaluru. With this, Sobha enters a new segment — Sobha Dream Series — to cater to mid-income housing. The company has launched some 2,100 units in the first phase comprising two million sq-ft of developing area. A unique feature of this project which makes it different is the use of precast technology. The state-of-the-art Sobha Precast plant will allow modular structures to be built and assembled with ease, by means of mechanisation and thus help reduce delivery timelines.
What is little known about the company is that it could probably be the only real estate developer to adopt backward integration. This model is not just Sobha’s key competitive strength, it is also its fundamental differentiator. It also reduces dependency on input materials thereby, ensuring prompt delivery of all the projects. The model includes an interiors division with one of India’s largest wood working factories, a metal works and glazing factory, and a concrete products factory. They provide materials not just to meet the organisation’s internal demands, but also to some of the largest real estate players in the country.
SPML Infra Ltd, in joint venture with Om Metal Infraprojects has received first smart infrastructure development project worth Rs 325 crore from Vikram Udyogpuri, Madhya Pradesh. This is a part of Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC) project being developed by government of India as a global manufacturing and investment destination. The company will develop smart infrastructures for 24×7 water supply with water treatment plant and pumping station, water supply conveyance, sewerage network, internal and external roads, power T&D, and ICT network.
Last year, the company bagged two orders worth Rs 721 crore from Bhavnagar Irrigation project division, Gujarat, and from South Bihar Power Distribution Company, Patna.
Early this year, the company won new orders worth Rs 334 crore from Karnataka Urban Infrastructure Development and Finance Corporation for 24X7 water supply system for three cities. These projects are part of Asian Development Bank (ADB) funded projects to improve urban services in towns and cities in Karnataka. The company has laid more than 4,000kms of water pipelines in different geographical conditions and with these new projects, it will lay another 1,652kms.
CHAIRMAN & MANAGING DIRECTOR
Khetan is more well-known for his Signature Isles. It is for the first time that a developer offers world class amenities in one of the most expensive deals for the buyer in a bare-shell apartment. Of course, the flats were sold at invitation only.
But Khetan is not a mere risk taker. “Signature Island turned out to be a game changer in the real estate market. When we launched the project, prospective buyers seemed unsure early on of acquiring a residential space in BKC as it is a business district. For us, it was an idea and we wanted to capitalise on this and get a first-mover advantage.”
Sunteck Realty’s focus is creating Mumbai-centric projects and one that would assure immediate cash flows. “We have been selective in land acquisition and preferred to build a residential project that the city would remember,” he adds.
Currently, Sunteck’s developmental activities cover the major and mini metros including Mumbai, Jaipur, Nagpur and Goa. It is planning to launch four projects in Mumbai soon. Of those, three are residential and one commercial. Total revenues expected are expected to be approximately Rs 1,000 crore.
TATA HOUSING DEVELOPMENT COMPANY
MANAGING DIRECTOR & CEO
Tata Housing has accomplished much in the last six years. And this was a company that was in the red till 2008. And the man behind the success of the company is none other than Banerjee. The company was one of the early ones to sell homes online and make it a runaway success. Banerjee says, “The decision of buying a home was seen to be an iterative process. We saw an opportunity in the online space that is convenient, transparent and above all safe. Adoption of the online platform has added a new channel of sales and led to a wider reach for consumers.” Alongwith convenience, it launched Tata Value Homes to allow global access to its properties in India.
Most of his concern relates to the necessary infrastructural requirements for new projects that the developers might face. “Lack of skilled labour and rising material and labour costs also affect the profitability of the projects. There is a need to address these concerns immediately in order to ensure viability of the projects and keep the corporates stay invested in the sector,” he says.
TATA PROJECTS LTD
The concept of smart cities seems to have created a buzz among corporates. And India’s most prized company’s division, Tata Projects Limited, has created a dedicated division to tap the opportunities expected to be generated by this initiative. Although the company has a history of not making much ado about anything, the last few months has seen Tata Projects’ Deshpande a little aggressive. The EPC company focused on industrial infrastructure announced a few months ago that it expects its order book to increase to as much as Rs 21,000 crore by the end of the current financial year from Rs 14,000 crore. The company expects investment activity to improve in the power generation and transmission space and for the dedicated freight corridor project.
Deshpande’s company has also entered into a partnership with global construction company Brookfield Multiplex to build properties across commercial, retail, residential, healthcare, and tourism. Together they have secured projects, mostly on social infrastructure, worth Rs 1,600 crore in India. Deshpande says, “We will concentrate on developing high-end large urban projects across the segments using world class construction practises and efficient work systems. Our existing construction domain shall see a quantum shift especially in the way we construct high-rise buildings in faster time span.”
MANAGING DIRECTOR & CEO
Three firms, along with Tata Realty and Infrastructure Ltd (TRIL), are in the fray to buy a 30-acre land parcel along the Thane-Belapur Road near Mumbai. The industrial land, which has been put up for sale is suitable for an IT park. The bids that have been submitted are in the price range of Rs 200-210 crore.
The Tata group has shown interest in participating in many of the flagship projects of the Telangana government. TRIL, which has expertise in industrial township projects, has agreed to participate in the development of a greenfield industrial township “at an appropriate location along with processing and non-processing area. They will support the state government’s efforts to develop an electronic hardware manufacturing park near Hyderabad.
A little more than a year ago, the company acquired three road projects from infrastructure firm IVRCL. It is looking at road projects worth Rs 7,500 crore in the next five years. “We are looking for growth through projects in airport development and urban transport,” said Ubale. The company expects respectively Rs 5,000 crore and Rs 3,000 crore worth projects from these two business segments.
Unitech Ltd, one of the largest developers in the country by market value, is planning to raise Rs 1,300-1,400 crore in a bid to speed up construction of its existing projects and overcome a delivery backlog and liquidity crunch. It plans to raise the money by selling land and stakes in projects or even from a single-large transaction. It has already sold a few land parcels and properties recently through which it expects to raise around Rs 600-700 crore. In addition, it plans to raise another Rs 600-700 crore from private equity funds or other buyers through similar transactions. Unitech’s debt, as of 30 June, stands at Rs.6,332 crore.
The company has also given on lease a large office space in Gurgaon to Google, generating about Rs 600 crore of rental income over the next nine years.
Unitech generally sells its commercial assets after development. Last year, the company had sold its stake in four IT SEZs/IT parks to Canada’s Brookfield Asset Management for about Rs 1,400 crore. It is currently developing three more commercial projects in Gurgaon.
CHAIRMAN & MANAGING DIRECTOR
Early this year, debt-laden Unity Infraprojects received an approval for their corporate debt restructuring (CDR) scheme to aid cash flows. The company has restructured debt of Rs 3,550 crore. It hopes to realise approximately Rs 500 crore from real estate and Build Operate and Transfer (BOT) by fiscal year 2020-21.
The company is ready to start bidding for new projects and since there is much anticipation from infrastructure, Unity Infraprojects has been shortlisted for Metro III. “So definitely we are hoping that the next 6-9 months would be a good timeline to win new projects. This implies that execution skill segment would also be at its peak because we can improve our execution because of cash flow issues also being addressed,” said a company spokesperson.
Last year, the company declared that whatever amount it has put in real estate (around Rs 170-175 crore) is by virtue of advance. Similarly in BOT it has already invested as an equity amount almost Rs 150 crore. It is targeting around Rs 500 crore plus which would be received by virtue of repayment by advances as well as monetisation of these assets.
PREM SINGH RAO
Varaha Infra has bagged a prestigious project, along with other concessionaires, to construct the 95.36km four-laning project of the Ambala-Kaithal section of NH-65. Varaha Infra Ltd will jointly undertake the project up to 50.86km.
Rao says, “Infrastructure contractors should look at introducing new technologies and seek the aid of others within the sector. The government should also encourage infrastructure companies in this venture. This will open a new arena of finishing the job early with preciseness (zero defect and zero effect) which I find as a strong point in global companies. I will quote the Prime Minister who said that ‘manufactured goods should have zero defect and have zero effect on nature’.”
A process that Rao would like the government to put in place is e-bidding. he believes that mandatory e-bidding will throw up fair competition. “In the absence of transparency, all the purpose of easing laws and regulations is defeated,” he adds.
A new arena that the company wants to explore is the government’s stress on smart cities, and construction of better highways. He also wishes that problems such as delay in environmental clearances, and decisions by government agencies could be hastened so that it would enable the concessionaires to finish projects faster.
As a real estate developer, Vardhman Developers Ltd is developing more than 20 residential and commercial projects across Mumbai. He has also accepted the fact that several global players are venturing into the Indian market. “With key global players setting up shop in our backyard, they have brought in some best practices and that has seen a substantial improvement in construction practices among Indian players too. What we could learn from them is timely scheduling and delivery of projects,” he says.
Having always taken recourse to engineering sophistication, Vardhan is keen that industry bodies take up the cause of promoting and seeking new technologies, which means Indian developers would have to spend more to create better and safer buildings.
The company is also concerned about dilapidated buildings in Mumbai that are prone to disasters. Currently, it is executing seven luxury and semi-luxury properties in Mumbai. However, going forward, Vardhan feels that affordable-cum-semi-luxurious projects will be in demand. It has also invested in Vardhman Concrete Ltd, prefers to construct mass housing and has a special focus on slum rehabilitation.
Tough times call for tough measures. Vascon Engineers is planning to raise Rs 200 crore to infuse into the company’s real estate vertical to support future growth plans. Of the total capital infusion, the company will raise Rs 100 crore by selling non-core assets including minority stakes in three hotel properties and land parcels. The company has already sold its stake in a Pune hotel property, while stake sale in two properties will be completed in the next 3-6 months. It is also looking to sell two land parcels in Pune and Nashik during this period. It has already completed sale of around 60% of non-core assets, and the rest will be done next year
Last year, the company had bagged a contract worth Rs 130 crore from UP Housing and Development Board, Lucknow, for construction of multistoried flats and another contract worth Rs 115 crore from Sheth Creators for construction of residential building at Mumbai.
With the infusion of capital and the re-focus on our core business, the company hopes to be back on the growth track.
THE WADHWA GROUP
So we have a realty developer who has a close association with the world’s top end luxury motors with eye-watering list prices. Only in terms of business. The Wadhwa Group has leased space to Navnit Motors to Ferrari through a showroom spread over 3,000 sq-ft carpet area in Bandra-Kurla Complex. This will also be the first Ferrari showroom in Mumbai.
Within the group, last quarter, the Mumbai-based real estate firm raised Rs 200 crore from Piramal Fund Management for its 500-acre township at Panvel in Navi Mumbai. The developer, which builds high-end apartments and office buildings, will use some of the money to buy additional land for the yet-to-be launched project and some to give an exit to earlier lender IIFL Group. In the past, it has raised funding from investors such as Kohlberg Kravis Roberts and Co. Lp (KKR), Standard Chartered Bank and Indiabulls Financial Services Ltd, among others.
When the RBI cut down interest rates, Makhija was relieved. “We hope this will enhance the purchasing power of the buyer. Since investments in real estate are done through loans, this will ease the buying process and is a win-win situation,” he says.