Chairman and Managing Director,
LGCL (Lalith Gangadhar Constructions (P) Ltd), a real estate development company based in Bengaluru, is also engaged in real estate marketing, facility management and project management through its subsidiary companies. Girish Puravankara, in an email interaction with Prashant C. Trikannad, reveals what’s in store for the real estate industry during the 12th Five-Year Plan.
Can you share your outlook on the Indian real estate and building construction industry during the 12th Plan?
Currently, most players are investing in a blend of luxury as well as affordable homes. Location-centric investment seems to be a prominent upcoming trend in the industry. All in all, the outlook of the industry looks encouraging and stable.
How has fiscal 2012-13 treated the real estate sector so far?
The year 2012 saw most of the Indian players trying to adopt international trends in India. While there have been certain successes, what needs to be seen is how best we can leverage the same and realise its true potential while keeping in mind the most important aspect — the customer.
What are your expectations from this year’s budget?
After a long lull, I wish this year 2013 would bring back hopes of growth to the real estate sector, mainly due to the government’s positive approach towards reforms and moderation of interest rates.
Looking back over the past one decade, how would you say the Indian real estate sector has evolved? Can you highlight the positives and negatives?
The industry has certainly evolved over the years and has become more transparent with time. With added focus upon customer-needs, the industry is showcasing an in-depth understanding of today’s discerning customer – all the while, following and innovating upon best practices.
Also, with the private equity players paying increased attention to the industry via increased investments, thereby fostering the growth and the development of the sector, the roadmap forthe Indian industry shows promise.
What are some of the most challenging aspects of a real estate project today? How can these be addressed?
Industry wise, it has been a year of high inflation that led to a tight monetary policy. Despite the demand for some easing in the monetary policy, the Reserve Bank of India could not bring down the key policy rates, given the upward pressures on inflation. The real estate industry has been under stress due to constrain in raising capital either through debt or equity.
As the economy shows signs of decreasing GDP growth rate, the Indian real estate industry faces its own share of concerns. Real estate developers are reeling under high debt and FDI inflows have also slowed down. However, the passage of FDI in multi-brand retail by the government shows its seriousness on introducing reforms.
RBI can be expected to lower interest rates in the coming months which will benefit developers as well as consumers. This will boost the sentiment.
On one hand, the government has proposed Housing for All and, on the other, property ownership is still a dream for a majority of people. Do you see a dichotomy here?
The government must provide incentives to the public and private sectors to take up research and development activities. The real estate sector, too, is implementing professional standards and transparency. The central government has proposed to set up the Real Estate Regulatory Authority in every state with particular functions, powers, and responsibilities. A complete approach concerning trouble-free availability of land, legal structure and better financing, with innovative technology would make housing affordable for all.
What are some of the new trends and techniques in building construction?
With most of the Indian players trying to adopt international trends in India, what needs to be seen is how best we can leverage the same and realise its true potential while keeping in mind the most important aspect – the customer.
Can you briefly talk about LGCL from its inception to the kind of projects it undertakes?
LGCL was established in the year 2007. LGCL operates in a niche space – one that caters exclusively to urban audiences. We believe in focused development wherein our volumes are controlled. This enables us to ensure quality and exclusivity in what we deliver to our customers. Our villas are equipped with the finer specifications. In keeping with our tagline Thinking Spaces, LGCL’s key USP is space utilisation — we understand our customers who always look for that “extra space” this is done by indepth planning. We make sure that each villa is planned in such a way that they receive ample natural lighting and ventilation, thereby bringing life into every home. To give you an example, the villas at our project ‘Ashlar’ are very well lit with ample ventilation through the day, right from dawn to dusk. Exclusivity differentiates our concept. We build high quality villas at a competitive price. The key USP of the company lies in its focus to conceptualise and execute well thought out, unique projects, keeping in mind all the important requirements of space, design, aesthetics, value for money and deliverables. We have given the villa market a boost in the city and successfully created a new perception that villas can be available in key hubs and areas of the city.
Which are some of your ongoing projects and in which parts of the country?
LGCL’s ongoing projects include Beautiful World (a two-acre property that draws inspiration from the glorious heritage of the Mediterranean region), Stonescape (reflective of making nature ones home, with exquisite picture-perfect villas), Luminaire (a four-acre enclave, inspired by the Palm Villas in the Middle East), Bamboo Forest (a two-acre enclave with villas that are a unique blend of contemporary and rustic architecture, set amidst a bewildering array of bamboos), and One Street (English styled townships).
The upcoming projects of LGCL are Luxuriate (Sky Villa) and Pueblo villas.
Our focus is to expand on the present business model and also get into larger projects which would give us required numbers to expand our footprints. We would also look at expanding to Chennai and Hyderabad.