“Real estate, in general, would continue to be sluggish and the lull that has been there for over 3 years now will not see an upward movement until Q3 of 2017. Demand in the affordable housing sector will continue to drive growth”
Ravi Saund is the COO of JMS Buildtech, a company which is gradually making its mark in the Indian real estate market. With over 22 years of experience in the real estate sector, his impeccable knowledge of market dynamics has helped him successfully launch various projects in conjunction with market requirements. Formerly worked with CHD Developers, South Asian Real Estate (SARE) and Ansal API, Ravi has acquired an in-depth knowledge of the real estate sector and how it behaves. A graduate of the GPM program of Harvard Business School, Ravi also holds an MBA and a Bachelors Degree in Commerce from Sydenham College, Mumbai. Ravi believes in creating and crafting new experiences with simplistic formats that will make the users get value. It is his vast experience that is taking JMS to new heights. JMS’s projects are looking to provide a value chain in the mid segment in the residential and commercial space. Team RealtyMyths got this opportunity to interact with Ravi and understand his perspective on the market. It was pleasure discussing some of the personal and professional takes. Below are the excerpts of the conversation.
JMS Buildtech is moving slowly and cautiously in the real estate market. Is it because of the market conditions or a well-thought plan?
We are a new and small company with fully paid land bank and government dues. It is a debt free company. We’d prefer to go slow and steady with one launch a year or maximum two. The threshold of the establishment is the vision of being a professional real estate developer with an axiom of the customer first. Thus, our focus would be on construction and delivery on time.
How do you see the current market conditions? Do you think it has come out of the slowdown?
Real estate, in general, would continue to be sluggish and the lull that has been there for over 3 years now will not see an upward movement until Q3 of 2017. Talking of Gurgaon, Commercial real estate is relatively better than previous years. One saw an improvement in office space absorption in the second quarter of 2015. Optimism in anticipation of a revival in economic activity and thus job creation led to a hike in leasing business too. Online retail kept pushing the envelope of traditional retail making business difficult for them. Be it new or old, retail portals ruled the roost with the exclusion of well-managed and organized local shopping areas.
Which segment of real estate shall work in the given market conditions?
Demand in the affordable housing sector will continue to drive growth. In retail, local shopping area will be the buzzword. This format is low on maintenance and caters to the need of neighborhood demands. A developer riding on good reputation, decent location, right price point and transparency in delivery will be able to hitch their wagon to success.
What is your take on the upcoming real estate markets in NCR, particularly Gurgaon?
Along with New Gurgaon, Dwarka Expressway, Sohna is also fast emerging as an attractive destination for stand-alone developments, group housing, and commercial complexes.
What challenges do you expect in the given market conditions? How will RERA impact this market?
Not much is going to change in real estate. The business environment will continue to be challenging for lack of fund flows, slow sales, and absence of investors. Banks have become extremely cautious while lending money to developers which will only add to the trouble. The government in Haryana is focused on affordable housing which implies all the perks will be diverted to this segment.
RERA is a big relief for not just home buyers but the developers as well. It intends to protect the interest of both home buyers and the developers. It will for sure weed out fly by night operators. The Act will evoke the much-needed transparency and accountability in the real estate sector. Single-window clearance of construction projects would lead to time-bound approvals, providing cheer to the developer community. The act seeks to protect the rights of home buyers, mandates registration of projects, including those that have not got completion or occupancy certificates.
Real Estate Regulatory and Development Act aims to create a consumer right protection shelter, thereby, restoring and boosting the confidence of consumer in the real estate sector. Now that the Act intends to infuse credibility into the sector, it will attract investment both the domestic and international.
How is your project “JMS Crosswalk’ doing? How it differentiates itself from the crowd?
JMS Crosswalk, our maiden project was launched last year. A structure grand and lavish, incorporated with premium Spanish architectural facets, JMS CrossWalk is the next big local shopping destination of sector -93, Gurgaon. Located at the crossroads of two 84 meters road with a huge expanse of 2,20,000 sq.ft of the total commercial area, this landmark set amidst premium group housing projects is connected to major highways and expressways of Gurgaon. With a perfect mix of office spaces, retail, flea market, food court, business center and restaurant, the next big lifestyle destination of Gurgaon is here!
Do you plan to launch any project this fiscal?
We intend to launch two projects this year. one is Spanish Residences, Spanish style independent floors in sector 93, Gurgaon. These stilt +3 apartments have been designed bearing in mind space, aesthetics, function, and openness in harmony with nature. The floors built on plot sizes of 250 sq yards and 300 sq yards respectively offer an exclusive environment with their own distinct social life. With perimeter security, gated community and array of modern amenities within your reach you can enjoy your life with your near and dear ones at peace.
Other one is Cross Street, a local shopping destination in Sector 92 is a contemporary straight line structure in the heart of a bustling residential community. As we bring you the finest venue in the town to work shop and dine, trust us, we promise to bring you more smiles.
How do you see the government initiatives would help you achieve your vision?
Since we already have land and resources to construct on our own, the major challenge is to take approvals on time. Creation of a single window system would be a panacea for all our problems.
Do you believe in mentor-ship? How has mentor-ship made a difference in your professional and personal life?
Mentoring is an integral part of growing up the corporate ladder. A mentor may be your senior or junior, but have a certain area of expertise. I have had different mentors at the different points in life who taught us different things. Starting from Mr. Dheer who was my housemate in school and taught me to do work with a smile on my face, to Mr. Rajesh Katyal, who taught me to keep a tight check on finance, I have learned from everyone. My teammates Sumit, Shalini and Rohit taught me that the only way to get anything done is through your team. From them, I learned that the only way to succeed is all of us work together as a team.
Many people regret not having enough time for the things they like. If you could add six hours onto every day, what would you do with the extra time?
My mantra has always been blood for your family and friends who come first and sweat for your company and work which holds the second place in life. I am happy with 24 hours a day since my family/work/friends pie is evenly distributed. However, with an addition of 6 hours, I’ll start playing football again.
What are some of your top go-to spots that you would recommend to a friend/family member visiting?
Ideally, one should see all the wonders of the world once. Apart from Dubai for its magnitude and business, one should visit New York for optimization of space, Las Vegas for its magnificence, China for infrastructure and Mauritius for its natural beauty.
What advice can you offer to the new age developers?
Focus on execution more than anything. Lay emphasis on product, process and delivery. There is no shortcut to success. Always abide by rules and don’t look for instant gratification.