Gyan from Bengaluru’s Brigade group…

The recent demonetization has been a cause of concern for all, but the silver lining is coming now with the interest rates moving down. How do you see this trend, is it the fillip that the industry and you were looking forward to ?

Reply: Demonetisation seems like a good step in creating a corruption free economy. While in the immediate short term of say 2-3 months the impact on residential segment is moderately negative, however the impact in the mid and long term looks very positive as this will lead to much higher CASA levels with banks leading to reduction in bank’s lending rates process of which has already begun quite aggressively. Due to this we are beginning to see emergence of pent up demand in steady real estate markets of South India like Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad etc.

There has been no impact on commercial real estate and we are witnessing even more heightened activity by investors in commercial real estate due to the drop on interest rates.

Organised real estate markets like Bangalore would be the leading beneficiary of demonetization and will lead the revival of residential real estate due to this improved interest rate environment and the strong fundamental demand environment.

2: With Bengaluru emerging as the most preferred Indian destination, where do you see yourself expanding your operations in the city ?

Reply:  Bengaluru has been a silver lining among all the other major cities in India when it comes to being the preferred location for business and investment especially in the real estate sector. It is a growing city and Brigade Group also has aggressive expansion plans in the city with almost 8 mn sft of office space in various stages of development and more than 10 mn sq. ft of Residential developments in Bengaluru.

Brigade Group is a multi-faceted real estate company and is developing large mixed use developments like the 130 acres Township – Brigade Orchards at Devanahalli, Brigade Meadows at Kanakapura, and other projects apart from extending its success to the Hospitality business by soon opening Holiday Inn Express Hotel on Race Course Road following the stupendous success of Sheraton Grand Hotel and Grand Mercure Hotel, the group also has plans to develop 3 more hotels in the next 4 years in Bangalore.

Brigade Group also owns and manages the number one rated shopping mall in South India – Orion Mall and has recently opened its second mall – Orion East Mall in Banaswadi with plans to develop 2 more malls in the next 4 years in Bangalore.

Through its balanced strategic portfolio across residential, office space, shopping malls and hotels, Brigade Group plans to retain its leadership position in the real estate sector and more so in Bangalore.

3: There have been talks of you taking the lead and investing in reality based start-ups, can you elaborate what is the role you see in these start-ups

Reply: The Indian real estate market is expected to touch US$ 180 billion by 2020. The housing sector alone contributes 5-6 per cent to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Retail, hospitality and commercial real estate are also growing significantly, providing the much-needed infrastructure for India’s growing needs.

But to keep pace with the ever changing needs of the customers it is imperative for the industry to accelerate its pace of adoption of Innovation and disruptive technologies.  Brigade Real Estate Accelerator Program (REAP) has been conceptualized to combine resources within the group, as well as with partners & associates to add value to young companies and help them build innovative and path breaking companies from India.

With the help of the enrolled start-ups, Brigade REAP will explore solutions in the fields of: 

Internet of Things Smart homes, Smart communities, Smart Cities, Home Automation, Building Management Systems, Analytics & Enterprise Data Management, Construction Management etc. 

Nano Technology Nano Technology advancements to make lighter structure, stronger concrete composite, energy efficient glasses, self cleaning paints etc.

Cleantech & RenewablesAlternate Energy, improved technology for higher efficiencies, waste & water management etc.

Visual ComputingFacial Recognition, video security & surveillance, video analytics, augmented reality & virtual reality etc.

LogisticsTo address issues faced in logistics & supply chain, improved efficiency etc.

4: The concept of a cluster of Office/Commercial space along with sizeable residential infrastructure is gaining ground, given the traffic and other challenges. Do you have any plans to come out with such combined projects in the near future?

Reply: Brigade has been the pioneer when it comes to Mixed use development / Integrated enclaves in Bengaluru and has won many awards for its vision and execution of these projects. Brigade has developed landmark projects like Brigade Gateway, Brigade Metropolis and Brigade Millennium which are some of the best mixed use projects located within the city limits. 

Brigade group has always partnered with internationally acclaimed master planners like HOK,New York and NBBJ, Seattle to create Master Plans which ensure optimising the benefits of creating mixed use developments. The multi award winning project, Brigade Gateway is an ideal example of a well-planned and well-managed mixed use enclave which has had a positive impact not only on the residents and tenants but also in the neighborhood. Brigade Gateway has won numerous awards like Integrated Township of the year- 2012 in Realty Plus Excellence awards, Best Theme based Township of the Year-2012 in CREDAI Real Estate Awards and many more… 

Currently, we have many ongoing projects which are mixed-use development as mentioned below- 

Brigade Orchards, Devanahalli- The visionary project spread over 130+ acres is Bengaluru’s 1st smart township.  Awarded as one of the top 3 smart townships in India by Business World magazine,  the development comprises of Pavilion Villas, Middle Income & Luxury apartments, Retirement homes, serviced apartments, Commercial complexes called The Arcade which includes retail & offices, School, hospital & clinic with the iconic Arts & Culture village and Signature Club Resort with guestrooms, banquets, restaurants and spa.

At the heart of the township is a world-class Sports Arena with a stadium that has been designed to host academies for multiple sports – Cricket, Football, Tennis, Swimming, Athletics, Basketball, and Volleyball.  

Brigade Meadows, Kanakapura road – A sprawling 60+ acre integrated enclave will be home to more than 3000 families. With more than 80% open space this only integrated enclave on Kanakapura road also includes retail and office space, a school and a healthcare centre. 

Brigade Golden Triangle – A integrated development of 20+ Acres on Old Madras Road is a world class project comprising of over 650 luxury apartments, Premium Office space called Signature Towers, Orion Mall, Holiday Inn Express Hotel and club house

World Trade Centers- Brigade Group is the developer of the Award Winning World Trade Center Bangalore which is the tallest commercial building in South India and has won numerous awards like the Best Commercial Project CNBC AWAAZ Real Estate Awards 2012, Best Commercial/Retail/Office Space of the Year from CREDAI, Commercial Property of the Year in Realty Plus Excellence Awards and many more. Brigade Group has recently inaugurated its second World Trade Center in Kochi which has many Global MNCs already operating out of the world class facility. We have 3 more licenses from World Trade Center Association to develop WTCs in southern cities of Chennai, Thiruvananthapuram and Hyderabad. 

5: Your recent decision to split the hotels business as a separate venture has evoked a lot of interest. Can you explain what prompted this ? 

Reply: The main objectives to separate hospitality business from Brigade Enterprises Limited are. The capital and cash flow requirements and human resource requirements of hospitality business are different from that of real estate business and require a more focused approach for further growth to unlock the intrinsic value.

This arrangement will help provide focused leadership and management attention to each of our business verticals.

Gujarat 

1: Gujarat is emerging as the fastest growing state and is able to absorb investments on huge scale. Do you have any plans for the state?

Reply: Gujarat had been one of the fastest growing state in India and we had been observing the growth story before deciding on partnering with GIFT City, Gujarat which is India’s first true smart city. We have partnered with GIFT City to develop 2 towers in SEZ Office space and ibis STYLES Hotel in GIFT City with the scope for further enhancements across offices & hotels. 

The core of GIFT City development is the country’s first International Financial Services Centre (IFSC) and Brigade Group is strategically partnering GIFT City towards making this a success.

Brigade SEZ office towers will be a total development of more than half a million sq. ft. of office space of which the first phase of 315,000 sq. ft. is already under construction and is scheduled to complete by October 2018. The 14 storey office tower will primarily cater to the office space requirements of the Financial, Insurance and IT/ITeS companies based on the International Financial Services Centre status of GIFT City. 

IBIS STYLES Hotel- The international business hotel with approximately 170 well-appointed guest rooms, multi-cuisine restaurant, Banquets and conference rooms will cater to the needs of the business travelers, both national and international. The hotel will be managed by the internationally renowned ACCOR Group of France that owns other brands like Novotel, Sofitel, Grand Mercure etc. 

GIFT City provides a great opportunity to our sector to create a world class destination that can become a benchmark for many other Smart Cities in the country as envisioned by our respected Prime Minister – Shri Narendra Modi.

Credits Sunday Guardian Live

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