- What made you enter the real estate sector at the young age of 25?
I grew up hearing my grandfather say that land was the key to any advances in life. As we were into farming, our family had a strong connection with land. I had a burning desire to do something land-related and it only grew stronger after I saw our home being constructed at the age of 13. I was fascinated with every aspect of it from the laying of the foundation to the way the concrete was filled to complete the structure. This fascination was the reason I chose B.E. in Civil Engineering. By the time I completed the course, my father had Kumari Builders and Developers. On completing the course, it was a logical step to join the company.
- Kumari Builders and Developers’ team is also young like you. What is the strategy behind it?
Our initial success lay in the fact that we found our niche. Kumari Builders and Developers’ focus is on what we see as an emerging market for affordable luxury homes aimed at a younger demographic. Bengaluru attracts a lot of young talent and we aim to make it easier for first-time buyers to take their first step into independent living. Most of my team members at Kumari Builders and Developers including myself are under 35, making it easier for us to understand our target market. In fact, a lot of our vendors are also young. We work with young talent who have the conviction to experiment with new techniques and technologies.
- As a developer, what in your view are the major forces driving the growth of the real estate market in Bengaluru?
Real estate in Bangalore is primarily driven by the IT and ITeS [IT-enabled services] workforce, which forms a large part of potential home buyers. These two segments are the major employment creators in the city. In fact, 50% of the office space for IT-rented or -purchased in India is from Karnataka alone.
- Which are the top locations in Bengaluru to invest in residences?
Bengaluru’s traffic is rated the most painful in India in most commuter surveys. So it’s best to buy a property near your workplace to cut down on drive time. Since most buyers are working professionals, the Bellandur – Marathahalli – Sarjapur Road belt is a good bet if you are working in RMZ Eco Space, Nagawara – Hebbal if you are working in Manyata Tech Park and Whitefield Main Road if you are working in ITPL.
- With the implementation of RERA, what will be the challenges facing the developers?
Of all the latest regulations that call for firmer compliance and transparency, these two are most challenging:
- It is common knowledge that projects in prime areas generate quicker sales than projects elsewhere. In fact, sales pick up mostly during the ready-to-move-in phase. It is not uncommon for developers to divert some of the funds from prime-location projects to non-prime ones until sales pick up. This would not be possible now due to restriction of funds (up to 70%) through maintenance of separate accounts.
- The second challenge would be the pressure of delivering projects on time irrespective of any factors includingdelayed approvals and continual changes of regulations by government authorities.
- Tell us how consumers will be impacted by RERA?
Lately, we have noticed a number of reforms and policies that are trying to regularise the real estate sector in India. RERA is the real game changer. Implementation of RERA offers protection and faith to homebuyers and investors.
Prices will have to be adjusted for ongoing projects because properties will have to be sold based on carpet area, as per RERA, instead of super built-up area. Super built-up area of the flat is 25-35 per cent higher than the carpet area. So the prices are likely to increase by 30-40 per cent on a per square feet basis.
- What are the pressing issues in real estate that require government intervention?
Lack of infrastructure and connectivity is a pressing issue. Better connectivity and improved infrastructure can contribute to growth in residential and commercial spaces.
Continual changes in government norms, lack of transparency, delayed approvals and lack of communication are some of the problems faced by developers from government authorities.
- It is said that interest on loans of between Rs 30 lakh and Rs 75 lakh are expected to be cheaper as RBI reduced risk weightage for this category. How does this move impact the real estate industry?
It is a well-known fact that the south Indian real estate market is price sensitive. Affordable and affordable luxury segments between Rs 30 to 75 lakhs form a lion’s share of the residential segment here. This move by RBI will definitely boost the segment to an extent.
- Tell us about your projects and expansion plans.
With eight projects to our credit, Kumari Builders and Developers currently has ongoing projects adding up to 2,54,610 square feet of built-up area. Two of our ongoing projects include Kumari Woods & Winds and Kumari Amaranthine. With a firm foothold in Bengaluru, we now intend to enter the villa segment for future growth.
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