Interviews

Rakesh Sharma, Senior Manager, Bharti Realty in an exclusive interview with Realty Fact

Q) Please tell us something about recently won “Young Achiever of the Year” award by World Leadership federation?

It is a great honour for me to have received the “Young Achiever of the Year” award! The feeling is indeed overwhelming and I am so very glad to have won at an apex level industry forum, that too in my very first attempt!

The fact that my contribution and hard work in building a successful corporate career and pursue my passion for the equestrian sport of polo, has got an industry level recognition, gives me a great sense of achievement. This is also an inspiration for me to keep chasing my dreams and strive for bigger milestones!

Though this is an individual honor, I am of a firm belief that there is little we can achieve without support of others – be it at a professional or a personal level. There have been countless people in my life who have supported, guided and mentored me and have helped me become who I am today. I value the contribution of each and every individual who has been a part of my success journey and dedicate this award to all of them.

Q) How do you think winning India leadership awards has helped you as an individual?

Being a young professional has its own challenges. One needs to constantly prove their worth at every step, especially when you are rubbing shoulders with the most seasoned and experienced industry leaders.

The “Young Achiever Award” specifically recognizes future generational leaders and hence winning this award has helped reinforce my professional credentials for me to establish a stronger foothold in the corporate world. The award has also given a big boost to my motivation and self-confidence as I feel a huge sense of accomplishment, both in the personal and professional sphere of life. I am extremely confident that this recognition will open-up a whole new vista of opportunities and experiences that will pave way for me to achieve bigger things in life!

Q) Few words about your association with World Leadership Federation and the award event?

It is a matter of pride and prestige to be associated with the World Leadership Federation, as it is a great platform to recognise professional excellence and promote individuals and organizations that demonstrate outstanding contribution across multiple industry domains globally.

The rigor of the nomination and selection process that I personally experienced reflects quite positively on the commitment the Federation team has towards making these awards truly aspirational in nature. The event brought together high achievers and extra-ordinary contributors from diverse industry segments onto a common platform. This made the success feel even sweeter and more fulfilling!

The award ceremony was very well-organised and had a lot of dazzling surprises thrown-in, making the entire experience rather memorable, something I would cherish for a lifetime. Kudos to the entire World Leadership Federation team for a great event!

Q) How has demonetisation affected realty sector?

It’s rather too early to comment on this at an overall industry level.  From Bharti Realty’s perspective, demonetisation is not likely to make any significant impact on our business, since we are predominantly in premium B2B commercial real estate space. Also Bharti Realty is a professionally-run organization with very strong corporate governance and hence such economic changes are unlikely to affect our business in the long run.

Q) Brief about your Journey and association with Bharti Realty?

I have been associated with Bharti Realty for over three years now. The journey so far has been nothing less than a roller-coaster ride! I have been fortunate to work on numerous assignments and projects of an organizational importance, which have constantly kept me challenged. My learning curve has seen a steep growth and my contributions have been regularly recognised and rewarded at multiple forums.

The strong foundation of the Bharti Group and the dedicated efforts made by our Management and HR in developing internal talent and making the company future-ready has helped shape me as a better leader – someone who is roaring to take on greater professional challenges!

Q) Your role model in the realty sector whom you admire?

My role model and mentor from the realty sector is Mr. Sushil Kumar Sayal, current MD & CEO of Bharti Realty Limited. Truly an industry icon and a great leader, he has been an inspiration in my corporate journey of real estate. At an early age, it has been my privilege to closely work with him and learn the fine nuances of real estate business. A piece of wisdom that he has always shared with young professionals is that a good leader always takes care of his people first, and lets them take care of the rest. This powerful leadership thought always resonates very deeply with me, as I consciously try following this in all my stakeholder interactions.

Since my love for Horses and Polo is like second nature to me, it would be unfair to not mention my other role model, Mr. Samir Suhag – an Arjuna awardee Polo player and one of the best in the country. He is someone I greatly admire for both his humble attitude and his dedication towards the sport. I have been following his Polo journey since the time I took to horses during my early school days. Since then he has been a great source of inspiration for me and I hope to be able to follow his footsteps in the sport of Polo and make our country proud with achievements par excellence.

Q) Please through some light on realty sector in India? The pros and cons of it?

Realty sector is one of the oldest sectors, though largely unorganised and promoter-driven. The sector does not boast of a very clean image with consumers due to various experiences they would have had including delay in project deliveries, poor quality of construction, fake promises, and prevalence of black money.

These challenges have opened-up opportunities for corporate players such as the Bharti Group to enter this sector and help break stereotypes, with their established professional credibility and market leadership across business segments and a high level of corporate governance and code of conduct. With increased Corporatization of this sector one is hopeful that in the near future attractiveness of the sector will go up, with young professionals looking favourably at real estate as a preferred career option, which currently lacks.

Q) How far do you think India has come today and what would it take to make it a good infrastructure developed nation?

As a country we are dismally lagging behind in terms of basic infrastructure, which impacts our growth curve. For the nation to emerge as a superpower, this is an area which requires concerted effort and attention of all concerned as a lot still needs to be done and the time is short. I am however glad that our government has taken cognizance of this need and is dedicatedly attempting to bring about the desired change.

Private partnerships with the government authorities for development of better infrastructure is a positive move as we see more and more examples of such collaboration happening. Aerocity, near the IGI Airport at Delhi is a fine example of this partnership, where complete infrastructure is being built and managed by a private company. The area has emerged as the new central business district and has attracted some of the most prestigious companies like International Monetary Fund, Airbus Group, Ernst & Young, Sumitomo Corp etc. as their new business address. Bharti Realty Limited, as a responsible corporate citizen is completely committed to this cause.

Q) What advice would you give the young generation?

Never stop believing in yourself and never let anyone tell you that you can’t do something!

It is a very common phenomenon to see young professionals come up with brilliant ideas that are potent enough to make a significant difference to our businesses/society, but when it comes to implementation they are usually hesitant and fearful. My advice to the young generation would be to remain convinced and take the leap of faith. It takes a small step to make big changes! Patience and perseverance are the key factors to success.

Most importantly, the young generation must imbibe people management skills and understand the difference between man and machinery. They must value the importance of good relationships, social networks and understand that while people can on one hand, take them UP; they can also be the one bringing them DOWN!

Last but not the least, I strongly recommend every individual to pursue a hobby or a passion. We must find time from our busy work lives to do something that will help us reconnect with our soul and will rejuvenate us. My horses are my prized possessions and the passion I have for Polo, acts as a great source of energy for me. No matter how gloomy the mood may be one look at my horses and a magical transformation happens!

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