One of the latest entrants on the real estate scene, Vianar Constructions has set its base in Goa. BT More catches up with Varun Nagpal, managing partner of the firm, to get his views on the company's objectives for the future -
Q. Why did you choose Goa as your base for developing the construction firm? And how did you come upon the idea of developing structures classified as affordable luxury homes - a term that seems quite paradoxical in itself?
Nagpal: I chose Goa as my base to develop real estate for various reasons. Vianaar entered Goa in 2007 when there weren't too many developers at the scene. We wanted to create contemporary homes, and Goa sets the perfect mood for exploring your creative side. Also, there was a huge gap in the Goan real estate market. On one hand, there was the development of affordable structures that I would like to call match boxes with no thought given to design and aesthetics, and on the other hand, there were super luxury structures that came with a huge price tag. As we thought that there was a huge gap to be filled between these affordable homes and the super luxury expensive homes, we came up with the idea of building "affordable luxury homes" where our structures would be slightly expensive (10-15%) than lower-end developments and yet carry the aesthetic sense and design detail of a luxury project. We, as a company, believe in providing value to our clients.
Q. What are the green initiatives you take while implementing your infrastructural projects? Could you elaborate on the Vianaar Foundation?
Nagpal: We use special cement blocks, which are heat-insulated and waterproof, for external brick work. This reduces the energy consumption in the building. For internal brick work, we use bricks made of fly-ash - a byproduct of the coal industry. We do rain water harvesting, use CFL bulbs for lighting, install sewage treatment plants, etc. The Vianaar Foundation's aim is to help people in need and give back to the environment. For example, a client who buys a villa from us donates 10,000 INR to the foundation. The entire amount is then used to plant trees on the streets of the village where the villas are located. The entire administration cost is borne by Vianaar Constructions.
Q. How does Vianaar Affordable Housing aim to build affordable homes for the poor?
Nagpal: Vianaar Affordable Housing was formed in 2013, so we are a very new entity. We aim to build homes for the masses, which consists of 600-800 units per project, measuring 300-450 sq ft and priced between Rs 6-8.5 lakh. These homes will be given to the poor in our country, especially those who have a family income of Rs 15,000-20,000 per month. They will be multi-storied structures that are conducive for the physically challenged and eco-friendly, with provisions such as day care centres, health clinics, counselling centres, etc. Our vision is to make sure that every Indian family owns a house and lives in a good environment. We are in process of raising funds for this venture.
Q. Does Vianaar Constructions intend to expand its focal area beyond Goa? Could you elaborate on your claim that all the construction is carried out in-house?
Nagpal: Vinaar is looking to expand in the affordable housing segment, and when I say affordable, it means housing for the poor. We are looking at Bhiwadi to develop our first affordable housing project. This is a totally different segment, compared to what we are currently into. I think building homes for the poor goes beyond being just a business opportunity. Vianaar has a separate unit that carries out all the construction in-house. We have a team of project managers, purchase officers and designers, and all the materials - such as cement, steel tiles and sanitary fixtures - are bought directly by the company. We only contract the labour component, thus helping us control cost, time, quality and affordability.
Q. From an investment point of view, which places in India are likely to witness the next real estate boom?
Nagpal: I think the next big wave is going be in the affordable housing sector. I think small towns close to big industrial hubs, such as Bhiwadi, Neemrana, Bawal and Meerut, will see major appreciation in the next 1-3 years.