Demand for high-end realty projects still high in Gurgaon
Pankaj Dugar, CEO of IREO Group, said in an interview with Times Property: “We have won the trust of customers with a strong commitment to deliver high quality projects, with more-than promised facilities, along with providing world-class infrastructures in them. As we are developing a township, we are developing sound infrastructure inside the city, which is also a big factor that determines customer satisfaction.“
“Keeping this in mind, we are developing Ireo City over 650 acres along Golf Course Extension Road, which encompasses Sectors 58, 59, 60, 61, 66, and 67, in Gurgaon. We have hired worldrenowned architects, designers, and hospitality consultants like Foster and Partners, Tony Chi, and Grand Hyatt, which will ensure that the project conforms to international standards with high-quality lifestyle features,“ Dugar says.
Dugar, who joined company after a long stint with Global Hyatt Corporation in the US, Europe, and Asia, in several positions including as VP of Real Estate and Development at their headquarters in Chicago, said that after Grand Arch, Uptown and a couple of other projects, IREO is focusing on the construction of its iconic Grand Hyatt Residences, Grade A Office Tower, Grand Hyatt Hotel, and High Street boulevard on 30 acres in the heart of the 650-acre Ireo City.Just opposite the project, the group will launch Trump Tower, which will have over 8 lakh sq ft of `global A-class' office space.
“After these projects are completed by 2021, the skyline of Gurgaon will change forever and it will boast of world-class offices as well as residential accommodation. The construction of Grand Hyatt projects are at an advanced stage and likely to be completed by 2018,“ Dugar said. Dugar said the group is not only focusing on premium class alone, but has plans to enter the affordable segment too. The company has acquired 150 acres in Sohna for the purpose. Dugar said the present problems in the industry cropped up because of the delays in project delivery.
Excerpts from the interview:
DOES GURGAON STILL HAVE DEMAND FOR BRANDED AND ULTRALUXURY RESIDENTIAL AND COMMERCIAL PROJECTS?
Yes, certainly! There are many reasons for this. One, the Millennium City has an excellent location, as it is close to the existing domestic and international airport.Two, there are number of options in the high-end segment.
Also, the new master plan for area development has pushed the city into one of the fastest growing residential and commercial hubs on the world map, attracting business travellers from across the globe. High-end, serviced residences are the preferred choice for entrepreneurs and the business class, who stay away from home for long periods.
HOW ATTRACTIVE IS INDIA FOR FOREIGN INVESTORS?
The country's GDP growth is among the fastest in the world for large, developing economies. The scope for job creation is enormous. India is one of the top developers and exporters of IT business in the world. Prime Minister Narendra Modi's programme to construct 6 crore homes by 2022, focus on digital economy and makein-India, implementing RERA to regularize the real estate business, permission for 100% FDI, among others, have already created a sound platform for foreign players.In the present market condition, people are ready to invest in the country. We as a group have invested over $2 billion in the country. We are still expanding and entering in the newer markets. The government must create a predictable environment for doing businesses.
HOW DO YOU PLAN TO MEET THE RISING DEMAND OF THE MILLENNIALS, WHOSE ASPIRATIONAL LEVELS ARE AMONG THE HIGHEST IN THE WORLD?
World-class projects have become almost the norm in Gurgaon, which already has some of best high-end projects in India, from top developers. Thus, creating a unique environment within a township is always a challenge.Customers always demand some thing new and we have to constantly innovate.
We have Grand Hyatt in Sector 58, a mixed land use world-class project, Ireo Skyon in Sector 60, and Ireo Victory Valley in Sector 67, in Gurgaon. The last two are `automated smart home' residential projects. Work on all three projects is progressing at a furious pace.
We have tied up with renowned architects, Foster and Partners, designer Tony Chi, and hospitality partner Grand Hyatt. Foster and Partners designed the new, $5 billion headquarters of Apple in Palo Alto, California.
These projects will not only ensure the comfort of a home with the facilities of a hotel, they also give residents access to fast, hitech services. These and others are sure to catch the attention of discerning customer, for sure.
HOW CAN WE REVIVE THE REAL ESTATE MARKET FROM ITS CURRENT SLUMP?
It's not that the demand is not there. Office space pick up has increased substantially. From 2 million sq ft in 2001 to 60 million sq ft absorption in 2016 is a great feat.This means, economic activity is picking up.
What has happened is that developers made grand promises but could not deliver on the expectations they aroused in buyers.
This put off buyers. Today, those developers who have demonstra ble track record of completing projects are able to sell.
HAVE ANY OF YOUR PROJECTS ALSO GOT DELAYED?
Not in the real sense, especially when you compare us with market peers, we are much better off. Delays, such as there were, was because of reasons beyond our control. But we have learned from our experience and are adopting new technologies like pre-fabrication of walls and floors, Mivan shuttering, and jump form system to speed up construction. The timelines offered to buyers to complete projects are also more realistic now. All our projects are on time now.