`India earns 10% of its IT export revenue from Noida alone!
Ashish Bhutani, MD & CEO of Bhutani Group, says: “Today, during peak hours in the evening, the driving time from Noida to the IGI airport is less than that from premium localities on Golf Course Road in Gurgaon. The myth that Noida lacks an airport is slowly peeling off with people realizing the ground reality and, consequently, corporates are now more agreeable to move their offices to Noida. This is especially true for those en tering the market now, or for corporates that are expanding offices.“
Excerpts from the interview:
HOW DO YOU FIND OFFICE MARKET IN THE REGION?
Contrary to the general perception that the economy is sluggish, the demand for office space is very good and is improving by the day. Unlike the residential real estate, the commercial segment is growing--both in term of demand for space and rental yield. So this is a great time to be in the development of office space in this part of the country.
PEOPLE PREFER GURGAON OVER NOIDA FOR OFFICE SPACE; WHAT IS YOUR EXPERIENCE IN MARKETING OFFICE SPACE IN NOIDA?
Preference is not static--it changes.With the infrastructure development in Gurgaon not keeping pace with requirement, particularly in connectivity, the Millennium City has lost some sheen over a period of time.
Today, during the peak evening hours, the driving time from Noida to the IGI airport is less than that from premium localities on Golf Course Road in Gurgaon.
Even otherwise, the driving time from Noida to any part of Delhi, be it Connaught Place, Nehru Place, South Delhi, or any of the government offices near India Gate, is much less than what it takes from Gurgaon. In other aspects like water supply, electricity, and greenery, Noida is superior to Gurgaon.
Today, Gurgaon needs huge investments in developing infrastructure to meet current and emerging requirement. I have nothing against Gurgaon. It is a world-class city; but it requires huge investment from development authorities to build external infrastructure even to meet the demand from existing population in the city.
Apart from this, the cost of leasing is another major factor pushing companies to open offices in Noida, where rental rates are less than half of those in Gurgaon.
As big firms take up large area, the huge difference in rentals leads to big savings, which has emerged as an important factor in the present competitive environ ment for many companies to choose Noida over Gurgaon.
HITHERTO, AVAILABILITY OF LARGE QUALITY SPACE WAS AN ISSUE FOR LARGE CORPORATE HOUSES IN COMING TO NOIDA. ARE NEW DEVELOPMENTS HERE FACTORING THAT ASPECT?
This is not true! Large, quality space is now available in Noida.
Apart from our office complexes like Corenthum and iThum in Sector 62, there are a number of other good office projects there. Many corporates are developing their own complexes.
Today, eight large mobile players like Oppo, Vivo, Lava, LG, Samsung, Spice, Karbonn, and Ericsson have large office spaces in Noida and Greater Noida. Firms like HCL, NIIT, Fujitsu, EXL, among others, are already operating from here.
Noida has emerged as the most hap pening place for commercial activities in the country. India earns 10% of its IT export revenue from Noida alone; after IT, the city is going to be a hub for mobile phone manufacturing in the country.
In the next couple of years NodaGreater Noida Expressway will be like Sheikh Zayed Road of Dubai.
SOME PEOPLE ARE SCEPTICAL ABOUT THE LAW AND ORDER SITUATION IN THE REGION FOR CORPORATE HOUSES TO MOVE IN.
These are no such issues now--Noida is working day and night. While the population of outside workers has grown manyfold in last couple of years, the government is also active. This perception will go away, over a period of time, as the ground realities are much better.
ARE YOU PLANNING TO ENTER IN THE RESIDENTIAL REAL ESTATE TOO?
Yes, we will! But we will enter the affordable segment along Yamuna Expressway and are planning to buy some land for the development of affordable houses.With the new central government schemes, there will be a good market for affordable houses in the range of sub-Rs 20 lakh.
BUT NOIDA IS EMERGING AS GLOBAL COMMERCIAL HUB; DON'T YOU THINK HIGH-QUALITY RESIDENCES WILL ALSO BE REQUIRED?
That is already in surplus in Noida.Around 75,000 quality apartments have been delivered or about to be delivered.More than this are going to come in the next couple of years. Therefore, Noida has enough capacity to provide quality residential space to all the additional whitecollar workers. Besides, as demand picks up, supply will also increa