Spearheading one of the leading real estate companies in the western Maharashtra region, Mr. Shailesh Puranik, MD, Puranik Builders Pvt Ltd is also a certified architect and a university rank holder in his final years of thesis. He has also been awarded as the ‘Best CEO of the year’ in 2015. In an upclose conversation with Vertica Dvivedi, Editor-in-Chief, Surfaces Reporter he talks about the perks of being an architect builder, realty business post COVID-19 and more.
What is the benefit of being an architect in the real estate business?
Being an architect definitely helps in real estate. It works as a catalyst as when you are developing a project, it is pertinent to envisage how it will look, the kind of TG it will attract etc. It’s basically a combination of both the aesthetic and the business sense which fortunately, I am able to bring together.
For instance, while designing for masses or mid-class affordable housing, it is crucial to keep a check on your expenses so that your bottom line does not get impacted. Everyone is working on a wafer thin margin today. So I think everything together helps and then we, as a company, will be able to give a value for money product that they have not even thought about, but something they will definitely like.
Your Journey as an architect to a real estate professional.
My father is an architect and I used to go on the sites with him where I drew site plans, maps, etc. to pass my time. I always had a penchant for drawing. After talking to people on site, I realized that Architecture is my calling! The five years that I spent in JJ college was the most memorable part of my life. There is a different energy that old British architecture, huge spaces artistic, calm and quiet environment hold. I really enjoyed that time and it is an atmosphere which promotes creativity and promotes the new way of thinking.
How did you learn management along with architecture?
Management is something that I learnt on the job. Of course architecture is a pretty vast subject and there are a number of subjects that were taught to us and management and project management was also one of them. When I started, we were doing a lot of small format projects and then suddenly took on a large size project. I learnt a lot of things during that project like building the department, managing salary packages, financial ratios, revenue calculations etc.
After few years, I did plan to do MBA and enrolled into an online UK university course. However, a few months down the line, I realized that most of the knowledge being taught there was I already gathered from my 10-12 years into the business. So I left it.
I keep myself updated with latest Harvard articles and latest McKinsey articles and what is happening in the world around, what are the new developments in the way of doing business on leadership insights etc.
‘No Money’ ‘No Worry’ offer by Puranik Builders
No EMI's or booking amount for 6months. Just pay stamp duty and the EMI’s for the next 6months and for some cases, upto a year’s EMI would be take care of, varying from project to project.
Your message for architects
There are different phases in the life of an architect. If you are an architect, once you are starting to get a lot of jobs then you hire people under you. For this, you need to learn dynamics of managing people. When you start growing and become an organization,then your job as an architect lessens and your job as a leader becomes an important things.
Puranik Builders- Tokyo Bay-Entrance View
After every 5 to 10 years, you have to unlearn what you have learnt and learn new things. It’s an exciting journey where at each stage of life, you are learning something new and forget and unlearn what you learnt in the past and may be carry on the teachings on learning that you are gathered along the way.
Current situation in the real estate?
The labourers are back. Almost 70% have reached and slowly construction activities have started picking up. The short term challenges will remain but I think in the medium to long-term, we hope for recovery, we hope for a vaccine and we hope that the economy will bounce back and a better stimulus package from government will come. The most important thing today that we are looking for a stimulus package. The first base package was really nothing and nothing came to the share of real estate or some of the other industries. And I would expect that a demand stimulus would come from government in the inform of the GST break, in form of tax incentives, the way of local Maharashtra state government has given stamp duty incentive for a certain period similar thing we expect from our government also. We expect infra projects to start, we expect some stimulus to come in by way of some sort of deductions, certain tax breaks either direct tax or indirect taxes. So that's what we're looking forward to.
Puranik Builders-Tokyo Bay- Pool
How COVID-19 situation has impacted the business?
There are many positives. online meeting has started and the daily site visit traffics and the leads have been increasing every week. We are marking at least 50 to 60% increase in the number of site visits. Site conversion ratio has improved because earlier people used to come even if they are not interested or they are partly interested to your site. but now come only if they are really interested, they would come because they also want to avoid unnecessary travel and meeting new people. So the conversation visuals have really improved. So number of leads, number of bookings, everything has been seeing an upward trend. We just want stability in this for a period of one or two or three months and I think that we will see the economy bouncing back, the jobs coming back, the salaries being paid regularly and then you will see that reflect into all the important things. Again home is something everybody understood that it is your own secure private place where you can stay and even walk from there. So people would want to own their home instead of rendering,
We do a lot of barter deals with suppliers. In exchange for a construction or consultancy, we give them a retail space, a shop or an office. This way, it benefits both parties, they get business and in exchange their asset is also getting built.
People who had shifted to this idea that I want to rent my house, everybody shifting to owning a house which is a good trend. People want to maybe stay in the faraway suburbs and work in the company which is located in the CBD or BKC of this kind of areas. so I think the shift towards owning a house will have changed and of course you will need houses with the slightly bigger a living room or office area in your house or maybe you can see I sent earlier also not a 2BHK but you will see a 2BHK office room also in your house. So these kinds of trends would emerge.
How has Puranik worked with Suppliers in these trying times
We do a lot of barter deals with our suppliers. So in exchange for construction or a consultancy, we give them a retail space, a shop or a flat, office. These are some of the things that have worked today which benefits both because they also get business and in exchange their asset is getting built. Then, you have schemes like a JV (joint venture) with a contractor where around 20-25% of the project is sold by him which supports his cash cycle also. So these are some of the things that’s working in the market today. Everybody is straining for liquidity in the market but everybody also wants to do business so that’s how everybody is trying to manage in current times. .
Site visits and conversion ratios are improving. Number of leads, bookings, everything has been seeing an upward trend. We just want stability for few months and I think we will see the economy bouncing back and the jobs coming back.
Tell us about your offer of no money no worry?
The thing that is troubling the people most is the worry about EMI. With this offer, we have made sure that people do not have to worry about the EMIs for the 6 months. We will also take care of your booking amount. You just have to pay amount to stamp duty. It varies from project to project. That is how this scheme works- no money, no worry
Tell us about the status of your ongoing projects?
There are many projects whose possessions are going on, some projects are new and some are going to be finished soon. Every project is in different phases and stages. There are projects which have elements of Tokyo and Japan where we created landscaped gardens. One project is based on Thane where we did something new - We have golden club membership there, as well there automated parking which means there will be no rush. If you attach the car on the lift then your car automatically come to you. There are many unique things that are there or you can say that some smart work has happened. For example, if you are not at home and someone rings the bell, you will get the notification on your phone and you can see the person at the door. We have a project in Lonavala, one project in Pune as well based on an Italian theme. Then we have a project which is of approx. 10 acres, we call it a megacity which will have wifi throughout.
Puranik Builders- Rumah Bali- Podium lanscape
What areas in Maharshtra are doing well in terms of real estate.
Thane and Pune are really doing well in the market and we are lucky that we are located in these 2 markets which are really performing well and one of the reasons why these markets are performing well is that not only we have a good inventory and a good demand but because it is a right price product. So you know where you will get a 40 Lakh rupee 1 BHK, Rs 50 lakh Rupee 1 BHK in Thane or 70 to 90 lakh rupees 2 BHK or 1.2 crore 2 BHK in the heart of Thane. This kind of value for money product is not you will get in most of the Mumbai, if you want to compare and that's why these two towns are doing well really today.
Can we expect any good news about Residential and Real Estate.
As the unlock is happening, more and more demand is increasing. People are booking very fast and with the government benefit that is coming in plus some of the other packages that are likely to further come, we see a surge in the demand. So I think the future of the real estate, residential homes looks good.
Tell us how do you think, how the situation will be with vaccine, without vaccine.
A vaccine or no vaccine, the way we do business, the way we live, the way we transact everything is going to change. Everything has changed, its a new normal that we are all used to. It’s the new normal that not hundred percent of staff is sitting in my office. It’s only 30 percent but we're working well. We are collaborating well, we have two hours extra with us because of no traveling, devoting more time for your personal thing like if you want to do gym, for do your own yoga or something that's fine, extra time for yourself. You find extra time for your family and at the same time you are able to devote more productive hours in your house for your work related activities. We don't know when the vaccine will come or how effective it will be. Its just something that you have to take care of your own self, take care of your own health, you have to build your own immunity and you have to get adapted to a new way of doing business and only time will tell that how this pandemic pans out because I said it's completely uncertain and nobody will be able to tell you sure shot what is going to happen.
What is your Message for Surfaces Reporter Magazine.
I think you will go places and you will do very well in the digital space as well. People are looking for quality content, messages, happenings around the world. The more information you are able to provide them, they get hooked on to magazine like yours. All the best to you!