Nestle in one of India's affordable cities


Kamal Sagar, CEO and Founder
Kamal Sagar, CEO and Founder

Bengaluru is among the few metros where you can own a modern home from a reputed developer for as little as Rs6,000 per square foot, says Kamal Sagar, CEO and Founder of Total Environment

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Published: Sat 15 Aug 2015, 2:34 PM

Last updated: Sat 15 Aug 2015, 4:39 PM

Total environment is a leading Bengaluru-based luxury real estate developer. Excerpts from an interview with Kamal Sagar, CEO and Founder of the company:
What are your views on the real estate scenario in Bengaluru?
The Bengaluru market is now poised to take off. It has a strong growth potential in the near future. While this could take a few more months, it is imminent.
I expect demand to pick up soon. There are several reasons: there has been a very large amount of office space that has been sold and leased out in Bengaluru last year. In fact, in the last quarter of 2014, almost a third of the office space in the entire Asia Pacific region was in Bengaluru, according to newspaper reports.
Several large e-commerce businesses have taken off very well and are growing fast. Bengaluru also has the lowest inventory overhang compared to Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Chennai and Pune. Overall India and the US are the only two countries that have been given a positive outlook by key rating agencies, and India is all set to achieve a growth of 7 per cent to 10 per cent.
Tell us about the price trends.
Prices in Bengaluru have grown very little over the last several years and, given today's cost of construction, it is impossible for developers to hold on to the prices for too long. Bengaluru is one of the most affordable cities in the country where you can still get a good apartment in a developed location from a reputed developer for around Rs6,000 to Rs8,000 per square foot. Therefore, any price correction is unlikely.
Is there growing NRI interest in this sector?
NRI interest continues to be strong, from all parts of the world, though I can't really say if it's growing. Several NRIs, who are originally from Kerala or Tamil Nadu, prefer Bengaluru as an investment destination. Besides NRIs, there is a lot of interest from Mumbai and Delhi as well.
How is the luxury housing segment faring? Are NRIs major buyers of luxury apartments and villas?
We have seen a slow increase in the off-take of our homes over the last six months, spurred mostly by young entrepreneurs as well as senior professionals and industrialists. NRIs account for around 30 per cent of our sales.
How do you view infrastructure developments in Bengaluru?
The new airport, the superfast elevated roads leading to it and the Metro have all made some difference. The Metro, which is being constructed in different parts of the city, is almost ready in several areas and a large section will become operational very soon.
Traffic does continue to be a problem though, and the government urgently needs to address this issue - through improved roads and alternative initiatives such as better traffic regulation, encouraging car-pooling, cycling, shared cars, etc.
What are the major projects being launched by your company?
We have a couple of new projects launched recently, which are already under construction. These include 'Learning to Fly' in the heart of JP Nagar and 'After the Rain' off the airport road beyond Yelahanka. We plan to launch a couple of other projects including 'Pursuit of a Radical Rhapsody' at Whitefield, and 'The Magic Faraway Tree - Phase 2' at Kanakapura Road. All these four projects come with our signature 'Orange' specifications - complete with furniture and fittings and are individually customisable.
Do you participate in exhibitions in the Gulf? If so, what has been the response from NRIs?
Yes, we have participated in a few property exhibitions in the Gulf like Sumansa Property Expo, India Property Expo - Kuwait, HDFC India Home Fair, Dubai, etc. We have always received a good response from NRIs, who are particularly interested in investing in Bengaluru for the following reasons:

  • Steady returns
  • Stable job market and booming IT sector
  • Presence of good educational institutions
  • Good medical facilities
  • Infrastructure - express highway, Metro, etc.

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