How real is generation change in Indian realty-I

Clash of generation in Indian business is no secret. However, when it comes to the second generation in Indian realty, the gap gets even wider since suave & sophistication that often comes with their foreign degree is in sharp contrast to the complex nature of business.

The perception & deep rooted conviction of the first generation that is based on the ground reality & exposure to the market at the primitive level also differs with the successors-in-waiting. Track2Realty noted that most of the first generation developers offer a fortune platter to their children, though often reluctant to accept their way of operations; still there are a very few case studies worth mention in the generation change of business.

At the CREDAI National Convention in New Delhi couple of years back, during a special session for second generation realtors called ‘Young Turks’, a seasoned developer thought of making fun by asking how many of the kids on block publicly admit that they don’t agree with their father’s way of operating the business.

With the only exception of a second generation developer form Kolkata, every other second generation developer preferred to be politically correct. However, it was writ large on their faces how they feel the business needs to not just change hands but a change in mindset and style in operations to take it forward to next level.

However, unlike many other industries with assembly line production, fact of the matter is that the second generation in the Indian real estate is finding it difficult to carry forward the business the way their fathers have done so very conveniently. It is not just about the generation gap but the times have changed, the customers’ choices, preferences and concerns have changed and suddenly there is this new wave of consumer activism to deal with.

There are many second generation developers in the business today and every developer father is trying to promote him/her in his own given way. Kabul Chawla of BPTP, Gaurav Mittal of CHD, Prateek Tiwari of Prateek Group, Nayan Raheja of Raheja Developers, Mohit Arora of Supertech, Kushagr Ansal of Ansal Housing and Construction, Saurabh Jindal of SVP Group, Pankaj Bansal of M3m, Gaurav Mohan Puri of Ansal Buildwell, Vikas Gupta of Earth Infrastructure, Manpreet Chadha of Wave, Amit Gupta of Orris, Kruti Jain of Kumar Urban Development….it seems generation change has already taken place in the Indian realty.

However, scratch the surface and one finds a different story where there is a conflict in outlook, perception, vision and overall behaviour pattern to carry self and the business. Though on the surface, if taken at face value, it seems second generation has arrived to correct the wrongs and first generation has just been waiting for that to happen.

29-year-old Nayan Raheja is credited with putting in place Raheja Developers’ JV with Arabtec, the construction firm known for having built the Burj Khalifa in Dubai for replicating Burj heights in India with a ticket value of Rs. 1000 crore. Nayan is one of several new-generation realtors bringing in innovation, technology and international aspirations into the world of property that has been rather old-school so far.

Similarly, Supertech project ‘North Eye’ in Noida, which the company claims as North India’s tallest residential development, is projected as the brainchild of 25-year-old Mohit Arora, son of the group CMD R K Arora. After civil engineering in the US, he is now trying to innovate in Indian real estate.

“Seeing the high-rise buildings in the US, I used to wonder why we can’t have these in India,” said Mohit. Company claims it was his idea to use pre-cast technology in order to cut the cost of construction and speed up projects. “Pre-cast is a widely used technology across the globe, but is new to India. I was keen to get this technology to reduce the cost of construction, which will be beneficial for affordable housing as well,” the IOWA University graduate said.

Then there is Kruti Jain, who is actually third generation realtor. She is projected as someone who was just 15 when she joined her father Lalit Jain, President of CREDAI and CMD of Pune-based Kumar Builders. Now, the 25-year-old law graduate is responsible for the entire Pune market. Kruti has been credited with rebranding the company as Kumar Urban Development and cut costs 60 per cent and raise sales 300 per cent while working in the marketing department. She also introduced a fixed price, doing away with the earlier practice of negotiation.

If Gaurav Mittal has been credited with changing CHD’s business strategy and go for multi-projects and acquisition, Saurabh Jindal is said to be behind changing the Ghaziabad’s landscape to upmarket with SVP projects. Kushagr Ansal has to his glory taking Ansals Housing & Construction to tier-II and III cities, while Pankaj Bansal is said to be behind M3M’s largest land deal and foray into non-core areas like retail, IT, education and hospitality.

Kabul Chawla has been projected to take slowdown with head-on approach even after his most ambitious land acquisition of 94 acres in Noida for Rs. 5,006 crore turned out to be a bad move. Manpreet Chadha has been seen as the brain behind the Wave City Centre, while Amit Gupta is projected as introducing innovation to the Orris projects.