A Real(i)ty Check, The True Shape of Things to Come

Vineet Nanda(Chairman of FICCI Regional Infrastructure Committee) - December 03, 2023 - - 0 |
A Real(i)ty Check, The True Shape of Things to Come.

As we embark upon marking a new chapter in the year 2024, we begin with the realization that these are exceptionally interesting times. The world today is more connected than ever before in the history of the human kind. I consider myself blessed by the Almighty in having received real estate exposure both  in the national and international markets, witnessing this transition into the future.

A small event of seemingly no significance in one continent, can have decisive impact on another in a very short span of time. For instance, the Covid pandemic, a totally unexpected and yet a very real event, had changed the world in ways more than one. Besides the massive loss of valuable human lives across the planet, it also forced governments, corporations and individuals meet unforeseen challenges and thus contemplate, innovate, and create solutions that would lead to the progress of humanity in the days to come. It brought to light the fact that not just problems, but even disasters and catastrophes can leave us with lessons for a lifetime and for the generations that will follow.

At Krisumi Corporation, during the pandemic times, some of our highest sales numbers were clocked-in, employing the generous use of digital media and virtual platforms. We observed that there was a greater need for more functional living spaces than just large areas and work spaces at home were beginning to make sense in the light of new digitally enabled businesses. The world today is seeing one regional conflict after another, often escalating into a larger transnational theatre. While they do tend to impact a sizable section of the economies of the western hemisphere in a downward spiral of growth, certain economies took a path never taken and hence, reap the benefits that came along with it. The Indian economy is one classic example of this strategic thought and tactical execution. The Covid pandemic not only boosted domestic production but also provided an impetus to programmes such as ‘Make in India’ and ‘Vocal for Local. The Honorable Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi has truly implemented the idiom ‘Think Global, Act Local’ to the last letter. Not only has the growth in infrastructure proved to be  a shot for all sectors in general, but it is the real estate sector that has leveraged the maximum gain out of it.

A very similar trait has been observed in the leadership of the United Arab Emirates, which has not only transformed its desert flora and fauna into a truly vibrant technology driven nation state, but also a real estate superpower, boasting of the highest, the tallest and the largest in almost every structural development implemented on the ground. Remarkably, in the wake of both the Russia- Ukrain war as well as Israel-Gaza conflict, the Dubai property market has made incredible gains, with Abu Dhabi and Ras -Al- Khaimah not at all being far behind. Saudi Arabia has also joined the new wave of growth by initiating the ‘Line by Neom’, which is, the first of its kind development in not only the Middle East but also rest of the world. The crux is, that fossil fuels will no longer remain the major economic driver of these two  Gulf states, and diversifying their economies into the age of Artificial Intelligence and Virtual Reality has become a pressing need to achieve sustainable economic growth. And this comes at a time when India along with the G-20 nations launched the iconic India Middle East Europe Economic Corridor (IMEEC) thus bringing the ancient and legendary spice route back to life and in business, eventually proving that history does repeat itself. It takes some serious diplomacy to bring different parties with varying interests on a shared table and work towards a common objective. That indeed is the true essence of remarkable leadership and visionary approach.

Closer home in India, the massive infrastructure initiatives ranging from Expressways, be it Dwarka Expressway, Delhi-Meerut Expressway, Goa-Mumbai Expressway, Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor Bharatmala or North South East West corridors, will give a great impetus to real estate growth in 2024. The next 3 years will see unprecedented growth of real estate further boosted by increased mobility all across the nation. Post-pandemic, riding on this infrastructure wave, India has emerged as a beacon of economic growth, leading to greater Foreign Direct Investment in the country and hence, facilitated mega size manufacturing businesses moving from China and other parts of the world to India.

Today, India is not only the largest democracy, but also the largest consumer market. It has reached a new era in terms of infrastructure enabled connectivity andaccessibility. There has been a trend that witnesses decongestion of Metro cities, wherein the expansion is not only horizontal and vertical but also relocation of manufacturing plants into suburban areas and B-grade cities. Not only has it made the workforce mobile but also proven to increase the affordability of housing for larger sections of the community. India is a developing nation with urban ownership of homes at about 67%. Indications show that rural-to-urban migration of skilled and semi-skilled professionals is on the cards.

Now, the phenomenon we know as ‘competition’ is largely becoming a concept nearing extinction. Cooperation and collaborative approach is what the world needs more than ever, in all walks of life. This has led to competitors joining hands and create, what the new world order addresses as ‘Co-opetition’. It has been seen to be  very much prevalent in the automotive sector and . the real estate sector is no exception. Land consolidators have turned land aggregators, collaborators have become contractors and channel partners have become developers. This is an encouraging trend and signifies that there is no stopping on the path of growth, when it comes to the Indian real estate industry.

The real estate sector today  needs thoroughbred professionals, who are not just dedicated but also knowledgeable and aware of the latest technical, legal as well as statutory guidelines ensuring home buyer’s confidence in the long run. Skilling and Re-skilling are becoming the new buzzwords. This has been a thoughtful initiative of our Honourable  Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, in order to make India, the Skill Powerhouse of the world. The RESEED programme by Lamrin Tech Skills University,Punjab is one such step that shall enable property consultants in equipping them with requisite skills and tools to not just survive but thrive in the new global realty markets.

Whether it is Gurugram’s high disposable income or Noida’s impeccable infrastructure in the light ofthe upcoming Global City under the leadership of  Honourable Haryana Chief Minister Shri Manohar Lal Khattar as well as Noida International Airport under the guidance of Honourable  Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Shri Yogi Adityanath, these events have been making headlines in the global news rooms. Gone are the days when projects took years to sell, now the inventories are stocked out on hourly basis. Today the National Capital Region (NCR) is slowly and steadily catching up with Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) in almost all major aspects that contribute to home buyer preferences. From Chandigarh to Chennai, the market forces may seem bullish but the home buyer’s focus totally remains on the projects from the developers of repute and having a legacy of timely deliveries with committed quality of construction.

Despite real estate being cyclic in nature, this is a market where customers are willing to pay more than just the premium for developers who underpromise and exceed expectations on delivery. It is a trait that demands exemplary leadership and a value system based on trust and customer delight. This is a space that has always had less players and even lesser competition. And this is what the market demands and will continue to do so in the future ahead.


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