By Nimisha Gupta,
Mr. Rohit Gera, is a third generation entrepreneur, dynamic business leader and a prominent real estate developer. Mr. Rohit has been involved in Gera Developments in various capacities over the last 22 years finally culminating into taking over as the Managing Director in April 2011. He has been focused on the growth of the organization over the past decade and has seen the company move beyond Pune into Goa and Bangalore. Mr. Rohit is the Vice President, CREDAI Pune-Metro (Formerly Promoters and Builders Association of Poona (PBAP) since 2007 and has been a member since 1999.
Pune is among the rapidly developing cities of India, in terms of IT industry and Real Estate industry. Selection of Pune in list of Smart Cities have impacted positively on real estate sector of the city. To know more on the developments and future of the city, Nimisha Gupta from Accommodation Times got in conversation with Mr. Rohit Gera, one of the leading developers of Pune.
Q1. How do you see the volatile market of real estate sector in Pune for last couple of years?
Pune real estate market has been quite stable over the last few years where in 2015 total sales reduced by only 10%. The stress in the sector is being felt on account of and increased supply. Currently the customer is waiting in hope of lower interest rates and an expectation of a steep drop in prices. This perception is leading to some people who need a home to put off their decision to purchase.
Q2. Pune has been roped in 20 Smart Cities proposal. Do you think this will be an upward graph of growth or there would be ups & down in the sector?
The real estate sector is linked to both National level as well as local level issues. The Smart City program will certainly boost the image of Pune from a brand perspective and as such this will certainly be positive for the residential and commercial real estate sectors.
Q3. What do you think the current status of the real estate sector in Pune?
Certain sectors within Pune Real Estate market are finding good sales momentum. The segment with prices under 4200 rupees per square foot is the lowest inventory overhang in spite of having the maximum inventory in this segment. Sales are slow at the higher end of the market however reputed developers with a track record even in the higher price bracket are seeing some sales momentum.
Q4. Which side of Pune do you see more growth happening in future?
There is growth likely on both the east and west corridor on account of large job creation on account of the IT/ITES development in both Hinjewadi and Kharadi.
Q5. What is driving the current boom in real estate sector? What are the main factors that are influencing this growth?
At a fundamental level there continues to be a tremendous need for housing in India. As people’s affluence and affordability rises, one of the first major purchases is a home. As more jobs get created and as urbanization continues the need and demand for homes continues to stay robust
Q6. What is your reaction to Union Budget 2016? Did the budget met your expectations?
“Given the challenging economic conditions, the Finance Minister has done a remarkable job. Showing a clear road map for farmers to double their income in 5 years, focus on infrastructure, capitalization of banks as well as reducing tax terrorism are welcome steps. Government has given a major push to infrastructure in this budget by allocating huge funds for the road and rail sector. Announcement on development of new greenfield airports, revival of undeserved airports, highway upgradation, bringing stalled road projects back on track and constructing more rural roads will give much needed boost to the realty sector and put the smart cities initiative on a fast track. On the subject of housing, there are a number of measures addressed toward the consumer as well as the industry with a view to address the housing shortage in the country.
The consumers are benefitted with greater interest deduction for first home buyers, as well as an enhanced deduction from Rs. 24000 to Rs. 60000 for rent paid where there is no HRA provision.
For the industry, the objectives of meeting the housing shortfall are unlikely to be met for a number of reasons. First being that the project has to be completed within 3 years with the Occupancy Certificate (OC). Given the time, the OC takes leaves about 30 months to complete the project. When combined with the clause that the project must consume 80% or 90% of the FAR, means the projects will only be small sized so as to meet the time line criteria. Secondly, the bill says the scheme is applicable to the cities of Mumbai Delhi, Kolkata and Chennai and 25 km around these. For Pune Realty Sector, the scheme is applicable to the PMC and PCMC limits and not to the areas outside of the municipal corporations. However, for all other areas it is applicable only to the municipal or cantonment jurisdictions. This means areas outside the municipal limits are excluded from the scheme. It is likely that this is a drafting error as the letter doesn’t match the spirit, but as written the scheme will not make a major impact.”
Q7. Lack of infrastructure is a big hurdle in way of development. Comments
India is a developing economy with very rapid urbanization. As such funds available in the cities to provide the requisite infrastructure is always short. As such urban local bodies need to walk the difficult parts of balancing the infrastructure needs with fund availability. Though we all agree that greater efficiency in public spending is necessary and possible I am a firm believer that in the medium term, the required infrastructure in a location does catch up with the population.
Q8. Is Gera Development planning to shift its focus on Tier 1 and Tier 11 cities? What are the current projects in pipeline of Gera Developments?
We have presence in Pune, Goa and Bengaluru in both commercial and premium residential sector. We have always been innovative in our approach, we launched India’s first ChildCentricTM project. The concept of ChildCentricTM Homes created a new category of living spaces with service oriented proposition. It provides holistic 360° approach to family living taking into account parents aspirations and needs with regards to their children. This concept has been implemented in our project Song of Joy – GreensVille, Kharadi in Pune. Gera has to its credit the series of IntelliplexesTM in Panjim – The 5 Gera’s Imperium projects in the central business hub of Goa.
Gera’s Isle Royale is located in the lush green forests of Bavdhan in Pune is also unique which has super luxury villas and high rise apartments. Some of our landmark projects in Pune are Gera’s Trinity Towers, SkyVillas, Emerald City, Astoria, Park View 1 and amongst others. Unique aspects associated to our brand and the projects are that we provide 5 Year Warranty in all our projects consisting of Preventive Maintenance and Repairs.