With recent policy changes in money lending norms and real estate investment trusts (REITs), the realty sector is hoping to get back on track after reeling for a long time. Sushant Muttreja, Chairman and Managing Director, Cosmic Group speaks about various issues in an interaction with Rahul Trivedi, Correspondent, Governance Today
What is the prevailing situation in reality?
At present, the Indian real estate sector is getting largely influenced by the western culture as we see a lot of stress is on modern and conceptual living. As a result, luxurious projects/ offerings, along with seven-star facilities, concepts of green living, smart city, etc., have come up and tarted transforming the Indian real estate greatly. As the demand for real estate has increased, people have started investing more and more into it which didn’t happen earlier.
There is a fear of meltdown in real estate like that of gold. How do you subscribe to this view?
The Indian real estate is in a phase of transformation which will witness a few hiccups initially. Most of people view this as a falling demand, but this is actually a new beginning. With the demand to move north, even the government has started providing various incentives to help the people have their own homes. Thus, with the customer sentiments becoming positive and the demand increasing along with opportunities, the real estate sector is shining like gold.
Is there the need of a real estate regulator?
There is and has always been a need of a regulator in this sector. The sector has been infamous for quite some time due to certain cases of fraud with buyers. With a regulator on board, there will be continuous monitoring and supervision on the transactions and activities of this sector. It is important for this sector to be organized, as it is one of the largest contributors to the country’s GDP and employment.
The monetary easing has not been as good as it was expected. Has it any impact on the realty sector?
The new government has just settled in and the performance has been quite good till now and this was pretty much anticipated. By easing FDI norms, decreasing home loan rates and introducing few incentives for the sector, the sentiments have drastically improved over the last quarter.
With the final festive season of the year around the corner, things will get even better as the demand will start moving upward. As the time progresses, there will be new policies and norms which will be introduced to ease the sector further.which will be introduced to ease the sector further.
How do you ensure that your brand is not diluted by the channel partners?
The purpose of having channel partners is to push the sales and it has nothing to do with the branding activities. A good channel partner will always have a positive impact on the brand value of the company, as quick and higher sales mean that the company is developing good quality products and the sales partners will never have to manipulate anything, rather become motivated to it. Also, we make sure to have a collective channel partner meeting each week with the management, in order to keep them updated.
Is there any surveillance mechanism to prevent fraud?
We have our own legal team working for this cause. Fraud will only occur when there is any wrongdoing from the customer’s end or the company’s end. In either case, our legal team continuously monitors the activities and transactions of both parties and hence, chances of any fraud are eradicated.
Many a people feel that No EMI scheme or 80:20 scheme is trap. What is your take on the issue?
Any scheme introduced by a developer is a way to make payment easier for the customers, as affordability has become very difficult nowadays. Speaking of this scheme, No EMI allows the customers to sit peacefully till the offer of possession as only the initial booking payment is done and rest is taken care off by the developer. After the possession is offered, the customer starts paying. Also, there is a bank guarantee attached to these schemes which make them valid.
How should an investor crosscheck the claims made by the builder?
Every honest developer begins the construction work after attaining the due approvals, licenses and permissions from the respective authorities. Once these documents are received, the developer maintains a complete record of it. Any investor/ buyer who visits the developer can view these documents to verify the claims. Speaking of construction quality and promises, most developers keep a sample unit ready for the quality proof.
What are the new projects in the offing?
We have recently launched quite a few projects in NCR. Cosmic Cruise located at Greater Noida, Cosmic Masterpiece at sector 154, Noida expressway and Urban Young at Yamuna expressway are our latest offerings. We already have a few projects under construction. All our projects are unique with respect to amenities, location, connectivity and offerings along with very competitive pricing.
What efforts you make to complete projects in time?
Presently, all our projects are running as per the schedule. In order to maintain the process smooth, we set monthly construction targets for ourselves. Our thoroughly experienced and talented construction team ensures that these targets are met each month. We do keep a time buffer for every construction and use latest quality tools to maintain efficiency and effectiveness.
How do you maintain the quality of construction?
For the record, our project “Cosmic Corporate Park” has been certified as India’s first absolute Green building with LEED gold certification. In most of our projects, we have installed solar panels in order to better utilize electricity. Apart from that we have a specialized drainage system in most of our projects in order to promote rain water harvesting. One of the most important aspects of a green building is the design and architecture. We keep in mind the ventilation across the flats, proper air sealing, window sealing, etc. All these things help in making a project of supreme quality and sustainable. Apart from these measures, we hire professional staff for construction purposes and there is a separate quality check team to ensure the quality of work.