Santosh Naik, Managing Director , Disha Direct, is an Engineer by qualification and has around 16 years of business experience. In the 90’s he promoted Disha Power Systems, which was into manufacturing and trading of Electrical systems like transformers, inverters and other power related appliances. In the process he discovered his strengths in sales and marketing and in 1999 he promoted Disha Direct as a pure Marketing and Brand Building consultancy and service provider whereby he helped Small Scale Industry players to improve their sales and marketing and in the process build their brands. In June 2003 he was presented with an opportunity to market a Real Estate Project of bungalows and thus began the tryst of the Group into Real Estate. Having tasted success in marketing of Real Estate Pojects, Yash Ventures & Yash Developers (both proprietary concerns of Mr.Santosh Naik) were floated in April 2006 to enter the Real Estate market as a developer. He is extremely fond of reading books, travelling and watching football.
Disha Direct Marketing Services Pvt. Ltd., is a Real Estate Marketing, Brand Building Organisation and Service Provider. Among the pioneers of the Second Home concept they, offer services across the entire spectrum of real estate be it residential properties in cities and towns, second homes away from the city, budget homes within city limits, plots of developed land, commercial properties, expansive acres of land or some rare charismatic homes through our 7 established brands.
Replying to Anil Mascarenhas of India Infoline, Santosh Naik says, "Innovative ideas that appeal to the sensibilities of buyers of plots and second homes is the cornerstone of any marketing strategy in this segment."
Are you seeing signs of stability in the real estate sector?
The Real Estate sector has entered a phase of stability and sustainable growth across all products and price ranges. Since the middle of 2009, the demand has been consistent and encouraging. Second Homes has always been as aspirational product and with the Economy in general doing well, the disposable income of people rising in general, the demand of second homes has increased substantially. In the coming six months the gap between demand and supply is set to widen, which will augur well for this industry.
What are the verticals you cater to?
We cater to Second Homes, plots, large parcels of land and Budget Homes.
Disha Direct Marketing Services Pvt.Ltd. is a marketing company into services, hence we only conceptualise and market the properties, and don’t develop them. Our spends are on marketing, advertising and sales.
In a competitive world, how do you assure Fair & Fixed Price?
In a competitive world, competition ensures that the prices are reasonable and fair and there is always an effort to outprice the competition. Our concept of Fair and Fixed price is to offer value for money with transparency. The price has to be such that there should be no room for the buyer to feel that there is scope for negotiation. We don’t offer discounts on inflated prices.
What are the efforts being taken to Go Green? What kind of benefits has it translated into for the company and customers?
Considering the products that we market (second homes), it goes without saying that the customer who is usually a city slicker wants to get away from a concrete jungle to greener pastures, peace and tranquillity. Hence the second home projects necessarily need to offer greenery and has an abundance of natures beauty be it a hill, river, sea, water body, valley etc. In addition to this all our schemes have more than 1000 trees planted by us in addition to the natural flora and fauna on the property. We certainly feel proud of our little contribution to maintain the environment of the places where we work.
What is your marketing strategy?
Innovative ideas that appeal to the sensibilities of buyers of plots and second homes is the cornerstone of any marketing strategy in this segment. The idea has to be real and implementable for real, it cannot be a gimmick. Mango Village near Vikramgad is a village home set in a Mango Orchard. Nirvana Farms near Wada offers community farming. Orange City is a community whose amenities revolve around a cartoon character called ‘Ongy’. Landmarc Hills is a Hill Station recreated and so on…
Comment on your financials. What is the outlook for the coming years?
We are looking at 100% CAGR over the next few years as the potential for second homes is ever increasing and the demand – supply gap at present positively contributes to this potential. In addition to the same we are also developing allied business models to which will contribute to this growth substantially.
What is your staff strength? Which are the geographies you are present in?
We are around 150 people. Our projects are concentrated in Western Maharashtra
(Alibaug, Kasara, Karjat, Wada, Shahpur, Kandala, Lonavala, Kolad, New Mahabaleshwar, Devlali) and Nagpur in Eastern Maharashtra.
Comment on your International business.
The products have triggered the imagination of NRIs based in the Gulf and USA. We have been handling them online. Our NRI Centric website buyindianproperties.com specifically caters to their needs. In addition to the same for on ground support we have associates in the Gulf and an office at New York.
Tell us more about Nirvana Farms. How did the concept come about? What are some of the usual risks associated with this?
Nirvana Farms is India’s 1st Vaastu Shastra certified project of N. A. Plots. Inspired from the ancient philosophy of Nirvan, as addressed in Sanskrit is all about feeling free, refreshed and rejuvenated. This project is being developed at the quaint destination of Wada in Maharashtra. The township spreads across 75 acres comprising N. A. Farm Plots, Meditation Park, Contemporary Club House and Children’s Play Area. A total number of 335 individual non agriculture farm house plots are being offered in this project. It also has the special feature of Community Farming.
Community Farming is a first-of-its-kind initiative to be introduced in Nirvana Farms. This unique concept merges the exciting experience of farming with an ideal opportunity to participate in sowing, ploughing & reaping a harvest of choicest variety. An approximate 5 acres of land is being allotted towards Community Farming. Under the able guidance of a horticulturist, the dwellers of Nirvana Farms can plough a crop of their choice. Farming can also be practised on one’s own plot but that would involve additional cost. Community Farming as a concept comprises no additional cost and apart from availing self participation in the initiative, the dwellers are also entitled to the matchless option of receiving delivery of fresh vegetables, medicinal herbs and fruits free for five years in Nirvana Farms.
As of now, there are no risks associated with this project. Instead, the project being at a developmental stage promises to highly appreciate in the near future.
Tell us about Disha Power Systems
This company, formed in 1989, used to manufacture transformers, inverters and other electrical appliances. Its operations were sold in the late nineties when Disha Direct was formed as a direct marketing company for industrial appliances to begin with and then ventured into Second Homes in 2003.
What are the other companies in the group?
Yash Infraventures Pvt. Ltd is the group company which develops projects. It will be completing 2 projects in 2009-2010.
What is your vision for the company? How do you hope to achieve that vision?
The Vision is to be the most respected name in Real Estate Marketing. This can only be achieved by being customer centric, committed and by being prompt on delivery with good quality. We have put in place a team of experienced and talented professionals who look after our operations and ensure that we are the most respected name. The result of this is high customer confidence which results in repeat business as well as high referrals which will be the envy of any other business.
Any plans to do an IPO?
Not in the immediate future.