Rohit Gera, Managing Director, Gera Developments Pvt. Ltd

“We expect that real estate prices will continue to see an inflation led increase across micro markets.”

Jul 05, 2014 09:07 IST India Infoline News Service

Rohit Gera, Managing Director, Gera Developments Pvt. Ltd has completed the Advanced Management Development Program in Real Estate from the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University. He has a Bachelor of Science degree (double major in Building Construction and Project Management and Economics) from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. He has completed his schooling from The Doon School in Dehra Dun. Rohit Gera is the Vice President, CREDAI Pune-Metro (Formerly Promoters and Builders Association of Poona (PBAP) since 2007 and has been a member since 1999. He was the Honorary Secretary from 2005-2007. As an active participant in the real estate industry, Rohit has been championing various causes, some of which include increasing transparency in the industry, filling the gap of the lack of market data by conducting primary market research and publishing the results, delivering product quality and training for construction workers. Rohit has a keen interest in reading.

Gera Developments Pvt. Ltd, one of the pioneers of the real estate business in Pune are recognized as the creators of premium residential and commercial projects in Pune & Goa and now in Bangalore. Gera is a full-service organization with in-house architects, engineers and construction crew. Gera has a mixed portfolio of commercial and residential projects spread across Pune, Goa and Bangalore. GDPL prides itself on providing long term enjoyment to customers and innovation being a hallmark of the company’s projects. A reputation built by a stalwart in the industry, and one of the few successful family-run business’s whose brand name is synonymous with professionalism, quality and respectability – Gera’s vision continues to be the most dominant and respected real estate developer.

Replying to Yash Ved of IIFL, Rohit Gera says “We expect that real estate prices will continue to see an inflation led increase across micro markets.”

Brief us about your current and upcoming projects in residential, commercial and retail space?

We have recently launched the ChildCentricTM Homes concept at our projects in Pune & Bangalore. Song of Joy is a part of the larger development of Gera’s GreensVille, along with GardenVillas, SkyVillas and Trinity Towers at Kharadi, Pune. It is a 240 homes project spread over 4 towers of 15 floors each. Apartments comprise 2 & 3 Bedroom residences of 1230 & 1660 sq. ft. respectively.

Joy on The Banks is the first phase of our project at Varthur, Whitefield in Bangalore being developed by a JV between Sterling Developers, Bangalore and Gera Developers, Pune. The residential project comprises 324 homes spread over 6 towers of 12 and 15 floors. There are2 & 3 Bedroom residences of 1289 sq. ft. & 1847 sq. ft. respectively.

Gera’s Imperium Green and Gera’s Imperium 4 are being developed and launched respectively in the commercial space in Goa.

In addition, we are developing Gera’s Isle Royale, Gera’s ParkView I in Pune.

What are your comments on formation of the new Government? What is the outlook for real estate sector?

After about 3 decades the people of India have handed a clear mandate to a single party to form the government! The new Government’s primary focus vis-à-vis real estate should be to infuse life into the real estate sector by boosting demand amongst home buyers. A reduction in mortgage rates is the need of the hour. There is an existing need for people to purchase homes, this need needs to translate into demand. Lower interest rates will certainly help home buyers to convert the need to demand.

There is a need to revive economic growth in the country and give the sector the much needed impetus to recover from the cynicism in the industry. Also there should be a conscious effort to bring down interest rates and make finance easily available for developers while streamlining and reducing delays in approvals.

Overall, there is a definite mood of cautious optimism for 2014 the real estate market seems to look for clear direction with a government in control of the situation rather than a fragmented mandate.

What is your view on real estate prices?

With inflation at current levels, finance not being available for developers leading to high costs of finance, delays in approvals leading to higher holding costs, there does not seem to be much head room for prices to drop. We expect that prices will continue to see an inflation led increase across micro markets (barring the odd case of developer distress) through the year. However, a clear mandate to the government has set the stage for a smart recovery of the sector and correspondingly purchase of homes in the second half of the year leading to a steeper price increase during the second half of the year.

Are you looking for any JV or acquisition of stake?

We have recently entered into a partnership with Sterling Developers in Bangalore. This partnership marked our foray into the Bangalore real estate market as well as the launch of our ChildCentric Homes concept at our jointly developed project Joy on the Banks in Varthur.

In the past we have been in a joint venture with Citigroup Property Investors to develop a residential project at Kharadi.

What are the major challenges which real estate industry faces?

The industry is plagued with several bottle necks and red-tapism. There is a marked delay in approvals which have a ripple effect. All these delays result in increasing costs and time lines which ultimately mean the end customer suffers. There is a dire need to create policies that give impetus to affordable housing and also fuel numerous other allied sectors and contribute significantly to the GDP.

Additional the lack of awareness amongst consumers is one of the key challenges of the industry. The increasing numbers of fly by night developers with no credible track record are the further limiting factors. Consumers are blindly trusting these developers and willing to compromise for a few hundred rupees per square foot. If they were to invest even one of their EMIs in doing some ground work in regard to the title document, approval status, checking the developer’s track record and past performance etc. it would help them live peacefully with regards to their investment over the next 20-25 years.

Brief us about the launch of ChildCentric Homes, a unique concept?

ChildCentric homes is the result of years of experience, expertise and in depth market research conducted by us with today’s young home buyers – They are working couples, living in a nuclear format with young children or are planning to start a family. They want to provide the best opportunities for their children and often sacrifice their careers for their children. An ambitious family that wishes to experience life to the fullest but is very often stressed because of the day to day requirements around their children, careers and families. Gera took the customers’ feedback and created an innovative solution where the residents of the project could get the CONVENIENCE of never before facilities at their doorstep, features where their children could have FUN, keeping the SAFETY needs for their children in mind and DEVELOPMENT & training aspirations of their children were fulfilled.

Gera Developments has conceptualized a unique and trendsetting concept of ChildCentricTM Homes, an innovative solution offering parents inconceivable convenience along with an opportunity for their children to discover their passion and be the best they can be while living in premium contemporary homes. Flagging off yet another innovation from Gera, ChildCentricTM Homes is set to revolutionize the residential real estate sector by creating a new category of living spaces with a service orientated proposition and enabling a new way to live. This first of its kind, this never seen or heard before concept can be experienced in Song of Joy at Gera’s GreensVille, Kharadi in Pune and Joy on the Banks in Varthur in Bangalore. The highlight of ChildCentricTM homes is the holistic 360° approach to family living taking into account parents aspirations and needs with regards to their children.

We signed up India’s top personalities offering the best intellectual, physical and vocational coaching at the doorstep: Shankar Mahadevan for music, Shiamak Davar for dance, Viswanathan Anand for chess, Mahesh Bhupathi for tennis, Anil Kumble for cricket and Dale Carnegie for personality development along with other tie ups for swimming, arts, dramatics etc.Apart from these amenities children will also have offerings like vedic math, age specific computer labs & gaming rooms, yoga, international standard BMX & skateboarding parks & Gurukul areas.

With our years of experience and feedback from customers, we have documented the promise in a separate child centric agreement with the home buyers to ensure delivery of the facilities, promised free training programs in the Arts, Sports & Development for the children. Children are provided with free training vouchers for 11 programs (in Sports, Arts & Development).

We believe that ChildCentric Homes is a new and different product line in the real estate sector. We view the opportunity of resolving the concerns and problems faced by parents as well as the opportunity to see children flourish and find their passion as something that is very different from adding some specifications or amenities into a project. We therefore believe that over time, the category of ChildCentric homes can be a new segment within the overall world of real estate.

What will be the advantages and opportunities?

ChildCentric Homes have several advantages and opportunities for its residents. The biggest advantage in the category of CONVENIENCE for parents is the savings in terms of travel and time. It creates more time for children while helping to reduce the stress in the lives of the parents and allays child safety concerns since facilities are available on campus. In the category of DEVELOPMENT, the availability of best in class coaching opportunities for the children thereby giving them the exposure to multiple disciplines so that they can decide what to take up is a huge advantage.

The project offers the opportunity for parents to have more time for themselves as well as the opportunity to be present at the child’s coaching sessions – this potentially helps develop healthier relationships at a family level too.

Also the 5 year agreements with each of the coaching academies will ensure quality services with sustainability.

ChildCentric Homes will establish a new category in the real estate space and provide its residents with not only a premium home and infrastructure but also ensure safety, convenience, fun and development for the children. The concept is innovative and demonstrates the need and sign of the changing times by catering to the needs of today’s young home buyer and enabling a new way to live. A multifaceted living space that allows a child to choose and develop across art, sports, dance, music etc while learning from the best in class trainers and world class facilities.

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