JP Iscon Ltd is among Gujarat’s pre-eminent real estate developers, with a strong corporate reputation founded on benchmark performance. The company has the distinction of having set up the fi rst mega retail outlet of both the Tata Group as well of Reliance Industries Ltd. Over the years, the company has developed over 35 lakh sq ft of residential, corporate, commercial and retail space across Gujarat in Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Surat, Rajkot, Bhavnagar, Anand and Deesa.
The growing housing shortage is a culmination of the high rate of urbanization with a majority of housing stock catering to the premium segment; thereby incapacitating a large section of society from owning homes. The solution to India’s growing housing defi cit is affordable housing and development of semiurban areas. The government should also seek to promote various types of public-private partnerships.
Jateen Gupta, Managing Director, JP Iscon Ltd shares his views with Sandeep Sharma about his company, signature projects, exploring new geographies, managing time and cost over-runs, safety aspect in a construction project, green building development and solution to India’s housing defi cit. Edited Excerpts…
How long you have been part of the real estate sector? Based on your experience what’s your take on the current challenges faced by the sector?
We have been in the real estate sector since the last 15 years. Our journey till now includes various residential, commercial and retail projects across Gujarat. We are always committed to provide customer-focused innovation to all our investors/buyers & inhabitants. The Real Estate Sector has been facing various challenges such as the steep and steady rise in raw material prices, severe shortage of labour, increase in transportation costs etc. However, irrespective of the current market scenario and projected slowdown, investments in real estate have been rising. A systematic planning and futuristic approach is defi nitely helping us to cope with the challenges in a positive way.
Could you please tell us in brief about your signature projects till date? What’s make them so special to you?
We have completed 15 projects & there are about 15 more projects in the pipeline. Amongst the past projects, one among our signature projects is Iscon Arcade, built in the year 2001, a commercial hub, one-of-its-kind with a central atrium and covered dome.
Iscon Mall has TATA’s very fi rst hyper market named Star India Bazaar for which Iscon received an award from Tata for the timely completion of the project. The innate urge to create novelties is what inspired Iscon to pioneer the concept of centrally air-conditioned malls in Gujarat in the year 2005. Gujarat’s Largest Mall, Iscon Mega Mall in Ahmedabad fetched two distinguished titles of “Most Admired Shopping Mall in India” at the Images Shopping Centre Forum ‘08, and “Best Shopping Mall in Gujarat” at the Gihed Awards ’08. The mall still stands with a stately presence in the industry holding itself to be the most sought after retail destination of entire Gujarat. Now, Iscon is focusing on developing luxurious properties across the state.
How far your company has fared in the current fi nancial year in terms of client bookings vis-a-vis projects announced?
We are having a successful fi nancial year. Infact, the recent launch of our landmark project, Iscon Platinum, has resulted in 70% to 80% bookings during the fi rst couple of days itself.
Do you have any plans for a new project in the next 6 months?
Yes, we are planning to launch another residential project, Iscon Platinum Riverside, in the next month. We are also planning to launch a club soon.
Apart from Gujarat, which are the other geographies you are interested in?
We are exploring various options and may come up with projects in Mumbai and Jaipur. However, our current focus is mainly on Gujarat.
How do you manage avoidance of cost and time overruns in your project?
Overruns and delays are currently probably the most important issues for engineers and project managers, as well as for the image of the whole enterprise. Completion dates go haywire due to such delays. From the foundation level of the project concept, cost measures are taken with regards to a set budget for design department, contractors & suppliers, management, advertising & building processes. Time management is a key factor which is set keeping deadlines in mind. We always keep an additional 2-3 months time period for every dept. so that the work is achieved before time.
Could you please comment on the importance of safety aspect in a construction project?
Safety is needed for being protected from events that cause human risk or economical losses. It’s a must to have protection of people & possessions. Safety measures have to be taken from the inception of the building starting from the architect’s design, landscaping, quality of products used, sturdy installations, accident resistant products, non- fl ammable décor, suffi cient electrical modules, clean drainage solutions etc. For us, the safety aspect in our construction project always plays a vital role.
Have you constructed any green building till date? What’s your take on the future of Green Buildings in India?
No, not yet. Green architecture is a booming industry. Apart from the reduction in environmental degradation, it has a huge impact on indoor air quality and consequently the health of the inhabitants. As a social responsibility, companies should plan for Green Buildings for a greener India. We also try our level best to have a minimal impact of carbon & wastage of resources. Our future would defi nitely be safer if it’s greener!
Are you making use of modern construction technology in your projects?
Our technical staff stays updated with the latest technology for making construction processes simpler. We try making use of them as much as possible so as to have a systematic way of working, maximize output in a short time and make projects cost effective.
As funds are becoming dearer, how do you manage project fi nancing?
Our Company has a long term strategy plan to raise funds for different projects. There are modes of internal accrual, debt etc. and others like long-term loans from housing fi nance institutions, banks.
Lastly, what’s the solution according to you for India’s growing housing defi cit?
The growing housing shortage is a culmination of the high rate of urbanization with a majority of housing stock catering to the premium segment; thereby incapacitating a large section of society from owning homes. The solution to India’s growing housing defi cit is affordable housing and development of semi-urban areas. The government should also seek to promote various types of public-private partnerships.
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| Jateen Gupta | Aman Chadha, Khalid Mohammed Khan | Bhupender Kumar Sethi | Manish Sarda, K.G.Mantri | Sanjoy Chakrabarty | Dr S K Sankar | Shah Hakim Zain | Ashwani Gupta | Vikram Amin | Getamber Anand | Suditya Sinha | Kruti Jain | Harresh Mehta | Vishal Jumani | Pravin Malkani | Rahul Saraf |