Darode Jog brings down the property prices in Pune real estate market!
April 1, 2009:"How can Darode Jog do this? Ravi, do you have any idea what they are up to?," one of my builder friend asked me frantically.
"It's April fool. Don't worry!," assuming that he must have read the news, i tried to calm him down.
"No. Not at all. I am just coming from Greenland-County. There was a big crowd at the site. Sudhir Darode himself was taking bookings," my builder friend was sounding like a TV reporter!
"Then why didn't you ask Mr. Darode?," i tried to solve his problem.
"I asked him. Sudhir said 82 bookings done!," my small builder friend gave me the breaking new of Pune real estate market.
"Good for you! Special property rate of Rs. 2,350 per sq.ft. is only for the first 100 flats! Now, you don't have to worry!!," i said seriously.
"Are they going to stop at 100 bookings? Launching is on April 3! Darode Jog has to book some flats at 2,350 on that day! Would they increase the property rates?," my builder friend asked me.
Oh my god! Yesterday morning, I didn't asked this to Mr. Anand Jog, Director of Darode Jog Properties, when he took me to Greenland-County at Narhe Ambegaon!
March 31, 2009:
Waiting for Tata's Nano!Mr. Anand Jog called me on March 30th to tell me that he is going to launch Greenland-County on 3rd April. He also invited me to visit Greenland-County with him on March 31, 2009.
This was a big surprise for me. No, not because he invited me to visit the site. For me it looked like that Mr. Jog was putting in a lot of effort for the simple project which, for sure, is going to become a big hit. The press conference, arranging my exclusive visit, it was too much! There was no need for Anand Jog to work so hard.
Was Mr. Jog taking his teaser ad seriously? He can compare his small flat with Nano to describe his property and tell the property buyers 'not to book on Gudi Padwa but wait till his project is launched in April!' But it doesn't mean that Anand Jog has to personally get involved like Ratan Tata!
This was all coming out of jealousy! When i was in Pune real estate advertising, Darode Jog was my most prestigious client. I have done his brochures for more a than dozen projects. But in all those years, i may have met Jogsaheb only two or three times. Those meetings, i still remember, were too short. I couldn't manage to finish my coffee!
Those were all premium projects in premium locations of Pune, like Prabhat Road, Model Colony, Nav Sahyadri. Number of flats may be less but the value of the each project was comparable to these townships. But Mr. Jog used to take every project in his stride. He was always around but not visible, never present! But now, Anand Jog is leading from the front! I was not ready to accept Anand Jog's "leading role" in this low budget project.
In fact, i didn't like the idea. When all Kothrud is almost ready for re-development, still there are plenty of bungalows available on Deccan Gymkhana, Darode Jog should not go for this type of low budget mass housing projects in the fringe villages of Pune. There is a big scarcity of dependable quality builders with whom Punekars can relate!
However, on 31st March, i reached Mr. Anand Jog's residence at 9.30 am sharp and we left for "Greenland-County" in his SUV.
I am posting few photographs of "Greenland- County" which will give you some idea about the project.
From Greenland County, Mr. Jog took me to "Crossover County" on Sinhagad road. All the time, besides Darode Jog Properties, Anand Jog was talking about boom in Pune real estate market, property prices and correction, current trends and of course Indian economy and recession.
It was not an question - answer type official interview, so i am dividing his views in a few points. In fact, Mr. Jog knew about my blogs on Pune real estate market but hadn't actually visited them till i gave him the demonstration. So take it as an informal conversation between Anand Jog, a leading builder in Pune real estate market and his long time admirer, Ravi Karandeekar, who happens to blog on Pune real estate market.
I am sure, you may agree or disagree with Mr. Anand Jog but his views, on the eve of the launch of Greenland-County, will help you to make a better decision about investing in Pune real estate market.
"Mr. Jog my readers, first time property buyers, were expecting that property rates would come down in Pune real estate market. But instead of reducing rates of "Crossover County" you are launching new project of small flats at lower rates in low budget. This is disappointing and disheartening for the property buyers," i opened the conversation with "most popular argument" on my Ravi Karandeekar's Pune Real Estate Market News Blog.
"First, you know, besides property buyers and builders, in Pune real estate market, there are a few others who are involved in pricing. For example, land lords and Financial institutions. Though reducing price can be a solution to sell more flats, it is not an easy decision for the builder. For some builders that's not even an option!
For me, thanks to my long time relation with my associates and contractors, irrespective of market condition, i am able to launch new project when my current on going project is in the last stage of completion. I could launch "Crossover County" when "Blossom Boulevard" was nearing completion and now "Greenland-County" when "Crossover County" is in the last lap.
If someone - middle manager in an industry, project manager in an IT company, professionals working over seas, small scale industrialist - who has a budget for "Crossover County", can get a better deal today than yesterday. That's the limit. I can't do more than that.
Now, we have to accept that as economy creates new opportunities, it also closes a few doors. For example, in 2003 when government gave incentives and IT boom provided business, builders stopped building homes for a certain section of the society.
Today, as a builder, what should i do? Go down with the declining economy or look for new opportunities?"
"Of course, for the new opportunity!," I said.
"In stead of new opportunity, i decided to go back to my roots. In Greenland-County, I decided to construct homes for my original set of clients. For the people who represent not an IT economy but real Indian economy. People who earn as per Indian salary scales.
You know Darode Jog as a builder of higher income group. But do you know that out of our 100 projects, more than 50 were for these customers. Greenland-County is our homecoming!
These flats are for those young couples whose joint income is in the range of 25 to 40 lakhs.
1 bhk, 1.5 bhk, 2bhk Compact and 2bhk Comfort flats: Share O Shayari!
Before starting the engine, Anand Jog gave me the brochure of "Greenland-County".
The building on the cover was very elegant and modern. It was not at all looking like a "low budget housing scheme".
To find out who is the architect, i turned to the last page. Vishwas Kulkarni is the Architect of "Greenland-County". I took a breath, prepared myself to see the floor plans and opened the brochure.
The flat at Greenland- County is not the usual 'train' of rooms. All flats had an unexpected look. A completely different shape. Nearly squarish. It looks like that these flats have more width than length. I was expecting to see slim Hero Honda motorcycle but what i saw was the Royal Enfield's Bullet!
Second most important feature of the flat is the shape and size of the living and dining area. On paper living and dining area looked quite imposing and inviting.
Normally, as you enter in the flat, you see one wall, mostly kitchen wall, which stands right in front of you like an obstacle. In these flats what you see is 'big space'. This is miraculous! Architect has created different shapes by pushing walls away! So, you get a privacy for your dinning area and ample space to stretch your legs in the living area. If you are siting in the living with your guests, I am sure, your guests wont feel like they are in a compact flat.
Kitchen doesn't have a separate dry balcony but it's dimensions are such that after leaving space for washing machine it looks apparently of a normal size.
When i looked at the bedroom dimensions which had dedicated spaces for the wardrobes, i realized that Architect is well aware that in bedrooms few inches less doesn't mean less satisfaction!
"Ravi, feel free to give your comments about the plans. I am expecting suggestions from you," Mr. Jog said.
"This plan is awesome. It's going to become a big concept. In smaller size you are offering an experience of a complete home.
Plus, this is a typical Puneri flat. Fulfilling expectations of a conservative home buyer who expects privacy and homeliness in the flat. Not an efficient 'work station' like design you get in Mumbai.
This flat is like Mirza Galib's Sher. In few lines you convey a complete philosophy. While talking about greatness of Bhimsen Joshi, someone said, once he presented Raga Bhairavi only in 10 seconds. That was his command over the music.
This flat has that type of completeness of a home in it's small size," i was trying to explain what Mr. Jog and Arc. Kulkarni have achieved!
"Yes, i have worked a lot on these plans. We are not offering inferior product at a cheaper rate. But better flat in a small budget," Anand Jog said.
Inventing new business model!
When we reached "Greenland-County" at Narhe, preparation for the launch was in full swing. Few people were waiting in the lounge to meet the salesperson.
If you see the photographs of the site, you will agree with me that when the property buyer will visit "Greenland-County", he is going to feel honored, well respected and important. He is not going to feel as if the builder is doing some favor by developing a budget flat for him.
In the last couple of years, I am sure, every property buyer at "Greenland-County" must have received ill treatment and disrespect, at least once, when he has visited some high budget scheme in Pune real estate market. He must be thanking blue eyed Anglo Saxon Wall Street Bankers for creating global financial mess!
After visiting well done sample flat, when we went in Director's cabin, i asked Anand Jog, "How are you managing to sell at the property rate of Rs. 2,350? In Kolhapur you had opened the booking at Rs. 3,000 per sq.ft.!"
"After a lot of research, i have invented a new business model. For that i have to change the planning of "Greenland-County". Reconsider the height of the buildings. Change the construction technology and system. Rework the economics and subsidize the residential part of the project," said Mr. Jog. "Result is in April 2010, I am going to give possession of 1 and 1.5 bhk flats and 2 bhk in October 2010. Today possession has become a sensitive issue for the flat buyers," added Mr. Jog.
Besides possession, at Greenland-County i have kept booking amount only Rs. 51,000. Before 30th April 2009, you have to sign the agreement. If the agreement is not registered before 30th April, I am going to deduct 5,000 rupees and refund rest of the amount by post!
"Refunding booking amount has become an equally sensitive issue!," i told him my general observation. To share with him my other "observations", i gave Mr. Jog demonstration of how people search Google and visit my Pune real blogs. Obviously, the demo ended with his subscription!
Would you like to read about affordable homes?
In Darode Jog's "Greenland-County" in 11 acres there will be 1000 affordable homes. At the launch budget is:
Property Rate: 2,350
1 bhk: 510 sqft: 13,63,500
1.5 bhk: 560 sqft: 14,84,600
Property Rate: 2,350
2 bhk Compact: 725 sqft: 19,09,650
2 bhk Comfort: 843 sqft: 21,95,150
Today Kumar Properties also launched their "Kumar Swastipuram" near Park Infinia at Fursungi - Hadapsar which will have 1 bhk flat for 9 lakh. Would you like to read about this type of "affordable housing"? Please, share you views in the comments. (Comments Policy),
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