A Date with Affordable Housing in Pune Real Estate Market:
|Nitin Kulkarni, Director, Vastushodh Projects Pvt Ltd.|
400 Applications for 200 Flats in UrbanGram Pirangut:
At last, Nitin Kulkarni, my friend & director of Vastushodh Projects Pvt. Ltd. (www.vastushodh.co.in), took me to UrbanGram Pirangut!
As a true friend, I had already announced my intentions. I was not at all interested in the actual site of UrbanGram Pirangut. I wanted to understand the reasons behind the overwhelming response to Vastushodh Grihasandhi Yojana (VGSY).
Particularly, for the pre-launch offer of 200 Flats in UrbanGram Pirangut, the 11 acre township of 650 Flats!
Why more than 400 property buyers applied for 1 BHK, 2 BHK & 3 BHK Flats in UrbanGram Pirangut? Only because of the affordable property prices - 1 BHK for 18 - 20 Lakhs, 2 BHK for 22 to 26 Lakhs, 3 BHK for Rs. 28 to 37 Lakhs - or, was there something more?
Pirangut: From Industrial Town to Residential Suburb:
View Vastushodh Projects' UrbanGram Pirangut - 1 BHK, 2 BHK & 3 BHK Flats for Rs. 18 to 37 Lakhs on Paud Road, Pune 412108 in a larger map
|Ghotawade Phata, Pirangut, Paud Road, Pune 412 108|
UrbanGram Pirangut, certainly, is not the first project in Pirangut. For the last 20 years, slowly and surely, Pirangut - an industrial town on Paud Road - around 14 kilometers from Chandani Chowk, Kothrud on Mumbai Bangalore Highway - is turning into residential suburb.
First, of course, were the bungalow plots schemes. Aryawart at Ghotawade Phata. Aditya Nisarg at Pirangut Ghat. Shubham Nagari at Urawade. And the latest - Moondrop Bungalow Plots at Urawade.
Then came Hiras Nagar, R M Group's residential project at Pirangut Gaon. A year ago, you know, I wrote a blog "Chalo Pirangut" - about the pre-launch offer of Vanalika, a township of around 1,000 flats at Pirangut and about the launch of Mont Vert Vesta, bungalow plots and some 700 flats at Urawade - Pirangut. At the end of 2011, Nakshatra at Ghotawade Phata Pirangut was launched.
All residential townships, inviting to settle down in Pirangut, have received moderate to good response. But, overwhelming response to UrbanGram Pirangut, truly, established that Pirangut has become a suburb of Pune. Claimed Nitin Kulkarni.
Instead of 200, Vastushodh to Release 400 Flats in UrbanGram Pirangut!
You know who applied for UrbanGram Pirangut? Mostly, the young first time home buyers - from new industries, like IT. And salaried middle aged Punekars in the traditional jobs, like engineering, education & service industry. Whose family income is approximately Rs. 40,000 to 80,000 per month. And who have savings of around Rs. 5 to 12 Lakhs. Sharing his analysis of the applications received for UrbanGram Pirangut, Nitin Kulkarni said.
As a real estate salesman, I know that cancellations follow overwhelming response for the pre-launch offer!
So, I asked Nitin Kulkarni about the cancellations. Nitin told me that allotment of UrbanGram Pirangut hasn't started as yet. So, he could only refer to cancellations in the previous UrbanGrams - UrbanGram Kondhawe Dhawade & UrbanGram Kirkatwadi. Which had received overwhelming response at the launch.
Number of cancellations in both UrbanGrams, Nitin said, were very few. And mostly, because of housing finance. Never, on the grounds of location, property or price.
Learning from the previous experience, Nitin Kulkarni told me that, he has decided to allocate a flat to every shortlisted applicant - shortlisted after the scrutiny! Because, every application is genuine. Not allocating a flat would be a disappointment of life for the applicant. Sticking to only 200 number of flats, would be a deviation from the business principal of Vastushodh.
It means that instead of 200 flats offered in Vastushodh Grihasandhi Yojana (VGSY), Nitin Kulkarni told me that, he is releasing 400 flats in UrbanGram Pirangut. It means that, every application - approved in the scrutiny - will get a flat in UrbanGram Pirangut! Who knows? May be, all 400 applicants!!
Vastushodh, Fulfilling the Need of Housing:
When we reached Ghotawade Phata Chowk, I asked Nitin Kulkarni to stop for a moment. I told him that I was a little angry and somewhat disappointed. I needed a little time to come to terms. To accept that without consulting Ravi Karandeekar, Vastushodh has launched / opened the booking of UrbanGram Pirangut. This hasn't happened before. I am deeply hurt. I told Nitin.
Now, by inviting me to visit UrbanGram Pirangut, and telling me about the huge response, you have put me in a corner. Even if I don't like something about UrbanGram Pirangut, I am left with no option but to praise. This is not fair, I told him.
How can Vastushodh launch a project without Ravi Karandeekar's approval? That's why Vastushodh hasn't launched UrbanGram Pirangut. And, not even opened bookings of UrbanGram Pirangut.
After all, Vastushodh is not into "selling" - Vastushodh is in the business of fulfilling the basic need of housing. So, Vastushodh only invited applications from the property buyers who wish to own a home in UrbanGram Pirnagut.
Remember 'Vastushodh Grihasandhi Yojana (VGSY)' - we were discussing all along from my office to this Ghotawade Chowk? Nitin Kulkarni tried to calm me down.
Vastushodh's UrbanGram - Well Defined & Proven Housing Concept:
|'Vastushodh Grihasandhi Yojana (VGSY)' Online Booking Trend|
OK. It's not about ego. It's about my reluctance to accept something new, something unusual, unfamiliar. Forget about me.
Tell me how Pune property buyers took it. What were their reactions, objections to 'Vastushodh Grihasandhi Yojana (VGSY)'? On what basis they applied for a home in UrbanGram Pirangut? How could they take a decision without studying the floor plans, without visiting the site and the sample flat of UrbanGram Pirangut? I asked Nitin Kulkarni.
Instead of answering, Nitin told me that along with UrbanGram Kondhawe Dhawade, UrbanGram Pirangut received maximum "online bookings". It means that, most of those who applied for UrbanGram Pirangut were not in Pune. Or, visiting the site of UrbanGram Pirangut or visiting the office of Vastushodh Projects was not possible. So, very few took the trouble to visit the site of UrbanGram Pirangut.
Vastushodh - Developing New Residential Locations in Ever Expanding Pune:
Wasn't it a big risk to let the property buyers visit the site which is not ready to impress? It's like meeting an actor without the make-up. Even Katrina doesn't let anybody to do that!
Now, I got it. I am upset because i have cold feet. I don't know what to expect at UrbanGram Pirangut. This only happens when my wife forces me to taste her new recipe.
But, I am not serving some untasted dish, Nitin said. UrbanGram (www.urbangram.in) is based on a concept. Well defined concept. Proven concept. Accepted concept. Not only once - but twice. At UrbanGram Kondhawe Dhawade. At UrbanGram Kirkatwadi.
At 'Vastushodh Grihasandhi Yojana (VGSY), I had made arrangements - a help line - from 6am to midnight - to explain the concept of UrbanGram to the applicants. The applicants could visit both UrbanGrams and see the actual implementation of the concept. Nitin Kulkarni told me.
Now, at this point, why should not we play a game, Nitin asked and requested me to tell him what comes to my mind when he speaks a word or a group of words.
Nitin said - Vstushodh.
I said - AnandGram.
Nitin - AnandGram.
I - Yavat.
Nitin - AnandGram Yavat.
I - Talegaon Dhamdhere.
Nitin - A 2 BHK Flat for 20 Lakhs.
I - UrbanGram Kondhawe Dhawade.
Nitin - A 2 BHK Flat for 25 Lakhs on Sinhagad Road.
I - UrbanGram Kirkatwadi.
Congratulating me, Nitin told me that many applicants who haven't actually seen the projects - were aware that Vastushodh is successfully developing - affordable housing projects at - not so known - but - suitable - distant - locations - around Pune City.
And, compared to other locations, Pirangut is less unknown. Plus, there is a choice - between UrbanGram Kondhawe Dhawade & UrbanGram Pirangut. So, for those working in Hinjewadi or in a city - there is a scope for personal preference and convenience. Nitin explained.
I completely agree with Nitin. Because, I have visited the venue of 'Vastushodh Grihasandhi Yojana (VGSY). For many hours, I have observed, overheard and actually talked to the property buyers. Not only that! I have answered, discussed and recommended to consider the pre-launch offer of UrbanGram to those who called me on 919860044110. Then why am I less enthusiastic about UrbanGram Pirangut? I asked Nitin.
Value for Money & Quality of Life at UrbanGram Pirangut:
|Site of UrbanGram Pirangut Pune 412108 - 9|
Because, Ravi Karandeekar is enthusiastic about a project when he can play important role of selling the concept. Which is not possible at UrbanGram Pirangut. Because, of the overwhelming response.
Ravi Karandeekar is enthusiastic about a project when he can ruthlessly criticize and ridicule the project. Which is not possible at UrbanGram Pirangut. Because, Sachin & Nitin Kulkarni are Ravi Karandeekar's dear friends. Instead of publicly criticizing, Ravi Karandeekar would prefer to suggest, argue and fight with them in private. Obviously, Ravi Karandeekar is less enthusiastic. Nitin Kulkarni analysed my behavior.
With great modesty, I ignored Nitin's criticism and complimented him for the wide entrance road of UrbanGram Pirangut. As we entered the site, Nitin Kulkarni stopped the car.
So near from Ghotawade Chowk - yet, so private - were my first words about the site of UrbanGram Pirangut.
Nitin took me to 4 corners of the plain & wide plot. Explaining the layout plan - submitted for approval - of Parking + 10 to 12 Story 8 Towers in UrbanGram Pirangut. Certainly, with all amenities. Designed by the leading architects. The central road of the 11 acre township is placed under the hi-tension wire. The green zone by the nala will add to the beauty and amenities.
All buildings are marked on the plot. Soil samples are tested. Staff & contractors are finalized. I am all set to start the construction of UrbanGram Pirangut. Just waiting for the sanctions and approvals. Nitin Kulkarni told me.
While walking along the plot, I could see the residential & industrial development all around UrbanGram Pirangut and hills beyond. A familiar experience of living in Pune. Of course, less crowded. But, certainly, not like living in a lonely village.
Oh! The site office is also ready. I am impressed. I complimented Nitin. Yes, this is basically, an engineering office. Not the typical sales office with a show flat. Nitin told me. Of course, UrbanGram Pirangut is booked in advance. Vastushodh is not into selling. Right? I asked Nitin. However, there are two cabins for the customer service executives. Who will look after you when you visit the site. Nitin Kulkarni is planning for an actual sample flat in the building.
While Nitin was giving instructions to his staff, I took a small walk of UrbanGram Pirangut. A few constructed bungalows & many open plots of Aryawart Pirangut to the north told me that this is a right place to live. A temple on the hill to the north east corner said that Megapolis - the third phase of Hinjewadi is just behind. Pirangut Ghat to the east indicated that Chandani Chowk & Kothrud is nearby. Lavasa is in those hills to the south of UrbanGram Pirangut, I told myself. Industrial sheds to the west reminded me that, at some point of time, Pimpri, Chinchwad & Bhosari were also only industrial towns.
Looking at the pits, I tried to visualize 8 towers of UrbanGram Pirangut, designed by leading architects Vikas Achalkar & Manoj Tatooskar. Then I let Architect Mahesh Nampurkar design the open spaces which will took me back to romantic & relaxed life in a village. Then I tied the property price tag to a few terraces. And, I stood looking at UrbanGram Pirangut. Staring. Probing. Evaluating. Understanding. Am i getting something more than a shelter, more than a roof over the head at UrbanGram Pirangut? Is UrbanGram Pirangut worth every penny? Is UrbanGram Pirangut good to raise my family? Is UrbanGram Pirangut going to enrich my family life? Down the line, would my kids feel proud of me & thank me for opting a home at UrbanGram Pirangut?
By the time, i had received all the answers, Nitin Kulkarni had finished his short meeting with the site supervisor. He asked me whether I wanted to spend some more time or ready to leave. I told him that I am not done and not ready to go. Nitin asked me why. I told him that because I haven't got all my answers. I am curious to know 'what's next'? How is he going to deliver - fulfill the promise - construct & give possession of UrbanGram Pirangut?
Why not visit UrbanGram Kondhawe Dhawade & UrbanGram Kirkatwadi to understand how 'we' do it? 'We' means - my property buyers & I. It's team work - you know? Nitin said.
Aare Wah! Nitin Kulkarni, the qualified engineer and ex-industrial salesman at 3M - turned builder - has started talking like an advertising copy - emotional appeal - we - team work of the builder & the property buyer - wah wah! I said.
Mr. Kulkarni, the property buyer is your pay master - you are service provider. There is only give and take. No team work. Don't try to emotionally manipulate the property buyers. I told him.
OK. Give & Take. Don't take me literally. Don't be argumentative. You know me. You know how we run this business. Nitin said.
You also know me. Ravi Karandeekar doesn't look at a real estate project like a builder. Neither like a typical critic of a builder on Indian Real Estate Forum - nor like a paid promotional writer of Times Property.
Long ago, when I was in real estate advertising - I used to decorate the menu and serve the tempting dishes of hot property - But, now, I consider myself as a dietitian - not a chef or a waiter - So, Ravi Karandeekar criticizes a project when he finds it not good for the property buyer.
A few minutes ago, when you criticized my blogging - you completely ignored that I am connected to the property buyers.
But, when i challenged your connection with the property buyers of Vastushodh - when I said that you & your buyers are not a team - you called me argumentative! This is not fair.
Now, don't say that you were just kidding - because, if you were really kidding - you would have said that - I criticize a project when I am not paid - I said.
How can I say that? I was not posting a comment on your blog! But, let us stop this - and talk about the construction and possession of UrbanGram Pirangut. Nitin said.
I know the difference between two Kulkarni Brothers. So, I was not expecting - an apology from Nitin Kulkarni for the rude comments about me or a few good words about my blog. But, I like the way Nitin is - straight forward, logical, rational & shrewd. In fact, I thank god for giving such a brother to my dear friend Sachin Kulkarni. Who is an emotional, impulsive, flamboyant, dare devil & dreamer.
Yes, fact of the matter is no government is doing anything to construct affordable housing. Result is, a builder like Vastushodh which has developed a successful business model & their property buyers are all by themselves. `
I always believed that - as much as the builder, the property buyers have an important role in the development of affordable housing. So, there is no problem for me to agree with Nitin and give equal importance to both - the builder & the buyer. Cooperation is fine. But, one team is too much. Team is based on trust. And when someone asks me to trust him - I look at him with suspicion. Particularly the builder! However, to understand Nitin, I decided to keep my beliefs aside and requested him to tell me about him and his team members. The property buyers of Vastushodh.
Team Work at UrbanGram Kondhawe Dhawade:
|UrbanGram Kondhawe Dhawade Pune 411023 - 2|
Looking at UrbanGram Kondhawe Dhawade, "Wow!" was my only response. Greeting Mr. Balasaheb Lagad, I told Nitin Kulkarni that I am a big fan of this member of his team. We all are, Nitin said and added including property buyers of UrbanGram Kondhawe Dhawade.
You know what? The second UrbanGram Kondhawe Dhawade received maximum response in 'Vastushodh Grihasandhi Yojana (VGSY)'. That's why Nitin is planning 3rd Urbangram at Kondhawe Dhawade!
Construction of 3 towers - Parking + 11 Story, D, C & B, in UrbanGram Kondhawe Dhawade, launched on 15th of October 2010 (and sold out on the same day) is almost complete. Even internal finishing work of D Tower is finished and flats are locked. Installation of lift in D Tower has started. Finishing work of C & B Towers is in process. The progress of construction is exactly as per the schedule. It means that the 3 Towers in UrbanGram Kondhawe Dhawade, with swimming pool and other amenities, would be read for possession by the end of 2012. As planned & promised.
The credit for the timely execution of UrbanGram Kondhawe Dhawade, goes to all property buyers too. You know? At the time, when Nitin realized that the sanctions were going to take more time and he would not be able to complete the project on time, Nitin called a meeting of all the property buyers.
Nitin explained the situation to them. Only way to complete the project on time was to start the construction. For that, Nitin requested them to pay their own contribution immediately. Nitin promised that Vastushodh will not stop the construction and arrange finance till the property buyers' agreements are registered and their banks start disbursements. This is what I call "team work" of the property buyers & the builder, Nitin said.
I wanted to visit a few more well designed flats in UrbanGram Kondhawe Dhawade, but when Nitin Kulkarni asked me whether I would like to visit UrbanGram Kirkatwadi, I could not refuse. Mr. Lagad, the chief engineer, invited me to return as soon as possible to see the painted UrbanGram Kondhawe Dhawade!
Vastushodh to Construct 3,000 Affordable Homes in the next 2 Years!
|Site of UrbanGram Kirkatwadi, Sinhagad Road, Pune 411024|
On the way to UrbanGram Kirkatwadi, at the Khadakwasla Dam, I confessed that when we left his office in the morning, my interest was only to be with Nitin. Before, Nitin Kulkarni goes for Manali - Leh - Shrinagar Motorcycle Expedition.
I was not at all prepared for the educational tour of affordable housing. However, now, I have started enjoying the lessons. So, Mr. Nitin Kulkarni, Director of Vastushodh Projects, you can feel free to continue. I am all ears to know how Nitin Kulkarni is going to construct 3000 homes in the next 2 years!
By efficient construction management, Nitin said and handed over a diary to me.
While I was browsing the pages which were full of numbers and calculations, Nitin said that after working on quantities, costs and working hours, he has realized that not only the contractors, suppliers and financial institutions but also the property buyers would play an important role in the timely completion of UrbanGram.
Looking at me, Nitin said that it's a fact that real estate industry runs on the property buyers' money and the builder is a service provider. But how does a builder provide the service? By acting as facilitator. In our case, since Vastushodh works on smaller margins of profit, efficient management of all resources makes it possible to design & develop quality affordable housing.
Particularly, at this point of time, when inflation is out of control and cost of raw materials and labor charges are increasing every day, efficient management is vital for affordable housing.
You know what? 'Vastushodh Grihasandhi Yojana (VGSY) was not a marketing exercise but the first step towards efficient construction management. By giving overwhelming response and confirming the allotments, my property buyers have given Vastushodh an advantage of scale. The order to construct 3,000 homes, is helping Vastushodh to buy cement, steel and all construction and finishing materials at the negotiated prices. Which will make it possible for Vastushodh to construct flats at the promised affordable property prices without compromising on quality.
Yes, I can understand. Otherwise, in these days, all Pune builders are worried about inflation and are insisting on putting "Price Escalation Clause" in the agreement. Whereas, because of the current slowdown in Pune real estate market, the property buyers are worried about the price correction. In contrast, because of the volume of 3000 flats, Vastushodh and it's property buyers are safe. I agreed with Nitin.
Now, I asked Nitin, what more he expects from his property buyers.
What more? Application & allotment is just a first step. I am inviting every applicant to visit UrbanGram Kirkatwadi to explain to them how they can contribute in the development of UrbanGram. Nitin said. I tell them to have a look at the construction progress of UrbanGram Kirkatwadi - launched on 30th of December 2011. RCC of nearly 80 per cent buildings is done in just 6 months from the launch. Why? Because, of the timely disbursements of home loans!
The property buyers of Vastushodh know well that only booking is not enough. But paying every installment in time is also very important. So, when my customer service executives ask for the disbursements, Vastushodh's property buyers also act fast. Because, they understand that by disbursing the installment on time they are making sure that their home would be ready on time.
What say you, Mr. Ravi Karandeekar? When my property buyers are with me, is it impossible for Vastushodh to construct affordable 3,000 homes in 2 years? Nitin Kulkarni asked me.
Click to Visit the Slideshow of UrbanGram Pirangut, UrbanGram Kondhawe Dhawade, UrbanGram Kirkatwade:
1) TUESDAY, MAY 1, 2012
Pre-Launch Offer of 4 to 30 Lakh Homes at Pune
2) WEDNESDAY, APRIL 25, 2012
Pre-Launch Offer of UrbanGram & AnandGram!
3) MONDAY, JUNE 25, 2012
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