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Sunday, December 30, 2007

Land sharks on the prowl in Pune

Behind Pune's real estate explosion is a familiar network of corruption and rule-bending involving some of its biggest politicians and biggest builders.

The Ramnadi, equivalent of Mumbai's Mithi river, has been turned into a sewer. All around it posh but unauthorized apartments, corporate offices and a cluster of shanties have shrunk a river out of existence.

read more | digg story

Related Stories:
1. DC releases list of Ramnadi encroachments
2. Builders demand clarification ...(..!..?)
3. "Demolish encroachments" Anil Bhosale, Leader of the House
4. Encroachments at Ramnadi pulled down
5. "Pune can absorb up to $2-3 billion in Foreign Direct Investment annually" Lalit Kumar Jain, president, Promoters and Builders’ Association of Pune

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

In4Suite RE, an Enterprise Resource Management System (ERMS) for real estate industry

Real estate developers are under constant pressure to deliver projects on time. From escalation of costs to delay in completion, the problems to be tackled are endless.

However, developers can now breathe easy and complete projects much ahead of deadline, thanks to In4Suite® RE, a unique Enterprise Resource Management System (ERMS) application. Developed by Bangalore-based In4velocity Systems, India's leading real estate and property development software firm.

In4Suite® RE is said to the country's only integrated end-to-end solution for real estate and property development firms.

The company provides end-to-end process automation, management and benchmarking software for the real estate and property development industry.
Exclusive ERP application for real estate industry

Neelu Lekhi: "There are various ERP solutions for the construction industry (like SAP Quadra, Matrix, Sonata & Microsoft Sonnet CONSTRUCT). How is InSuite different from them? What advantages does it offer over the others?"

Rahul Chawla, CEO, In4Velocity Systems:Biggest advantage for us is that we are an ERMS. So, while traditional players are more reactive, we are more on the proactive side.

Which in terms of functionality we cover is far more than all these players. You don't want typically to buy a solution A than buy a solution B, then buy a C, so we are the portal to the complete view of their business processes.

If you look at the other products, if you look at SAP, for example, it may have a construction module but it has no land-banking module or support module.

Our forte is 100% focus on the construction vertical. We understand the problems that people in this section face and so misunderstandings are reduced.
CXOtoday.com; Interview; "Getting information in real time, anywhere"

Related Story: Going by the success of the computerization of the building proposal department of Pune, now, Mumbai will be implementing the same SoftTech software

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

QVC Realty, Bangalore, to launch 150 acre “second homes” project, with a nine-hole golf course and a resort, in Chikmangloor, in Karnataka

QVC will launch 4 new projects next year: QVC chief executive officer Prakash Gurbaxani said the projects would be in north Bangalore, Hyderabad, Chennai and either Pune, or Indore.

QVC has 2 townships in Gurgaon: QVC currently has 2 township projects of about 10 million sq. ft in Gurgaon. Gurbaxani said 1 million sq ft. area in the two townships would be developed for commercial use, while the remaining would be for residential complexes.

What 's this? No news about QVC Realty's funding or investing!

Yes, in 2007 QVC news , generally, was about raising or investing funds. Like this:

1) First venture-funded Indian real estate company, QVC Realty of Bangalore, plans to invest Rs 2,500 cr for two townships in Gurgaon

2) QVC Realty, Bangalore, India’s first venture capital funded real estate company is looking to raise around $100-$200 million from private equity firms

In 2008, to read about financial and investment news, please, visit my "Pune Real Estate Investment" blog. For example:

QVC Realty, India’s first venture capital-funded real estate company, plans to invest Rs594-792 crore in 2008 in new and existing projects

QVC, Sobha Developers and Chintel Group Joint Venture: 192 acre township in Gurgaon:

Here, on this blog, i will focus on the actual development of the real estate projects.

For us, Pune real estate market, this Gurgaon township is important for two reasons. First, Sobha Developers, construction contractors of Infosys, has already launched a project at Kondhawa, in Pune.

Second, marketing genius and PR expert, Prakash Gurbaxani, CEO of QVC, always includes 'Pune' in his long list of cities where QVC is going to launch its projects. Who knows, some day, QVC may launch project in Pune! So let us follow QVC and Sobha projects.

According to JC Sharma, MD of Sobha Developers:
This is a township development where we have formed a joint development agreement with QVC Realty, which has been supported by IL&FS and Chintel Group who are the land bankers.

It’s a tripartite agreement where we are going to develop 192 acres of township in Gurgaon where we will be the developer for the whole project and will have an economic interest of about 68%.

We hope to build about 6.5 million sq. feet over a period of five years. The LOI for the group housing has already been received and the required payments for the township have also been made. We feel that we can start our projects in Gurgaon next year.
According to Chintels India Ltd.:
OCTOBER 3, 2007: Chintels India Ltd. has signed an agreement with Sobha Developers and QVC Realty for the joint development of a 192-acre township in the prime sectors 106 and 109 in Gurgaon, Haryana.

The township would be the closest township in Gurgaon to Delhi, virtually a stone's throwing distance from Dwarka, and the new terminal of Indiara Gandhi International Airport.

The salient features of the project include an integrated township of world-class design and quality consisting of homes, apartments, commercial, retail and office space at a projected investment of over Rs 2,000 crore and a total development in excess of 6.5 million sq ft.

The township would be developed jointly by Sobha Developers, a leading real estate company with other township projects in Kochi and Thrissur (Kerala), QVC Realty which is based in Bangalore.

Mr. Prashant Solomon, Director of Chintels India Ltd,, the flagship company of the Chintels Group said, "We are glad to be associated with professional partners like Sobha Developers and QVC Realty. This township project will help us establish ourselves as a prominent player in the NCR real estate market.”
To make this blog more useful, please, keep on suggesting topics and improvements. You can write in comments or send a mail. Merry Christmas!

Related Story: "A robust economy and a bullish real estate sector have made consolidation the way forward," J.C. Sharma, M. D., Sobha Developers

Sunday, December 23, 2007

MLA Ramesh Bagwe promises to complete Kasewadi slum rehabilitation project within a year

On Saturday, 22 Dec 2007, Chief minister Vilasrao Deshmukh performed the 'ground-breaking' ceremony of the Pune's first slum rehabilitation project, to be implemented as per the Slum Rehabilitation Authority (SRA) rules, at Kasewadi.

The Kasewadi project was conceived after nearly 450 huts were destroyed in a fire in March 2005.

Kasewadi slums falls under MLA Ramesh Bagwe's Parvati constituency and Bagwe had pushed for the slum housing project.
100 acres allotted for slum rehab-Pune-Cities-The Times of India

Related Story: Pune, IT hub and a centre of education, is growing into a city of slums

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Big builders, beaten in Surat, in search of fast sales and bigger deals are coming to Pune!

This is the funniest news of 2007!

"Big builders are swiftly moving out of the city in search of greener pastures in other metro cities. On the lookout for fast sales and bigger deals, both of which are taking a beating in Surat, these builders are now moving to Mumbai, Pune and Ahmedabad."

"fast sales and bigger deals"(!)....where in Pune?

"How is booking in Pune?" I am sure, these Surat builders must have consulted some big builder in Pune.

"Booking?..My first phase was sold out in a day!" big builder of Pune must have answered. Without disclosing exact number of flats booked on that day.

Then Surat builders would have come to visit the site in Pune.

They would have asked big Pune builder , "Why are flats available in almost ready possession today?"

"Rate! I knew property rates were going to go up. So, i did not open the booking. Now, i am getting double rate" big Pune builder would have said this as if he is doing a great favor by disclosing his secret of success.

Thanking big Pune builder a thousand times, Surat builders would have gone back to Surat.

Thanks to the global real estate consultants, Hungry and Old, now, big Pune builder knows what to say about property rate and real estate boom in Pune Real Estate Market!

Thanks to the global real estate consultants, Hungry and Old, now, Surat builders also know what to say about property rate and real estate boom in Pune Real Estate Market!
Realtors seek fortune in new places - Sify.com

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Pune, IT hub and a centre of education, is growing into a city of slums

The Town and Country Planning Organisation (TCPO), the technical arm of the ministry of urban development, government of India, ranks Pune third in the cities with the largest number of slums in India.

Of the 244 sq km which come under the PMC limits, about 15 sq km, ie six per cent of the total land, is encroached upon by slums.

The state and central government spending crores on slum rehabilitation. More money will flow for slum rehabilitation under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) and Slum Rehabilitation Authority (SRA). Just last week the municipal standing committee approved tenders worth Rs 200 crore for the same purpose.

Pune growing into city of slums-Pune-Cities-The Times of India

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

The repeal of the Urban Land Ceiling Act in Maharashtra will benefit the real estate lobby and do nothing for affordable housing

The repeal of the Urban Land (Ceiling and Regulation) Act (ULCRA) by the Maharashtra legislature on November 29 was like serving a feast for ravenous hordes. The possibility of 17,000 acres (1 acre = 0.4 hectare) of land suddenly becoming available for development in Mumbai alone sent the stocks of some real estate companies soaring to as much as between 2 and 10 per cent.

When the 17,000 acres do go on the market it remains to be seen whether or not property development will be allowed on all this land or whether new development control rules, the Coastal Regulation Zone Act and other laws forbid it. Irrespective of the uncertainty, developers are expected to go all out to purchase the land by outbidding one another. To recover the costs, they are likely to build premium housing or commercial complexes on the land, thereby killing the argument that the repeal of ULCRA will open up land to house the poor and the middle classes.

The argument that oversupply will bring down prices is dismissed as a pipe dream. While this may be so in the immediate future, the sheer force of market demand will ensure a rise in land prices. Take the case of the mill lands in central Mumbai. The “oversupply” argument was used there to justify the release of the land for use for the middle classes. However, far from being an area where lower middle class workers lived, it now boasts luxury apartments.

read more | digg story

Related Story: At last, Maharashtra Legislative Assembly repeals the Urban Land Ceiling and Regulaton Act of 1976

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Future Group's HomeTown store opened in Pune at Ishanya, India’s largest Design Centre and Speciality Mall for Interiors and Exteriors

With Croma and @Home already open Ishanya (5,50,000 sq ft of retail and service spaces!) now presents three of the best names in home improvement.

Spread over 1,20,000 sq.ft, the HomeTown outlet at Ishanya is the first in Maharashtra and first in Pune. Yes, at an investment of Rs20 crore each, Pune will have another two HomeTowns by around June 2008.

According to Mr. Mahesh Shah, CEO, HomeTown, the store is divided into three sections —exhibitions, markets and services. HomeTown will provide end-to-end solutions to consumers - all that goes into building a house and everything to make it a ‘Home’:

1. Live displays such as living room, dining room, bedroom.
2. kids’ furniture
3. kitchen fittings
4. bathroom fittings
5. furniture
6. furnishings
7. consumer durables
8. electronics
9. counters by Future Money
10. hostel segment: students can buy packages such as bed and mattress starting from Rs. 5,000
11. the company is planning to offer custom made furniture

Private Lables: According to the company, almost half its sales revenues accrue from private labels retailed by HomeTown across various segments.

Company Lables: The company has two labels each in electronics and lighting segments, one in fittings segments, and is reportedly planning to launch its own brand of furnishings in about a month.

Sales: The company expects a 50:50 ratio of institutional and individual business contributing to its sales.

HomeTown in Towns:

1. Ishanya, Pune is 5th store.
2. First HomeTown was opened in Noida, in April.
3. HomeTown is present in Hyderabad, Bangalore and Ahmedabad.
4. By June 2008, HomeTown will be in Gurgaon, Lucknow, Thane and Kolkata.
5. 12 more HomeTowns are planned in cities including Ludhiana and Kochi in 2009.
6. 5 HomeTowns in Mumbai, Nasik and Nagpur in Maharashtra.
7. Home Solutions Retail (India) Ltd, a part of the Kishore Biyani’s Future Group, has set a target of 40 HomeTown stores by 2010; it expects sales of Rs 7,500 core by then.

Pune Real Estate Market:

According to Mr Shah, HomeTown has bagged Rs 300-crore order from the Bangalore-based Prestige Group of Builders for the supply of modular kitchen and bathrooms. HomeTown is in talks with builders in Pune for a similar agreement.

About Eshanya - India Design Centre and Speciality Mall:

MoneycontrolIndia has published good write up sourced from - Adfactors Public Relations Pvt Ltd. As a proud Punekar, i am happy to present it:
The name Ishanya means north-east in Sanskrit, the most auspicious direction according to the ancient Indian science of Vaastu-Shastra. And Ishanya is located very conveniently in the North East of Pune.

Ishanya now brings to Pune access to a truly unique retail and design destination dedicated to anyone who wants anything in interior and exterior products, design, or services, to congregate, exchange ideas, browse or buy.

“There is nothing quite like Ishanya anywhere in India, and indeed perhaps the world. It will be a pan-India Design Centre and Speciality Mall dedicated to offering all its customers – whether shoppers for the home or office or professionals in the design industry or builder /developers or service providers a unique combination of ideas, expertise and solutions. It will be a must-visit destination for everyone interested in good design whether is consumer or its business aspects. Its unique partnerships with the IIID and CCPS, and indeed other bodies, will make Ishanya a thought-leader – a destination for retail and inspiration,” said Mr. I. S. Narula, CEO & President, Ishanya.

Ishanya is a single sourcing point for 52 categories of products and services, materials and knowledge, drawn from across the best in India and across the globe. Tenant fit outs have commenced and the remainder of Ishanya’s over 100 outlets offering more than 5000 brands, all dedicated to interiors and exteriors will open their doors in phases. Its range offers very wide choices right from the truly price competitive to the ultra-designer league. By night Ishanya will convert into the cultural hub of Pune and form the backdrop for performing arts, music and multi-media shows or even a venue for corporate events.

Ishanya, will be truly unique in that it will also offer art galleries, specialized centres for design, training and research, seminars and exhibitions, features that will truly make it a design destination like never before. Moreover, it is the only Design Centre endorsed by the Indian Institute of Interior Designers (IIID) and Confederation of Construction Products and Services (CCPS).

The IIID will have its chapter office at Ishanya, with a Knowledge and Research Centre the that it will run. Ishanya and IIID will work together to create opportunities for learning whether you are a professional in the business of interiors and exteriors or whether you a simply a consumer looking for knowledge and help.

The Ishanya-CCPS Training and Development Centre will train engineers, supervisory staff, craftsmen, consumers and laymen on the correct selection, usage and application of various products and materials in interiors and exteriors. The centre will also hold seminars, conventions, workshops and training sessions to raise quality and design of indigenous products and services to world standards. Ishanya’s CCPS tie-up enables us to provide our customers a huge database for product suppliers and service providers including CCPS trained craftsmen.

Mr. I. S. Narula, CEO & President, Ishanya said, “Over and above the extensive range of products, what makes Ishanya truly unique is its service aspects. We have a Mock-up & Simulation Centre which will be the place to see what your home or office can look like even before it leaves the drawing board. Our Knowledge Centre will offer information and inspiration at your fingertips. Best of all we will offer Design Solutions with Architects, Interior Decorators and Landscapers at hand to advise and inspire. Ishanya’s proposition is truly the most comprehensive that one can get in the space design field.”

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Middle-class Prefab Homes

In Tomoyuki Sakaguchi’s night photos of suburban Tokyo, familiar landscapes of densely arranged middle-class prefab homes, tightly parked cars, small gardens and anonymous street corners are somehow rendered strangely unfamiliar under the artificial glow of street lights.

read more | digg story

Saturday, December 1, 2007

At last, Maharashtra Legislative Assembly repeals the Urban Land Ceiling and Regulaton Act of 1976

On 29 November 2007, Maharashtra assembly passed the resolution to repeal the Urban Land Ceiling and Regulation Act, popularly known as ULC/ULCA/ULCRA. As per the news submitted by PTI on livemint dot com:

Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh moved the resolution which was passed by a voice vote amidst slogan shouting by Shiv Sena members in the House. It was passed after a two-day discussion in a special sitting of the Lower House during the third Assembly session.
While the members of BJP remained silent during the reply, those from treasury benches welcomed the resolution.

Look Shekhar Gupta, this Government repealed the ULCRA!

True, Maharashtra Government took a long time. The Government of India had repealed the law in 1999. But, you know very well, anything that involves land takes much longer time. Shekhar Gupta used to think that Maharashtra Government will never repeal the law! In the Indian Express, Shekhar has said:
"Now you know why our politicians will not reform our property laws, modernise the land records, cut stamp duties and do other simple things to bring the real estate business out of the grip of the black economy. Now you know why even a pro-reform Congress-NCP government in Maharashtra would not abolish the urban land ceiling law, which most other major states have done. It won’t, because politicians are desperate to hang on to the few discretionary powers that remain. They have exploited these powers to build massive personal fortunes — in cash and, of course, in properties."
Who is afraid of Urban Land Ceiling and Regulation Act ?

Thanks! Jawaharlal Nehru Urban Renewal Mission!!

Don't worry, our beloved politicians haven't changed a bit. They have to repeal the ULCRA only because the Government of India had blocked release of funds under the Jawaharlal Nehru Urban Renewal Mission to the state till ULCRA was repealed by Maharashtra Government.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Pride Group of Hotels approaches the West Bengal government for two acres of land in and around Kolkata to set up a 250-room five-star busines hotel

The Pride Group, which has interests in real estate and finance, presently has 500-odd rooms under its umbrella. The group's long-term strategy is to take the total number of room to 1,150 in key cities by the end of 2010-2011.

The Pride group already runs five-star properties in Pune, Ahmedabad, Chennai and Nagpur.

Pride's fifth property is under construction in Bangaluru.

Pride Group is also planning to set up properties in Goa, Hyderabad and Mumbai.

View Larger Map

The Pride Group has received a significant equity investment from Kotak India Real Estate Fund, towards part financing a Rs 350 crore expansion-cum-renovation plan.

Speaking of the ambitious expansion plans, Mr. S P Jain, Chairman, The Pride Group said: “With this key investment from the Kotak Realty Fund, we are now close to finalizing the sources of funds for our expansion plans."

:Pride group to have footprints in the east: Joy Roy Choudhury: Express Hospitality.

:Pride Living Room on Flickr: Pics_Marc's photos.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Goa, a foretaste of ruin in paradise?

Sailesh, who always drives us around when we are in Goa, may or may not know much about climate change. But he does know only too well what is happening to his native Goa, of which the extraordinary heat and rain are only the symptoms. They’re chopping down all the trees to build more and more houses; that’s making the weather change, he said. One day all the trees will have gone; what’ll it be like then, what’ll we do? He asks of no one in particular.

His fears are only too well founded. Spurred by non-Goan speculators, rapacious property developers are swamping Goa’s green fields and forests with a lava flow of brick and concrete.Estates, apartment blocks, garish ‘luxury’ villas sprout like venomous mushrooms.

I thought of these, and of what Sailesh had said, and the morning pao and pui were somehow different. They seemed to leave a bitter aftertaste, like a promise broken, a pledge dishonoured. A foretaste of ruin in paradise?

read more | digg story

Flickr: fredericknoronha's photos

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Harshad Talera revolutionizing the hospitality business in Pune and India

Harshad Talera’s Smart Inn is a budget hotel high on IQ; a unique concept with those on the move looking for low cost hospitality. The idea is an outcome of over five decades of experience, which the Talera Group has in the hospitality industry and Harshad’s extensive research at Cornell University. Unlike conventional hotels Smart Inn is........

read more | digg story

Friday, November 16, 2007

Goel Ganga Developments, Pune, has planned townships in Kharadi and Mohammadwadi under the new township policy of the Maharashtra government

"The township in Kharadi is spread over 30 acres while the one in Mohammadwadi is of 32 acres.

Both the projects will be executed as per the rules and guidelines of the new township policy.

The work on the projects is expected to begin in six months," said Chetan Patel, director, Mahanagar Constructions, a partner in the township projects.

Subhash Goel, chairman, Goel Ganga Developments, said the group plans to complete the projects in four-five years.

View Larger Map

Apart from luxurious residential apartments, the two townships will have shopping malls, multiplexes and five-star hotels.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Indian corporate real estate developer, RMZ Corp, has announced plans of entering the hospitality industry by early next year

According to Sonali Lalvani, RMZ's marketing head, discussions are on with leading hospitality brands for developing the properties. RMZ Corp will be investing US$ 2.5 billion to develop the 60 million square feet of real estate, of which 2.1 million square feet will be for the hospitality segment.

"In the next five years, we plan to develop a 60 million square feet spread of commercial space. This will include office space, which will contribute to 45 per cent of the total development. We also plan to develop space for the retail, residential and hospitality sectors." said Sonali Lalvani.

In the last five years since its inception in 2002, the company has developed over 13 million square feet of office space across Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad, Kolkata and Pune. "We have plans of entering tier II cities and are looking at Cochin, Mangalore, Mysore, Nagpur and Coimbatore for developing commercial space," said Lalvani.

In its latest venture, RMZ Corp has developed a 65,000 square feet retail complex, catering to both the corporate offices located at RMZ Infinity as well as outsiders.

Flickr: Shantanu's photos.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

The initial public offering (IPO) of Pune-based realty major Kolte Patil Developers has been priced in a band of Rs 125 to Rs 145 per share

The issue opens on November 19 and closes on November 22.

The Kolte Patil Developers Ltd. will offer 1.9 crore equity shares of Rs 10 each. The total issue will comprise around 25.25% of the company's post-issue paid up capital.

The funds raised will be used to finance land acquisition, construction and development costs for some of the proposed projects.

The lead managers to the issue are DSP Merrill Lynch and Edelweiss Capital.
Business Standard.

No land for Videocon SEZ: Sharad Pawar

Sharad Pawar, NCP chief and Union agriculture minister, on Tuesday announced that the government would not acquire even one acre of land for the proposed special economic zone (SEZ) of Videocon on the outskirts of Pune. A direct fallout of this announcement is that the Videocon group’s proposed SEZ may now have to be scrapped.

read more | digg story

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Vigorous land acquisitions by the Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC) and private industry in Pune

The state government’s industrial infrastructure development arm is looking to create a land bank of between 10,000-20,000 hectares in the two cities, Pune and Nashik.

MIDC is looking to acquire land for which notifications have been issued at Ranjangaon, Talegaon, Chakan, Karla and Khed.

The state government is believed to have received 1800 applications for the Chakan industrial area, 1100 for Ranjangaon and 600 for Talegaon.

The land bank with the MIDC, Pune region, is close to being exhausted and it is facing problems in acquiring new land.
:Nashik to be next real estate destination: Jayashree Bhosale: The Economic Times.

Flickr: Photos from emilyfaith.

Tier II, III cities to provide better job opportunities: ASSOCHAM

Real estate players like Parsvnath, DLF, Emmar, Unitech, Omaxe are already flooded with their housing units at the northern region like Lucknow, Bhiwadi, Jaipur, Hapur, Haridwar, Rishikesh, Sonepat, Panipat etc. The realty trend in Tier I cities have reached almost at a saturation point. he Tier II cities recorded a yield gap of 10.5 to 11.5%.

read more | digg story

Amanora Park Town, Hadapsar: 400-acre model township for Pune

Amanora Park Town, located at Hadapsar, is spread over 400 acres and will be a self containing property having schools, college, state-of-the art hospital, restaurants, sports, shopping arcades and entertainment centres—all within walking distance. The township will offers 24x7 power supply, abundant water supply (no need to hire water tankers!)

read more | digg story

Saturday, November 3, 2007

If Urban Land Ceiling Act is scraped more than 25,000 acres of land in Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad will be released, leading to fall in property prices

The real estate players in Pune — reaping benefits of the booming market — are now going all-out to ensure that the State government postpones the decision to scrap ULC.

The Central government has made it mandatory for all states to abolish the Act if they want funds from the ambitious Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Mission (JNNURM) for development of the city. The State government is sitting on the resolution since last few sessions.

Related Stories:

1) ULC repeal delay favours big players

2) Who is afraid of Urban Land Ceiling and Regulation Act ?

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

It was a business as usual at Paranjape Schemes but Pune Real Estate Market is still in a frenzy

Can you get me a flat in the Blue Ridge?

Day started with the call from US requesting me to help him out in booking one 2 bhk flat in the Paranjape Schemes' Blue Ridge township at Hinjewadi, Pune.

But all 2 and 3 bhk flats are booked, i told him. He said he had already read my blog. That's why he was calling me to help him out. I gave him Paranjape Schemes' office phone number and made it very clear that i do not have any kind of business or personal association with them. When i started to tell him about myself, he disconnected the phone!

Launch of the iPhone!

With the first cup of the tea, i habitually fired my lap top and opened my HitTails. I was shocked to see the number of people visited my blog. 1,000 readers per day started looking like a possibility to me.

But how come 99% people use the exact search term "Paranjape Schemes Blue Ridge"? Oh! i should never forget that you can read the hoarding put at Hinjewadi chowk from the Mountain View, CA, US. OK, fine. But what about La Spain?

Originally uploaded by zkyo

Booking of the Blue Ridge was a weekend frenzy and Monday would be a normal day, i told myself. I tried to stop comparing "launch of the Blue Ridge" with launching of the iPhone as a silly thought and shut off my lap top.

No news, no Ad:

I was curious to read the news about the Blue Ridge's booking phenomenon in Sakal and Times of India. But i did not find the news on the front page. Or there was no Paranjape Schemes' thank you ad and with a typical boasting about the bookings. Shashank Paranjape, you are such a dull fellow!

Blue Ridge, Magarpatta and Amanora City:

But before i opened the news paper, my old client called me after a long time. He had been to the Blue Ridge yesterday evening with his friends. He was still very much overwhelmed with Blue Ridge experience and started comparing Blue Ridge with Magarpatta and Amanora Park townships. I told him i do not see any point in this type of comparison. You can not compare Shah Rukh Khan's Devdas with Dilip Kumar's. Magarpatta is almost over!

Originally uploaded by sanjeev.batra

But what about Amanora City? he asked. Amanora is a Honda City without engine. I asked him did he read Shrikant Paranjape's article or what! He told me his group has taken a well researched decision to book a flat at Blue Ridge.

I thought, we will say 'Jai Hinjewadi' and end the conversation. But he said he needs my help. I asked him what can i do for him. He said he did not booked along with his friends. Now, i should help him to book at least one flat. 2 bhk or 3 bhk any will do, he whispered. Can you speak little loudly? i asked him. He said no, his wife will hear!

Guinness World Record in Limca Book!

Around lunch time my journalist friend called.

He wanted to know how many flats were booked when 'DSK Vishwa' was launched. On the 7th day 1,000 flats were booked, i told him. But why he is interested in 'Vishwa', see what happens at DSK's Fursungi SEZ, i told him.

But he wanted to know how many flats were Booked at 'Darode - Jog's Crossover County'. 85 flats were booked by the Sunday evening, i told him.

But why was he interested in numbers? This is not a one day cricket. Now do not ask me about the speed of the booking, i told him. But he did not respond and suddenly he shouted 'Booking of the Blue Ridge can be a Guinness World Record! It should go into the Limca Book(!)

No special offer. No Brand Ambassador. No Digital Home.

True, bookings at Blue Ridge proves how strong brand equity Paranjape Schemes' has. It also proves that todays knowledge worker home buyer is not only an analytical and critical, he also appreciates and recommends with the open heart. Which some times, wrongly, interpreted as the real estate boom or even slow down! Shashank and Shrikant Paranjape knew this very well.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Only 4 and 5 bhk flats are available for booking! In Pranjape Schemes' Blue Ridge township at Hinjewadi, Pune, all 2 and 3 bhk flats are booked!

It can happen only at Paranjape Schemes!

This is unbelievable! All 2 and 3 bhk flats in Blue Ridge, at Hinjewadi, Pune; are sold out in 2 days. I called Paranjape Schemes office (+91(20) 2544 0986 and 2546 2128) twice to confirm but i got the same answer. Only 4 and 5 bhk flats are available for booking.

Rate is the same! Rs. 3,200 per sq.ft.

Saleable area of 4 bhk flat is 2,500 sq.ft. As per rate structure, i got yesterday, including everything (infrastructure charges + one covered parking + stamp duty + registration fees) at the basic rate (Rs. 3,200), basic budget (without considering floor rise) is Rs. 84,41,000.

The budget of 3,112 sq.ft. 5 bhk is Rs. 1,04,38,580.

Personally, I find the planning of 4 and 5 flats is much better than 2 and 3 bhk flats. I do not think these 4 and 5 bhk flats will be available tomorrow.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

About Paranjape Schemes' reputation, booking rate at Blue Ridge and investing in the township at Hinjewadi, Pune

Rate? Rs. 3,200 per sq.ft. only!

Today when i went to Paranjape Schemes' Blue Ridge site, i did not see anybody shocked to see the booking rate of Rs. 3,200. Since, the rate was not mentioned in the four page special advertorial, obviously everybody had read my blog before coming here, i assumed.

Of course, there was a printed rate structure along with the brochure but i did not see anybody reading it. Most of the people must have forgotten their glasses at home, i thought.

When salesman said basic rate is Rs. 3,200, everybody was happy. When he pointed out that there is 20 rupees rise per floor from 8th floor, everybody looked more happy. It was the happiest moment of the day when salesman said from 21st to 25th floor rate is Rs. 3,800 per sq.ft.

When somebody asked about the possibilities of rate increase , salesman said 'anytime'. If he had increased the rate at that moment, i am sure, everybody would have started dancing with joy.

Reputation of the Paranjape Schemes:

Of course, people were asking questions and trying to get the information but nobody looked serious about the answers. Everybody was interested in only one thing, availability. Whether particular flat is available or not. I think, everybody was in a hurry to write the cheque, get a booking receipt and go home. But, there was no day and night one day cricket match, between India and Pakistan, on the TV!

As i told you yesterday, sample flat was not completely ready. Site office was not operational. Model of the project was huge but not complete. Development of the site was only for the occasion. But, nobody was bothered about it. Why? Because, everybody knows Paranjape Schemes will do it, for sure.

Not only that, Paranjape Schemes (Flagship Infrastructure (P) Ltd.) will provide them better infrastructure than the Pune Municipal Corporation and Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation or even better than the Government of India.

So, to me, it is not about playing a golf or walking to the office. It's all about the reputation of the Paranjape Schemes.

Investing in Hinjewadi:

"Today about 65000 people work in Hinjewadi and its estimated that this number will grow up to 3 lakhs employees in another 3 years," Kishor Patil, CEO and MD, KPIT Cummins Info Systems Ltd. says in todays advertorial. Unfortunately there are only 2000+ flats in the Blue Ridge and half of them are already booked.


By the way, till today, i have not found a single alien. Other wise, yesterday i had made up my mind to name this township as "ETshri". On the lines of "Athashri", Paranjape Schemes' retirement complex!

Friday, October 26, 2007

Wait is over! Now you can become a world citizen! Paranjape Schemes', out of this world, Blue Ridge will be launched tomorrow!

But, Who was waiting?

Yes! It was very foolish of me to believe that the Paranjape Schemes' ad campaign was for the citizens of this mortal world. I do not know who but some did not wait for the launching on Oct.27. They have already booked their flats! Somebody told me, almost 90% flats in the first phase of the Blue Ridge are already booked! But then why was there an ad campaign telling what can i do after certain number of days? For example: "After 6 days, anytime you feel like teeing off, take a 5 minute walk."

Was the ad campaign for Shashank Paranjape, Ramesh Jogani, Ajay Piramal, Mark Thornton, Chris Rowlands, Jamshed S Dabboo and Deepak Parekh?

When i went to the site of Blue Ridge at Hinjewadi, this afternoon, i got the answer i was searching for since i came to know that almost 90% of the first phase is booked.

More than 400 people were working in more than 5 acres of the reception area. Work of the site office was going on. People were putting lawns, stitching green on the green house, assembling sample flat, it looked like that nobody was going to sleep tonight.

Then i realized that this ad campaign was basically for these people. Telling them to finish it fast and launch the Blue Ridge officially so that Shashank Paranjape, Ramesh Jogani and company can go and play a round of golf! Let them relax and enjoy a couple of moments. Finish it fast!

Where will the 'space ship' land?

There was a big blowup of the layout of 138 acre land of the Blue Ridge. Someone came ahead and helped to identify the residential area, sez, half a kilometer Marina, Taj Gateway Hotel and all.

But, i was not interested in knowing that. I told him to show me where the space ship will land. What space ship, he asked. I explained to him about the aliens and how they travel in the space ship. But he asked me why aliens will come here? I told him aliens will come here to become the citizens of this world and showed him the slogan "be world citizen".

He asked me why i think Blue Ridge is not for the citizens of Pune? I told him the history of Pune Real Estate Market. First, we constructed for NRIs, then for Mumbai Investors, after that for IT people. But now all are over.

Now, at this location, at this special rate of Rs. 3200 per sq.ft. who else but aliens can book a flat! It looks like, he was convinced but he asked me about tomorrow's full day function and live coverage on the radio Mirchi. It is a welcome party and introduction of our culture, Khokhopatil will be here, i told him. Welcome to ....? i asked. "Aliens! Wait is over!!" he said. What i admire most about Paranjape Schemes is, its bunch of smart people!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

A V Bhat and Company launches an exclusive project of 2 and 2 1/2 bhk flats in the price range of 26 to 28 lakhs (all inclusive) at Hadapsar, Pune

Big News:

Launching of the Etasha is the big news of this festive season in Pune Real Estate Market. There are 4 reasons: 1. Etasha is an A. V. Bhat and Company's project. 2. Location is Handewadi Road, Hadapsar. 3. All inclusive price is in the range of 26 to 28 lakhs. 4. Fully developed top terrace Amenities. For the first time, since i started this blog, i was really excited when i saw their launching ad in Sakal. Let us see what is so great about this project.

A. V. Bhat:

Late Mr. A.V. Bhat was a legend in his time. Even after his accidental death couple of decades ago, he is remembered and respected. In his case "A. V. Bhat - A name which stands for Quality & Trust" was a fact not a popular tag line. After the revival of his company, couple of years ago, launching of a new project by his company is always a good news for the middle class Punekars.


Life in Hadapsar (41)
Originally uploaded by die-kleene

On Solapur Highway, even after the grand success of Magarpatta City, Hadapsar remained sort of poor rural type of area of Pune Municipal Corporation. On the Nagar Road, Kharadi, which was not even in Pune Municipal Corporation, also started developing but Hadpsar remained backward.

Thanks to Shapoorji Pallonji's "SP INFOCITY" IT Park and upcoming D.S. Kulkarni Developers Ltd.'s 450 acre multi-services special economic zone (SEZ) in Fursungi, Hadapsar is going to become 'investment destination'(!) in no time. (Other day, a group of farmers who own adjoining land to DSK's SEZ, told me they are asking 1 corer per acre!)

IBM hadapsar Ozone, originally uploaded by sanyam.

Naturally, for Hadapsar, launching of A.V. Bhat and Company's project in this 'old corporation ward' is the first step towards becoming the prime residential area.

2 bhk flat bellow 30 Lakhs!

Now a days, no where in Pune you can get a 2 bhk flat bellow 30 lakhs. Here at A. V. Bhat and Co.'s Etasha, according to the quotation i got on Oct. 22, including everything price range is between 26,11,350 to 28,15,400! Of course, this is a special introductory offer and will not last long but even after a some rise it is a best buy.

1) Planning: this is an ideal, simple, cozy 2 bhk 'Puneri' flat.

2) Layout of the project, elevation, 2 lifts, common spaces, specifications, amenities and facilities every thing is planned very well.

Particularly, what i liked most is, the parking and the bus-stop for school-bus inside the project.
Frankly, i am fed up with the filmy, impractical and so called hi tech luxuries, like bum washer!

3) I feel safe and secure when i see the names of Avinash Nawathe (Architect) and Y.S. Sane Associates (RCC consultant).

Top Terrace Amenities:

I couldn't talk to him but i am sure this must be Arc. Avinash Nawathe's idea. He is one of the creative architects in Pune who knows the pulse of the home byers. Fortunately, i happened to work with him on one project. I have seen how home buyers fell in love of his concepts. Here at Etasha, you are going to get an extra amenity space and facilities on the top the terrace. Very good idea!

At Etasha construction has not started and there is no sample flat but multimedia presentation and Prafulla Dharmadhikari (+919823046455) explains the scheme very well.