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Sunday, August 30, 2015

Maharashtra's new IT policy may boost realty business in Navi Mumbai, Pune

Maharashtra's new IT policy may boost realty business in Navi Mumbai, Pune

Under the new policy, the state government has raised the FSI permissible develop ment on a plot -for the IT industry by 200 per cent over the base FSIKailash Babar  |  28 August 2015, 7:01 PM IST
MUMBAI: The government of Maharashtra's IT ITeS policy is expected to create demand for commercial spaces and IT campuses in Navi Mumbai and Pune. In Navi Mumbai alone, IT campuses covering an area of 3 million sq ft, is expected to come up in the next 3-4 years, and the new policy is likely to increase the absorption levels of these spaces.

The state government has announced the policy with incentives such as additional floor space index, exemption for IT ITeS companies from paying stamp duty, power to such units at industrial rather than commercial rates, along with additional subsidies on electricity tariffs and concessions on works contract tax and value added tax.

"In Maharashtra, IT ITeS-spurred growth has been seen primarily in Pune, thanks to the city's own highgrade demographic attributes. Though Navi Mumbai has received a fair share of the pie, it has to date not been able to do much with it because of the lack of adequate policy-level incentives. This is now set to change with the Maharashtra government's new IT ITeS Policy," said Ramesh Nair, COO & international director, JLL India. "Both Pune and Navi Mumbai stand to gain on the back of the new policy , given the superior infrastructure, proximity to Mumbai, and steady supply of talent."

Under the new policy, the state government has raised the FSI permissible develop ment on a plot -for the IT industry by 200 per cent over the base FSI. For this additional FSI, the developer or project proponent will have to pay premium equivalent 30 per cent of the existing ready reckoner rate in Mumbai Metropolitan Region and Pune and 10 per cent in other areas of the state. Given the expected rise in demand and absorption, developers' interest in IT-related projects is also witnessing an increase. "With almost all of IT parks supply n Pune already absorbed, and expected good demand, we are contemplating developing an IT park on a seven-acre land parcel we have at Baner close to Hinjewadi. The plot has development potential of around a million sq ft and with the enhanced FSI under the revised IT policy; the same will move higher," said Sunny Bijlani, director, Supreme Universal."With the proposed trans-harbour ink, Navi Mumbai will also be gain ng on account of incentives offered."

The much-awaited notification from the state government for continuation of the Maharashtra IT, ITeS policy had earlier held back major of ice space and other key transactions n Mumbai, Pune and some other cities of the state due to lack of clarity.

With clarity at policy level and key incentives, software companies have already started looking for office spaces and the deal pipeline has improved significantly in the past few weeks, said a consultant serving two large software companies.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Google leases 430,000 sq ft office space in Gurgaon

Google leases 430,000 sq ft office space in Gurgaon

Google has leased this space from Unitech at a rental of around Rs 130 per sq ft per month for nine yearsRavi Teja Sharma  |  13 August 2015, 8:40 AM IST
NEW DELHI: Google has leased 430,000 sq ft of office space from real estate developer Unitech in the second phase of its Signature Towers II project in Gurgaon. The tech giant already has 160,000 sq ft of space spread over eight floors in the same complex.

Google will use the new office space to expand its business in India, two people with knowledge of the development said. This is one of the largest lease transactions in the city this year.

The new space, said the first person, would be split between two new towers, one of which is ready and is being fitted out according to Google's specifications by corporate interior design firm Cherry Hill Interiors.

"The company will move one of its existing offices in Udyog Vihar area of Gurgaon to this new facility," said the person, asking not to be named.

Google is known to be a global trendsetter in workplace design, building stunning employee-friendly offices with the logic that happier people are more productive. Its new Gurgaon office completed last year has a railway coach that doubles up as an informal meeting space, a mini golf course, a small cricket pitch, swings, napping pods, massage and sauna rooms, a gym and lots of food at micro kitchens. Its Hyderabad office has a Google Slide that employees can use to travel from the higher floors to the ground level.

A spokesman for Google said as a policy, the company does not comment on rumours or speculation. A spokesman for Unitech said, "We do not comment on individual transactions of sale or leasing, as it is part of our regular ongoing business". Property advisory firm CBRE, the transaction advisers for the leasing deal, declined comment.

One of the people quoted above said Google has leased this space from Unitech at a rental of around Rs 130 per sq ft per month for nine years.

Of the two buildings that are part of this lease, the first, which is being fitted out, has about 200,000 sq ft of space and is connected internally to the existing Google office next door.

Office space leasing has seen a spurt over the last few quarters, as companies consolidate their existing offices and also take up space for impending future expansion. According to property advisory firm Cushman & Wakefield, leasing in the top eight cities rose 32 per cent to 17.9 million square feet in the first six months of 2015 and is expected to see a total of 36.4 million sq ft of office leasing in the current year.

The Unitech spokesman said demand for leasing commercial space remains robust for good quality office space.

Tech startups and ecommerce companies have taken the largest amount of spaceabout 6 million sq ftin the last six months, according to property consultancy Knight Frank India.

Flipkart, for instance, leased 3 million sq ft in Bengaluru, Amazon took 1.3 million sq ft in Bengaluru, Snapdeal took 5 lakh sq ft in Gurgaon and Zomato recently leased 1.2 lakh sq ft in Gurgaon

See Rs 30 cr flat bought by Rohit Sharma in Mumbai

See Rs 30 cr flat bought by Rohit Sharma in Mumbai

A man known for stylish batting is moving into an elegant home. Rohit Sharma has bought a luxury four-bedroom apartment in Ahuja Towers, Worli, Mumbai, for 30 crore. The 28-year-old Sharma, who grew up in Borivali, will shift into his sea-view house soon. Currently, Sharma is touring Sri Lanka with the Indian team. See the property here 
Sharma's apartment is on the 29th floor of the 53-storey Ahuja Towers, which houses known names from the corporate and banking industry. Apart from the view of the Arabian sea, the luxury pad also offers a 270 degree view of the Bandra-Worli sea link and many parts of the city. Sharma is one of the most expensive players in the Indian Premier League (IPL). Sharma captains Mumbai Indians in the IPL and holds a handful of records in the game.
He is the highest individual scorer in ODIs (he made 264 against Sri Lanka at the Eden Gardens in 2014). He is also the only player to score two double hundreds in ODIs.
This has been a year of personal milestones for Sharma. In May, he got engaged to his friend and manager, Ritika Sajdeh.

Celebrity homes in Mumbai

The spokesperson of Ahuja Constructions as well as Sharma's manager Bunty Sajdeh, CEO Cornerstone Sports & Entertainment, confirmed his purchase of the apartment but declined to share details.
The 250-metre tall skyscraper that recently received the Occupation Certificate and is ready for possession is designed by Palmer & Turner Architects, Singapore. The tower has amenities like concierge service from Quintessentially, chef on demand, mini-theatre, gym, swimming pool, sky cafe and a cigar room. 

According to property consultants, the price Sharma paid is in line with market expectations.

Kailash Babar, Economic Times

Builders turn to PEs, NBFCs to refinance debt

Builders turn to PEs, NBFCs to refinance debt

Real estate developers are increasingly turning to private equity investors and non-banking finance companies to refinance massive debts due to sluggish home sales in the last couple of years and banks becoming cautious about lending to the industry. 
Private equity investment in the real estate sector grew nearly three-fold year on year in the first half of this calendar year and a majority of that money has gone into debt refinancing, say industry watchers. While builders need money to service debt, provide exits to earlier investors and to complete some projects, investors are attracted by lower risks because most these projects are closer to completion, have all required approvals, and they can also drive a hard bargain with cash-strapped builders on valuations.
"The slackness in the market, availability of refinancing at lower rates and top up needed to take the projects further are essentially three factors behind such deals," said Anuj Puri, chairman and country head at real estate consultants JLL India. 
A lot of pressure has built up on the Indian real estate industry over the last two years. A recent report by property advisory firm Knight Frank put the cumulative nationwide unsold inventory of residential projects at 706,900 units, which would take more than three years to sell. In the last one year, Indian real estate market has seen a 40 per cent drop in new residential project launches and a 20 per cent dip in home sales.

With banks reluctant to lend, developers were forced to raise money from private moneylenders, family offices, private equity funds and NBFCs at high interest rates of as much as 25 per cent to retire their debt and meet working capital requirement. Now they are looking to refinance these high-cost debt.

PE investors confirm that proposals for such deals from builders are on the rise. "We have been receiving proposals for deals involving refinancing and the numbers of such proposals are on rise particularly in residential segment," said Ambar Maheshwari, CEO for private equity funds at Indiabulls Asset Management Company. 
Recently, Piramal Fund Management invested Rs 1,200 crore in a project of Omkar Realtors & Developers and part of this was for repaying existing debt.

Delhi-based builder Parsvnath Developers raised Rs 355 crore from Edelweiss, while Total Environment Building Systems, a Bengaluru-based developer of luxury homes, raised Rs 255 crore from Indostar Capital Finance and Mantri Developers raised Rs 250 crore from Peninsula Brookfield.

According to data from real estate consultants Cushman & Wakefield, PE funds have pumped inRs 11,180 crore in the commercial and residential real estate in six months ended June, compared toRs 4,002 crore a year earlier.

Many non-banking finance companies (NBFCs), too, are using this opportunity to enter projects with good revenue visibility.
"It's not new, but off late refinancing deals are going up," said Amar Merani, CEO at Xander Finance, an Indian NBFC arm of multinational investment firm Xander Group. "A private equity player that had invested at land acquisition or pre-approval stage may have to exit now because of the fund's tenure. It's a good opening for us as the project now has better revenue visibility post approvals and maturing of the project," he said.

Merani said due diligence for these transactions is carried out in a similar way to any new deal, while "annual returns are usually in the range of 18 per cent-20 per cent".

It's not risk-free investment, though. Experts say the refinance deals come with challenges for both builders and investors.

Developers take a hit on their originally expected margins when they have to refinance a project, while the refinancer needs to ensure that a developer has enough motivation left to complete the project. Investors are adopting different strategies to ensure this. 
"What smart investors today are doing in refinancing deals is ensuring all pain points of a builder are addressed rather than just concentrating on pain in just one project," said Anckur Srivasttava, chairman of GenReal Property Advisers. "Some funds are providing refinancing for consolidated debt of a builder. This imposes a lot of discipline on the builder as well," he said. 

Sobia Khan, Kailash Babar & Ravi Teja Sharma, The Economics Times

All you need to know about buying plots

All you need to know about buying plots

Pushpa Rawat | August 14, 2015 @ 02:25 PM
Buying a property? Is it a plot? Then you must be prepared where to buy and how to buy? Nagavinod K from Hosur, Bengaluru asks on Open House – the Q & A forum of Magicbricks, “I want to buy a plot but how should I determine its value?” If you too are doubtful like Nagavinod, then here’s help for you.
Before taking up any property deal, it is best advised to clear your doubts regarding the value of your asset. Plots have always been a popular choice amongst buyers. It gives the freedom to build your house as per your needs and customise it according to your desires.  Apartment living is a metropolitan concept which has now become a popular because of saturation of space.
People who wish to build their own house in Bengaluru, invest in plots. The demand is mainly from professionals working in the city looking for a change in lifestyle and looking to enhance their quality of living.
Aman Srivasta working with Ernst n Young says, “I have been travelling to Bengaluru a lot from Delhi due to work commitments and soon plan to settle there.  I have always desired a home with a garden which is fenced along with a parking. This is an impossible dream in Delhi owing to the rising property values. But here in Bengaluru, I would want to buy a piece of land in the outskirts and plan a construction of my choice, with a small garden, parking and many more. How can I check land prices here?”  
The Home worth Calculator by Magicbricks helps you find the current value of any particular property. All you have to do is fill information such as property type, city, locality followed by plot/apartment area. This will assist you to evaluate the value with a single click.
home worth calculator
How does the calculator work?
The value is based on the price, location followed by area, the age of the property, included amenities, demand and supply of the property. The plot worth is calculated and is further compared with the similar plots posted on MagicBricks to give you the right value.
Steps and procedure of buying a plot is very different from that of an apartment. Hence, it requires a lot of analysis and research before making any purchase.
Figure out your budget and where you wish to buy and check the documents essential while buying a plot. Other factors to consider include:
  • Deed Title: Being a buyer you must check the deed title for the name of the person who is selling. This ensures that the seller has all the rights to sell the property.
  • Always insist on checking the original documents and not just a photocopy of the original.
  • Encumbrance Certificate: You can get this certificate from the sub-registrar's office where homeowner registers the deed. It will assure you that the land is completely free from legal hassle and also does not have any unpaid dues.
  • Property Tax Receipts and Bills: You must always ask for the original bills and receipts of the property tax.
  • Some of the documents to look for are land approval plan, completion certificate, Completion Certificate, Occupancy Certificate, Latest Electricity Bill, Copy of Possession letter from Builder / Developer, NOC from Electricity Dept. / Pollution Dept. / Water Works / Port Authority, Power of Attorney and All Paid Tax receipts.
You can also own a piece of land to build your dream home, but be sure to check the above mentioned factors before making investment.
Pushpa Rawat is a part of the Magicbricks- Content & Research team and reports on emerging real estate and infrastructure trends. Follow her on Twitter

Here's the list of potential Smart Cities

Here's the list of potential Smart Cities

The urban sector at present is going through a lot of action and upheaval. Every State and City in the country wants to hop on to the "Smart City" bus.14 August 2015, 5:50 PM IST
The urban sector at present is going through a lot of action and upheaval. Every State and City in the country wants to hop on to the "Smart City" bus.

How to make work a happy place

How to make work a happy place

Mumbai Mirror | Aug 14, 2015, 05.37 PM IST

Not many associate contentment and joy with an office space, but author NS Rajan happens to think differently.

Happiness and work share a relationship that is often thought of as oxymoronic. It isn't just laziness that stops some of us from getting out of bed on Monday mornings. The thought of work is enough to instil a strange paralysing fear. Our grudges are usually circuitous in nature. If we are paid well, we hate the nature of our work. If we love our work, our salaries are unsatisfactory. "We do what we have to do" -this is an excuse many of us inevitably cite, but if we were to believe NS Rajan, Chief Human Resources Officer of the Tata Group, there might just be a way out from the well of professional misery. Rajan has just authored the book, Quote me if you Can, a collection of daily thoughts that seek to ensure happiness at work.The August 14 entry is deceptively cheeky. "Some have so much foresight, they live in the future."


Claims of contentment at work are often met with a rolling of the eyes, but Rajan's assertions seem to carry a felt conviction. He says, "It's very possible to be happy at work. What is more important is the thought of how to make others, the people whom you work with, happy. One needs to understand the sphere of influence. I have always strived towards that, though I am not always successful."

Geared towards making people proactive, the book's 1000 observations and quotes have all been coined by Rajan himself. He started penning these thoughts down when he was once left to his own devices at a wedding. "It was just a way to share with the world what I have learnt during my 33-year career. Most of these quotes are one-liners.I then started posting them on Twitter. The 140-character format was quite suitable," adds Rajan, who also writes poetry in three languages.


Even though the book hinges on the virtue of pithiness, it doesn't offer many quick fix formulas. "There is no specific formula that will help you find happiness at work, especially since happiness is portrayed as something evasive, unachievable, fluffy and illusory," stresses Rajan. The HR executive makes an obvious but essential distinction. While a bonus at work might lead to short-term happiness, deeper meaning and fulfilment at work should be the long-term goal. "Unless one finds that meaning, one would be stuck in that trap where work is just a means to roti-kapda-makaan and nothing more."

How does Rajan react to the sharp rise in instances of stress and hostility in the workplace, to news of harassment coming out of the country's most reputed offices? "There are certain expectations that a worker has when he she joins an organisation.

An employee would want the man-in charge to be fair and consistent and the organisation to be meritocracy based. He or she would want to be fairly recompensed. A good leader will work towards ensuring that these things are in place.

Whenever these expectations are not met, there will be conflict," says Rajan.


It seems easy to blame the person at the helm of affairs for everything that goes wrong at work. Rajan relates an incident that had happened on his first job, just after his MBA. He was handling a team of four people at Ranbaxy. One of his team members had been offered a job with a higher remuneration at another firm, but the worker didn't want to take up the job because he liked working with Rajan. "I insisted that he should take up the job.And we did struggle after he left, but I instinctively let him go because you need to place an individual before yourself. It did wonders for the team. A leader should be selfless and place the team and his workers ahead of himself," says Rajan.

A clear question arises -what if a leader doesn't possess these qualities? "There will always be adversity. But if there are problems, then there will be a solution. Find it. If there is no solution, it will be a fact. A fact needs to be accepted and you need to move on," advises Rajan. He suggests dissociating oneself from the problem and then mulling it over. Or perhaps speaking to someone who is not directly impacted by the problem. A counsellor, for instance. Rajan finally points to a gulf that sometimes exists between what a person desires and what he deserves. "One cannot measure one's self worth in comparison to others. This is a major cause of workers feeling unfulfilled. The centre of gravity for one self cannot be determined by others." Rajan says. If there's one thing that Rajan's book proves, it is his penchant for the last word. January 7, for instance, has this rather pertinent one-liner - "Passion without direction is abundant nothingness."

By Ektaa Malik