Friday, 13 December 2013

Meet the man helping reshape the face of Mumbai

There are are thinkers, philosophers and dreamers and then there are the doers. Very rarely though does one come across a person, who is an ideal balance of both these seemingly polar opposites. Meet one such man, Mr. Kamal Khetan, CMD, Sunteck Realty. Ranked in 2009 by Forbes, as India’s 91st richest man, Mr. Khetan with his tireless work ethic and constant reinvention and focus on innovation, is one of the people helping shape the future of the realty in the island city.

Mr. Kamal Khetan founded Sunteck Realty in the year 2000 and in 2005 made its foray into real estate development with a joint venture on a commercial property in the suburb of Vile Parle. Since then the company has made a name for itself by servicing high net worth blue chip Indian and international companies by way of developing world-class office buildings and commercial spaces, especially in Mumbai’s new business district of Bandra-Kurla Complex (BKC).

There are some people who simply love pushing the boundaries of the possible, these are the true trailblazers and Mr. Khetan is definitely one of them. While developing commercial spaces is definitely a great business model, Mr. Khetan took the leap of faith, by pioneering the concept of ‘walk to work’, by taking an incredible decision. The decision was to build a residential masterpiece of fine living, in the throbbing heart of Mumbai’s business district. Thus was born Signature Island, Sunteck’s showpiece lifestyle development for the swishest of the swish set. Set just a few minutes from the offices of most of the country’s top CEOs, Signature Island provides these tycoons a luxury that money simply can’t buy, the liberty to stroll into work, at their own pace. The response to Signature Island has been fantastic, with the business magnates and CEOs queuing up to be residents of this fantastic development!

The belief that Mumbai as a city has fantastic potential for development and the aspiration to redefine the face of India’s financial powerhouse are strong motivators for a man like Mr. Khetan. How else would one explain the sheer pace at which Sunteck Realty impacts the way Mumbai is looking at high end housing? Since its inception, the company has successfully developed 36 million square feet of city centric developments, primarily in Mumbai across 26 projects. Sunteck’s obsession with changing the face of the city is obvious through the fact that almost 90 percent of its economic value emanates from its Mumbai developments.

Sunteck’s various projects across Mumbai:

Sunteck’s residential portfolio includes developments all across the island city and its suburbs. Considering that most spaces in the island city are either developed or are under development, having such a diverse portfolio in such a competitive space/sector in itself is an astounding feat.

Sunteck City: Goregaon (West): The suburb of Goregaon is the virtual gateway to the busier suburbs of Andheri and Bandra, Sunteck City offers its residents this locational advantage that makes such a difference to the lives of the residents of a city like Mumbai. Add to that a vast array of luxury accoutrements and you have one of suburban Mumbai’s most sought after developments!

Signature Islands/Signia Isles BKC: The concept of walk to work meets the art of unhurried living. The Signature Islands and Signia Isles are the undisputed jewels in the Sunteck crown. Luxurious, bespoke and elegant living in the heart of Mumbai’s business is the prerogative of the privileged few. Undoubtedly a development that is the cynosure of all eyes and the pride of the elite few.

Signia High Borivali (East): Suburban living with a luxurious twist is the only way to describe Signia High. Whether it is the humongous, palatial entrance, the observation decks, mini theatre, concierge services or the triple layer security system, Signia High is definitely a new level of life for the suburbs of Mumbai.

Signia Oceans/Orion: Airoli: Two developments set to redefine life in the Central part of the city. Signia Oceans and Orion are excellent examples of seclusion with inclusion. Set far enough from the hustle and bustle of the Eastern Express Corridor, yet close enough to all the trappings of a cosmopolitan life, these two stand as islands of tranquility in a sea of activity. Add to these the bespoke touches expected of any Sunteck development and you have a residence that you will love to call HOME.

Sunteck’s drive and determination, to change the way the denizens of Mumbai perceive life in the maximum city, is a gift of its charismatic leader, Mr. Kamal Khetan. In an age where leadership by example is a dwindling commodity, Mr. Khetan’s enthusiasm and zeal are infectious and endearing. Mr. Khetan’s devotion to leadership excellence is obviated by his founding of and being a member of several organisations that aim to groom and inculcate leadership values in the next generation of leaders. His role as a mentor with 'Young Presidents' Organization , MRICS (Member of Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors) and the Council of Governors board of APREA are testament to his commitment to excellence, both in the present and for the future.


Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Offices that make a statement!

To most middle class working people, offices mean rows upon rows of standard, drab, grey cubicles, fluorescent lights and post-it notes hanging from the message boards. Long corridors, water coolers and conference rooms complete the montage that for aeons, has defined a place from where business is conducted.

The tech boom of the late 1990s though changed that perception to an extent, when a company, now synonymous with internet search (obviously Google), first unveiled its campus to the world. Suddenly an office was more than just a place to go to from Mondays to Fridays. Suddenly offices became imaginariums, gymnasiums, places where fun at work wasn’t just an ideal but a reality. What is more, Google pioneered the concept of “happy workers equal greater productivity!” Little surprise then that Google’s employees are amongst the most productive in the world!

More and more corporates today understand the value of happy employees. No wonder then that more and more companies, startups and ventures are investing in designing workspaces that make their employees happy, ergo productive. This post sheds light on some of the world’s most quirky, happy and uplifting office spaces from around the world.

Most of the world’s most statement making offices come from the technology, advertising and creative domain, there is a reason to that too, people who work in these fields are a quirky, idiosyncratic breed that are really into pop culture and often work long hours that may stretch into weeks.

Bahnhof’s Pionen Facility: Sweden

Bahnhof of Sweden, an internet service provider needed a secure facility, given the nature of their business. What is more secure than a Cold War era nuclear bunker built 30 metres underground, into the side of a mountain? We would say not much else! What makes it even more awe inspiring is that it was one of the inspirations behind the set for the villain’s lair in the Bond film ‘Moonraker’. Meeting rooms and conference zones also look like the observation deck aboard a star trek cruiser!

Edelman and Partners Office: Soho, New York

Edelman and Partners, one of the world’s leading public relations firms have on their roster of clients the who’s who of the tech, corporate, industrial and entertainment sectors. Their office in New York’s quirky Soho area, is an interesting mix of practicality, entertainment and technology. Starting with the reception area where a large Microsoft Surface tablet dominates the visitors area, to individual conference rooms that have wall to wall touchscreens, to individual workspaces where employees are encouraged to express themselves through graffiti and other quirky touches, makes this one office that stands out completely.

Tech Mahindra’s MindSpace Mumbai facility:

Tech Mahindra, erstwhile 3 Global Services, may have taken over 3’s business, but continue to persevere with the former’s philosophy of a vibrant, dynamic office space. Situated in Mumbai’s outsourcing district of MindSpace, each of Tech Mahindra’s offices are designed to make an employee feel at home. Large murals on all walls depicting sport, pop culture and happiness are the first things one sees. A multi-cuisine cafeteria and relaxation zones complete one of the cheeriest office spaces in the maximum city.

Googleplex, Mountain View, California:

The company that pioneered the office space revolution, has to round off the list of the most awe inspiring offices. Spread over a mammoth 2 million square feet of space in California, Googleplex is the search giant’s world headquarters. From quirky inspiration pods to juice bars, gymnasiums to conference rooms with jungle themes, Googleplex can best be described as ‘Neverland-meets-Disney World-meets-the- Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus’. Dubbed the happiest place to work several years in a row, Googleplex has become the benchmark for quirky, yet functional workspaces that keep employees happy, ergo productive!


Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Bandra Kurla and the changing face of the business district.

Mumbai, India’s financial capital and one of the largest urban agglomerations in the world has always been an Asian business powerhouse. With some of the world’s largest companies, banks, television networks and other important businesses calling Mumbai, either their headquarters or an important regional office, it is only natural that office space in this metropolis comes at a premium.

Traditionally, South Mumbai has always been Mumbai’s commercial/business district. The areas of Nariman Point, Marine Lines, Tardeo, Worli, Prabhadevi and Lower Parel, have all been hubs for the smooth flow of commerce. The problem now though is one of dwindling space and soaring commercial realty prices. To address this problem the Mumbai Metropolitan Regional Development Authority (MMRDA), in the early part of the 21st century, proposed in its charter, “ a series of "growth centres" created to ‘arrest further concentration’ of offices and commercial activities in South Mumbai.” (Source: Wikipedia) Bandra-Kurla complex was a first among these growth centres.

Why Bandra-Kurla Complex?

Any business relies on top-notch infrastructure, hassle-free connectivity and easy access. The central nature of Bandra-Kurla Complex, ease of access, location and availability of premium office space for rates that are not astronomical, has made this area a popular destination for business development. Says a marketing manager, of a multinational beverages company, that moved here a couple of years ago, “Bandra-Kurla Complex made a lot of sense for us. Its ready availability world class office spaces, proximity to the international and domestic airports, easily accessible to both our employees and business associates from the Western and Central suburbs, and most importantly the dramatic savings on leasing a similar property in South Mumbai, are the primary reasons of our decision to call it home.”

Ease of access has also made lives for employees that much simpler. Scores of people who would have to spend hours commuting all the way to South Mumbai, now find themselves travelling half the distance, and with the improvement inaccess roads to BKC, many of them now travel to office by vehicle. As a result, the load on public transport infrastructure too, has reduced a bit. Says Eleanor Rodrigues, an employee of a private sector bank, “my office used to be in Prabhadevi and travelling from Santacruz was quite troublesome. But ever since we’ve shifted to BKC, getting from home to office is a simple 20 minute car journey. On the upside, I also get to spend the morning commute with my husband, as he works in the vicinity too.”

Developments in Bandra-Kurla Complex:

Bandra-Kurla Complex today is a hotbed of activity like few other places in the city. With a number of residential and commercial projects underway, the area is undergoing a sea change as we speak. Corporate headquarters and IT parks today stand side-by-side, where once slums and desolate roads used to be.

“The landscape of the area has changed dramatically,” says Manish Madambat, a long time resident of Kalanagar, Bandra East, a stone’s throw away from BKC, “there used to be a time when getting a rickshaw from Bandra station was nigh impossible, the streets were bad and fraught with potholes, but today, with the emergence of BKC, those days are a thing of the past.”

The best part about the development of BKC has been the phased manner in which it has been conducted. BKC is probably one of Mumbai’s only well planned areas, modern town planning ensures that streets leading into and out of the area are smoother, wider and congestion free.

The emergence of BKC as a business hub has also seen a proliferation of hospitality brands setting up shop here to cater to the corporate set. Over the last few years many top hotels have opened their doors to the droves of corporate clients that have now made them their destination of choice to entertain, host foreign dignitaries and conferences and get-togethers.

With projects and developments in various phases of completion and planning, BKC’s future and that of Mumbai’s new business district seems too bright and in a sentence, BKC is the new commercial heart of India’s financial powerhouse!   

Thursday, 28 November 2013

Sunteck Realty bags, 5 Prestigious Awards at the Asia Pacific Real Estate Association (APREA)

Wed, Nov 27, 2013, Sunteck Realty Ltd, Mumbai’s leading premium real estate developer
catering to the luxury & ultra luxury segment, was commemorated with 5 Prestigious Awards at
the recent Asia Pacific Real Estate Association (APREA). The APREA Best Practices
Awards are open to all real estate companies & trusts listed on a regional stock exchange.

Sunteck Realty Ltd has made a strong foray into the real estate sector with a string of
landmark developments and a fine balance between luxury and sustainability. Amongst the
Highly Commended awards Sunteck Realty Limited has been awarded in the categories of
Emerging Markets, Merit Awards and Country Awards. These include accolades for The
best property development company, Merit award in market disclosures & property
valuation category and an overall award along with Axis REIT of Malaysia.

Sunteck Realty has always been instrumental in introducing world renowned architecture and
designs to the Indian market. The nomination for these elite awards was based on identifying
and honoring projects that created marvels in the industry. The winners of the Awards were
evaluated based on transparency, corporate governance, portfolio performance and
comparability in their local market and the region.

Lim Swe Guan, CFA, Chairman of the board of APREA said, "We are delighted with the level
of best practices demonstrated by the companies who submitted for the awards this year. We
continually encourage members to adopt the most up-to-date valuation techniques, adhere to
international financial reporting standards and follow good corporate governance. Combined
with a greater transparency of portfolio performance and provision of reliable timely information
to investors, we believe this will lead to higher investor confidence and wider support for the
industry. We are confident that with the support of our members, who are leaders in their field,
we can make real estate a crucial part of every investor’s portfolio.”

Peter Mitchell, Chief Executive Officer of APREA said “We would like to extend our
congratulations to The GPT Group and Axis REIT for winning the overall award for best
practices. These awards are held annually to highlight the importance of the recommendations
in APREA’s Best Practices Handbook, which has emerged as a clear benchmark for the region
for managing and reporting performances since it was first published in 2009.”

Mr. Kamal Khetan, CMD, Sunteck Realty Ltd commented, “At Sunteck Realty, it is a
constant endeavor to create benchmark projects based on the consumer’s needs and
requirements. The APREA Awards are the most prestigious awards and we feel honored
to be recipients of it. We are proud of our continued success as this will further
strengthen our commitment to our stakeholders.

About Sunteck Realty

Sunteck Realty Limited is amongst the top 10 ‘Listed’ real estate development company
singularly catering to the luxury and ultra luxury segment. The company has over 28 million
square feet of city centric developments across 25 projects under various stages of
development and 4 rented assets. The company is managed by a professional management
team led by first generation entrepreneur Mr. Kamal Khetan . The financial strength of the
company is well reflected with the ‘Negligible Debt’ and visible cash flows. The company is
listed on the BSE and NSE and has on board some of the world renowned pension funds, FII’s
and Private Equity. The company has also forged tie ups with international brands as Walt
Disney and Vertu to lend a unique experience to its denizens. The company has strong project
execution skills through in-house project management team and tie-ups with Domestic and
International contractors, Architects and Engineers. The company takes pride in serving the
affluent gentry of the Ultra High Net Worth individuals and the head honchos of top global

About the awards

The APREA Best Practice Awards recognizes listed real estate organizations in the Asia-
Pacific region who contribute to enhancing transparency and comparability in regional markets
through a commitment to regional industry best practices across their organization, embrace
stakeholder communication activities beyond those required in local market and comply with
the recommendations contained in APREA Best Practices Handbook.

The annual APREA Best Practices Awards recognizes the regional real estate firms who
perform the best in governance and disclosure. The awards are based on the APREA Best
Practices Handbook and regulation in the firm’s local jurisdiction. All real estate companies and
trusts listed on a regional exchange, including Australia and New Zealand, are eligible to
qualify for the awards. All eligible entities, whether or not they are members of APREA, are
entitled to participate. Real estate organizations will need to make a submission in order to be

Monday, 23 September 2013

Kamal Khetan Reveals Other Costs Linked With Buying a Home

Home purchasing can turn into a stressful as well as an exciting task, both at the same time. Usually buyers, especially the first timers, seem to forget the fact that the overall costs linked with the buying of a new home are much higher than the actual purchase price of the property. In order to make you aware of all these costs beforehand, the real estate advisors from the Kamal Khetan group has compiled below some of the other major costs that are usually associated with the purchase of a new home.

1    1.     Agent’s Commission

Both the real estate agents on the buyer’s as well as the seller’s side receive some percentage of the final sales price as commission. As a general rule of thumb, a typical commission expense can lie anywhere between three to six percent of the total selling price. However, these rates and percentages are always negotiable. The commission expense takes in to account both the seller’s realtor as well as the buyer’s realtor. This particular cost is generally supposed to be paid by the seller only. Therefore, you must always pick advisors from credible and reputed companies like the Kamal Khetan Group.

2    2.     Closing Costs

The closing costs usually cover all the liabilities such as the legal fees, utility adjustment costs and the property taxes. In addition to this, certain provinces also demand land transfer taxes.

3    3.     Legal Fees

This covers all the costs that you are supposed to pay to your associated lawyer, with respect to all sorts of legal transactions that may have been brought into action during the purchase of the house. Some of these prime legal transactions include the signing and preparing of the mortgage, conduction of property title search, review of the terms of the made offer, registration of the new title, determination of appropriate adjustment costs, obtaining relevant documentation and other conveyance charges.

4    4.     Mortgage Life Insurance

Many insurance companies provide special coverage for the cost at which your mortgage will be discharged under an event of severe illness or death. These days many lenders have started to provide for the mortgage insurance. However, the amount for the same is not fixed and directly depends on the condition and state of your mortgage.

5    5.     Service Charges

This section covers all the installation and other fee charges for hooking up basic utilities such as cable services, electricity, telephone and gas.