Anil Pharande In Interview With The Realty Paper

Pharande Vaarivana Pune

Pharande Vaarivana Pune

Anil Pharande, Chairman – Pharande Spaces in interview with The Realty Paper

  • How is the current scenario in the Pune real estate market?

Pune is a powerhouse of potential when it comes to real estate. It is a city of learning and entrepreneurship, and there is a distinctly progressive flavour to everything that happens there. Thanks to the fact that it has become a magnet for IT/ITES and manufacturing companies, the real estate market in Pune is not likely to lose its forward momentum. That said, I always had misgivings about the opportunistic manner in which property development was taking place within the PMC limits, and was far more interested in the holistic approach being adopted in Pimpri-Chinchwad.

  • What are your focal points of a real estate development firm?

In terms of locations, we have so far concentrated on the PCMC area and West Pune. My passion for real estate in PCMC has its reasons – the idea of being involved in the raising of a planned city on the lines of Chandigarh, so close to Pune, excited me. My primary objective has been to help steer the path of this planned development, which is why I got involved with CREDAI. Getting into the creation of township properties that would take the best advantage of the benefits that the PCMC offered in terms of superior infrastructure and phased real estate growth was the next logical step.

  • When was Pharande Spaces established?

Pharande Spaces was started in 1994 with negative capital. We launched purely on bank borrowings and goodwill.

  • Where are you most involved in the development of projects?

Since I come from a technical background, I have always placed great emphasis on employing the latest construction techniques in our projects. Our primary focus is on high-quality, visually aesthetic and lifestyle-oriented township projects that are environmentally sustainable and add to the grandeur of Pune’s real estate landscape.

  • Is Pharande Spaces involved in any other business verticals?

Apart from residential real estate, we are already into the manufacture of non-conventional energy equipment as well as distribution and power transformers. We have also forayed into the construction of malls and multiplexes. As already mentioned, we have so far concentrated on PCMC and West Pune, but are now firming up plans to expand into Goa as well.

  • Were you impacted by the slowdown in the real estate market?

Along with all other real estate development firms, Pharande Spaces faced all the ups and downs of the real estate market. We did not incur losses during the downturn, but we certainly did not experience much growth during the phase. Thankfully, the slowdown is now over and demand for quality housing is back with in force.

  • How many residential townships have you built till date?

We have built more than 25 residential projects to date, which include large integrated residential projects and two fully integrated townships.

  • L-Axis was Pharande Spaces’ first ultra-luxury township. Could you tell us more about the latest township you announced?

L-Axis is definitely one of the largest luxury projects we have launched. More recently, Pharande Spaces launched Puneville, a one-of-its-kind ultra-luxury township at Punavale in West Pune. The project is being developed on the 50-acre plot of a de-notified SEZ. The location in the heart of West Pune is literally perfect, being one kilometre from Wakad and with ready access to Aundh and Hinjewadi and further on to Lonavala and Mumbai via the Pune-Mumbai Expressway.

Puneville is a top-of-line luxury residential project designed on the lines of a luxury resort by Aedas, the global award-winning architects who have master-minded Venetian style hotels in Las Vegas and Macau as well as the Financial Centre in Shanghai and Marina Bay Sands at Singapore. Aedas ranks second among the world’s top architectural firms and will bring its full expertise to bear on Puneville. This project is by far the best in the country and incorporates every conceivable luxury feature, and outshines anything so far seen in residential real estate in Pune.

  • How do you view the real estate business at a personal level?

I am passionate about what I do, but have to admit that this business literally leaves no spare time at all. Relaxation is not even a factor.

  • Do you family members complain about your constant non-availability for them? This is a known syndrome among successful developers…

Quite possible, but I haven’t heard the complaints because I’m constantly on the phone.

  • Where do you and your family go for vacations? Do you have any favourite destination?

We have explored the world, mostly in context with my constant search for architectural inspiration for our projects. During these trips, my family members certainly enjoy themselves. We are particularly fond of Turkey, Singapore, Malaysia, Greece and China.

(As featured in: The Realty Paper)

Infrastructure: The Key Real Estate Investment Criterion

– Anil Pharande, CMD – Pharande Spaces

We keep hearing the term ‘market drivers’ being used in real estate. What are they? Market drivers can be defined as developments in an area that increase the value of living there. It is a well-established fact that infrastructure is by far the most important driver for real estate demand and property appreciation growth.

Infrastructure can take many forms. It includes road development to boost connectivity of a location, civic infrastructure such as dedicated water and electricity supply, public gardens, etc. that increases the quality of living in the area, and social infrastructure such as schools, colleges and healthcare, which result in shorter travelling time to such very essential services.

Pharande Vaarivana Pune

Infrastructure must be put in place either before or along with other real estate development. Attempts to put it in place retrospectively create the kind of mess that we can see in many of our cities today. The building of flyovers and road widening are attempted in highly congested areas, disrupting the flow of normal activity and taking ages to be built, causing great inconvenience and massive costs to the city because of the incessant delays.

Building infrastructure is like growing trees – in both cases, there needs to be enough space for them to grow, and sufficient opportunity for a root network to deploy. Without space and depth, neither trees nor infrastructure can grow and flourish. If we take the case of Pune as an example, we can see that building infrastructure as an afterthought to real estate development, rather than as a precursor, does not really work well.

Pune’s haphazard development in the past has not been favourable for decent infrastructure deployment to complement its rapid development on other fronts. Battling severe constraints, Pune’ development authorities are doing their best to counter the ill-effects of unregulated development which has so far been taking place.

Pharande Vaarivana Pune

We are seeing some good results in building support infrastructure, but the Pune Municipal Corporation is actually a losing battle. This is amply illustrated by the fact that the Pune Municipal Corporation is not able to provide suitable parking, traffic management solutions and utilities supply despite enormous investments.

Guidelines For Homebuyers & Investors

  • The infrastructure of a location is a major focus area for property investors for a very good reason. Real estate investors want to attract end-users, either as rental or purchase clients, to the properties. They know that an area without sufficient infrastructure will be unattractive to their clients, because the quality of living quotient is low.
  • Again, properties in areas without good infrastructure tend to have cheaper property rates for a reason. Developers with projects in such locations know that the area has little or nothing to say for itself in terms of quality of life. The only way they can hope to sell their projects is to offer very attractive rates.
  • Buyers should place infrastructure availability prominently on their checklist while scouting for suitable homes. Road and rail connectivity, water supply, proximity of schools, hospitals and shopping outlets are of paramount importance. Buying a home cheaply if the location does not offer these is meaningless, and will give cause for regret.
  • If one is buying a property purely as a long-term investment and primarily for capital appreciation, one can afford to be a bit philosophical about existing infrastructure. After all, one is not planning to live there and does not expect very fast appreciation. As long as there is a reasonable assurance that it will arrive in the foreseeable future, it makes sense to invest in a property located in an emerging area where infrastructure is in its nascent stages.
  • However, if one is buying the property in order to generate rental income, existing infrastructure is far more important than upcoming infrastructure. People looking for rental options are also looking for a certain ease and dignity of living. They are willing to put the option of buying a home aside so that they can live in a good home in a good location on rent.
  • Where the option exists, give a high preference to townships over all other options. While checking out townships, ensure that they are located in areas which have a good saturation of support infrastructure as well. Most large Indian cities now have township projects coming up.
  • In Pune, the infrastructure-rich Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation is attracting the highest number of buyers and investors of township properties. In other parts of the country, Navi Mumbai and the Kalyan-Dombivli and Vasai-Virar belts are becoming important township hubs.
  • In Delhi NCR, the areas to look at for townships are Ghaziabad, Faridabad and Greater Noida. In Bangalore, the growth hubs for townships are Yelahanka and Devanhalli, and in Chennai they include Sriperumbadur, Perambur, the OMR belt and Anna Nagar.

About The Author:

Pharande Vaarivana PuneAnil Pharande is Chairman of Pharande Spaces, a leading construction and development firm that develops township properties in Western Pune. Pharande Promoters & Builders, the flagship company of Pharande Spaces and an ISO 9001-2000 certified company, is a pioneer in the PCMC area offering a diverse range of real estate products catering especially to the 42 sectors of Pradhikaran. The luxury township Puneville at Punavale in West Pune is among the company’s latest premium offerings. Woodsville in Moshi is another highly successful PCMC-based township by Pharande Spaces which is now in its 3rd phase.

How India Can Bridge Its Affordable Housing Gap

– Anil Pharande, Chairman – Pharande Spaces

Affordable housing isn’t just about providing homes to those who need the most – it also plays a crucial part in a smoothly-running economy. Sadly, most of the cities across the globe are struggling to offer decent, affordable housing to their citizens. India is not a unique case – the story is the same for both developing and advanced economies. The world is going through an intensive phase of urbanization, but the growth in individual incomes is not keeping pace, and this presents a gloomy picture for the housing situation.

Pharande Vaarivana Pune

Statistics indicate that over the next decade, the number of people adjusting in substandard housing will rise exponentially. Incidentally, India will be among the most challenged nations, unless the government is able to realistically work on its electoral promise of ‘housing for all’.

The ‘affordability gap’ is defined as the difference between the average rent people pay for their homes without having to spend more than 30% of their family income, and the price of acceptable housing units. In India, population growth has obviously triggered a rise in the affordable housing gap, but it by no means the only country with this problem. In the next 10-12 years, the world in general will have to come up with an additional 106 million low-income housing units.

These statistics illustrate a serious problem – how will this rising gap be bridged? In a country like India, what would be the means that will allow the government to support faster affordable home deliveries? Strategically, there would be three primary approaches to resolve the problem, and all are centered on lowered cost of construction, financing, land, maintenance and operations.

Even if individually implemented, each of the three approaches will significantly cut the affordable housing gap, especially in nations like India. If these approaches could be implemented in a tandem, the cost of affordable housing can be decreased by as much as 35-50%, gradually leading to a manageable situation over the next decade.

Freeing Up Developable Land

Land supply is among the most important element in housing prices. It is also responsible for the largest part of the overall investment in buying a home. If the government decides to open up strategic land around urban locations, it could be a huge solution to the rising prices of homes. At the policy level, making this happen is not too complicated either.

Most Indian cities have land parcels that remain unused or underused. In most cases, this land either belongs to the government or local/private authorities. Bringing forward these land parcels for real estate development will greatly help in launching affordable housing projects.

Bringing Down The Cost Of Construction

Compared to other sectors like manufacturing, the construction sector has been relatively stagnant in the past years. One of the reasons for this is lack of innovation – residential projects still use traditional techniques of construction that were used some 50 years ago. This is not the problem of India alone but many countries across the globe.

By replacing obsolete construction techniques with the latest modern innovative technologies, housing prices can be reduced by almost 30% and completion times by as much as 40%. For instance, using pre-fabricated components of construction that are manufactured off the site are a sterling solution. Processes like this, which are already in use in India but not to the required degree, can improve the efficiency of residential building deployment, and significantly augment budget housing supply.

A communal approach to construction materials purchasing by groups of developers who are committed to the cause of affordable housing would also help bring down housing prices.

Lowering The Cost Of Finance

In a cost-sensitive country like India, banking interest rates play a huge role in housing affordability. At the current interest rates, and even given the current subsidies, it is next to impossible for low income earners to get loans to buy homes. Banks and other financial institutions in the public and private domain should introduce encouraging schemes like contractual savings to assist low income earners to gradually accumulate the corpus needed to make down payments on affordable homes. Of course, lower interest rates would greatly help the situation.

Apart from these, the Indian government must also find means to reduce the cost of financing to developers engaged in affordable housing projects. It is encouraging that the new government is already working on its electoral mandate, but there is still no sign of a unified approach to implementation of its goals. Hopefully, we will see more progress being made on the ‘Housing For All’ promise in the future.

About The Author:

Anil PharandeAnil Pharande is Chairman of Pharande Spaces, a leading construction and development firm that develops township properties in Western Pune. Pharande Promoters & Builders, the flagship company of Pharande Spaces and an ISO 9001-2000 certified company, is a pioneer in the PCMC area offering a diverse range of real estate products catering especially to the 42 sectors of Pradhikaran. The luxury township Puneville at Punavale in West Pune is among the company’s latest premium offerings.

PCMC: Pune’s New Townships Capital

Anil Pharande

Townships are more than a new real estate mantra – for the larger cities in India, they are without any doubt the only remaining hope for decent living standards. Gradually but surely, residential conditions in cities like Pune are on the decline, and township properties are gaining increasing significance as the final answer to quality-based living.

In areas like the Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation, the ‘Infrastructure First’ approach has preserved and consistently enhanced living conditions for PCMC residents. However, the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) has not been able to stay on top of the infrastructure situation. Traffic congestion, air, water and noise pollution and a heedless approach to development have compounded the problems on all levels.

All Eyes On PCMC

The city’s inhabitants are facing major problems with reaching emergency services and educational institutions for their children, and access to adequate parking. In this depressing scenario, the large integrated townships being developed in thriving locations of the PCMC region are the new lifestyle standard. In the PCMC, the township movement first began in areas like Moshi and Ravet, and the region’s leading developers have now launched luxury townships on Spine Road and Punavale as well.

Integrated townships have, in fact, been on the rise ever since they were identified as the most suitable residential solution by the Government’s National Housing and Habitat Policy of 1998. After this policy included townships in its ‘Housing Revolution’ initiative, the Government of Maharashtra had begun actively encouraging the development of integrated townships to reduce the pressure on urban areas and to improve infrastructure in cities like Pune.

However, such projects require large land parcels and these have been all but fully consumed in the core areas of the Pune Municipal Corporation. As result, the focus shifted to the Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation, where land availability and superlative support infrastructure make townships a very viable proposition.

Lifestyle Aspiration Driving Demand For Townships

Today, Pune citizens’ yen for a better lifestyle quotient is leading to an increasing demand for systematic and fully-enabled residential formats. The city’s deteriorating living conditions are the prime reason why the Township Revolution is now in rapid spin.

In the integrated township format, the problems are infrastructure deficit and deteriorating living conditions are completely negated. They offer a very high grade of living conditions set to the backdrop of aesthetic environments.

Offering the township-grade facilities in smaller residential projects would involve prohibitive costs for developers – cost which the consumers would have to pay. Thanks to the economies of scale, township developers in the PCMC are providing ultimate lifestyle solutions at far more rational costs. High-quality infrastructure, open spaces and immediate access to all the necessities of daily living result in a superior lifestyle proposition, since all residents in a township benefit from one large integrated and centrally managed system.

Why Township Properties Cost More – And Why It Is Worth It

When developers offer township-grade facilities in smaller housing projects, the costs to consumers is comparable to those of luxury homes. In townships, the vast range of facilities, fully-integrated infrastructure and the availability of schools, hospitals and shopping complexes within the premises means that township properties come at a slightly higher cost than normal multi-storey apartments. However, the additional expense is vindicated by the fact that those who buy into township properties are assured of a vastly superior living standard – not to mention exceptionally higher returns on investment.

For property buyers who simply do not want to compromise on their lifestyle options, the township properties of PCMC are the most obvious solution. The direct advantages include complete security, convenience, the comfort of high-grade infrastructure and various facilities within the premises, and immediate access to retail outlets and recreational facilities. This results in a very high degree of comfort and convenience within a completely cosmopolitan ethos.

About The Author:

Pharande Vaarivana Pune

Anil Pharande is Chairman of Pharande Spaces, a leading construction and development firm that develops township properties in Western Pune. Pharande Promoters & Builders, the flagship company of Pharande Spaces and an ISO 9001-2000 certified company, is a pioneer in the PCMC area offering a diverse range of real estate products catering especially to the 42 sectors of Pradhikaran. The luxury township Puneville at Punavale in West Pune is among the company’s latest premium offerings.

PMRDA: New Era Of Planned Growth For Pune Real Estate

Pharande Vaarivana Pune

Anil Pharande, Chairman – Pharande Spaces

The Pune Metropolitan Development Authority (PMRDA), which took up seat in the PCNTDA offices in Akurdi, Pimpri-Chinchwad on May 1, heralds an era of much-needed change for real estate development in Pune. From this point onward, PMRDA will introduce the concept of scientific town planning to every part of the city.

Pharande Vaarivana Pune

So far, proper town planning had only been followed in the the Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation. The entire Pradhikaran belt has been developed by the PCNTDA (Pimpri Chinchwad New Township Development Authority) under strict development guidelines. As a result, PCMC has become a showcase of planned urban development.

The jurisdiction of PMRDA will cover the whole or Pune, including PCMC as well as several talukas such as Maval, Bhor, Haveli, Shirur, Mulshi and Khed which fall in the Pune district. Talegaon Dabhade, Lonavla, and Alandi and also be included along with several outlying villages. For the very first time in Pune’s history, there will be a unified planning and development authority to bring order to the entire district. The model of development will be similar to the approach which PCNTDA has followed to develop Pradhikaran over the years.

PMRDA will develop massive land parcels in a planned manner, areas will be zoned for residential and commercial development and support infrastructure such as electricity, water supply, sewerage and road networks will be put in place. Thereafter, they will be released for development under a newly-formulated development plan (DP) and regional plan (RP) which will replace all previous plans. In the meantime, PMRDA will also eradicate illegal developments. In the future, no construction will take place without complete vetting and authorization by the PMRDA.

This approach to urban development will have a profound effect on real estate in the Pune region. The value of land as well as any kind of built-up real estate will rise considerably, and the region will attract more and more investments from both within and outside the country. PCMC, which is already home to hundreds of global manufacturing companies, will see even more of such industries moving in and setting up operations. This will lead to incremental employment growth, which will bring with it massive requirements for commercial and residential spaces.

In short, Pune will now be able to reach its fullest potential under PMRDA. The local economy is set to boom, and Pune will eventually become the new economic capital of Maharashtra.

About The Author:

Pharande Vaarivana Pune

Anil Pharande is Chairman of Pharande Spaces, a leading construction and development firm that develops township properties in Western Pune. Pharande Promoters & Builders, the flagship company of Pharande Spaces and an ISO 9001-2000 certified company, is a pioneer in the PCMC area offering a diverse range of real estate products catering especially to the 42 sectors of Pradhikaran. The luxury township Puneville at Punavale in West Pune is among the company’s latest premium offerings.

MIDC To Give Five Acre Plot To PCMC For Fire Brigade Office

PUNE: The Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC) will give a five-acre plot to the Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) to set up the fire brigade head office.
Avinash Patil, deputy director, town planning, said that PCMC had approached the MIDC to get land for a police station and fire brigade office in Bhosari.
PCMC fire brigade has one central office and three sub-stations in the municipal limits. The central office is located at Pimpri while the sub-stations are located at Rahatni, Bhosari and Pradhikaran.
The population of PCMC limits has grown rapidly and there is a need to open 17 sub-stations as per the population. The fire brigade is also searching for land to open its new sub-offices in various parts of the municipal limits.
Read the rest of the article here.

PCMC To Demolish Chapekar Memorial Tower To Ease Flyover Construction

PUNE: The Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) will start demolition of the Chapekar memorial tower at Chapekar chowk in Chinchwadgaon on August 25 to clear the hurdle in construction of a flyover.
In 2004-05, the PCMC had proposed to construct a rotary flyover here which would have had left the Chapekar statue tower in the middle. But, later, the PCMC decided to construct a normal flyover at the spot at the cost of Rs 21 crore.
Chapekar chowk located at Chinchwadgaon is one of the busiest chowks in Pimpri-Chinchwad township. Seven roads meet at the chowk. It has vegetable markets, municipal schools, PCMC Zone B office, post office, commercial offices and interior designer residential buildings located around the chowk leading to heavy movement of vehicles and people throughout the day.
Read the rest of the article here.

Pimpri Traffic: Police Suggest Permanent Road Divider On Indira Gandhi Flyover

PUNE: The traffic police have expressed the need to build a permanent road divider on the Indira Gandhi flyover at Pimpri to prevent people from flouting the one-way rule on its approach roads.
A letter asking the Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) to build the road divider will be sent shortly, said Manoj Patil, deputy commissioner of police (traffic).
Patil stated that the letter will be sent once the traffic police make an announcement about the one-way restrictions being permanent.  He said that local residents had objected to the one-way plan in the first few weeks of July.
The traffic police began implementing the one-way on a trial basis at the beginning of July to reduce traffic congestion. The police put up barricades to enforce the one-way, due to which motorists coming from Chinchwad or Morwadi on the Pune-Mumbai highway have to take a detour via the Ambedkar junction.
People coming from Bhatnagar have to take a detour via the Ahilyabai Holkar junction to reach the hotel Gokul junction. However rickshaw drivers and two wheeler riders have moved the barricades aside to create gaps so that their vehicles can pass through them.
Read the rest of the article here.

PCMC’s YCM Hospital May Charge 20% More From Outside’ Patients

PUNE: The Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation has proposed to charge 20 per cent extra to patients approaching to the Yashwantrao Chavan Memorial (YCM) Hospital for treatment from outside the municipal limits.
Anand Jagdale, superintendent of YCM hospital, said, “Municipal commissioner Ashish Sharma has said the local residents should get preference in treatment at the YCM. Besides, a proposal has been prepared offering to give treatment to local residents at existing rates.”
Jagdale said that the average annual expenditure of YCM hospital is Rs 25 crore while the average annual income is approximately Rs 3 crore. The PCMC is spending a large amount on YCM hospital to give medical facilities to residents at affordable rates.
Read the rest of the article here.

PCMC Pay Points Ensure No More Long Queues To Pay Bills In Pimpri

On March 31 this year, thousands of residents in Pimpri-Chinchwad had lined up at four divisional offices of the municipal corporation to pay their water bills and property tax bills. The PCMC was forced to extend the deadline in view of the serpentine queues that created chaos and unruly scenes.
Such endless queues at PCMC offices have now become a thing of the past. The PCMC has started Pay Points, a concept popular in the city of London. Pay Points are like ATM centres where residents can pay their property bills and water tax bills using their swipe cards.
The idea is the brainchild of Municipal Commissioner, Asheesh Sharma, who had had a first account experience of the Pay Point System earlier this year in London. On August 20, the PCMC inaugurated as many as five points — four at divisional offices and the fifth one at its headquarters in Pimpri.
Along with Pay Points, the PCMC has also started online issue of death and birth certificates. The earlier system of coming to PCMC headquarters, filing an application and waiting for a few days to get the certificates have been done away with. Now just go online, make payment and get your certificate in a jiffy.
Read the rest of the article here.