"We want to be known for offering better lifestyles at affordable rates"

Written by fe Bureau | Updated: Aug 12 2010, 06:01am hrs
After a humble beginning as a small builder-developer venture by two enterprising Marathi youths, the Nirman Group today occupies a pride of place among leading builder-developer groups in Mumbai. Promoted by Ajit Marathe and Rajendra Sawant, Nirman Realtors & Developers Ltd, the flagship company of the group, over the years has become synonymous with affordable housing. Nirman was also one of the first developers to venture into nano housing when the going was tough for the real estate segment during the recent recession. Now with the downturn a thing of the past, and upswing being witnessed in the market, Ajit Marathe, Managing Director, Nirman, is definitely in an upbeat mood during this tete-a-tete.

1.With recession beingathing of the past,what trends do youpredict in the housing sector in the coming months.

We are doing about 40 projects at places such as Kandivli, Malad, Jogeshwari, Mahalaxmi, Parle, Mulund, Govandi, Neral, Nashik, Ratnagiri, Ganpatipule, Mangaon, Govele and Chiplun. These include schemes such as slum redevelopment, bungalows and second homes and 90 per cent of these are affordable projects. Hence, factors such as slowdown do not affect much of these projects.

2.Howwill the sector fare in the ensuing festival season

We are upbeat about our second home projects such as Nirman Nagari and Matheran Valley and the nano housing schemeNirman Nano City, which have already received very good response.

3.Is nano housing the answer for shortage of affordable housing

During the slowdown, when most builder-developers were apprehensive of going in for new projects, Nirman launched Nirman Nano City, a project that offered houses at prices as lowasRs 3.99 lakh and Rs 4.5 lakh.The project was not only an answer for the slowdownbut would prove to be a beneficial concept for a city like Mumbai where space comes at a premium.

4.Tell us about your past and present key projects.

Apart from the 110-bungalow Nisarga Nirman and 44- bungalow Matheran Valley, we have launched a mega project-NirmanNagari comprising 35 buildings. Ifweare offering Nano City in the affordable housing segment, we are also offering a project of premium housing in a 35- story tower coming up near the Race Course in Mahalaxmi. Thus we are offering projects catering to all segments.

5.Could you give us details on some of your important projects

The project coming up near the Race Course is a unique one as it would offer redevelopment to 203 tenants from the past and would also accommodate premium buyers in high-end offerings. The highlight of the project is the view of the sea and the Race Course from the higher floors.

Another project at Kandivli comes under slum redevelopment and offers to rehabilitate 63 tenants.

6.Tell us about your future plans.

We areplanning forapublic issue, which is likely to come out after a couple of years. That apart, we are aiming at being ranked among the top five builder-developers in India and top 25 globally.We would like to be known as a group that offers better lifestyles and environments through state-of-the-art townships at affordable rates.

We would like to participate in more projects such as educating orphans under our Corporate Social Responsibility programs that we undertake under the Nirman Charitable Trust.