Taking Jhamtani group to newer heights –
Defying the expectations of joining the business, as he hailed from a successful business family, Mr Anup Jhamtani attained the degree of Marine Engineering in the year 2006 and joined the shipping industry immediately. As destiny had it, six months into the service and realizing that he was more of a social person who loved being on the land, and also not quite enjoying his current role that confined him to the sea, he decided to change his line of work and came back to the wonderful world of business.
People were more shocked than pleased, seeing his resume; and although born with a silver spoon, he was not instantly welcomed by his dad to occupy his throne of business and take up the family empire. That paved the way for Mr Jhamtani to discover his path. He saw tremendous development taking place in and around Pune with extensive constructions going on everywhere- be it a mall, housing project, infrastructure, etc., and embarked upon exploring the opportunities in this sphere by working under a developer. In the year 2009, he worked under Mr Mirchandani, MD of Mirchandani group, where he learned many tricks of the trade while working on various projects at multiple locations including Pune.
The time was ripe for Real Estate then and it inspired Mr Jhamtani to start his venture. Overcoming the initial hurdles of obtaining land, office space, etc., he commenced his first project known as ‘Jhamtani Impressions’ which was a huge success and comprised of 30 super deluxe 3-4 BHK apartments and 17 commercial outlets. There was no looking back since then.
‘Trading of construction material was only an additional profession that offered service and catered to a selective group of clients, whereas, real estate held the promise of multiplying the treasury while serving a large number of people, and which also had an emotional aspect to it’- believing this, and always having an inclination towards working in the manufacturing field rather than trading area, Mr Jhamtani decided to change gears and propelled into the space of Real Estate in the year 2010-11.
Active involvement on Credai platform –
Having struck with an early realization that he knew only a handful of people in the industry, had almost no friends or seniors in the family where he could turn for help or expect to learn; Mr Jhamtani strived to be a part of a community or organization that consisted of people working in the same line of work and faced similar challenges.
‘Real Estate is a business where liaison plays an important role’, following this dictum, Mr Jhamtani joined Credai which already had 300 plus members actively working to align their projects with government policies and permissions, the involvement of bureaucrats, development control rules and regulations, environmental policies, restrictions in terms of construction policies, etc. It is an effective organization that aims at helping developers and works at national, state and city levels.
In the year 2013, Mr Jhamtani was finally successful in fulfilling the criteria to join the group and was welcomed with open arms from its members. Mr Jhamtani has been actively involved with the organization ever since and what he learned from his seniors, he has been unflinchingly imparting and helping the next generation of people the same and much more. Credai has different committees for various activities like PCMC, Aviation, Revenue department of government, etc. and gradually Mr Anup Jhamtani has been shouldering many responsibilities of the group.
RERA- bringing changes in the construction industry –
‘Already prevalent in countries like Singapore, Dubai, etc., RERA has been long-awaited in India. It is a real estate’s regulatory authority, and a very good move by the government especially to boost the confidence of customers who invest in a project at a very early stage’.
Investing their hard-earned money into a project even when the work has not yet commenced, can be quite daunting for customers, and for most of them, it is once in a lifetime or once in a decade experience, and hence, it needs caution, planning, and preparation. In the times of slowdown, when projects get stalled, it gets stressful for the consumers. Earlier there was no control over inter-transfer of funds between projects, and with the implementation of RERA, it has been regulated.
‘Implementation of RERA was a necessary step, and it has separated the men from the boys.’
Signature style and focus area in projects –
‘I don’t have a particular signature style because I believe that we cannot confine ourselves to any particular type of project technique. We need to be more dynamic in the projects we deliver and should be able to adapt to market requirements.’
The current campaign of ‘housing for all’ and targeting more on the ‘affordable’ aspect, Jhamtani group is presently focusing on reasonable semi-premium apartments that do not cross a benchmark of 70-75 lakhs. Whereas the term ‘affordable’ does not mean cheap, it aims at not giving the owner a sense of burden in terms of maintenance of the apartment once purchased.
Bungalows vs Flats, which is more preferred?
In a faster-developing city like Pune with urban lifestyle and where land is not in abundance, people mostly prefer flats over bungalows. Apartments are secured, provide shared maintenance, gated community, and are more affordable. In the era where people want everything at the tap of a button, bungalows do not tend to suit that lifestyle. Until and unless someone is keen on buying a bungalow and can also afford it, ‘Bungalows are a rare scenario these days.’
Impact of Technology on Construction and Sales at the user end –
Technology has been changing drastically and it plays a huge part in the way business is done today. A decade ago, there was no ERP system and sales were mostly dependent on newspaper advertisements which were more of branding exercises than a marketing tool. Today, almost 80% of the marketing is digital and it has its advantages- it provides more accuracy of figures and offers reliable data, calculates exact cost-per-lead or cost-per-conversion and one can plan in a more organized manner rather than having to rely on returns after investments. The processes are now more streamlined. Customers are provided with constant updates about the project development over WhatsApp, email, etc.
‘Digital is the way to go’.
The digital age has also changed from the customers’ perspective where they are more aware and also use social media as a regulatory resource to help enterprises uplift their brand reputations. It is very effective and keeps the organizations on their toes to provide the best of service, and recognize, remedy and resolve any complaints quickly, sincerely and efficiently.
‘Social media is a brutal way of communication but quite effective.’
Dealing with setbacks –
‘Setbacks are more frequent than you can ever imagine, especially in real estate’.
It is difficult to forecast things in real estate business irrespective of the number of years of experience in the field, or the extensive exposure to multiple projects, says Mr Anup Jhamtani, and he believes that every new project is like setting up a new industry altogether. There are regular setbacks taking place frequently in this field, and in his 13 years of experience, Mr Jhamtani reckons that one needs to be extremely patient as there is a lot of dependence on various factors that are beyond their control. Even when things don’t go as expected, one should be persevering, believe in the greater cause and have faith in the Almighty. He trusts one should endeavour to achieve the achievable and let go of the ones that are beyond control.
Upskilling the leadership trait and upgrading knowledge –
To coincide his business with the constantly changing policies, GR by the government, RERA updates, GST rules, etc., Mr Anup Jhamtani has been consistently trying to keep himself upscaling with new tools and sharpening his skills to relentlessly grow, succeed and maintain his work.
‘Even the maintenance needs upscaling’.
Starting with a team of 10-12 people and growing it to a strength of over 100 today, and still aiming to grow it to a scale of 1000+ members in the coming decade, Mr Jhamtani thinks that to effectively manage such a team, one needs to upgrade their leadership skills and upscale their knowledge continuously. He focuses on not only improving his tools and techniques, but also that of his core team and the entire workforce of the organization. He keeps organizing workshops and training right from the top-level employees to the bottom-most workers in his company so that each one is prepared to deliver the best to not only cater to the project commencement, progress, and completion but also, deliver the best service even after project completion and possession.
He has recently joined IIM Bangalore for the Executive MBA program for Real Estate, which is in association with Credai. It has been an eye-opener experience for a first-generation developer like him and he has learned many things through this program. He enjoys his student life once again.
Thoughts on the article published in Economic Times stating ‘Pune’s unsold housing inventory valued at 1.05 lakh crore, as of September 2019 –
‘I believe that most of the news that sells in the market is mostly negative’. He wonders why the real estate is at the receiving end of such negativity and the negative part of Indian media house springs no focus on the positive things happening in this business.
Having said that, he reflects this is not a very big number as compared to the projects that are sold overall. Assuming from the recent RERA report that says- about 7 lakhs apartments are sold per annum in Pune, and the fact that when unsold inventory is mentioned, the stage of the project should also be considered; one needs to decide whether it is ‘a glass half full, or a glass half empty’. He focuses on the positivity and contemplates that an unsold inventory in a real estate, as opposed to businesses like an automobile industry etc., is not perishable and it is likely to generate income and profit even when sold after many years, and the market is ever-growing for this field.