With a 32 year legacy behind it,Vascon Builders as firm embodies everything a customer might look for. Initially starting with a capital of just ₹1 lakh, Vascon primarily focused on the construction of industries in the very beginning. Investing profits into land and joint ventures led to the growth of their real estate portfolio, leading them to where they are now.
Mr. Siddharth Vasudevan Moorthy, Managing Director at Vascon weaves the story of the working of the firm. Having studies construction management in Singapore and worked there for 4 years, his experience implemented at Vascon is bound to take the firm even further. He explains that he chose to study in Singapore to learn the unparalleled work practices that give it the most efficient construction industry. He had a very clear agenda to apply the same practices, such as timeliness at the firm, not just in delivery but in day to day activities. ‘We’ve managed to incorporate a lot but still a long way to go. There are slow changes but sure changes.’ he says.
He talks about what he claims is till date the toughest project he has ever worked on, his first project in India. The Multi-level Car Park at Delhi Airport’s Terminal 3 was once the largest car parking in Asia, accommodating 4500 vehicles. The project was completed in less than a year, and he worked on it 24/7, being in charge of everything.
Accredited with projects of all sorts, their work spans over many areas such as residential with Marigold in Kalyani Nagar and Forest County in Kharadi, commercial with Marisoft IT Park in Kalyani Nagar and Platinum Square in Viman Nagar, and hotels such as Hyatt Regency, Novotel and Four Points by Sheraton. Priding themselves on their versatility and the multifaceted expertise they are able to provide to their customers, Mr. Moorthy, proudly states, ‘If there is a building to be built, we can build it.’
Speaking about the work environment at Vascon, Mr. Moorthy stresses on the importance given to work-life balance of the employees by mentioning that they are probably the only real estate firm in the city to work only 5 days a week. The firm ensures that their employees have enough to time to spend with their family and to pursue hobbies, resulting in a higher productivity rate while at work. ‘The point is to not penalize the employees, and instead focus on increasing efficiency and getting more work done during the week.’ he says.
Continuing on about the employees, he describes everyone at Vascon as one big family. With people who go out of their way to help one another, defend another, and resolve problems together, the team at Vascon is a unified body that is capable of achieving anything they set their mind to. Having a total of 650 employees, the strength of Vascon lies in engineering, with 80% of their staff being engineers. Mr. Moorthy goes on to talk about how all these qualities come from within the employees themselves and are not something anybody goes out of their way to implement. The obvious happiness of the employees to be working at a firm such as Vascon stands out even more when we are told that the employees have been known to turn down 30-35% raises from competing firms to stay where they are.
The employees are together through everything, solving difficulties together and celebrating together. ‘Whenever we win an award, all the employees have tea together on the terrace to commend the responsible team.’ Mr. Moorthy mentions.
When things come to the conditions of the real estate market, Vascon gives more importance to their product than their brand. Conducting extensive research on each site and each project, all of their ventures specialize in providing all the right things to potential customers. It is firmly believed that if it is not the right product at the right price for the right person, it will not sell. This philosophy comes into practice when they are designing their projects.
With their recent residential venture, Forest Edge, Mr. Moorthy talks about the meticulous research done in regards to potential customers, which they expect to be people in the IT sector. They found that many IT employees face disturbances while working from home, and hence designed a common office area for the residents with facilities to make things easier. ‘Special things like these become our USP.’ he explains further, ‘The first question we need to ask is whether we would stay there. If the answer is no, then everything has to be modified to fit in.’
Their attention to detail and customer service sets them apart from other firms, and resulted in 85% of their stock being sold out on the first day of sales, and the entire complex being sold out within the week.
On the effects of RERA, Mr. Moorthy maintains that they have been a listed firm for 7 years, with quarterly disclosures and therefore haven’t experienced much of an effect on compliances. The only inconvenience faced by them is their inability to continue with soft launches, wherein they promoted projects to their existing clientele at a better deal than market price. However, they have managed to cover up by looking for bridge funding and short term funding.
Mr. Moorthy compares the effect of RERA to a that of a traffic signal, describing the often seen scenario wherein in the case of the absence of a police officer, drivers break the signal when the opportunity presents itself. Similarly, a proper authoritative figure is key in the functioning of acts such as RERA. He commends the administration of RERA in Maharashtra, speaking out about the absence of corruption and smooth registration process under the act.
Speaking about potential areas of development in Pune, he explains what sets Pune apart from most metropolitan cities. The presence of four major industries- namely the IT sector, construction, education and automobile industries, makes any location in Pune a prime place for development. ‘This is why housing development does decently well in areas such as Chakan and Talegaon as well, even though we can’t even imagine living there. Places such as Ranjangaon and Wagholi, even though they are troublesome to get to, there is still development’ he says. This, he breaks down, is because everybody who lives in Pune has a mentality of wanting every facility in a 15-20 minute radius from where they live. This leads to the creation of micro cities, and therefore there is massive potential of development in almost every area of the city.
When asked about the factors that customers should keep in mind while buying a property, Mr. Moorthy says that there are many. He stresses on two important factors above anything else: research, and location. He compares the situation to the research an average 35 year old man would do before buying a new phone, browsing through options, searching for specifications, and then looking at the price bracket. He simply says that real estate is quite similar, wherein you need to completely research the property you’re interested in, the seller, and the reputation of the seller before actually buying it. Customers must not get floored by the pressure put by a salesman, or by the offering of multiple amenities. He highlights the fact that the more amenities there are, the more you will have to spend in the long run to maintain them.
Focusing on location, he mentions the tendency of people to buy a property that is far away from the rest of the city and far from their job just on the basis of a cheap price. In such cases, customers fail to take into consideration the future spending on transport and wastage of time. ‘What you may save in cost you end up spending in travel and time. Give importance to time while considering this.’ he says.
For the future of the real estate industry, he speaks about his interest in finding out the kind of role technology will play as the industry moves forward. He talks about the importance service holds, and how most of the service now is based on technology. Giving the example of security, he mentions how CCTV cameras have almost become a mandate, and how the advances technology provides us with today are shaping the society.
As for the future of Vascon, Mr. Moorthy, along with the rest of Vascon, holds nothing but excitement. Claiming Vascon as a young company, he mentions that the average age of the employees is merely in the mid-thirties, keeping them at the peak of their game. Even though they have a 10-12 year experience, the drive is still alive in each of the staff, and they all see a growth prospect in Vascon. The team is charged up and energized. In terms of business,they have so far we’ve delivered 5 crore sq ft, which is more than Panchshil, Kolte Patil and Marvel put together. That’s the quantum of work that Vascon has done. ‘We have quite a lot happening in the pipeline. The number is not going to add but multiply in the coming years.’ he says.
Their flagship project is Windermere Koregaon Park. With just 76 units spanning over 5 and half acres of land, the project offers the most luxurious lifestyle in the city . The size of the lavish apartments are from 3000- 8,300 sq ft, some including pools which are to be managed by Olympian Michael Phelps. A concierge service in association with Quintessentially will also be offered to clients free of cost. Also on site is a pet spa in association with Peppy Paws, to take care of the furry friends of the residents of Windermere. For children, the play area has no car access and is located so that it can be seen from all the apartments, so parents need not worry about the whereabouts and safety of their kids. The focus on this project was to take care of the nitty gritty, and to show that every need of the customers is taken into regard. Moreover, it highlights Vascon’s respect for nature. The firm conducted a study of sun movements for a whole year, and know exactly how the light is going to fall in any part of the city. Hence, any designs are made accordingly. For Vascon, an IGBC Gold standard is not a marketing tool but a commitment to sustainability.
As for work pressure, Mr. Moorthy says it has always been there because of the responsibility. Many facets of work that need to be handled, and one may not like all of them. However, no two buildings are the same, and thus the industry gives its employees a certain freedom of creativity. ‘It is not a desk job, and there is a lot of excitement that keeps you up at night in a good way. If it’s too comfortable then you’re not doing it well.’ he says simply.
It is clear that there are many admirable things to come from Vascon, be it because of their customer relationship or meticulous knowledge of every aspect of the industry. All in all, it can be assured that the only thing to expect from the firm is greatness.