Supertech Spruces Customer Service, Brand Image, To Steer Gurgaon Plan – Business Standard – 17-Dec-2014
December 25, 2014 - Uncategorized
Twenty-six years ago, it took four years for Supertech to sell three apartments in the first housing project it undertook at Ghaziabad. Today, the Noida-based real estate firm sells 250 apartments every month, though in its better years it sold 300-400 apartments in a month. It has now readied the launch of 7 new projects in Gurgaon. Also, company Chairman and Managing Director RK Arora says investments worth Rs 3,000 crore have been lined up for expansion and for new projects.
These developments have come despite the company’s image being dented by the Allahabad High Court ordering the demolition of two towers, Apex and Ceyane, at the Emerald Court in Noida in April. The court also asked the company to refund money with interest of 14 per cent to the 600 people who had bought apartments in the two towers. The Emerald Court Owners Resident Welfare Association had alleged before the court that the approval and construction of the towers were “in complete violation of the UP Apartment Acts”.
Saying that the Allahabad High Court verdict was a big setback for the company and that he personally learnt a lot during the messy episode, Arora, however, remains upbeat. “Currently, we are constructing about 260 towers in all our projects, out of which only two at the Emerald Court have been impacted,” he says. “I have seen the real estate market going down 3-4 times since our start way back in 1988. It is a cyclical industry.”
Supertech has challenged the court order in the Supreme Court and appointed Gopal Subramanium and Kapil Sibal to fight its case.
For the first time in its history, Supertech has appointed a chief operating officer to manage its entry into Gurgaon – one of the biggest real estate markets of the country. RK Jain, the new COO, was earlier with real estate company Wave. Supertech plans to invest around Rs 2,000 crore in Gurgaon over the next few years in five projects – three in the luxury segment and two in the affordable housing category. It has acquired 400 acres for these projects with the most recent acquisition being a 140-acre plot at Sohna from Parsvnath Developers for Rs 665 crore.
Supertech recently announced the launch of the affordable project – Basera – in Gurgaon. Till now, it had focused mainly on the Noida and Greater Noida markets, apart from Tier I and Tier II cities in Uttar Pradesh.
The company has raised Rs 275 crore from Indiabulls Housing Finance and is in talks with Kotak Realty Funds to raise another Rs 150 crore. Earlier in August this year, Supertech had raised Rs 400 crore from private equity firm Xander to finance its upcoming township and housing projects in Gurgaon.
Another Rs 1,000 crore will be invested in projects in Noida and the Yamuna Expressway, with a sports city in Noida on the cards. The company, which has around 70 million sq ft of construction going on, expects this number to double to 140 million sq ft over the next two to three years. Apart from these places, the company also has real estate development in progress in Meerut, Rudrapur, Dehradun, Haridwar, Ghaziabad and Bengaluru.
Supertech has not cheered many buyers, with a lot of them opting for public-interest litigations. Though most of these have been dismissed by the courts, many of the company’s projects have been delayed, and buyers have been waiting for possession till now. There were land acquisition problems too, admits Arora, but claims that the company has been concentrating on clearing the backlog by the end of March 2016.
“We delivered around 5,000 units in 2013-14 and have plans to deliver 10,000 units in 2014-15. By March 2016, we will clear our backlog,” he says.
Supertech is boosting its brand image by associating with global brands. It has tied up with UK-based firm Yoo Worldwide for interior designing for two of its luxury projects in Gurgaon. Yoo was founded by international property entrepreneur John Hitchcox and designer Philippe Starck. Earlier, it had roped in Italian fashion brand Armani Group (for the interior designing of 100 super-luxury residences at a mixed-use project in Noida) and the US-based Disney Group (for providing
Disney-themed homes in Greater Noida). Supertech also launched a project with Roman-style architecture in Noida, which it claimed it to be an amalgamation of ancient glory and contemporary luxury.