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Contrary To The Belief That Animation Is Just For Kids, Adults Love Animated Content Too

Over 80% of GoBisbo Broadcasting Network Ltd - Bisbo's 10 million strong user base are adults between the ages of 18-44.

Mumbai, 21st September, 2019: At a time when Indians clock nearly 8.46 hours per week consuming videos (from TikTok to YouTube), this large audience is fuelling a demand for engaging and rich content across the board. Animation, is not all child's play. In fact, animated news creator GoBisbo Broadcasting Network Ltd – Bisbo, has recently released a finding which paves the path for all animation based content creators who are trying to ride this wave of demand for video content. They discovered that over 80% of their 10 million strong user base are adults between the ages of 18-44. Bisbo is India's (and the world’s) first content producer that creates detailed news videos in animated format, has more than 1 million+ combined subscribers and over 100 million combined views on YouTube. Bisbo was awarded "Best Startup in Asia" in 2018.
Content industry also includes mixed medium industries like mobile-based short news creators and animation. While mainstream news has been giving space to scripted toons for long, few have used these as the main, storytelling medium. From left-side cartoon boxes in newspapers (Jug Suraiya and Lakshman’s common man) to 2-min, 3-D political capsules - these caricatures have had a curio value in newspapers and news channels. However, few have thought of how creatively these strokes convey a story, entertain and yet manage to leave their mark.
Told through the perspective of the company mascot, Bisbo, this covers hard-hitting issues like the pre-planning of the Pulwama attack never captured on video, to cricket wins, Bollywood to politics. “There is an increasing amount of 2D animation content for adults - one where the chosen topics resonate with them and their lives. Our chosen type of content is animated news, the merging of current affairs with a friendly format”, said Shakir Ebrahim, Founder of GoBisbo Broadcasting Network Pvt. Ltd. and creator of Bisbo when talking about the core of Bisbo videos.
People today don't have time for repetitive footage as in TV or the patience to read column centimeters of print. Bisbo's solution for that is to present news and current affairs in animated format in such a way that viewers never get bored watching the videos and end up learning about something new every time they watch a video on Bisbo's channel”, Shakir added.
The GoBisbo Broadcasting Network is making its mark on the realm of news and animation-based entertainment by combining these two ingredients to feed the digital appetite for video consumers in India. It breaks the mould of animation as a children’s medium by merging it with current affairs. This unique 3 year-old startup serves news in the form of scripted toons.
And the best part of the equation? They can never run out of content ideas, news is created everyday! As videos for Bisbo are based on the topics for the day, they have a steady source of information. The team takes topics from the events of the day, meticulously researches them and then prepares a script that is visually compelling, yet easily understandable.
The network is capturing a lot of users’ attention on YouTube. It regularly clocks a watch time of over 50 million minutes a month, on just 50 minutes of original animated content created in the same time period.
About Shakir Ebrahim, Founder of GoBisbo Broadcasting Network Pvt. Ltd. and Creator of Bisbo:
Shakir Ebrahim, Founder of GoBisbo Broadcasting Network Pvt. Ltd. and Creator of Bisbo, India's first of its kind virtual platform, that has creates intriguing animated news videos having more than 01+ million combined subscribers and around 105+ million combined views and 11 channels in 10 different Indian languages. Shakir is a Mumbai based serial entrepreneur, who also runs his family business of logistics and bottle manufacturing (All India Glass Works Pvt. Ltd.). Shakir is a skilled content creator, newshound, script-writer, editor and believes in the future of animated video journalism. At the age of 25, (1991-93) he had published the same concept in print called, "The World in Pictures", it was way ahead of its time then. 

About GoBisbo Broadcasting Network Pvt. Ltd. - Bisbo:
Bisbo, registered as GoBisbo Broadcasting Network Pvt. Ltd. is India's (and the world’s) first content producer that creates detailed news videos in animated format and has a strong user base of over 10 million, 1 million+ combined subscribers base and over 100 million combined views on YouTube across 11 channels in 10 different Indian languages. Bisbo was awarded "Best Startup in Asia" in 2018. Recently, they launched an international news channel targeted at the American market.

YouTube Channel Link:


Style Collaborates With Brilliance: Indian Skipper Virat Kohli Unveils The Revolutionary Philips One

Experience the power of 3. Style, trim and shave with the new Philips OneBlade

A revolutionary grooming tool for the modern men

Priced at 1899/- 

Mumbai, India Royal Philips (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHIA), a global leader in health technology, today announced the launch of the latest innovation in male grooming technology – the Philips OneBlade. A revolutionary product, the Philips OneBlade combines capabilities for styling, trimming and shaving in one hybrid tool. Setting a new benchmark in the male grooming segment in India, OneBladeis a one stop solution fortoday’s men who love experimentingwith their facial hair style without too much hassle. 


UniqueOneBladecombines modern-day technology of Philips break-through innovation which allows men to style, trim and shave with just one tool, while keeping the skin feeling soft. The dual sided blade enables easy styling and shaping of beard. Its shaving technology features a fast-moving cutterthat moves 200 timesper second for precise sharp edges and comfortable shave. It includes a single replacement blade, built with a rechargeable handle that offers three trimming combs of 1, 3 and 5 mm, respectively that lasts up to four months. It comes with a protective plate on top of the cutter, preventing the blade from touching skin anda long-lasting battery that holds 45 minutes of styling in a single charge.


Commenting on the launch, Gulbahar Taurani, President, Personal Health, Philips India Subcontinent said, “At Philips, our endeavour is to design all our products keeping in mind the evolving needs of our consumers. Our latest addition, the Philips OneBlade stands out in its category and provides a one stop solution for men looking to embrace their own style without the rigidity of traditional male grooming. It gives a superior cutting performanceand empowers millennial men to experience the power of three – Style, Trim and Shave. We hope our consumers across India would make the most of this innovative product while achieving their best styled look.”


Speaking about the product, Virat Kohli, Brand Ambassador for Philips Male Grooming said, “I have always loved experimenting with my looks – it goes with my personality. I prefer Philips products as they guarantee great styling with convenience and comfort. I am really excited about the newly launched Philips OneBlade – it combines trimming, styling and shaving in one device with the reliability, comfort and convenience one can expect from Philips products. Given my busy schedule, Philips OneBlade is a must have for me.”


Convenient and hygienic, the styling tool gives a confident sense of facial styles, from a chin curtain and a perfect stubble to a clean-shavenlook while gently gliding through facial hair regardless of the length.  Encased in a waterproof body, the OneBlade is water resistant, can groom both wet and dry hair and provides a refreshed look without any cuts and nicks.


The Philips OneBlade is priced at an MRP of1899/- and comes with a two years warranty and one-year extended warranty on product registration through Philips India website-


About Royal Philips

Royal Philips (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHIA) is a leading health technology company focused on improving people's health and enabling better outcomes across the health continuum from healthy living and prevention, to diagnosis, treatment and home care. Philips leverages advanced technology and deep clinical and consumer insights to deliver integrated solutions. Headquartered in the Netherlands, the company is a leader in diagnostic imaging, image-guided therapy, patient monitoring and health informatics, as well as in consumer health and home care. Philips' health technology portfolio generated 2018 sales of EUR 18.1 billion and employs approximately 77,000 employees with sales and services in more than 100 countries. News about Philips can be found at


Another Step Towards Making Zomato The Best Place To Work

At Zomato, we’ve committed to work-life integration and workplace sensitivity as core to employee happiness. Last month, we went ahead with a new 26-week parental leave policy – a move that has been largely appreciated by our employees, the media and our peers. Through the feedback, we realised that whether folks were parents or not, they were touched by our empathy. It was humbling reading all the emails and texts.

We have always believed that a meaningful alignment of people’s personal and professional goals allows us to bring our best to work.

However, we can’t be done yet; there’s a lot of work to do. After all, parental policy can’t merely stop at leave policy, it must extend to parental care – and much more as well.

With this belief in our hearts, we recently inaugurated our first in-house creche — in partnership with Ipsaa — at our headquarters in Gurgaon. Parents in our organization with children between the age group of 6 months up to 7 years are now availing this option from Monday to Friday between 8:30 am to 8:00 pm. And the entire facility carries zero cost for zomans.

Some of the activities provided here for the children include book reading, storytelling, clay modelling, music, sensory development, language and communication, motor skills and coordination, mobility and exercise. The creche has been designed keeping in mind a child’s need for space and nurture.

In our organization, there are several parents, who have been depending on family members or creches outside for child care. We have tried to lessen their domestic worries as they would be relieved to know that their children are barely a few steps away from them — at any given point of time. Most importantly, with this initiative, we hope to provide a stress-free daycare option for Zoman parents.

By all accounts, it has been an encouraging start but the idea doesn’t end here for us. We are already working on expanding this facility and introducing creches to other offices in various cities — where we have large teams.



Zomato Acquires Feeding India To Weed Out Food Wastage And Serve Underprivileged

With an aim to curb food wastage and provide food for unprivileged, Zomato has acquired not-for-profit organisation Feeding India. Both firms have been working together for the past six months and Feeding India team led by Ankit is now completely integrated into the foodtech unicorn.

As a part of the deal, Zomato will fund the entire salaries of the team – and some core initiatives like the development of the ‘’ app.

The app will essentially connect donors and volunteers with an aim to serve at least 100 million underprivileged people every month. Zomato will also revamp Feeding India web portal and publish its quarterly financial report starting from October 2019, revealed Zomato’s blog by Deepinder Goyal.

Importantly, all the money with Feeding India will remain with the organisation and will be deployed towards its mission “food for everyone”.

Zomato has been working behind this social cause for a long time and collaborated with organsations like Feeding India, Robin Hood Army, and Akshaya Patra Foundation.

They have closely worked behind the project to find out the actual reason behind food wastage ranging from multiple levels like harvesting, transporting to major sources such as weddings, events, restaurants, hostels, and houses.

Among the aforementioned organisations, Feeding India had also collaborated with Zomato during Odisha cyclone. Both firms have provided  75,000 meals along with necessities for daily survival for a month to more than 16,500 people in the coastal state.

Further, Zomato’s 6 months effort behind the organisation has now started bearing fruit as it achieved a milestone of distributing 1.1 million meals a month to underprivileged from 78,300 monthly meals.

During the same period, the number of cities Feeding India is active in has risen from 65 to 82 and the number of Hunger Heroes (volunteers at Feeding India) has grown from 8,500 to 21,500



Nokia 5g Radio: Simple To Deploy On Top Of Another Vendor’s 4g

Communications Service Providers (CSPs) are planning a rapid migration to 5G in order to improve user experience and create new value. They are therefore considering the most effective way forward for their future business, without disrupting their current business. Initial offerings of 5G will be tightly coupled to LTE networks to accelerate time to market, and this raises the key question addressed in this blog: are CSPs tied to existing LTE network vendors for their path to 5G?

The first phase of 5G-NR deployed in 2019 will use a Non-Standalone architecture (NSA) that couples the LTE with 5G-NR radio layers. These two layers are aggregated via an X2 connection which allows for simultaneous ‘dual’ connectivity between LTE and 5G radios.

Nokia has a simpler alternative solution that does not require X2 interworking between an incumbent and new vendor but facilitates a ‘new’ Nokia overlay with minimal support from an incumbent vendor. This solution uses a layer of Nokia LTE (in current 700 MHz, 1800 MHz or 2100 MHz bands, for example) that can be deployed simultaneously and seamlessly alongside a new mid-band 5G-NR carrier. This layer provides the anchor point for the 4G coverage network and ensures that the benefits of NSA architectures can be realized by new 5G-enabled mobile devices, without compromising the user experience of legacy 4G/LTE devices.


Enabling longer-term migration to unleash the full potential of 5G requires more than just an upgrade of the radio and transport network. A new core network (5GC) is needed to fully realize the flexibility and capability of 5G-NR including network slicing to support massive machine connectivity and ultra-low latency. The 5GC is designed with Stand-a-lone (SA) based radio architectures to allow the future services evolution unencumbered by the present and past core architectures.

SA solutions will be available starting at the end of 2019. The NSA standardization was accelerated in order to allow early 5G-NR trials and deployments and the SA standardization process is running approximately 6 months behind this. An SA solution cannot use LTE for the mobility anchor and therefore, low band 5G is required. A CSP can use this Nokia LTE layer with Nokia 5G-NR to rapidly launch non-standalone 5G, and then move to 5G Stand-Alone (SA) with low band 5G by using RF sharing with Nokia low band LTE. This solution offers the greatest flexibility to support a wide variety of new 5G use cases by unleashing the full potential of 5G.


CSPs do not need to be afraid of being locked into their existing LTE vendor on their path to 5G. With this solution, Nokia is the partner that shows the way forward, and has the only globally available end to end portfolio to make 5G a business success.

This is where Nokia’s 5G Future X architecture comes in to play. It provides the framework for those strong first steps to 5G. It means that a smart network fabric, with cloud native platforms and AI tools and secure communications are in place and will enable 5G network slicing for monetizing those new use cases, while efficiently using precious spectrum.

Nokia already has a range of 5G proof points. We have 30 commercial 5G contracts with CSPs and are approaching 100 engagements in total with CSPs who are evaluating and deploying 5G.

We also have a range of business planning tools to identify the costs and revenue upside.

Whatever your plans for 5G, the important thing is don’t delay. It is closer than you think. The opportunity is there for the taking.

Share your thoughts on this topic by joining the Twitter discussion with @nokianetworks or @nokia using #5G. You can also watch Harri explain his thoughts on video and proudly present Nokia 3.5 GHz massive MIMO antenna at our Executive Experience Center in Espoo, Finland.

About Harri Holma

Harri is one of Fellows with Nokia Bell Labs with a focus on radio system performance, and he holds a PhD from the Helsinki University of Technology. And Harri’s a hard guy to keep up with. When he’s not busy lecturing or publishing his latest book (6 and counting), he’s out running marathons and training for his next triathlon.


Indiamls Launches India's First Property Portal Without Using A “pay-per-listing" Model

A Solution to Indian Real Estate Market Issues


What is Pay-Per-Listing model?


Flaws in Pay-Per-Listing Model

IndiaMLS has brought and customized the MLS (Multiple Listing Service) for the Real Estate Market to create the largest and most accurate database of property listings in India.

Mumbai, 25th June, 2019: IndiaMLS, a company whose mission statement is to create the largest and most accurate database of property listings in India, has come out with India's first Multiple Listing Service platform, customized for Indian property brokers which does not use a Pay-Per-Listing model. IndiaMLS has brought to India and customized the MLS,  also considered as the greatest invention in real estate technology.

The Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA) has now been in place for more than two years, yet the Indian real estate market remains fragmented and unstructured, but equally bad are the traditional web portals which display their property listing data to the public.

While speaking to Mr. Jay Patel, founder and CEO of IndiaMLS, he said, " Almost every one of the real estate websites in India uses a “Pay-Per-Listing” model which essentially means brokers must pay to advertise their listings on the websites. The result is tons of garbage data because anyone can post anything they want as long as they’re willing to pay for it. Thus, 80% of the listings on these sites are fake, duplicate, or old, and have very few unique listings."

Mr. Patel also highlighted three main problems with the Pay-Per-Listing (PPL) concept:

  1. Pay-Per-Listing model results in creating Junk database: Most of the property portals sell listing packages to brokers, such as 200 listings for a flat fee of INR 30,000, or more. The average broker has only 25 listings, so in using the package, he enters the same listings on the website multiple times to try to keep the listings ‘fresh’ and at the top of list, or he may also enter completely fake listings for the sole purpose of finding new clients who will inquire about those fake listings.Thus, compromising the quality of the database.
  2. No centralized database in the PPL Model used by Indian property portal: In the PPL model used by Indian real estate portals, there is no sharing of data. Each portal has and maintains its own database, but they have no way of verifying which properties get sold, rented, or cancelled, thus these listings are never removed from the database.  Even worse for consumers is they have to visit many different sites to try to find a suitable property. It would be much easier if everyone can go to one central website for quality data and market information. That is precisely what the MLS does for the real estate industry.
  3. Property portals charge the brokers a huge amount of money to list properties which the portals actually need even more than the brokers to run their property portals successfully: A broker's property listing is like an asset for the property portal, still the portals charge the brokers a huge amount of money to list properties on their website. Without the broker’s listings, portals would have no consumer traffic, and without visitors on the site, they would have no advertising revenues, and without revenue the portals could not survive. Brokers will ultimately realize that they don’t need to pay to list their properties, thus the Pay-Per-Listing model will fail.

Unlike any other property portal in India, IndiaMLS is unique in its approach and creates one central database of all residential and commercial property listings in each city called a Multiple Listing Service (MLS), and the MLS system maintains the quality of that database, thus little or no duplicate, sold, or junk listings would be found.  Brokers do not need to waste time looking on many sites to find properties for their clients.

The MLS is not a Pay-Per-Listing concept.  It utilizes a subscription-based model, where brokers pay a flat annual membership fee.  They get unlimited listings, and they must agree to operate by the MLS’ Code-of-Conduct.  The MLS is a proven concept which comes from the United States where it has been the backbone of the entire real estate industry there.  IndiaMLS is a similar B2B solution designed for all professional brokers in India, and it will contain the most accurate sale or rental, residential and commercial listings in the country. This allows sellers to quickly find buyers for their sale properties, making it the most effective target marketing tool for the industry, unlike any other realty portal in India.
About IndiaMLS:

IndiaMLS Software Pvt Ltd., founded in 2017 by Jay Patel, is designed to aggregate the largest and most accurate database of property listings in India. The MLS includes both residential and commercial properties (sale and rental), as well as buyers’ requirements, making it the only true property exchange in the country, similar to a Stock Exchange, but for properties. This allows sellers to quickly find buyers for their sale properties, and vice versa, making it the most effective target marketing tool for the real estate industry, unlike any other realty portal in India.  The MLS is a B2B solution used by real estate brokers and builders, but consumers also benefit greatly from the quality of the data compared to other real estate portals in the market.

About Jay Patel:

Jay Patel is a veteran of the real estate industry from the US having more than 20 years of experience in multiple facets of real estate including land development, property rehabs, and sales and brokerage.  Jay also holds a Managing Broker license in the state of Illinois (USA), and has a vast level of experience in real estate technology.  He and his team have brought the MLS concept to India and fully customized it for this country in an effort to help improve the industry and the quality of the data available for brokers, builders, and consumers.


Colgate Launches The Super Flexi Black Virat Kohli Signature Series Toothbrushes

Mumbai, June 19, 2019: Colgate-Palmolive (India) Limited launched the special edition of Super Flexi Black toothbrushes – the Virat Kohli Signature Series!

Available for a limited period – till August 2019 – the Colgate Super Flexi Black Virat Kohli signature series toothbrushes are available in markets across India. These limited-edition toothbrushes mark the first ever autographed range of toothbrushes by Colgate.

While the collaboration between Colgate and Kohli to come up with autographed toothbrushes is a first of its kind, the Indian Cricket Team captain has been associated with the oral care brand for a while now. And the launch of the Super Flexi Black Virat Kohli signature series comes at a time when Kohli is away for the World Cup, giving his fans another reason to celebrate. 

Talking about the limited-edition Super Flexi Black toothbrushes, Virat Kohli said, "I am as disciplined about my oral care habits as I am about my game and fitness, even to the extent of replacing my toothbrush regularly.

I have been using and also recommending Colgate toothbrushes to my friends/fans for years now, which is why the idea of doing a limited-edition autographed Super Flexi toothbrushes got me intrigued and excited - primarily because I haven't autographed a toothbrush before. And interestingly, it's a first for Colgate too! Also, it felt like a nice, new way to reach out to my fans, and at the same time encouraging good oral-hygiene. I hope people like it."

About Colgate Super Flexi: Colgate Super Flexi is India’s largest selling toothbrush. Its flexible neck reaches the hard to reach areas of the mouth for a superior clean with a gentle feel. It is available in three variants Super Flexi Base, Super Flexi Black and Super Flexi Sensitive.

About Colgate-Palmolive (India) Limited: Colgate-Palmolive (India) Limited is the market leader in Oral Care in the country. The company manufactures and markets toothpastes, toothpowder, toothbrushes and mouthwashes under the ‘Colgate’ brand, and a specialized range of personal care products under the ‘Palmolive’ brand. Colgate has been ranked as India’s #1 Most Trusted Oral Care Brand for the eighth consecutive year, from 2011 to 2018, by The Economic Times- Brand Equity -Most Trusted Brands Survey, conducted by Nielsen. For more information about Colgate's business and products, visit


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Autonomous Vehicles And Data As The Fuel Of The Future

From being alerted to potential maintenance issues via remote vehicle diagnostic monitoring to automated calling for emergency breakdowns or targeted offers and infotainment content designed to enhance the overall travel experience, there are no shortage data-enabled use cases that focus on providing drivers and passengers new features and services.

Data is quickly becoming the new ‘fuel’ for the automotive industry. Forward looking automakers envision a future in which they have the ability to combine and analyze various pieces of information from different vehicle systems to reveal things like driving habits, frequently visited locations, tastes in music and numerous other insights into consumer behavior.

For the consumer on the other hand, assuming they are open to it, there are a plethora of benefits that can come from providing ready-made access to their data.

From being alerted to potential maintenance issues via remote vehicle diagnostic monitoring to automated calling for emergency breakdowns or targeted offers and infotainment content designed to enhance the overall travel experience, there are no shortage data-enabled use cases that focus on providing drivers and passengers new features and services.

However, as a 2017 McKinsey & Company Car Data Monetization Survey notes, “No matter which features car data can make possible, capturing value from them is not feasible if consumers do not see the benefit” and perhaps most importantly, “customers must trust that the data they share will be held and used responsibly.”

As our CEO and Executive Chairman, John Chen said before ; “The inevitable implications of a data-driven economy are right in front of us and we now stand before a moral, ethical and public policy crossroads. How we collectively decide what the rules of the game for this new data-driven economy is, I would argue, one of the most important issues facing global policymakers today.”

In the near future, drivers might buy or rent software-powered services for the weekend, such as enhanced navigation capabilities, blind spot detection or even engine management and suspension software to prep their high-performance car for a racetrack or road trip.

Car makers will receive so much data from their vehicles out in the field in real-time that they will be able to improve their future models, right down to what buttons to swap out of the dashboard because no one uses them. It may be hard to believe but today, manufacturers know little about their vehicles once they’ve left the dealership. With connected vehicles, data flows back to automakers, enabling software updates in real time.

Putting Data to Work

In the future, data from sensor-packed and connected vehicles could even be packaged and shared with cities. Data showing a lot of braking, for instance, on a cold morning may alert city officials to a dangerous patch of black ice that requires salt.

In all ways, automakers will look to leverage the data that vehicles produce. And that amount of data is growing exponentially as software and electronics become the key differentiators among like classes of cars. Lux Research says that by 2030, electronics and software will account for 50% of car costs, up from about 30% today while the software opportunity in autonomous cars will grow from less than one billion to $25 billion.

Modern luxury cars are already marvels of software and electronic engineering, containing on average more than 100 million lines of code and six to eight operating systems. Indeed, just one connected car will generate more revenue than ten conventional ones . Additionally, eight in ten auto industry executives say data will fuel future automotive business models and 83% believe they will make money off that data.

With data a highly sought-after commodity, and many big tech companies building their business models on monetizing data, it’s important to note that at BlackBerry, it’s our sworn principle and mission to protect data, not to exploit it. We simply move it, and of course do so securely, as opposed to use it or profit off of it.

Cybersecurity Risks Mount

Despite the exciting opportunities they present, connected cars increase cybersecurity risks and that challenge must be met for autonomous vehicles to reach their full potential. Attack surfaces are constantly being added to vehicles via elements such as sensors, automated steering wheels, brakes, accelerators, infotainment systems, mobile apps and wireless key fobs .

Like any other product or ecosystem, as the number of connected ‘things’ grows within a vehicle, so too does the attack surface and the threat potential.

In recent years, nearly every OEM has experienced some sort of hack, driving home the reality that security cannot be an afterthought or bolted on. It has to be baked into vehicles and their components at every stage of the process. That means securing the supply chain, using only trusted components, in field monitoring and responding quickly to issues. 

DISCLAIMER: The views expressed are solely of the author and does not necessarily subscribe to it. shall not be responsible for any damage caused to any person/organisation directly or indirectly.



Project Prabhat : Empowering Communities

For Viji, a homemaker from Hosur, Tamil Nadu, the expenses of managing a six-member family on a single income was always a cause for worry. With three growing children making ends meet was a struggle.

Viji always sought opportunities to improve her family’s income. The Assistant Beauty Therapist course at the local Prabhat Livelihood Centre offered her the perfect opportunity to enhance her livelihood.

After completing her training at the centre, Viji set up shop at home. She offered basic beauty services, bringing in a few thousand rupees. Finally, her family began to see merit in her work and helped her apply for a loan to start a beauty parlour.

With several regular clients at her parlour, Viji’s business is running well. Their family income has tripled now.

Today, Viji has a team of six students at the parlour who help her manage the clients while she trains them. Viji aims to expand her parlour and offer advanced services to clients.

About Project Prabhat:

Project Prabhat, the *USLP-linked community development initiative of Hindustan Unilever Limited (HUL), aims to build sustainable and inclusive communities around HUL sites. In the last five years, through focussed efforts on enhancing livelihood, water conservation and health & well-being, it has touched 2.95 million lives across 30+ locations and has over 5000 HUL employee volunteers involved in it.

*About the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan (USLP):

The Unilever Sustainable Living Plan (USLP) is our blueprint for achieving our vision to grow our business, whilst decoupling our environmental footprint from our growth and increasing our positive social impact. The Plan sets stretching targets, including how we source raw materials and how consumers use our brands. The plan has three big goals:

  • Improving health & well-being for more than 1 billion
  • Reducing environmental impact by ½
  • Enhancing Livelihoods for millions



An Mls – The Greatest Invention In Real Estate Technology

Aims to improve the quality of the real estate market in India

Mumbai, 29thMay, 2019: IndiaMLS, a company whose mission statement is to create the largest and most accurate database of property listings in India, has brought the greatest invention in real estate to India.  The company does not take credit for inventing the MLS (Multiple Listing Service) of course, but it has brought and customized the MLS for the Indian market.

An MLS is the single most important real estate tool in western countries such as the US, and absolutely the need of the hour for the real estate industry here.  The Indian real estate market is so fragmented, unstructured, and mired with junk data that visitors on real estate websites often call on property listings only to learn those listings are not even available.  This happens because the source of the property is not verified, thus their data also cannot be verified for accuracy.

Founded by Jay Patel, who has 20+ years of real estate experience, IndiaMLS is a membership-based, professional software solution for brokers and builders.  Due to its structure as a B2B company, not only does the MLS contain the most accurate sale or rental listings, but it also includes buyers’ requirements, creating a large database of buyers and sellers on one platform, similar to an exchange like the Bombay Stock Exchange.  This allows sellers to quickly find buyers for their sale properties, making it the most effective marketing tool for the industry, unlike any other realty portal in India.

Considering the current scenario of the realty sector and property portals in this country, Jay Patel said, “Most real estate portals in India have so much junk data because they operate with a ‘Pay-Per-Listing’ structure which essentially means people can advertise whatever they want as long as they are paying for it, since there is no verification of data after it has been entered.”

Patel further went on to explain that besides having garbage data, the Pay-Per-Listing concept used by portals cannot be sustained over the long term, because eventually, brokers will realize their sale inventory is even more valuable for the property portals than it is for the brokers.  “If the real estate portals did not have the listings which brokers provide them, what revenue or value would portals have?  Zero!  That’s why portals should NOT be charging brokers for their listings.  In fact, since they really need the listings, the portals should actually be paying brokers for their valuable data.”

IndiaMLS aims to change the quality of the real estate market in this country through the implementation of a national MLS system.  Key company USPs include:

  • IndiaMLS is a unique property portal which includes a database of active sellers and buyers, thus creating a true marketplace, similar to a stock exchange.
  • There are NO FAKE LISTINGS on the MLS, unlike most real estate portals which have many junk listings posted by brokers only to generate leads.
  • There are NO DUPLICATE LISTINGS, because all multiple listings for the same property are consolidated into a single listing, making it much easier for all users.
  • The MLS contains only LIVE listings, thus no old or Expired Listings.
  • The MLS has a subscription revenue model, is operated by a Code-of-Ethics, and includes no PPL (Pay-Per-Listing), thus no need for brokers to buy large listing packages to advertise their properties or enter junk data.
  • The MLS is the only system which can provide accurate metrics, based upon local demographics – a very valuable tool.

On his efforts for making his vision a reality and creating IndiaMLS, Jay Patel said “After having undergone more than two years of real user testing and feedback from more than 10,000 Indian brokers, our MLS product is perfected for this market. It's very important to recognize that IndiaMLS is not just another tech company.  We are completely different from traditional real estate portals, and we are positioned to shake up this industry as we introduce the greatest real estate tech invention to India.”

About IndiaMLS:

IndiaMLS Software Pvt Ltd., founded in 2017 by Jay Patel, is designed to aggregate the largest and most accurate database of property listings in India using a software solution called an MLS. The IndiaMLS database includes both residential and commercial properties (sale and rental) as well as the buyers’ requirements, making it the only true property exchange in the country.  The MLS is a B2B solution used by real estate brokers and builders, but consumers also benefit greatly from the quality of the data compared to other real estate portals in the market.

About Jay Patel:

Jay Patel is a veteran of the real estate industry from the US having more than 20 years of experience in multiple facets of real estate including land development, property rehabs, and sales and brokerage.  Jay also holds a Managing Broker license in the state of Illinois (USA), and has a vast level of experience in real estate technology.  He and his team have brought the MLS concept to India and fully customized it for this country in an effort to help improve the industry and the quality of the data available for brokers, builders, and consumers.

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Dhfl To Raise Up To Rs 12,000 Crore

Housing finance firm DHFL will issue bonds today to raise up to Rs 12,000 crore, largely for onward-lending to push growth.

It is targeting 30% growth in loan disbursements in the current financial year.

DHFL had disbursed Rs 44,800 crore in the last financial year ended March 31.

In its bonds issue opening tomorrow, the company will offer up to 12 crore secured redeemable non-convertible debentures (NCDs) for Rs 3,000 crore with a green shoe option of up to Rs 9,000 crore.

The issue is scheduled to close on June 4, with an option of early closure or extension as decided by the board of directors of the company or the NCD public issue committee, the company said at a conference here.

The allotment of bonds will be on first-come, first served basis, will come up in six series in a tenure ranging from 3, 5, 7, 10 years offering coupon rate of 8.56-9.10 per cent.

To senior citizens, the company will offer an additional 0.10 per cent benefit on coupon rate, said Bharat Pareek, Head-Treasury, DHFL.

He said the company is very well capitalised, growing at a very consistent pace and been able to maintain is non-performing assets (NPAs) below 1 per cent due to strong collection network.

"The launch of DHFL's third public issue of NCDs at this critical phase of growth is set to provide a strong thrust to the company's growth plans as we progress towards the next phase of high growth. It also allows us to diversify our borrowing portfolio," said Pradeep Bhadauria, Business Head - Retail Liability.

In this bond issue, the company has also introduced a floater rate benchmarked to Overnight MIBOR.

Investors in MIBOR (Mumbai Interbank Offered Rate) linked NCDs will receive interest based on overnight MIBOR rate compounded daily and payable annually.

"We are also offering an attractive interest rate of up to 9.10 per cent per annum, one-time additional incentive of up to 1 per cent to initial subscribers on maturity and an additional interest of 0.10 per cent per annum for senior citizens," Bhadauria said.

The minimum application amount is Rs 10,000 collectively across all options on NCDs and in multiples of one NCD after the minimum application.



Dlf Announces Annual Results For Fy19

Consolidated Revenues at Rs. 9,029 Crore
Net Profit at Rs. 1,316 Crore

Delhi, May 21, 2019:

DLF successfully completed the Qualified Institutional Placement of Rs 3,173 crore of equity and coupled with infusion of Rs 11,250 crore by the promoters, it has completely transformed its balance sheet.

With the debt overhang behind us and completion of all legacy projects, DLF will now work with enhanced focus on generating free cash flow through monetization of our ready to occupy inventory. The Company is now entering into the next wave of asset build-out at certain select marquee locations in both, residential and commercial segments, which will enable substantial ROE growth.

Financial Highlights for FY19 – DLF Group (Consolidated):

  • Consolidated Revenue at the end of the fiscal was Rs 9,029 crore, up 18% as compared to last fiscal
  • EBITDA at Rs 2,805 crore, implying a 16% decrease from last year( Last year EBIDTA includes DCCDL EBIDTA of Rs. 1,098 crore for 9 Months)
  • Net Profit for the fiscal stood at Rs 1,316 crore
  • EPS at Rs 7.38
  • 100% Dividend declared on enhanced capital

Financial Highlights for Q4 FY19 – DLF Group (Consolidated):

  • Consolidated Revenue at the end of the quarter was Rs 2,661 crore
  • Net Profit for the quarter stood at Rs 410 crore
  • EBIDTA at Rs 694 crore
  • EPS stood at Rs 2.43

Financial Highlights for FY19 – DCCDL Group (Consolidated)

  • Consolidated Revenue at the end of the fiscal was Rs 5,088 crore
  • Net Profit for the fiscal stood at Rs 1,400 crore
  • EBIDTA at Rs 3,794 crore
  • EPS stood at Rs 5.91

Operational Highlights – FY19

  • Achieved net sales of Rs 2,435 crore during the year. (up from Rs. 1,000 crore in the last year)
  • Completed projects of 6.3.msf (approx.)
  • Net leasing of 1.54 msf in DCCDL group
  • Our continued focus on execution has resulted in completion of all legacy projects
  • Handover in projects at advanced stages with more than 40% occupancy in Crest
  • 40% of Camellias customers have commenced their interior works

DLF has delivered approximately 115msf, since its IPO. It has developed 28msf of rent yielding assets, the rental income of which has grown 18 times from Rs 155 crore in FY07 to Rs 3,140 crore in FY 19. It has developed 87 msf of projects under its development business.

Development Business

The company continued to see good sales in the residential segment. We have started monetising our ready to occupy inventory across the country in the premium and luxury segments. We have achieved net sales of Rs 2,435 crore and we expect this momentum to continue, targeting to achieve net sales of approximately Rs 2,700 crore during FY20. We are witnessing good demand from our markets like, Gurgaon,Kochi and Lucknow for our ready to occupy apartments.

DLF has demonstrated its execution capabilities and met all its our customer commitments. The company is now gearing towards the next cycle of development and is planning to build out 17 msf of residential and commercial space in the near future.Our land reserves are in strategic locations and we have the ability to take advantage of improving market conditions by launching projects quickly without having to acquire land.

New Project Development

Midtown, Central Delhi: Construction on the first phase of development of 1.9 msf is currently underway. The total development potential of the project is approximately 8 msf, which is expected to be developed over the next 5-6 years.

Annuity Business

The commercial business continued to exhibit good growth. Gross leasing achieved during the year stood at 6.56 msf, out of which 5.57 msf is attributable to DCCDL Group.

Rental values continue to exhibit significant growth. We re-leased 1.8 msf post expiry of 9- year cycle resetting rentals to mark to market.

DLF has already pre-leased 90% of the 2.5 msf in Cyber park, Gurugram to marquee tenants. With the building nearing completion, the rent commencement shall commence within this fiscal.

Another phase of IT SEZ, Chennai is nearing completion and rent commencement shall commence within this fiscal.

DLF’s strong portfolio of high-quality office and retail properties caters to over 1,600 tenants, including Fortune 500 companies. We remain committed to following the highest safety and compliance processes. DLF’s existing properties have set global benchmarks, and is striving to take this higher by setting new standards for its new upcoming developments.

New Project Development

DLF has embarked upon the development of 3 msf of commercial office space to capture fresh demand of office space in the region. The designing process for the project is underway. In addition, the company has commenced planning of 3.5 msf of additional commercial space in Cyber City and 4 msf in Chennai & Hyderabad.

About DLF Limited
DLF is India's leading real estate developer and has more than seven decades of track record of sustained growth, customer satisfaction, and innovation. DLF has developed 153 real estate projects and developed an area of approximately 330 million square feet. DLF Group has 221msf (approx.) of development potential across residential and commercial segment. The group has an annuity portfolio of over 32 msf (approx.). DLF is primarily engaged in the business of development and sale of residential properties (the “Development Business”) and the development and leasing of commercial and retail properties (the “Annuity Business”).

In recent years DLF has received over 250 awards and recognitions by various forums, including Developer of the year award by ET NOW 2019. Developer of the year -Residential by ET NOW, Developer of the year- Luxury 2019 by Golden Globe Tigers Award, Developer of the year – Residential 2019 by Golden Globe Tigers Award, Star of the Industry Awards for Excellence in Real Estate by ET Now 2018, 11 Sword’s of Honour – by British Safety Council 2018 – The highest number received by any company globally in a single year.

Forward Looking Statement
Certain statements in this document may be forward-looking statements. Such forward-looking statements are subject to certain risks and uncertainties like regulatory changes, local political or economic developments, technological risks, and many other factors that could cause our actual results to differ materially from those contemplated by the relevant forward looking statements. DLF Limited will not be in any way responsible for any action taken based on such statements and undertakes no obligation to publicly update these forward-looking statements to reflect subsequent events or circumstances.

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Tcs Kicks Off World Ip Day Celebrations By Winning The National Ip Award And Wipo Trophy

TCS Recognized for the Creation and Commercialization of Intellectual Property and for Boosting Creativity and Innovation in India

NEW DELHI | MUMBAI, April 26, 2019: Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) (BSE: 532540, NSE: TCS), a leading IT services, consulting, and business solutions organization, has won the prestigious National Intellectual Property Award 2019 in the category ‘Top Public Limited Company/ Private Limited Company for Patents & Commercialization in India’ and the World Intellectual Property Organization’s (WIPO’s) IP Enterprise Trophy.

The Indian Intellectual Property Office confers the National Intellectual Property Awards to recognize individuals and enterprises for their creation and commercialization of intellectual property (IP), contributing to the country’s intellectual capital and creating an IP ecosystem that boosts creativity and innovation.

TCS has always been at the forefront of innovation with its deep market insights and contextual knowledge aimed at helping customers in their growth and transformation journeys. It has built a strong patent portfolio that forms the essential backbone to create best in class software across many industries. TCS has registered 844 trademarks, filed 4,596 patents and has been granted 946 patents till date.

We have harmonized our IP focus with our Business 4.0™ vision by developing the IP 4.0 framework encompassing Creation, Protection, Assetization, and Commercialization of TCS IP with a program to responsively deliver the output and outcome with long term sustenance and structured governance,” said Dr Santosh Mohanty, Head, Components Engineering Group, TCS. “This recognition from the Indian IP Office and WIPO will encourage innovators within TCS to redouble their efforts and excel further.”

Ramesh Abhishek, Hon’ble Secretary, Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Govt. of India, presented both the awards to TCS at a function organized by the Indian Intellectual Property Office and Confederation of Indian Industry on the occasion of World IP Day on April 26, 2019 in New Delhi.

About Tata Consultancy Services Ltd (TCS)   
Tata Consultancy Services is an IT services, consulting and business solutions organization that has been partnering with many of the world’s largest businesses in their transformation journeys for the last fifty years. TCS offers a consulting-led, cognitive powered, integrated portfolio of business, technology and engineering services and solutions. This is delivered through its unique Location Independent Agile delivery model, recognized as a benchmark of excellence in software development.

A part of the Tata group, India's largest multinational business group, TCS has over 424,000 of the world’s best-trained consultants in 46 countries. The company generated consolidated revenues of US $20.9 billion in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2019, and is listed on the BSE (formerly Bombay Stock Exchange) and the NSE (National Stock Exchange) in India. TCS' proactive stance on climate change and award winning work with communities across the world have earned it a place in leading sustainability indices such as the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI), MSCI Global Sustainability Index and the FTSE4Good Emerging Index. For more information, visit us at

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Indian Shopping Malls Look At Social Currency Of Customer Data Over Its Own Space

Mumbai, April 24: Replicating the success of online shopping, brick and mortar malls too are getting redefined as they adopt for social currency of target customers over space currency of the malls, according to experts at India Shopping Centre Forum 2019, here Wednesday.

“Mall are not dying. They are going through a dynamic and exciting transformation as we measure our customers sentiment and happiness with our properties with 2.5 million Facebook follower and 5 million visitors to our website,” said Timothy Earnest, Group Director and CEO, Al Futtaim Malls, which is looking at mall business outside UAE.

Footfall, dwell time, convenience and social media engagement, special moments are significant for social engagement with customers to drive revenue beyond space leasing, Earnest said.

Speaking at the panel discussion, Pushpa Bector, Executive Vice-President & Head, DLF Shopping Malls said, “We have an app called look-out platform that reaches to 1 million customers and quantify their experience about malls on social platforms. Each property tells us a different story based on our conclusions from date mining based on data collection of customer moments in the mall.”

Earlier, sharing his trends and insights on India’s retail real estate, Ashutosh Limaye, Director and Head, Anarock Consulting Services, said, “Data gathered in malls is also a ‘revenue’ and perhaps will prove to be more valuable than rents and revenue share as predictive and prescriptive analytics of data is driving profitability with their applications based on consumer behavior, store performance etc.”

India will add 20 million square feet of Grade A mall space over the next 3 years to its 100 million square feet space spread over 250 malls. Vacancy is at malls stood at 8% with 50 malls shutting down or getting re-positioned as mix-use centers, Limaye said.

Retail malls accounted for 14% of the US $14 billion of private equity funds that India’s real estate sector attracted over past four years. Half of the 14% funds invested in retail malls were in non-metro cities like Ahmedabad, Amritsar, Bhubaneshwar, Chandigarh, Indore, he said.

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Credai Announces “change Of Guard”for 2019-21

  • Boman Irani appointed as Vice President, CREDAI West Zone second time in a row
  • Satish Magar takes over as new CREDAI President with a mission to “Transform Indian Real Estate”
  • Shantilal Kataria appointed as Vice President, CREDAI Maharashtra - theSpecial Zone
  • Rajiv Parikh becomes the new President, CREDAI Maharashtra

Pune, 31st March:CREDAI, the apex body of private Real Estate Developers with a strong base of over 12000 member developers present in 23 States & 205 City Chapters across India, today witnessed its ‘Change of Guard’ with Mr. Satish Magar taking over the baton from Mr. Jaxay Shah to become the new president of the 20-year-old body. The installation ceremony saw the gracious presence of CREDAI Executive and General Committee members, industry stalwarts, dignitaries from the industry and all past presidents of CREDAI National.

Mr. Boman Iranihas been appointed as Vice President, CREDAI West Zone second time in a row. Mr. Shantilal Kataria becomes the Vice President, CREDAI Maharashtra, entitled as “Special Zone” for having maximum number of member developers at CREDAI. The Special Zone has 25% City Chapters out of total CREDAI City Chapters and 30% of individual member developers of CREDAI 12000-member base. Mr. Rajiv Parikh has been appointed as new President of CREDAI Maharashtra. Maharashtra remains a key growth epicenter for CREDAI where leading initiatives such as Skilling, Women’s Wing, Youth Wing and New India Summit have been given a massive boost in the recent past.

Mr. Satish Magar in his maiden address committed himself to “Transforming Indian Real Estate” in light of the new institutional structure defined by RERA, GST and policy measures to achieve “Housing for All by 2022”. The ceremony witnessed senior CREDAI dignitaries becoming the new flag bearers of the growth of CREDAI and the Indian Real Estate industry.

Taking CREDAI’s 20 years’ strong legacy forward built by his predecessors, Mr. Magaraims to expand CREDAI’s footprint to 100 more cities over the next two years with a robust focus on Tier 2, 3 and 4 cities amidst the wave of “New India”.

ReiteratingCREDAI’s commitment towards the nation, Mr. Magar and his team intend to build a stronger skilling ecosystem and aim toimpart skill training to 1 lac construction workers over the next two years. The new leadership teamhas a comprehensive roadmap for Skilling in place. Under the leadership of Mr. Magar, the new team will explore opportunities to tie up with statutory bodies like RERA, BoCW and Welfare boards for Skilling, Up-skilling, Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) and other scheme by Central Govt. The customized industry partnered Skilling Programs will be launched to create a talent pool of Skilled labor for the ever-burgeoning Indian Real Estate industry, revitalized with a new upsurge post the implementation of landmark reforms such as RERA, GSTetc.

As a part of its holistic initiative, CREDAI also aims to plant and grow 5 lac trees across India by setting specified targets to each state and city chapter to achieve this objective

CREDAI National President, Mr. Satish Magar says “I am extremely honored to take this prestigious role of being the new President of CREDAI National. The last 20 years have been a glorious journey for all of us here and we intend on building on this strong foundation to lead a renewed era of growth and development. The Indian Real Estate sector is widely perceived to be as one of the most important sectors in India and we, at CREDAI, strongly believe that its contribution towards building a ‘New India’ will prove to be indispensable.”

Former CREDAI National President and now Chairman, Mr. Jaxay Shah, shares his comment “I would like to congratulate Mr. Satish Magar and wish him all the best for embarking on this extremely thrilling journey as the new President of CREDAI National. The last two years have been quite an adventurous ride not just for CREDAI but the entire real estate fraternity. CREDAI, through its endeavors, has been able to establish a highly conducive environment for Indian realty and all its stakeholders. We believe CREDAI will now reach newer heights under the able leadership of Mr. Satish Magar given his experience and holistic outlook towards the sector.”


Established in 1999, The Confederation of Real Estate Developers’ Association of India, is the apex body for private real estate developers in India, representing over 12000 developers through 23 states and 205 city chapters across the country. CREDAI has worked hard to make the industry more organized and progressive by networking closely with government representatives, policy makers, investors. CREDAI works towards improvement of ethical standards & business practices in real estate. CREDAI is well-recognized by the Central and State Governments in all its endeavors.


Bosch’s Two-wheeler & Powersports Business Unit With Sees Growth In India

Bengaluru – Bosch’s Two-Wheeler & Powersports Business Unit is continuing the ride towards the global target of one billion euros of sales in 2020, generated by assistance, powertrain, electrification, and connectivity systems. Bosch’s vision is to make the mobility of the future accident-free, stress-free, and nearly emissions-free – and this goes for the continuously growing motorcycle market as well. Based on Freedonia, the global demand for two wheelers is forecasted to grow annually by more than 4% from 2017 to 2022, reaching 122 million bikes by 2022. Major growth of the Two-Wheeler & Powersports business is forecasted in India where Bosch supplies market-specific motorcycle safety and powertrain solutions to comply with regulations as well as local market trends. “The two wheeler landscape today is undergoing many changes as industry players look to innovate their service offerings. As a key player in the two wheeler space, Bosch has always endeavored to provide services that integrate cutting-edge technology with the company’s inherent focus on functionality and efficiency,” says Geoff Liersch, Head of Two-Wheeler & Powersports Business Unit.

Bosch’s innovative safety solutions for assistance systems

Safety is one of the most pressing trends on the motorcycle market. According to a report by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways up to 34% of road fatalities in India are riders of two wheelers. Bosch is tackling this challenge with a comprehensive three-step safety concept towards accident-free mobility. Firstly, by keeping the bike stable in braking situations and acceleration with systems like ABS or motorcycle stability control (MSC); secondly, by realizing predictive safety and comfort functions with innovative surround-sensing such as advanced rider assistance systems; and thirdly, by connecting the bike with its environment through motorcycle-to-vehicle communication.

After the successful introduction of ABS and MSC technologies, Bosch has introduced its first advanced rider assistance systems for motorcycles, comprising adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, and blind-spot detection. These electronic assistants are always vigilant and, in emergencies, they respond faster than people can. According to Bosch accident research estimates, these radar-based assistance systems could prevent one in seven motorcycle accidents. The technology underpinning these systems is a combination of radar sensor, brake system, engine management, and human machine interface. This system will go to market with Ducati and KTM as soon as 2020.

Bosch’s powertrain solutions complying with Bharat Stage 6

Reducing emissions is a key objective of the Indian government in order to provide a sustainable mobility environment for the future. On April 1, 2020 India will introduce Bharat Stage 6 (BS-6) which is similar to Euro-6 in Europe. Bosch is offering scalable powertrain solutions with electronic engine management systems for internal combustion bikes as well as integrated electrification systems to support vehicle manufacturers in India to comply with BS-6 emission standards and meet India’s unique driving pattern.

Electronic engine management systems are the core of efficient and economical technology for internal combustion vehicles. In combination with highly developed sensor technology, engine management systems have shown considerable increases in efficiency compared to conventional carburetor systems and can reduce CO2 emissions by up to 16% (depending on the situation).

Another approach to reduce emissions and to build up an all-electric fleet by 2030 in India is the launch of a Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of (Hybrid &) Electric Vehicles (FAME) program by the central government which is announced to go into phase 2 by April 2019. To be able to contribute in achieving this impending target Bosch provides solutions such as an integrated electrification system including motor, control unit, battery, charger, display and app that can power light two-, three- and four-wheel electric vehicles with up to 20kW - the powertrain of the future will be a mix of electromobility and combustion engines.

“We at Bosch are working towards ensuring a smooth transition to the new emission norms with a tailored product portfolio for the Indian market supporting vehicle manufacturers with local engineering competence - aiming towards realizing the vision of nearly emissions-free mobility”, said Prabhu Panduranga, Regional President Two-Wheeler & Powersports Business Unit, Bosch India.

Bosch’s expertise proven by Spirit of the ride

With its ‘Spirit of the Ride’ campaign, Bosch showcases the innovations and technology solutions for the market challenges in India. The realization of those technology solutions is proven by the story of a Polar Odyssey. An enthralling motorcycle journey crossing some of the world's most dangerous roads starting from the Arctic Circle and all the way down to the Antarctic Circle. The set milestone is a confirmation of Bosch’s expertise in developing powertrain and assistance technologies for two wheelers.


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Marketing Maverick Awards Announces The Winners Of The 2019 Mma Real Estate People’s Awards

Mumbai, 2019– Sanghvi presents Marketing Maverick Awards co-powered by SBI General Insurance announces the winners of the 2019 MMA People’s Excellence Awards.

MMA is all about giving the fraternity a glamorous glimpse into the world of Real Estate, luxurious, covering all aspects of high end lifestyle: the finest Amenities, Best Campaigns, Strategies, Financing and Construction and technology. As Apartment consumption and the Real Estate market continues to grow, it is more important than ever to stand out from the competition. As such, MMA has introduced the 2019 MMA Real Estate People’s Excellence Awards. Commenting on the success of these truly deserving winners, Yenki Ahuja, Awards Coordinator said: “These awards are a stamp of excellence, and all our award winners are part of an exclusive and illustrious group comprising of some of the most influential names in the Real Estate markets. It is therefore my honor to be able to wish them congratulations on this success- here’s to a great future.” To find out more about these prestigious awards, and the dedicated establishments that have been selected for them, please visit : where you can view our winners supplement and full winners list. “It’s inspiring to be in a room with so many dynamic and creative Professionals and entrepreneurs,” says Yenki Ahuja, Director, The Cynical Marketer and Organizer of MMA. “Their businesses are a testament to what can be achieved through hard work and persistence. Through MMA, we are helping fraternity to realize real Talents and helping their business goals and creating a network of Trendsetters. These talents are paving the way to a more prosperous years ahead for the sector.” The event included a panel discussion on Sales, Marketing, HR and Finance followed by business-to-business networking session to help the entrepreneurs forge important relationships with financial institutions, service providers and sector experts.


ENDS Notes to editors.About MMA

Sanghvi presents Marketing Maverick Award co-powered by SBI General Insurance rewards all the right candidates who have achieved excellence in their work and contributing to the industry. The Cynical Marketers felicitate and celebrate the Hardworking behind the screen heroes of #Real-estate. Recognizing the main force and their contribution to Real Estate Industry silently shaping our infrastructure. We are honored to receive nomination from Employees, Agency, Woman Achievers, Consultants, Architects, Individuals anyone who has been silently shaping our neighborhood and contributing to the Real Estate Industry.








  • MMA would like to thank the partners without whose support this event would
  • not have been possible.
  • Our Partners:
  • SANGHVI – Title Sponsor
  • BILLS – Associate Partner
  • REPUBLIC TV – TV Parner
  • RADIO CITY – Radio Partner
  • FREE PRESS JOURNAL – Print Partner
  • MINIMAX – Outdoor Partners
  • RANK – Finance Knowledge Partner
  • 9AM STORIES – Online Media Partner
  • SPEAKING MINDS - Speaker Bureau Partner
  • SHK LIVE – Show Partner
  • INSIDER.IN – Primary Ticketing Partner

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India Fashion Forum 2019: The Smart Fashion Movement To Turn Brands Into Icon

Mumbai, 25th March 2019: In its nineteenth edition, India Fashion Forum (IFF 2019), the premier knowledge and networking platform for India’s vast, multi-dimensional and multi-hued fashion retail industry, will be taking place on 27th and 28th March 2019 at Hotel Renaissance, Mumbai.

This year, IFF gets a complete makeover with a promise to be truly remarkable two days of great learning, networking, deal-making and felicitations with action-packed sessions with some 300+ speakers/ panelists & presenters in 3 to 4 parallel sessions. IFF this year is all about Customer Experience, Innovation, Digital Transformation & Tech and for the 1st time, 100+ CIOs, CTO, CXO, Digital & Innovation drivers are joining 12 powerful sessions of CX Forum at IFF.

The IFF 2019 theme of “Innovate the future of Fashion” will sharply communicate the biggest determinants of success in the business of Fashion Retail that can turn the brand into an ICON in the post-technology age.

IFF 2019 will focus on six key areas of excellence such as first mover advantage, fashion today- not tomorrow, width over depth, customer research, end-to-end tech and brand experience which form the pillars of a powerful, sustainable and profitable fashion business in retail.

Amitabh Taneja, Chief Convener, and CMD, IMAGES Group, said “The two-day mega event is a valuable platform in the dynamic world of retail, offering synergy and limitless opportunities between malls and retailers. Now in its 19th edition, we are privileged to host the most exhilarating platform which will be a game changer with innovations, business ideas and will create the next era in fashion retailing”.

He further added, “India’s spending power is acquiring traction and volume every year in ways unprecedented in our history. Our fashion and lifestyle market was estimated at US$ 201 billion in 2017, and this statistic looks set to double in the next five years. The opportunity for Indian brands catering to fashion and lifestyle verticals can only be imagined from these numbers. Through this annual celebrated platform, we shall continue to deep dive and catalyze the journey from 'opportunity to achievement' which to us is highly beneficial to the retail industry in India”.

IFF has evolved over the last 19 years into India’s most robust and influential platform for Fashion Retail, with the ardent support of the industry. The platform creates unparalleled opportunities for learning from international and Indian industry experts, academicians, experienced professionals and analysts through a world-class mix of keynote addresses, panel discussions, CEOs roundtables, presentations, knowledge series sessions, and workshops. Thoughtfully created four themed exhibition platforms — TrendView, L Cube, Customer Experience Forum, India Brand Show showcasing the most market-ahead fashion ingredients, design innovation, technology, retail strategies and solutions to a mega congregation of leaders from the business of fashion in India and elsewhere.

Catch the IFF 2019 Agenda here

About India Fashion Forum:

Recognized by the international fashion retail community through its print, online and on-ground knowledge platforms India Fashion Forum is India's largest fashion retail intelligence organization that is trusted as the catalyst for profitable growth of fashion and lifestyle businesses in India. The annual mega congregation of the India Fashion Forum (IFF) since its launch in the year 2000, has emerged as India’s largest fashion retail intelligence event. Every year, an exciting blend of conference sessions, workshops, and masterclasses, zoned exhibitions and industry awards mark the IFF confluence of the biggest trends and determinants of success in the business of fashion in India.

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Alliance Avenues With Foreign Partners To Expand The Food Market In India At India Food Forum 2019

Mumbai, February 5, 2019: This session at India Food Forum 2019 with Ambassadors, Trade Commissioners & Consul Generals of several countries identified avenues for partnerships in food, beverages and food service industry and how Embassies and Trade Commissions can play a more pro-active role to facilitate such alliances.

Emerging major market of the world, India offers huge opportunities for manufacturers, producers and providers of products and services from across the globe to sell here or partner with Indian companies to serve this market.

Acceptance of multinational culture, a growing taste for foods from across the globe, increasing inflow of foreign nationals, willingness to experiment new cuisines and more over avenues to market new products further add to the opportunity.

The session was moderated by Amit Lohani, Convener, FIFI (Forum of Indian Food Importers) & MD, Max Foods (extreme left in the picture).

About India Food Forum:

India Food Forum was formed in the year 2007 with support from MOFPI, Govt of India and leading Indian and global trade bodies to take up a series of support initiatives for the Indian Food Business. It is a unique knowledge and networking forum that includes a Conference featuring thought leadership, Master Classes that feature in depth expertise and experience of acknowledged experts, an Exhibition showcasing innovative and valuable products, services and technologies; and a glamorous, glittering Awards ceremony where the industry celebrates and honors exceptional achievements of people and organizations in FMCG, Food & HoReCa businesses.



J&k May Be First To Bring Real Estate Under New Regime

SRINAGAR: Jammu & Kashmir may be the first state in the country to bring real estate within the ambit of goods and services tax (GST) when it enacts laws to integrate its indirect tax regime with other states, state finance minister Haseeb Drabu indicated. While the Centre and the states had amended the Constitution to move to GST, J&K will have to enact its own laws as it has a special dispensation under the Indian Constitution.

Drabu said he would move the required legislation in J&K assembly to be part of GST and ensure the benefits accrue to the state. The shift is expected to help the state garner around Rs 2,000 crore-worth additional resources to add to its current kitty of around Rs 11,000 crore and expand the tax base by close to 15%.

While the GST Council has agreed to subsume several taxes, including central excise, state VAT, service tax, central sales tax and octroi, it has kept around a third of state revenues outside the GST ambit. Alcohol, petroleum and real estate are three items on which GST will not be levied.

"We were the first to do many things and we may be the first to include real estate," Drabu told TOI ahead of the crucial GST Council meeting here. J&K has moved to a January-December financial year, was first to abolish the distinction between plan and non-plan spending and is now working on rolling out universal basic income, something that has been discussed in the latest Economic Survey.

Drabu said his government proposed to enact laws that would allow for levy of integrated GST, central GST and state GST amid indications that audit powers may not be split between the Centre and the state in the same way as it is done in the rest of the country.

By: Sidhartha & Rajeev Deshpande

Courtesy: published on May 18, 2017


Real Estate Companies Waiting For Clarity On Gst, New Law: Study

Property consultant Knight Frank India and FICCI today released its real estate sentiment index, based on a quarterly survey of key supply-side stakeholders, which include developers, private equity funds, banks and non-banking financial companies (NBFCs).

Sentiment in real estate sector has improved post demonetisation but the industry is still in 'wait and watch' mode due to lack of clarity on reforms, including the new real estate law and GST, according to a study.

Property consultant Knight Frank India and FICCI today released its real estate sentiment index, based on a quarterly survey of key supply-side stakeholders, which include developers, private equity funds, banks and non-banking financial companies (NBFCs),

"Post the policy intervention by the government in November 2016 that shook the real estate sector, the current sentiment score (53) has seen a substantial uptick from the drastic fall seen in Q4 2016 that had pushed the score to 41, which is the worst in the last three years," the report said.

"This substantiates the transitory impact of the demonetisation policy initiative," it added.

The "wait and watch mode” is still prevailing in the sector in the expectation of clarity on various policy measures by the government in the next six months.

The stakeholders are not very clear about the impact of the changing environment on account of policy interventions like Real Estate (Regulation & Development) Act, 2016 (RERA), Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Amendment Act, 2016 and Goods and Services Tax (GST).

The real estate sector is facing a multi-year slowdown due to poor demand because of high prices. The sluggish demand has resulted in liquidity crunch to developers and huge delays in delivery of projects.

Source: PTI

Courtesy: published on May 26, 2017


Real Estate Deals Likely To Close 20-255% Lower Than Pre-rera, Pre-demonetisation Prices

Mumbai: The Real Estate Regulation and Development Act (RERA) seems to have had an impact on sale of real estate in Mumbai as the City and Industrial Development Corporation (CIDCO) land auctions in Navi Mumbai last week witnessed 40 per cent lower bids than in November.

Considering RERA having limited the developers' capacity to buy land with advance payments from customers, land prices in Mumbai Metropolitan region have started falling, a moneycontrol report said.

The current bids varied between Rs 65,250 and Rs 96,000 per square metre in comparison to Rs 1.15 lakh and Rs 1.25 lakh in November, before the demonetisation drive.

CIDCO is selling six commercial and residential plots covering an area of 6,000 sq m in New Panvel. The Neelsiddhi Group purchased three plots, two at Rs 65,250 per sq m and one plot at Rs 76,000 per sq m. The Millennium Group acquired one plot at Rs 80,000 per sq m, while two plots went to the Satyam Group at Rs 77,000 per sq m and Rs 96,000 per sq m, the report said.

Contesting the possibility of a post-demonetisation effect solely driving the lowered bids, the report said that as developers made payments to CIDCO through cheques, RERA was most likely the primary cause.

The stagnant period is expected for another six months owing to RERA and demonetisation spillover, industry experts predict.

Approximately 25,800 residential units were launched in the first quarter of 2017 from the country's top eight cities, witnessing a 16 per cent decline from the corresponding quarter last year.

Real estate launches have seen a steady quarter-on-quarter decline for the last four quarters corresponding with the announcement of Real Estate Regulatory Act (RERA) 2016 in March last year and the demonetisation drive in November 2016, the report said.

Launches in the residential sector have declined by about 8 percent during the period April 2016- March 2017 compared to the same period in 2015-16. In Delhi-NCR, new launches declined by almost 50 per cent, in Kolkata it declined by 29 percent and Bengaluru by 24 percent, the report added.

Courtesy: published on June 06, 2017)


Piramal Finance Lends Rs 1,100 Crore To Real-estate Developer Embassy Group

This has been done across residential, commercial projects in Bengaluru, Chennai and Hyderabad

Piramal Finance (PFL), the lending arm of Piramal Enterprises, on Wednesday said that it has financed Rs 1,100 crore to Bengaluru-based Embassy Group. This funding has been done sequentially across both residential and commercial projects in Bengaluru, Chennai and Hyderabad over the past six months.

Piramal first gave Rs 360 crore to Embassy Residences in Chennai — a premium residential project spread over 25 acres with 0.3 million square feet (sq ft) of built-up area and followed up with an investment in Phoenix-Embassy, which is a joint venture between Embassy and Phoenix Group of Hyderabad.

The JV is developing 1.5 million sq ft of grade-A commercial space in the financial district of Hyderabad with a potential to develop a further 4 million sq ft. Subsequently, PFL has provided Rs 650 crore of growth capital to the Embassy Group in Bengaluru.

The Embassy Group is one of India’s largest commercial real estate developers that has delivered 30 million sq ft of marquee commercial office space and 6 million sq ft of premium residential developments. The Group has a pipeline of 17 million sq. ft. of commercial developments in Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Chennai.

PFL Managing Director (MD) Khushru Jijina said, "We are pleased to have extended our relationship with the Embassy Group and look forward to a long and mutually beneficial association. I have always admired Jitu Virwani’s vision, track record and execution capabilities and we are happy to provide them with customised financial solutions as they scale up their presence across both residential and commercial segments.”

Jitu Virwani, chairman and MD, Embassy Group said, "We are delighted to be working closely with a large diversified conglomerate like the Piramal Group, which is known for structuring capabilities and quick turnaround time. We look forward to leveraging their capabilities as we partner with them on our growth capital requirements going forward.”

Courtesy: published on June 07, 2017


Now, Affordable Housing Is Driving Home Loan Growth

MUMBAI: After years of selling pricey luxury homes that boasted amenities like signature golf courses and jacuzzis, builders finally seem to be moving toward modest apartments to suit middle-class pockets.

A clear indicator of this is the sharp uptick in home loans driven by sales of houses costing below Rs 30 lakh.

The cue for builders to change tack came from this year's Budget, which offered tempting tax and interest concessions for the affordable housing segment.

This year, almost half of all bank credit comprised loans to housing, given the almost non-existent corporate loan demand.

According to HDFC chairman Deepak Parekh, the corporation's January loan applications rose 21% over December. February applications were another 24% higher, and March was 44% more than the previous month.

"What is driving this growth is not high-value property but affordable homes, considering that the corporation's average loan size is Rs 25.6 lakh. This is the first time in several quarters that HDFC's average loan size has dropped from Rs 26 lakh,'' he said.

Property experts said Ahmedabad was the largest contributor of such homes (costing less than Rs 30 lakh), followed by Pune (up to Rs 50 lakh) and some areas in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region.

Housing finance providers are now expecting the affordable homes segment to grow at 25% given the subsidy under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana. The scheme, available until December 2017, provides 4% subsidy on home loans of up to Rs 9 lakh for those with an income of up to Rs 12 lakh per year, and 3% subsidy on loans of up to Rs 12 lakh for those earning up to Rs 18 lakh per year.

Pankaj Kapoor, MD of Liases Foras, a real estate research firm, said on a quarter-on-quarter basis, maximum sales growth (31%) was reported in the affordable segment (properties priced below Rs 25 lakh), while the ultra-luxury segment witnessed a 4% decline in sales. The October to December 2016 period saw a slump following demonetisation, but demand between January and March 2017 was healthy.

Developer Niranjan Hiranandani said sales at his Thane project for flats below 600 sq ft had been good. "There will be a further surge when more projects start hitting the market and people start getting the tax benefits,'' he said.

Mortgage company Indiabulls Housing told investors that for a borrower seeking Rs 24 lakh, the effective rate he or she will pay works out to only 0.42% after factoring all tax breaks and subsidies.

"Effective home loan rate in the mid-income affordable housing segment is at near-zero levels. With rental yields at 3.2%, home ownership is very affordable and much cheaper than renting a house," a company official said.

According to Subhash Chennuri, senior consultant with consulting firm FSG, more finance is being made available for housing units which are as low or even below Rs 12 lakh. There are now a range of housing finance companies targeting customers who were traditionally not getting loans. "Traditionally, credit evaluation used to be all about documentation, and primarily those with salary slips and IT returns could avail a loan. Now some firms are able to do credit assessment using alternative methodologies or mechanisms for those in the informal segment," he added.

According to Harshil Mehta, CEO, DHFL India, efforts announced by the government under PMAY for economically weaker sections (EWS) and low-income groups to boost mass housing in peripheral areas with attractive interest subventions have helped a great deal. "These drivers, along with the industry's efforts to create awareness, are helping expand financial inclusion. The affordable housing segment is likely to grow at a faster pace than industry at over 25%," he added.

The PMAY scheme comes on the back of the Union budget proposals. Besides, developers who build affordable homes are exempted from paying taxes on their profits for five years starting 2016 instead of three years. These are for 300 sq ft homes in the four metro cities and 600 sq ft in non-metro areas.

A report by the investment bank CLSA states that in addition to interest subsidy, the move to allow 90% of provident fund money for home purchase is spurring demand. "While growth in the prime home loan segment could witness moderation, the affordable housing segment is likely to grow at a faster pace," said Rohit Inamdar, group head, Financial Sector Ratings.

By: Mayur Shetty & Nauzer K Bharucha

Courtesy: published on June 11, 2017


Post Rera, Mumbai Among 8 Top Cities To See Dip In Residential Project Launches, Says Report

As the real estate industry grapples with the new Real Estate Regulatory Act (RERA), 2016, regulations, Residential Project launches have declined by about 8 per cent over the last one year.

Residential Project launches across eight top cities, including Mumbai, Delhi-NCR, Bengaluru and Chennai, have declined by about 8 per cent between April 2016 and March 2017 compared to the same period a year ago, as the real estate industry grapples with the new Real Estate Regulatory Act (RERA), 2016, regulations, said a report by property consultants Cushman & Wakefield.

RERA was announced in March 2016. According to the report, at 25,800, the top 8 cities saw a 16 per cent dip in residential launches from the corresponding quarter. “A closer look at the trend indicates that launches have seen a steady quarter-on-quarter (Q-o-Q) decline for the past four quarters, corresponding with the announcement of the Real Estate Regulatory Act (RERA), 2016, in March last year and the demonetisation exercise in November 2016,” said the report.

The share of affordable segment in total launches improved to 30 per cent in April 2016 to March 2017 compared to 25 per cent in the same period in 2015-16. The launches in high-end and luxury segments have reduced to 11 per cent from 13 per cent in the same period.

“Launches in the residential sector are expected to remain restricted over the next two-three quarters as developers will be making intrinsic changes to their business structure, operations and marketing strategies to comply with the RERA norms. Consumers would continue to remain restrained in the first half of the year. Further, with mild change in end user sentiments due to news of downsizing in the IT / ITeS segment, the sales velocity is expected to reduce,” said Anshul Jain, managing director, India, Cushman & Wakefield.

“A gradual improvement in buyer sentiment is expected towards the second half of 2017 as the impact of real estate reforms will begin to play out in the market. Capital values that are already reduced in selected locations within markets such as Delhi-NCR, Bengaluru and Mumbai, will continue to remain under pressure in the coming quarter as the markets readjust in the post RERA and GST regime,” Jain said.

Prices have already declined in cities like Delhi-NCR and Bengaluru and select markets in Mumbai during the first quarter of 2017. Developers are now offering several lucrative packages and incentives to close deals for genuine buyers. They have launched a higher number of subvention schemes like paying 5 per cent now, 95 per cent on delivery and some developers are even offering assurances of compensation/refund of difference, if prices decline in future.

By: Express News Service

Story courtesy: published on June 10, 2017


Home Buyers, Wait For Gst Rollout On July 1. Here’s Why

After GST is implemented, a number of hidden and cascading taxes will be removed, which will help buyers, says experts.

Is it a good time to buy a house? This is the perennial question on the minds of homebuyers. But this question assumes significance as India moves to a new indirect tax regime, the Goods and Services Tax (GST) from July 1.

Experts say that buyers will benefit if they buy houses in projects launched post July 1. Though a 4.5% service tax is being replaced by a 12% GST, the advantage is that a number of hidden and cascading taxes will be removed under the new regime. Developers will also get several tax credits under GST, which experts believe will make projects launched post July 1 comparatively cheaper.

Value Added Tax and sales tax are not reflected on the invoice in most states when a consumer buys a house, but are added to the cost.

“The heavily taxed real estate sector welcomes a single stable 12% GST rate, inclusive of the value of land and with full input tax credits,” said Rajeev Talwar, CEO, DLF and chairman of National Real Estate Development Council (NAREDCO).

But these tax credits will not be applicable to projects that are under-construction, nearing completion or ones that are ready.

To allay fears over whether developers will pass on the tax credit benefits to consumers, the government has proposed anti-profiteering measures.

Many developers are offering pre-GST discounts but experts warn against them as they are allegedly ways for builders to collect money and clear dues. Reducing inventory through deep discounts is also a motivation for developers.

Builders in Noida and Greater Noida are advising existing buyers to clear their remaining property dues before July 1 to avoid a 12% GST and pay 4.6% service tax, instead.

Experts warn against such claims.

“The government has introduced anti-profiteering clauses to ensure the input tax credits that builders claim will be passed on to buyers of houses who get possession after July 1. The expectation is that the builders will extend a discount on the amount due from buyers to protect them against a 12% GST,” said Amit Bhagat, partner, indirect taxes, PwC India.

But experts and developers are divided on the impact that GST will have on the real estate sector.

“Confusion persists over the impact of GST on the different segments of housing such as luxury and affordable. But we are working closely with the government and are hopeful that initial hiccups are dealt with out once GST is implemented,” said Manoj Gaur, MD, Gaursons and vice-president of CREDAI (National). The 5-8% stamp duty charged during registration of a house will continue to be levied under GST, but developers want clarity on it.

While developers are cheering the unified tax regime that will replace the plethora of state and central levies on realty, many said that due to multiple layers of GST on land and raw materials, project costs could escalate.

By: Suchetana Ray
Courtesy: published on June 15, 2017


Six Indian Cities In Top 10 Realty Investment Spots In Asia-pacific

Real estate investment volume in the region is expected to hit $611 billion this year

Six Indian cities — including Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Pune, Mumbai, Delhi and Chennai — have found place in the top 10 emerging property investment destinations list for the Asia-Pacific.

“Most global investments this year will be made in commercial office assets. Markets in Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi NCR, Hyderabad, Mumbai and Pune are well placed to outperform other cities from emerging economies in the Asia-Pacific,” said a report titled ‘Betting on Asia Pacific's next core cities,’ by property consultant Cushman & Wakefield.

Limited investment opportunities in safe haven core markets of Asia-Pacific have prompted investors to turn their attention to secondary and tertiary markets and even to non-core property types, said Cushman & Wakefield.

The consultant used a proprietary tool, strategic location indicator and selected the next core and emerging markets in the region that will offer investors the opportunity to tap into their long-term growth fundamentals, which will become increasingly viable due to sustained reforms.

Siddhart Goel, senior director, research services at Cushman & Wakefield, said: “Asia-Pacific remains a very viable investment target for global capital. After entering in 2005 to 2008 and having learnt many valuable lessons since, global investors are well equipped to take advantage of the potential that Indian real estate markets offer. The country is firmly on track to become an economic powerhouse, with strengthening GDP (gross domestic product), better business environment and investor-friendly policies”.

Goel said that the developments have resulted in net absorption across the top eight Indian cities to remain in the range of 32-35 million square feet in the last three years even as the share of the IT-BPM sector in commercial office leasing has steadily gone down from 65-70 per cent to 52-55 per cent during this period. “Within APAC, India is expected to continue contributing highly to the total office demand.

Consequently, global investors are increasing their capital outlays substantially as they are confident about the long-term prospects of the Indian economy in an environment of increasing transparency and accountability backed by policy reforms such as RERA, REITS, GST, Benami Transactions Act, etc,” he said.

What’s ahead in APAC?

Cushman said according to its ‘The Atlas Summary 2017’ report, real estate investment volume in the Asia-Pacific is expected to hit $611 billion this year. A total investment value of close to $136 billion in the region in the first quarter of this year, a record quarter high, and is a good indicator of health of investment in real estate in the Asia Pacific region. Pending any unforeseen circumstances in the months ahead, a positive momentum is expected to continue making a banner year for real estate investments in Asia Pacific.

By: Raghavendra Kamath
Courtesy: published on June 15, 2017


Delhi's Cp 9th Most Expensive Commercially

Hong Kong (Central) is the world's highest-priced office market, London's West End comes second

Connaught Place in New Delhi has been ranked the ninth-most expensive prime office market in the world -- down from seventh last year - with an occupancy cost of $153.89 per square foot per annum, according to a survey.

According to the bi-annual Global Prime Office Occupancy Costs Survey of US-based CBRE, Mumbai’s Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC) moved one notch down from 19th to 20th while the CBD (Central Business District) of Nariman Point, also in Mumbai, ranked 33rd on the list of the top 50 most expensive office markets in the world.

Global prime office occupancy costs include rent, in addition to local taxes and service charges for the highest-quality, prime office properties.

Hong Kong (Central) became the world’s highest-priced office market with an occupancy cost of $302.51 per sq foot per annum. London’s West End comes second.

Asia continues to dominate the list of the world’s most expensive office locations, accounting for seven of the top 10, according to the survey.

Hong Kong (West Kowloon) at $190.02 per square foot and Beijing (CBD) at $183.10 per square foot featured among the top five most expensive markets. Apart from New Delhi (Connaught Place), Beijing (Finance Street), Tokyo (Marunouchi/Otemachi), and Shanghai (Pudong) also featured on the top 10 list.

Global prime office occupancy costs rose 1.9 per cent year on year, which is lower than the growth rate in the year ended January-March 2016 (2.2 per cent). This was largely attributed to the slowdown in year-on-year growth in the Asia-Pacific (1.2 per cent); and Europe, the Middle East (West Asia) and Africa (0.8 per cent). On the other hand, occupancy costs in the Americas increased by 3.6 per cent year-on-year.

The top 10 list remains largely consistent, reflecting the strength of these global gateway cities in attracting and maintaining a successful occupier base.

Anshuman Magazine, chairman (India & South-East Asia), CBRE, said: “Despite the fact that Connaught Place has a limited supply of prime office space, its location in the heart of India’s capital, coupled with great infrastructure and connectivity to other parts of the city, makes it an ideal location for any business to be in. With India’s commercial real estate segment continuing to do well, prime locations across the country including Connaught Place, Bandra Kurla Complex, and Nariman Point continue to witness demand for prime office space.”

While occupancy costs continue rise steadily, coupled with low vacancy levels and a limited supply, the commercial office segment is witnessing a strategic shift. Today’s occupier, in India and around the globe, is expecting their office space to have the latest technologies and amenities in the market, according to CBRE.

"While actual office spaces are shrinking, these amenities are growing to include virtual networks, videoconferencing, and cloud storage. Going forward, technology in the workplace will define how much a corporate’s employees need the office to reach their targets. This in turn will impact the demand for office space and subsequently the associated occupancy costs," it said.

CBRE tracks occupancy costs for prime office space in 121 markets around the globe. Of the top 50 most expensive markets, 18 are in the Asia-Pacific; 20 in Europe, the Middle East and Africa; and 12 in the Americas.

By: Raghavendra Kamath
Courtesy: published on June 17, 2017


Engage Realtors To Pass Gst Benefit To Buyers: Finmin To Hupa

The finance ministry has asked the housing and urban poverty alleviation (HUPA) ministry to sensitise states and the real estate regulator to hold consultations with developers to pass on benefits of GST to home buyers.

The tax department and states have received complaints that those who have booked flats and made part payment are being asked to make entire payment before July 1, 2017, or to face higher tax incidence for payment made thereafter.

Replying on this issue, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said "this is wrong" and real estate developers should pass on the benefits of input tax credit to buyers or else they would have to face action under anti-profiteering rules.

Revenue Secretary Hasmukh Adhia has written to HUPA secretary and asked him to sensitise all the states as well as the regulator under the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, 2016 (RERA).

"We have requested the HUPA secretary to hold meetings with real estate developers associations and make them understand," Adhia told reporters here.

Construction of flats, complex, buildings will attract a 12 per cent goods and services tax (GST) compared to about 11 per cent tax, which includes excise duty, VAT and service tax.

Jaitley said the real estate builder will enjoy the benefit of input credit, which will be deducted from tax liability.

"The lowered tax liability should lead to price reduction. The price reduction has to be be passed on to the customer," Jaitley said.

Asked if the anti-profiteering rules will apply if the home builder fails to pass on benefit, the minister said: "Anti-profiteering rules can apply. But we want to use the anti-profiteering rule as a deterrent. I hope we are not compelled to use it."

The GST Council, chaired by Jaitley and comprising state finance ministers, today cleared the anti-profiteering rules.

As per the rules, if the Directorate General of Safeguards (DGS) after investigation finds that the benefit of price reduction has not been passed to consumers, the anti- profiteering authority will ask the business to refund the same to the consumers.

By: Raghavendra Kamath
Courtesy: published on June 18, 2017


Don’t Ask Buyers To Pay Before July 1, Builders Warned

NEW DELHI: It is illegal for builders to ask buyers of unfinished realty projects including flats to make full advance payment to avoid paying higher taxes after GST kicks in, Union housing minister M Venkaiah Naidu has said.

He has asked all chief ministers and builders' associations to ensure developers don't charge higher taxes from home buyers after the goods and services taxes comes into effect from July 1.

The minister has also said that since the GST regime will bring down the overall tax for real estate projects in comparison to the present taxes, the builders must pass on the benefit to consumers.

In his letters addressed to all chief ministers, Naidu has said, "It is expected that the builders will pass on the benefits of lower tax burden as result of GST to the buyers in the form of reduced prices/ installments. Hence, I would like to request the state government as well as builders' associations to ensure that no builder/ construction company ask customers to pay higher tax rate on installments to be received after the imposition of GST."

This comes barely days after the finance ministry warned builders of stringent action if they are found asking buyers to make the entire payment for any housing unit before the GST roll out. It said that if any builder resorts to such practices, it can be deemed to be profiteering under the GST law. In fact, Naidu has also referred to a communication from the revenue department.

The department has mentioned that various representations and complaints had been received by states and the Central Board on Excise and Customs highlighting the builders ploy to get the entire money even before handing over flats.

Referring to the revenue department's communication, Naidu said the full input credit would be available for offsetting the headline rate of 12% proposed under GST.

By: Dipak K Dash 
Courtesy: published on June 22, 2017


Will The Navi Mumbai International Airport Impact Property Prices In The Region?

The 5 key micro-markets that are likely to gain due to the coming up of the NMIA are Ulwe, Kamothe, Kharghar, Taloja and Panvel. The prices in these regions have seen less than 4 percent appreciation over the last 3 years.

After 14 years of delay, the Navi Mumbai International Airport (NMIA) is finally off the ground. The pre-development work for the Rs 16,000-crore project has begun. The City and Industrial Development Corporation or CIDCO has managed to acquire most of the land. The nodal agency CIDCO has already started the construction of temporary roads to the reclamation site.

The final environmental clearance came in April and the Maharashtra government has put the project on fast track. The first tranche of work involving flattening of the Ulwe hill and changing the course of the Ulwe river has begun and CIDCO hopes to finish this leg of work in 18 months.

CIDCO also claims to have ironed out the last hurdle or disputes with Project Affected People (PAP) from 10 villages.

“I don’t think there is any major problem of PAPs which is left unresolved. CIDCO has handled everything on a priority. They have been given a timeline to settle all their issues by June 30. Therefore, with regards to this we don’t see any of kind of major issues. There could be some minor personal issues which can be resolved across the table over a period of time”, says Sanjay Chaudhari, Chief Engineer, NMIA, CIDCO.

With the major problem of land acquisition sorted, CIDCO expects to finish the first phase of the airport by 2019. This is very important for the Mumbai region as it’s really in need for a second airport. Its existing airport is already reaching a saturation point, handling 40 million passengers annually. This new Navi Mumbai airport is expected to add a capacity of 60 million passengers. This means Greater Mumbai will be able to handle 100 million passengers by 2033.

Cashing in on the international airport CIDCO has some ambitious plans for Navi Mumbai as well. A 100 hectares corporate park will be developed in the Kharghar region on the lines of BKC, hoping to attract both investments and corporate occupiers. Dampened real estate sentiments have already started seeing some revival, say industry players.

“We are happy that finally the ground work for NMIA has begun. This will improve the sentiments in the market and we are expecting a spike in enquires. There is a possibility of 10-15 percent increase in the prices”, says Manohar Shroff, Vice-President, MCHI-CREDAI, Navi Mumbai Unit.

The five key micro-markets that are likely to benefit due to the coming up of the NMIA are Ulwe, Kamothe, Kharghar, Taloja and Panvel. The prices in these regions have seen less than 4 percent appreciation over the last 3 years.

According to experts, there is already an inventory overhang of 2,400 unsold units in the Navi Mumbai region. Out of these around 2,000 units are ready to move in and yet there are no takers.

With airport seeing light of day soon these regions are set to see a better growth. But experts advise some caution before investing into these nodes.

“Although with the coming up of the airport several nodes are going to benefit, some of the nodes do not have necessary infrastructure. This means it is not the best area for the end users to immediately move in. Success of the real estate development in these nodes purely depends on what kind of infrastructure CIDO provides in the region, says Ashutosh Limaye National Director, Research, JLL.

Clearly, a lot is dependent on the fate of the Navi Mumbai airport. With GVK having won the bid for developing this project and CM’s office keeping a close eye on the progress, one is a lot more hopeful this time around, that the first flight should take off from the new airport, by 2019.

Courtesy: published on June 22, 2017


Gst Impact On Real Estate: Will New Tax System Bring Property Prices Down?

After demonetisation, the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act or RERA is being enforced to realise the 'housing for all' initiative by the government, and the implementation of the upcoming Goods and Services Tax (GST) will further streamline the real estate segment in India. GST is designed to encourage transparency and ease of doing business in the realty sector, but whether it will bring down property prices or not, is still debatable.

If we look at the current tax levels, these include 4.5 per cent service tax (with input tax set off available) plus 1 per cent value-added tax or VAT (in Maharashtra, without any set-off benefits). In the GST regime, the tax on under-construction projects will be 12 per cent. On the face of it, there is an increase of 6.5 per cent regarding the tax payable by apartment purchasers. However, there is the option of getting full input tax set off on all input side if GST is paid.

It is expected that the net effect of the credit set off benefit will leave the overall tax revenue to the government as neutral. However, the entire concept of GST is that the final consumer bears the overall tax and compared to the earlier regime, the tax rate to the end consumer is much higher. It is likely to lead to a reduction in the per-square-foot rate quoted by developers (since they will be able to get the benefit of input tax credit). On the other hand, the total cost to the end consumer may change slightly depending on the actual specifications, location and other details of the project.

However, GST is not applicable to ready-to-move-in properties. As a result, developers will either have to bear the tax burden since it cannot be passed on to end consumers or prices of apartments, which are ready for possession, will increase in step with the taxes. Again, it will lead to a change in the quoted price by the developer, but the overall cost to the end customer will stay largely unchanged.

Unfortunately, the government has not addressed the aspect of stamp duty, which continues to be extremely high for land and apartment sales. There is no input tax set off available for the stamp duty paid for the land, and this goes against the basic concept of GST. Hopefully, it will be addressed by various state governments shortly.

Never before in the history of the country, so many changes have taken place at the same time to impact the real estate sector. Demonetisation, RERA and GST are all critical changes, but when all of these are implemented within a period of eight months, it is nothing short of a tsunami for the entire sector.

Consequently, developers have to rethink their entire approach to business. For a long time, many developers followed the business model whereby profit was made by shortchanging customers, constructing houses illegally and using customers' money without returning any value to them. Promises made to customers were not intended to be kept or at least, that was the norm. All this will change when developers are forced to define in writing what they will give to the homebuyers and by when it will be provided.

The option of selling apartments without approvals is no longer available, and the capital requirements (for developers) will also go up. An industry, which has, for a long time, seen people with very little capital take up large projects, will have to change its current practices. Of course, all this would be excellent news for homebuyers. (Rohit Gera is Managing Director, Gera Developments, and Vice President, CREDAI-Pune Metro)

By: Rohit Gera 
Courtesy: published on June 27, 2017


Real Estate Developers Go Slow On Reits

But, overall conditions are quite positive for REITs, says CEO of Embassy Corporate Park

MUMBAI, JUNE 28: As the first Infrastructure Investment Trust (InvIT) got listed recently, the real estate sector is yet to leverage Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) despite both having been conceptualised by the Securities and Exchange Board of India in 2014.

Even though players such as DLF, Blackstone, Embassy Group, K Raheja Corp, and RMZ had indicated that their REITs may become reality by mid-2017, it may still be sometime away, industry analysts and investment bankers say. They add, though, that one or two REITs might get listed by end of this year.

“The bigger and complex the portfolio is, the longer will be the time taken to list a REIT. We expect the first REIT to take shape not before the end of the calendar year.

“But having said that, the overall conditions are quite positive for REITs,” Mike Holland, CEO, Embassy Corporate Park, told BusinessLine.

Embassy Corporate Park was among few other players who filed an application with SEBI seeking an in-principle approval to register its REIT last year.

REITs are investment vehicles that can be used by real estate players to attract private investments while investors are able to get dividends generated from income-producing real estate assets such as office buildings, shopping malls, apartments, warehouses and mortgages.

'Entry & exit vehicle'

“While on one hand REIT would help developers unlock value from their leased out assets and generate much needed capital, it would also provide a much-needed entry and exit vehicle for the global institutional investors looking to invest in non-residential real estate assets in India,” Rajeev Bairathi, ED and Head - Capital Markets, Knight Frank India, said.

“Last year has seen a considerable easing up of Indian REIT regulations — it’s time for investors, developers and owners to get in on the REIT action. It appears that, now, the REIT way is the right way,” Ameet Hariani, Founding & Managing Partner, Hariani & Co, told BusinessLine.

However, some industry sources suggest that for many real estate players meeting SEBI’s compliance and disclosure rules could still be challenging — hence, the delay in first REITs hitting the market. Industry watchers also note that capital gains tax and issues relating to stamp duty are major concern areas for prospective developers wishing to use REIT as an investment vehicle.

Market potential

It is estimated that approximately $121 billion or 1.73 billion sq ft of occupied commercial real estate across office, retail and warehouse segments could potentially benefit from the REIT opportunity. A recent KPMG, NAREDCO and Knight Frank report said India has a rent-yielding office inventory of 537 million sq ft worth more than $70 billion.

According to Grant Thornton’s Indian Real Estate Sector Annual Handbook 2017, the ready commercial space eligible for REIT investments amounts to 277 million sq ft, accounting for 44 per cent of total office stock in India. The REIT-eligible commercial office stock is estimated to have a total value of $44-53 billion. In retail assets, the estimated value of REIT-eligible stock (completed and under-construction malls) is around $20-24 billion.

“With over 100 million sq ft of Grade A commercial real estate built to international standards with marquee tenants and long lease profiles, India now has the ingredients in place for a REIT market, and the motivation for holders of these assets to look to the public markets as an option to raise capital and monetise investments,” Samarth Jagnani, an executive director in Morgan Stanley’s Global Capital Markets group, based in Mumbai, told BusinessLine.

PE inroads

However, Sandeep Singh, Senior Director — Structured Finance, India Ratings & Research, says commercial real estate in India has already attracted significant private equity interest in the last couple of years, which reduces compulsion for real estate developers to go and seek listing of a REIT, unlike in infrastructure sector.

According to PwC, the total investment made by PE funds in the real estate sector was around ?25,680 crore in 2015, which is nearly 72 per cent higher than that recorded in the previous year and the highest ever annual investment recorded in the sector in rupee terms since 2008.

Courtesy: published on June 28, 2017


Realty Check: Mumbai Builders’ Unsold Inventory Worth Whopping Rs 2.5 Lakh Crore

After government’s demonetisation move the real estate market has been hit with huge losses, as the investment declined by almost 50 per cent. But when the real estate sector was gaining, this market was again hit by a surgical strike by the government, that is the Real Estate Act, or better known as RERA. But the latest reports have shown that there around 1 lakh unsold apartments over the past in Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR), which takes the total unsold inventory to Rs 2.5 lakh crore.

According to a Financial Express report, the apartments which are unsold are priced between Rs 90-95 lakh, for which, seeing today’s monetary conditions, there not many takers. There was anticipation that the prices of real estate will drop down following the RERA or Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, but people were disappointed with no relief in apartments prices.

Pankaj Kapoor, MD, Liases Foras told Financial Express, “At the current pace, it could take nearly five years to clear the unsold stock.”

According to Liases Foras data, even small and medium-sized apartments up to 1,000 sq ft burn a hole in the buyer’s pocket with the cost being Rs 13,000 per sq ft. Nonetheless, builders pushed property sales before RERA rollout and about 8,000 more properties were sold in FY17 than FY16.

But, with RERA expected to cut down on delays by bringing in more accountability, buyers are more inclined towards the more reasonably priced under-construction projects.

Previously, lengthy delays in completion of buildings used to drive people to buy apartments which were ready to move in. But, as RERA is supposed to cut down on delays, buyers might go for under-construction projects which are generally priced at a lower level.

By: FPJ Web Desk

Courtesy: published on July 04, 2017


Gst Rates: Real Estate Firms Gear Up To Pass On Tax Benefits To Home Buyers

Depending on stage of construction and location, home prices may either see a correction of up to 3% or inch up a bit due to GST

Mumbai: Real estate firms are gearing up to pass on tax benefits to homebuyers under the goods and services tax (GST) regime, which could lead to marginal changes in property prices. Depending on the stage of construction and location, home prices may either see a correction of up to 3% or inch up a bit from current levels, say property advisers and developers.

However, prices of ready-to-move-in apartments with completion certificates would remain steady as these properties are out of the GST ambit. Any price change in the segment will depend purely on demand and supply, say sector experts.

On 1 July, Mumbai-based property developer Oberoi Realty Ltd launched a marketing campaign called “Zero GST Impact”, cashing in on the uncertainty over how the new tax rate may affect property prices. The company kept the earlier tax rate for the first 100 bookings in six of its under construction projects following the GST rollout.

Oberoi Realty managing director Vikas Oberoi clarified that buying homes would not become more expensive after the application of GST as the company plans to pass on tax benefits to both existing and new customers.

Under the new tax structure, buying under-construction properties will attract a net effective rate of 12% as against the earlier rate of around 5.5% (including value-added tax and service tax). However, due to the input credit benefits that most builders will get on the key raw materials they buy, the base price may go down.

“We have done our math and we clearly believe that GST is not going to increase cost to customers. If we read the finer details, the input credit takes care of the GST that is required to be paid. If everyone plays fair, home prices will mostly be cost neutral or may go up just about 2-3% in (a) few projects,” Oberoi said.

Others also believe that prices of ongoing projects may see a slight correction of about 1-3% post deduction of input credits, depending on location and stage of construction.

“For new projects with 100% input credit passed to buyer and land cost being 50% of project cost, we expect property price to fall by around 1% in western and northern markets and around 3% in southern markets,” said a 30 June report by Edelweiss Securities Ltd, a brokerage firm.

Om Ahuja, chief executive (residential) of Bengaluru-based Brigade Enterprises Ltd, said homebuyers could save about 3-4% post GST, depending on savings of builders on key components such as steel and cement.

The company is also currently running a campaign where it has cut prices across 22 ongoing residential projects in Bengaluru, Chennai and Hyderabad.

“For our new bookings, we are currently working on how we can pass on the benefits to consumers. Wherever there is visibility of some saving, we have already passed on. We are currently running an offer where we have slashed prices across few projects,” Ahuja said. However, he added that challenges remain on how to rework contracts with existing customers who have paid partly for under-construction projects.

On 15 June, the Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) asked all builders to pass “on lower tax burden under GST regime to buyers of property by way of reduced prices/instalments”.

“The impact on prices will differ for different projects and how much credit a builder can take or not take. Suppose if 90% construction has happened and the builders have already purchased the material, he may not get the credit on that,” said Abhishek Jain, partner, Ernst and Young, a consultancy.

According to Pankaj Kapoor, managing director of Liases Foras, a real estate advisory firm, luxury housing prices will rise while affordable and low-cost housing will not see any impact. “Luxury housing has a bigger component of land price. Input credit will not be sufficient enough to bring down the price,” said Kapoor.

DLF Ltd, India’s largest real estate firm by market value, is also planning to pass on benefits of the input credits it will get on its under-construction projects. However, any price change will be determined by the market rather than GST, said Rajeev Talwar, DLF’s chief executive officer.

“Every builder has to pass on the benefit that they get through input credits. But we need to wait for another six months to see how the market moves based on these reforms to see a price change,” he added.

Santosh Agarwal, chief financial officer of Gurugram-based Alpha Corp Development Pvt. Ltd, said customers who buy apartments in projects which are less than 60% completed will get more benefit as against those that are near completion due to the higher input credit which builders may get in early stages of construction.



By: Bidya Sapam

Courtesy: published on July 05, 2017


Hyderabad Realty Sees Mixed Trends

Project launches hit due to ambiguity in RERA

HYDERABAD: The real estate sector in Hyderabad sees mixed trends. While demand for office space is higher than availability of inventory, prices continue to rule steady while rentals firm up.

There has been a slowdown in new project launches due to uncertainty over implementation of Real Estate (Regulation & Development) Act (RERA) 2016.

Consultancy firm Knight Frank India in its report on Hyderabad realty market finds new launches hit an all time low at just over 2500 units during the first half of 2017. Compared to H1 and H2 2016, new launches were down 55 per cent and 56 per cent respectively, it said.

In its report on India Real Estate for the first half ended June 2017, it mentions how lack of clarity on the implementation of RERA in the State has emerged as a major factor dampening new launches in Hyderabad.

Steady sales trend

While the sales remained steady during the first half of 2017, prices too continue to rule steady and expected to do so in the near future too.

Making a detailed presentation on the real estate sector, Gulam Zia, Executive Director, Knight Frank India and Samson Arthur, Branch Director, highlighted that bulk of the launches are in relatively higher priced segment and that too in the Western part of the city.

The Western part of the city continues to over 80 per cent of the total launches in first half of 2017, nearly 69 per cent of the home sales took place in the West.

With the number of launches coming down and steady sales in the current unsold inventory, it will take less than two years to exhaust the available stock.

Uncertainty in new launches

While about 19-20 States have announced their decision to adopt RERA, the uncertainty in Telangana is putting off developers from launching new projects.

Asked about the impact of the GST on the real estate sector, they said it is still being analysed how it will impact the sector.

Office space market

Hyderabad office market witnessed a drop of 44 per cent in new project completion in H1 2017 as against H1 2016. The vacancy level in sought after locations is about 2-4 per cent.

The IT and ITES sector dips to 51 per cent in H1 2017 due to lack of availability of quality IT spaces. There has been increase in demand from BFSI and other services sector. The rentals have seen a growth of 14 per cent year on year.

By: V Rishi Kumar

Courtesy: published on July 06, 2017


After 2 Months, Karnataka Cabinet Finally Clears Rera

BENGALURU: After dragging its feet for nearly two months over implementing the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act (RERA), the state cabinet on Wednesday approved the rules to be notified under RERA.

Two major changes are ongoing projects where 60% of work has been completed will not be brought under the purview of the legislation, and the cost of the project will be determined on the basis of the prevailing guidance value.

With regard to allegations that the state government, despite being the first in the country to come up with draft rules, had resorted to delaying tactics in notifying the final rules, law minister TB Jayachandra said: "There has been delay in notifying the final rules because of extensive consultations." The new rules will be notified in two or three days," the law minister said.

The minister, however, evaded questions on the rationale behind excluding projects where 60 per cent of the work has been completed. "Everything will become clear after the rules are notified," he said.

Sources, however, maintained there was tremendous pressure on the government from the builders' lobby, apparently backed by several ministers, to go slow on RERA.

"The rules approved by the cabinet are against the original act. Excluding projects where 60% construction completed is clear dilution of Section 3. This 60% completion level can be manipulated by developers and most ongoing projects will be kept out of RERA ambit. This kind of a dilution was not expected. The core group members are meeting on Saturday to chalk out our next course of legal action," said M S Shankar, convener, Fight for RERA, Karnataka chapter.

Courtesy: published on July 06, 2017


Goldman Sachs May Invest Rs300 Crore In Ozone Group’s Real Estate Project

Goldman Sachs is evaluating both residential and commercial real estate assets of Ozone Group, and will invest in at least one project

Mumbai: Investment bank Goldman Sachs is planning to invest as much as $50 million (about Rs325 crore) in a real estate project of Ozone Group, a Bengaluru-based developer, two people aware of the matter said.

“The talks are at an initial stage. They are evaluating both residential and commercial real estate assets of the developer. They are likely to make an investment in at least one of Ozone’s projects,” the first of the two people said.

A second person aware of the development said Goldman could invest up to $50 million in this transaction.

Both Ozone Group and Goldman Sachs declined to comment. Ozone has in the past raised significant sums of capital in the form of structured credit to fund its projects as well as to provide exits to earlier investors in its projects.

Last year, it raised Rs360 crore from Piramal Fund Management Pvt. Ltd for its 150-acre mixed-use Urbana township project in north Bengaluru, to refinance existing loans, Mint reported.

The funds raised also helped the developer give a full exit to Urban Infrastructure Venture Capital Ltd from the project, and a partial exit from its entity-level investment in the developer.

Earlier in 2015, Ozone had raised Rs575 crore from Piramal for the Urbana project refinance loans and to speed up construction.

Ozone’s Urbana is a 150-acre township, which will have 20,000 homes on completion. The township will also have a 2 million sq. ft information technology (IT) park and 300,000 sq. ft of retail space along with a school and a hospital.

Ozone is also developing a 45-acre township Metrozone in Chennai and has launched a premium residential project in Mumbai’s Santacruz. It is also working on three new projects in Bengaluru.

In recent years, Goldman Sachs has made large bets in Indian real estate. In May 2015, it tied up with Nitesh Estates Ltd to jointly invest $250 million in buying income generating assets. As part of this, Goldman invested $37 million in purchasing a 1 million sq. ft shopping centre in Pune.

Also in 2015, the American firm invested Rs900 crore in Piramal Realty for a minority stake to help Piramal buy properties in and around Mumbai. Goldman’s investment in Piramal Realty came a month after the Mumbai-based developer raised Rs1,800 crore from private equity firm Warburg Pincus.

According to Bain & Co.’s India Private Equity report, investment in the Indian real estate sector slowed to $1.1 billion in 2016, after witnessing a high of $3.9 billion in 2015.

Apart from real estate, Goldman is also actively scouting for investments in other sectors.

In an interview with Mint last month, Ankur Sahu, co-head of merchant banking division (Asia-Pacific) at Goldman Sachs said that the firm expects to invest up to $1 billion in India over the next 3-4 years.

The firm is also exploring opportunities to buy distressed assets, which can be turned around, he added.

By: Swaraj Singh Dhanjal
Courtesy: published on July 10, 2017


Demonetisation Didn’t Have Much Impact On India’s Real Estate Sector: Govt Data

The housing sector grew at a compounded rate of 18% to 19% after the government scrapped two high-value banknotes, which accounted for 86% of the cash in circulation

Prices of under-construction residential properties in Delhi, its next-door neighbour Faridabad, Patna, Nashik and Chandigarh have witnessed the maximum fall in the first quarter of 2017 over the previous quarter, data released on Monday by the National Housing Bank’s (NHB) Residex revealed.

However, contrary to perception, the government’s demonetisation drive in November last year does not seem to have much of an impact on India’s fast-growing real estate sector.

In 24 of the 47 cities surveyed, there was an upward movement in prices of residential properties over the previous quarter ending December 2016.

The maximum increase was observed in 7 cities -- Jaipur (8.7%) followed by Chennai (6.5%), Lucknow (5.7%), Guwahati (5.2%), Howrah (5.0%), Hyderabad (4.4%) and Bidhannagar (4.1%).

“The price indices for the last quarter of last financial year i.e 2016-17 proved wrong the critics of demonetisation who said that economy will take a hit,” Union housing and Urban affairs minister M Venkaiah Naidu said while releasing the Residex, which tracks home prices.

Minister Naidu said that National Housing Bank also collected data on land prices, which showed that a correction in land prices is taking place which again reflects the declining trend in transactions of unaccounted money. A subsidiary of the Reserve Bank of India, the NHB regulates housing finance companies such as HDFC and LIC Housing Finance.

Of the 47 cities that were surveyed, market prices of under-construction properties in another 14 cities have also shown a decline over the previous quarter.

The housing sector grew at a compounded rate of 18% to 19% after the government scrapped two high-value banknotes, which accounted for 86% of the cash in circulation.

Cash deals in real estate crimped after the government capped the transaction limit at Rs 2 lakh, making it difficult to buy high-end properties.

By: Moushumi Das Gupta
Courtesy: published on July 10, 2017


Is The Affordable Housing Euphoria Overdone?

The affordable housing market is fragmented with scores of developers; those with weak financials may even wind up operations

The BSE Realty index has been moving up sharply in the last few months. One reason, of course, is that realty stocks had been really battered earlier and the market is clutching at the hope that the government’s affordable housing initiative will help the sector pick itself up.

Realty consultant and adviser Knight Frank India Pvt. Ltd, in a research report, has highlighted a visible surge in affordable housing projects. Across eight large cities, homes priced below Rs50 lakh comprised about 71% of the total launches between January and June 2017, significantly up from 52% in the corresponding period in 2016. But the moot question is: does this merit such a big leap in the realty share prices?

Over a year, front-rung stocks like Oberoi Realty Ltd, Sobha Ltd and Godrej Properties Ltd have run up. Although there has been an increase in residential unit sales in the last two quarters in some regions, one must note that there is considerable unsold inventory in the system. This would weigh on realty prices and on realizations. Further, these companies may consider tapping the affordable housing market opportunity to ramp up revenue, but they are not in the fray yet.

Meanwhile, what’s more glaring is the rally in the shares of small developers like Peninsula Land Ltd, Poddar Housing and Development Ltd, Arihant Superstructures Ltd and Ashiana Housing Ltd. Investors would do well to tread cautiously, as so far most of these firms have shown erratic revenue growth. Some like Ashiana Housing and Poddar Housing even posted a revenue contraction in the March quarter and they have to align their operations with the stringent Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act (RERA), 2016, enforced from 1 May 2017.

Moreover, the affordable housing market is fragmented with scores of developers. Those with weak financials may even wind up operations as the cost of compliance with the new regulations may be high. For example, according to Shubhranshu Pani, managing director (strategic consulting) at property consultancy Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL) India, only 315 of the 15,000 projects in Maharashtra have registered under RERA. “I expect a huge rush of projects being registered closer to July end,” he said.

Some states have not yet announced the guidelines, which in turn could slow the pace of launches in the near term. This is not all. Tax increases and greater clarity on input tax credit post-goods and services tax would dampen sales for some time to come.

Further, JLL India in it monthly real estate report also says that with job losses looming over the information technology/IT enabled services and financial services industries, demand for residential realty across hubs of Bengaluru, Hyderbad, Pune, Navi Mumbai and Noida may be affected. In other words, a marginal growth in sales reported by a handful of promoters should not be mistaken for a comeback in earnings growth of realty firms.

By: Vatsala Kamat
Courtesy: published on July 14, 2017


Blackstone In Talks To Buy $525 Million Il&fs Real Estate Fund

Private equity firm Blackstone may buy ILFS India Realty Fund I owned by IL&FS Investment Managers Ltd

The Blackstone Group Lp, the US-based global private equity firm, is in talks to acquire ILFS India Realty Fund I, a $525 million real estate fund owned by IL&FS Investment Managers Ltd (IIML), two persons aware of the development said. IIML is a unit of Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services Ltd (IL&FS).

The deal will be signed through Blackstone India Real Estate Advisors, the Indian realty arm of the New York-based Blackstone.

Blackstone is a leading owner of office space in India, spanning over 30 million square feet across all major cities.

ILFS India Realty Fund I, one of the first real estate focused funds in India, was launched in 2005. It made about 17 investments, out of which it exited six portfolios.

Major portfolios of ILFS India Realty Fund I include ETL Infrastructure Services Ltd, ($48 million invested in 2006) and QVC Realty Ltd. ($100 million invested in 2008).

Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL) India advises ILFS to sell the realty fund, the first person mentioned above said on condition of anonymity.

ILFS India Realty Fund II, with a corpus of $895 million, was raised in 2007 and has invested in 28 portfolio companies including Kohinoor CTNL Infrastructure Company Ltd and GK Industrial Park Pvt Ltd.

The major portfoilos of IL&FS real estate funds include Gurugram-based Ansal Esencia, Chennai-based Pacifica Aurum, Bengaluru-based Phoenix Market City and Bhartiya City, Mumbai-based Indiabulls Blu, Wadhwa Address and Pune’s Amanora Towers.

A present, IIML has six real estate funds with about $2 billion under management and commitments aggregating $1.8 billion in 74 transactions across India.

Spokespersons at Blackstone and IL&FS declined to comment.

“When the first fund is on an exit mode, it would be ideal for IL&FS to sell all the portfolios in a single deal,” said the second person mentioned above, also on condition of anonymity.

Several of IL&FS real estate funds are in exit mode - including the $117-million IL&FS Milestone Fund I and $103-million Saffron India Real Estate Fund I. Both were launched in 2008.

In 2015, Blackstone entered into an agreement with IL&FS Milestone Fund, whereby Blackstone acquired 74% stake owned by IL&FS in 247 Corporate Park, in Mumbai’s eastern suburbs. Hindustan Construction Company Ltd owned 26% in 247 Corporate Park.

Blackstone has invested about $3 billion in real estate projects in India across 20 transactions and manages the largest portfolio of office parks in India.

Blackstone opened its real estate division in India in 2007, hiring Tuhin Parikh as senior managing director. Parikh, a former chief executive of TCG Urban Infrastructure Holdings Ltd., a national level office developer and asset owner in India, has strengthened Blackstone’s India presence through buying several office assets and malls across the country since 2011.

In one of the largest real estate investments, Blackstone had in 2014 acquired a 50% stake in Bengaluru-based Embassy Holding Company which owns 20.9 million square feet across three Class A office parks in India.

Blackstone is also acquiring a 15% stake in K Raheja Corp’s, commercial real estate business for around $250 million. Blackstone plans to float two separate real estate investment trusts (REITs) for its office assets with its partners- Embassy Group and Pune-based Panchshil Realty.

Besides its investments in office space, Blackstone Group has widened its footprint in India through a series buyouts of shopping malls. Last year, it acquired a 50% stake in Westend Mall in Pune, which houses brands such as Cinepolis, H&M, Max, Shoppers Stop and Starbucks. It had acquired L&T Seawoods Mall in Navi Mumbai from L&T Realty, last year. In 2015, it bought two AlphaOne malls in Amritsar and Ahmedabad from Alpha G:Corp. It is in discussions to acquire Elante mall from Carnival Group in Chandigarh.

Blackstone LP, one of the largest owners of office space in India, is readying a new Asia-focused real estate fund that aims to raise a record $5 billion or more, betting on strong returns from property investments in the region, according to a January report by Reuters.

The world’s biggest alternative asset manager will likely launch the fund in the next 12-16 months, and it has invested more than 70% of the $5.08 billion it raised in its first Asia-focused property fund, Reuters said.

According to a 2016 report by JLL India, private equity investments in Indian real estate in 2016 increased by 62% to Rs38,000 crore as compared to Rs23,500 crore in 2015, out of which Rs13,500 crore was invested through pure equity while the rest was through structured debt.

The year 2017 is expected to be one of fructification, when the results of all regulatory and policy initiatives taken in 2016 begin to take shape. Most key initiatives, such as the Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA), the Goods & Services Tax (GST) and Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) are primarily aimed at improving transparency and boosting investor confidence in India’s real estate sector at large, said a June 2017 JLL India report.

“In anticipation of the first REIT listing in 2017, institutional investments in corporate real estate are likely to remain positive. Inflows into commercial office assets in 2017 are expected to rise above Rs20,000 crore ($3 billion), on the back of healthy investor interest in leased office assets,” said the report—Return of the Investor.

By: Reghu Balakrishnan
Courtesy: published on July 14, 2017


Land Deals Pick Up Pace Amid Falling Prices, Rising Distress

Delhi NCR, where land values have dropped by 30-40%, may be the worst impacted by the real estate slowdown, but that hasn’t deterred buyers

Bengaluru: As land prices fall and distressed assets rise, land deals are picking up pace. Large developers from Mumbai and Bengaluru, particularly those backed by institutional investors, are actively scouting for land parcels, mostly to build commercial offices and industrial warehouses, but also distressed residential parcels at lower valuations.

India’s largest property market, National Capital Region (NCR), where land values have dropped by 30-40%, may be the worst impacted by the real estate slowdown, but that hasn’t deterred buyers.

Mumbai-based Godrej Properties Ltd signed up for land parcels—three in NCR and one in Bengaluru—between April and July. These were a mix of outright buys and joint development deals. The latest was a 14.8 acre land in Dwarka Expressway from BPTP it bought under the Godrej Residential Investment Program II (GRIP-II), a $275 million fund.

“Land prices have corrected, particularly in NCR and there are lots of opportunities for outright buys. There are developers who are selling because of liquidity issues but the expectations are now realistic. It’s a buyer’s market,” said Mohit Malhotra, managing director and chief executive, Godrej Properties. The developer is looking at more land in Mumbai, NCR, Pune and Bengaluru.

In one of the largest land deals this year, a joint venture of Tata Realty and Infrastructure Ltd (TRIL) and Standard Chartered Private Equity acquired a 47.5 acre plot at the Thane-Belapur industrial area, near Mumbai for Rs325 crore.

Bengaluru-based Salarpuria Sattva Group, which bought a land parcel in Hitec City, Hyderabad from BPTP for around Rs200-250 crore this year, is in the process of closing two more deals in Bengaluru. “There are large corporate houses, who need cash flows and want to exit certain assets and other developers who are unable to develop the projects and want to sell off the land,” said Bijay Agarwal, managing director, Salarpuria Sattva Group.

Land prices are dropping except in Hyderabad, where it has risen.

“There has been a steady decline in land prices, which have dropped to 30-40% in NCR. Interestingly, NCR developers have always believed in building land banks. But due to market conditions, they are unlocking value either by selling or entering into partnerships with better placed developers,” said Santhosh Kumar, chief executive officer-operations at property advisory JLL India. Firms in affordable housing, warehousing and logistics and commercial office development are the ones who are most active buyers in the market today.

Tata Housing Development Co. Ltd said it has aggressive growth plans for both affordable and luxury housing projects in the next 2-3 years. It is exploring 8-10 deals across the top 10 cities at any given time and expects to close 4-5 deals by the end of December.

“Though land valuations have come off their all-time high, they are still on the higher side. We expect the market to remain stagnant for couple of quarters and land prices should soften a little more in near future,” said Brotin Banerjee, CEO and managing director of Tata Housing.

In warehousing and logistics, Embassy Industrial Parks Pvt. Ltd (partnership of Embassy Group and Warburg Pincus) is looking to buy large tracts of land while Hiranandani Communities wants to buy land in Pune, Chennai and Nashik for its new industrial park business.

By: Madhurima Nandy
Courtesy: published on July 17, 2017


Rera Warns Builders Of Action For Late Registration

As of July 14, 500 projects stood to be registered with RERA along with 3,500 brokers having registered with Maha RERA. The number of 500 registered projects has not worried officials from Maha RERA, who anticipate that builders will come for registering at the nick of the time. Maharashtra Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA) clarified that it can take suo motu action against builders who don't register their projects with the authority by the deadline of July 31.

Builders and brokers were given three months, starting May 1 up to July 31, to register all ongoing projects with RERA. We can even take suo motu action against builders who fail to register their projects after the deadline of July 31, on mere intimation about the same," said Vasant Prabhu, secretary, Maha RERA.

Maharashtra Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA) clarified that it can take suo motu action against builders who don't register their projects with the authority by the deadline of July 31. While complainants needs to pay a fee of Rs 5,000 to register a complaint against builders; according to the law, the regulatory authority has said that post July 31, even if an individual brings into its notice non-registered projects, Maha RERA can initiate suo motu action against the particular builder.

"It is not necessary that every complaint we act on, has to be a formal complaint by a concerned buyer via paying the complaint fees. We can even take suo motu action against builders who fail to register their projects after the deadline of July 31, on mere intimation about the same," said Vasant Prabhu, secretary, Maha RERA. "However, we are expecting all the builders to register their projects within the deadline or else we will fine the concerned builders according to the provisions of the RERA Act," he added. According to RERA, if any builder fails to register their project as per the RERA Act, he shall be liable to a penalty, which may extend up to 10 per cent of the estimated cost of the real estate project.

On continued violation, he shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term, which may extend up to three years. Builders and brokers were given three months, starting May 1 up to July 31, to register all ongoing projects with RERA.

As of July 14, 500 projects stood to be registered with RERA along with 3,500 brokers having registered with Maha RERA.

However, it is said that roughly 9,500 projects are ongoing in the state. The number of 500 registered projects has not worried officials from Maha RERA, who anticipate that builders will come for registering at the nick of the time. COMPLAINT OR NOT.


Courtesy: published on July 17, 2017


Foreign And Local Funds Flow In For Indian Real Estate

MUMBAI: Indian real estate is witnessing a robust rise in investment inflow, due to the ongoing transformation in business environment, and as foreign and domestic institutional investors is infusing more funds into this sector.

According to the study carried by Knight Frank India, the Indian property market has showed a 40% on-year jump in inflow of funds since the beginning of this year. Institutional investors, such as private equity, pension funds, sovereign funds, domestic investors, and non-banking finance companies have pumped in $3.15 billion in the country’s real estate between January and June end, showed the study.

According to a separate study by JLL India, India has witnessed private equity inflow of Rs 16,008 crore until June this year compared with Rs 15,601 crore a year ago.

Over the past 18 months, the government has initiated a number of admirable policies including the implementation of the Real Estate Regulator Act (RERA), implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST), Real Estate Investment Trusts and the demonetisation drive. “The global economy has started recuperating with improving job prospects, decline in unemployment rates and rising rate of inflation in the developed economies.

Investors in these countries are expecting diminishing inflation adjusted returns. With the strengthening of domestic currency they are finding assets in emerging markets (EMs) cheaper from an investment perspective,” said Samantak Das, Chief Economist and National Director, Research, Knight Frank India.

By: Accommodation Times Bureau

Courtesy: published on July 21, 2017


Indians Among Top Investors In Residential Property In Us

MUMBAI: The pall of gloom owing to protectionist policies has not kept Indians residing in the US from investing in real estate. By purchasing residential property worth $7.8 billion during the 12-month period ending March 2017, Indians emerged as the fifth largest investors in real estate in the US. Backed by mortgage finance, these properties were largely acquired for use as primary residence or for use by a child studying in the US.

Chinese nationals were the biggest buyers, purchasing residential property worth $31.7 billion in the same period. They were followed by the Canadians, British, Mexicans and, lastly, Indians.

Between April 2015 and March 2016, Indians had invested $6.1 billion and occupied third place on the list of biggest buyers. However, a surge of investments from other nationalities resulted in Indians slipping to fifth position in 2016-17.

The bulk of buyers from China, India, and Mexico were working and residing in the US, while most buyers from Canada and the UK were non-resident buyers, adds the report, "2017- Profile of international activity in US residential real estate" released recently by the National Association of Realtors (NAR).

More than a third of the Chinese buyers purchased residential property in California. Compared to the other major foreign buyers, Indians were not as concentrated in any state in the US and the location of their jobs largely determined their purchase. While California, New Jersey, Texas, Massachusetts, and Kentucky were top destinations, more than two in five Indian buyers purchased in another state.

In aggregate, foreign buyers purchased $153 billion of residential property in US between April 2016 and March 2017, which is a 49% jump from the figure of the corresponding previous period of $102.6 billion. In terms of number of units, foreign buyers purchased 2.84 lakh residential properties in US in April 2016-March 2017, up 32% from the previous period's figure of 2.14 lakh properties.

On an average, foreign buyers paid $536,852 for their properties, 12% more than the average price during the previous 12-month period. The average purchase price of properties bought by Indians was $522,440.

By: Lubna Kably

Courtesy: published on July 21, 2017


Chandigarh, Delhi Real Estate Regulatory Bodies To Be Clubbed

The UT administration reasoned that it will be financially prudent for both the cities to share as Chandigarh has a low footprint of private developers which can come under the purview of the Real Estate Act

The city will now share its Real Estate Regulatory Authority and Real Estate Appellate Authority with Delhi, under the Real Estate (Regulatory and Development) Act, 2016. Members, when appointed, will be available in Chandigarh for a limited period every month, the exact duration is yet to be finalised.

The act states that every union territory (UT) and state must set up RERA (Real Estate Regulatory Authority) and REAT (Real Estate Appellate Authority) for safeguarding the rights of home buyers. Chandigarh was the first to set up a temporary RERA in October 2016. Later, the UT administration requested the ministry of home affairs (MHA) to club the Chandigarh RERA with Delhi’s.

Housing secretary KK Jindal said, “The administration wrote to the MHA in November 2016 to club Chandigarh RERA with that of Delhi’s. The ministry forwarded the letter to the Union ministry of urban development and poverty alleviation (MHUPA). The proposal was accepted in May after the MHUPA wrote to the lieutenant governor of Delhi.”

The process of the selection of the chairman was also initiated by the lieutenant governnor and is expected to be completed by the end of this month.

The UT administration reasoned that it will be financially prudent to club the Chandigarh and Delhi RERA. The city has a low footprint of private developers, which can come under the purview of the act. The public sector, Chandigarh Housing Board, is the main developer.

Every builder and real estate agent has to register their project with the RERA before they can advertise or market or sell projects to the buyer. Home buyers can make complaints with RERA against builders and agents. The appeals against the decisions of RERA can be made before the appellate tribunal. Violation of the act or non-compliance withe RERA and REAT orders can lead to a fine and imprisonment for the builder and the agent.

By: Munieshwer A Sagar
Courtesy: published on July 25, 2017


Plot Owners Move Hc On Rera Making Them Co-promoters

MUMBAI: Can a housing society or plot owner be held responsible for violations or irregularities committed by a developer under the new Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act?

The owners of a three-acre plot on the Goregaon-Mulund Link Road, Mulund (W), have moved the Bombay high court challenging a circular issued by the state authority under RERA, which makes plot owners co-promoters in a real estate project.

The May 11 office order issued by the Maharashtra Real Estate Regulatory Authority has notified that any owner or organization which signs a development agreement with a builder will also have to register with RERA and will be treated as co-promoter of the project. It says this is because the owner will be entitled to a share of total revenue generated from the sale of flats or total area developed. It also states that liabilities of such a co-promoter will be at par with that of the promoter of the project.

The owners had entered into an agreement with Shiv Krupa Enterprises in December 2014 to develop the property. Thereafter, the owners and the developer entered into agreements in 2011 for sale of flats in three wings of Sristi Oasis Complex with flat purchasers. Being aggrieved that now even owners of land are required to register with RERA, the owners moved the HC saying the order is without jurisdiction as the Authority has sought to amend the word "promoter" as defined under Section 2 of RERA, which is impermissible. "The impugned order is thus a classic pick of the power of the Parliament which alone has jurisdiction and powers to amend the statute," their petition states.

It also states that the definition of promoter under RERA clearly shows that only a person acting himself as a builder, colonizer, contractor, developer, estate developer or by any other name or claiming to be acting as the holder of power of attorney from the owner of the land is a promoter."Thus, an owner of land, who is himself not developing the land, is obviously not included in the term of promoter," it adds.

The petition says the Authority by notifying the definition of "co-promoter" foists a liability on the owner which was never contemplated either under Maharashtra Ownership Flats Act or RERA and only "promoter" is defined under both acts. Even Parliament chose not to add the definition of co-promoter in RERA, it adds.

The petition has urged that the high court direct the Authority to withdraw or cancel the order, to hold that it had no jurisdiction to pass the order and quash and set aside the order and pending hearing and final disposal of the petition, to stay it. On Friday, before a bench headed by Justice Anoop Mohta, the petitioners' advocate Vishwajeet Kapse sought an urgent hearing. "The Authority has no jurisdiction to amend the Act," he said, informing that July 31 is the last date for registration under RERA. The judges then posted the hearing on July 31.

By: Rosy Sequeira
Courtesy: published on July 30, 2017


71 Years Of Independent India - The Real Estate Milestones

How a particular industry shapes up depends on government’s initiatives and interventions – largely done through new sector-specific policies as well as tweaking older ones to better suit the changing business environment.

Often, how a particular industry shapes up depends on government’s initiatives and interventions – largely done through new sector-specific policies as well as tweaking older ones to better suit the changing business environment. While the government’s role is important, it is the market conditions, geopolitical events, socio-economic changes in population and the element of time itself that are fundamental in evolution of industrial sectors, especially so, in the case of developing economies like India.

Given that real estate is a major industry across the world, there has been a constant focus in many countries to have more transparency in the sector through regulations and technology. India too has seen many policies in recent years but certain milestones are spread over decades. As the country will soon complete seven decades of independence, it’s worthwhile to remember the milestones that have had a long lasting impact on India’s real estate industry:

  • The new capital cities of Chandigarh and Gandhinagar were formed in 1952 and 1960 respectively. These were the first, and rare, occasions of planning entirely new cities in the country.
  • The Maharashtra Regional and Town Planning Act, 1966, first incorporated the practice of development plans and town planning. The Planning Commission also issued its first guidelines for district planning in 1969, which led to many states to formulate district plans. However, except a few excellent examples, these initiatives didn’t yield positive results.
  • The Urban Land (Ceiling and Regulation) Act was enacted in 1976 to curb speculative hikes in land prices in urban areas and to provide low-income housing. However, because of poor implementation, it ended up worsening the situation of availability of land for social housing and social infrastructure in urban areas and eventually got repealed in all states but West Bengal and Kerala.
  • The government started setting up institutions such as the Housing and Urban Development Company in 1970, City and Industrial Development Corporation in 1971, the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority in 1975, National Housing Bank in 1988, and the Housing Development Finance Corporation in 1994, to strengthen the residential real estate industry.
  • In the backdrop of a looming fiscal deficit crisis, the economy was liberalised in 1991 through reforms, which set in motion its modernisation process. This created newer job opportunities, and gave a big market of consumers, access to many products and services for the first time. This led to entry of multi-national corporations into India in a big way, and brought a new type of demand- contemporary world class office space.
  • The phase of 1994-99 marked the completion of India’s first property cycle as the market, which was opened up in post liberalisation reforms saw property prices go up for the first time, thanks to NRIs and foreign capital. However, the realty market tapered off post-1995 due to inherent inefficiencies. With the advent of the Asian Financial Crisis in 1997-98, foreign capital got wiped out and growth in capital values came to a halt altogether.
  • The idea of commercialisation of airspace above transit routes was first introduced at Vashi station in 1992. Other stations such as Sanpada, Juinagar, Nerul and CBD Belapur – on the same railway line – followed in Vashi’s footsteps but met with lesser degrees of success. However, the latest transformation of Seawoods-Darave in 2017 railway station has met with phenomenal success.
  • India’s self-discovery as a global force in the software world got global recognition thanks to the Y2K bug that was another turning point for real estate industry as well. More foreign companies started setting up offices in cities like Hyderabad and Bengaluru in the post-Y2K era, which led to growth in these cities’ commercial and residential real estate.
  • Foreign direct investment (FDI) in real estate was first allowed in the year 2005, which opened up newer ways of funding and led to maturing of the industry in terms of business practices and product offerings. The FDI regime has been further liberalised in recent years leading to record private equity inflows and entry of foreign developers.
  • Just before the turn of the millennium, Indians got introduced to the concept of organised retail through the first mall: Spencer Plaza in Chennai; followed by Crossword in Mumbai and Ansal Plaza in Delhi. From the early 2000s, there has been a spurt of mall developments across the country.
  • The government approved the restructuring and modernisation of brownfield airports such as Mumbai and Delhi as well as greenfield airports at Bangalore and Hyderabad through the public-private partnership model in 2006. This led to the introduction concept of airport cities and airport precinct real estate.
  • The collapse of Lehman Brothers in 2008 triggered a panic, along with the sub-prime crisis leading investors to scout for rationality in investments across asset classes. The ensuing economic slowdown and risk of job losses made it difficult for investors to exit from their stakes in Indian real estate. The global financial crisis, however, had a big impact on commercial realty in India and a limited impact on residential realty in the country. Limited in the sense that the price fall led to quick sales and India’s residential market bounced back sooner than most expected.
  • The Real Estate Regulation (and Development) Act, commonly called RERA, has come into effect from May 1, 2017, to ensure that home buyers are not taken for a ride by unscrupulous developers. This landmark Act will make home buyers confident, empowered with information and well-protected and make the non-serious players disappear from the highly-fragmented residential real estate industry.
  • The Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) were first opened up in 2014 and the first REIT is due for launch soon and would allow small-ticket investments in commercial real estate of the country. Given the expanding universe of Grade-A office properties in Indian cities as well as rising rentals across their micro-markets, REITs offer an attractive way to investors to trade in prime commercial real estate.

By: Ashutosh Limaye, JLL India | Mumbai
Courtesy: published on Aug 02, 2017


Rbi Repo Rate Cut Set To Provide Major Fillip To Real Estate

Real estate and banking experts anticipate the home loan interest rate to hover around 8 percent once the banks decide to pass on the benefit to consumers.

In the backdrop of major regulatory reforms such as RERA and GST being implemented, Reserve Bank of India’s decision to cut repo rate by 25 basis points after a gap of almost nine months is likely to put the residential real estate market back on the growth trajectory and give a boost to affordable housing.

Real estate and banking experts anticipate the home loan interest rate to hover around 8 percent once the banks decide to pass on the benefit to consumers. The RBI rate cut announcement does not mean an immediate reduction in home buyers' equated monthly installments (EMI) as banks may take time to pass on the benefit to consumers. It also does not mean that home buyers will make a beeline to purchase homes from day one of the announcement.

The RBI Governor-headed Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) noted that there was an urgent need to reinvigorate private investments, clear infrastructure bottlenecks and provide a major thrust to the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY).

“There is an urgent need to reinvigorate private investment, remove infrastructure bottlenecks and provide a major thrust to the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana for housing needs of all. This hinges on speedier clearance of projects by the states. On their part, the government and the Reserve Bank are working in close coordination to resolve large stressed corporate borrowers and recapitalise public sector banks within the fiscal deficit target. These efforts should help restart credit flows to the productive sectors as demand revives,” the third bi-monthly monetary policy statement for 2017-2018 noted.

The Monetary Policy Committee also highlighted how longer approval process under RERA is likely to delay launches and have an impact on growth of construction and ancillary activities.

“With the real estate sector coming under the regulatory umbrella, new project launches may involve extended gestations and, along with the anticipated consolidation in the sector, may restrain growth, with spillovers to construction and ancillary activities,” it noted.

Samantak Das - Chief Economist & National Director - Research, Knight Frank India: “With real estate prices remaining stagnant, interest rate showing a declining trend, tamed inflation, RERA in place, the confidence of home buyers will be back in the market. This is an opportune time as the festival season is just over a month away. The move to cut rates is bound to increase sales traction. There may not be a full-fledged revival of the real estate market but it certainly heralds an initiation of a growth trajectory in the residential space.”

Interest rate for home loans is likely to hover around 8 percent going forward once banks decide to pass on the benefit to the consumers. Homebuyers will also be able to avail of the PMAY scheme benefit over and above this rate cut, he said.

“The RBI's decision to cut the repo rate by 25 bps to 6 percent - a 7-year -low – is in line with industry expectations amidst low inflationary trends. We believe that this cut will result in making housing loans cheaper and help credit offtake in the housing sector. In the long run, this will provide further impetus to the segment and help in rejuvenating housing sales. Coupled with the other structural reforms introduced in the recent past, this announcement will further enhance activity levels in the real estate and construction sector,” Anshuman Magazine, Chairman, India and South East Asia, CBRE.

“The RBI has taken a positive step by offering 25 bps reduction in the repo rate which will act as a catalyst for investment revival, going hand in hand with favorable government measures like RERA and GST which will boost housing demand benefiting both developers and buyers. This will also impact the economy positively and give a much needed credit flow,” Vineet Relia, Managing Director, SARE Homes.

“We anticipate that the rate cut announced today by .25 BPS, coupled with commensurate benefits for borrowers, will impact home loan rate positively and enhance the consumer sentiment. With the market view calling for measures that encourage investment to boost growth numbers, and with the installation of a regulatory regime for the real estate sector, we expect this move to keep the stimulus on for potential homebuyers to invest, and to benefit current borrowers,” said Brotin Banerjee, MD & CEO Tata Housing Development Company Limited.

“A repo rate cut would have a positive impact on the overall economy and the realty sector since it leads to lower borrowing costs for home buyers. With low construction costs borne by developers post GST, a regulated market with the introduction of RERA, and a repo rate cut making the home loan market even cheaper, going ahead the real estate sector is ripe for a positive comeback,” says Samir Jasuja, CEO & Founder, Propequity.

“It is also relevant to note that there may not be another rate cut during the remainder of the year as the RBI will continue to look at inflation headwinds. This stance of the MPC will also be important for global investors as the current stable interest rate regime in India will allow for better investor returns in India for global investors. This should keep investors reasonably attracted towards India,” says Anuj Puri, Chairman – Anarock Property Consultants.

By: Vandana Ramnani
Courtesy: published on Aug 02, 2017


India Can Be Uk's Natural Partner After Brexit, Says Paul

India can be Britain's natural partner at a much bigger level after Brexit, NRI industrialist Lord Swraj Paul has said.

He said the UK's decision to leave the European Union gives an opportunity to Britain and India to work together and gain from each other.

"Britain is coming out of Europe and India can be its natural partner on a much bigger level so I invite you to look at Britain as your first choice," said Paul, Chairman of the Caparo Group of industries.

He was addressing the 17th National Conference of Confederation of Real Estate Developers' Association of India here last evening on the topic 'India on the Global Stage'.

"We have two countries; Britain who would love to see both trade and investment grow from India, and India who would like to see more investment from Britain into India. We must make use of this opportunity as it will be a win-win situation for all of you and for the two countries," he said.

He said that there is no restrictions for anyone who wants to build a decent and honourable business.

"The government, the local councils etc, will give you all the support," he added.

He said that since becoming the prime minister, Narendra Modi has set a new benchmark for India's relationship with countries all over the world and raised the level of India's global standing.

"On behalf of NRIs, I can safely say that the NRI community will certainly support his action plan to rid the country of poverty, illiteracy and malnutrition and play their part," he added.

Courtesy: published on Aug 13, 2017


Adding Much-needed Regulations To The Real Estate Sector

RERA aims to improve the state of the industry, which in turn could pave way for rise in confidence and investments

India introduced the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, 2016 ('RERA') partly on May 1, 2016 and fully on May 1, 2017. It is necessary to know the implications of RERA, as it is applicable throughout India and its provisions are to be observed mandatorily by promoters, purchasers and real estate agents ('Agents').

Till now there was no pan-India central legislation applicable to the real estate industry. The definition of a 'Real Estate Project' under RERA includes not only apartments and buildings, but also plots of land.

The development of layouts and sale of plots in India is now governed by RERA, which aims to bring the unregulated housing sector under its ambit and usher in an era of transparency and accountability.

Several states in India are required to appoint a Real Estate Regulatory Authority, ('Authority'), which is empowered to exercise administrative, executive, regulatory and judicial functions at the state level. A real estate project must first be registered with such an authority by means of a detailed application, coupled with a declaration and an affidavit by the Promoter. Once registration is completed, all requisite information and particulars in regard to the project will be published on the web page of the Authority as well as on the website of the Promoter.

RERA necessitates for the first time, the stringent specification of declaring the date of completion of a project, which is not easily extendable on frivolous grounds. Similarly, RERA has now stipulated that 70 per cent of the amount received by the Promoter for a project classified as an 'Under Construction Project' will have to be deposited in an escrow account or a special designated account and can only be withdrawn in the case of pro rata construction of the Project, vis-à-vis the apartment sold, after obtaining certification from three professionals, i.e. an Architect, Engineer and Chartered Accountant.

Experience shows that in India, the major reason for delay in the execution of real estate projects is largely because promoters divert the sales proceeds of one project to another and overtrade in business.

This malady is curbed by RERA, which prescribes that 70 per cent of such sales proceeds be deposited in an escrow account and that the withdrawal of such amounts be controlled by a stringent regulatory mechanism.

Further, RERA has for the very first time come up with a, 'Self Sufficient Legislation Scheme', which controls and provides, from the inception of a real estate project to its completion, a Dispute Resolution Mechanism together with a comprehensive Adjudicating Mechanism, all in a single legislation.

RERA also provides for a time bound scheme of adjudicating disputes between the promoter and purchaser and prescribes a period of 60 days for dispute resolution in the first instance and a further 60 days for any appeal from the Order of the Authority.

There are various states like Maharashtra and Karnataka that have local laws, but these are not comprehensive and RERA provides an overarching central legislation, which is a complete code by itself.

It is pertinent to note that not only does a real estate project have to be registered but even real estate agents must be registered under RERA. Unregulated agents operating in the market were responsible for numerous malpractices but now, like America, Europe and the U.K., India also has a system in place for 'Registered Real Estate Agents' to conduct the business of marketing real estate projects.

These registered agents are subject to stringent provisions under RERA and this will bring about immense discipline and accountability on the part of these agents.

RERA has paved the way for systemic changes in the manner in which Indian promoters think and operate. It will change the way the Indian real estate industry acts and responds to the market and the consumers, in turn following, the several compliances prescribed under the law.

Without a shadow of a doubt, RERA will bring in a great deal of professionalism in the real estate industry, and also lead to standardisation of the product and the process of functioning of the industry at large. In its truest sense, RERA has brought the real estate industry under its regulatory regime.

By: Parimal K. Shroff
(Parimal K. Shroff is an advocate and solicitor) Courtesy: published on Aug 14, 2017


Indians Second Largest Buyers Of Central London Property

South-east Asians accounted for 36% of property sales in Central London in the year to August, followed by Indians at 22% and West Asia 21%, as per London Central Portfolio’s latest sales audit.

Bengaluru: Indians are the second largest buyers of property in central London, accounting for 22% of sales in the year to August, pushing buyers from West Asia to the third slot (at 21%), according to property investment advisory London Central Portfolio’s (LCP) latest sales audit.

South-East Asian buyers took the top spot, accounting for 36% of all purchases.

Interestingly, Indians also spent more per house. They accounted for one-third of the total spend, with an average purchase price of £1.77 million, slightly higher than the market average of £1.6 million.

Meanwhile, the number of buyers from continental Europe has fallen significantly, and they now account for only 7% of sales, from 24% previously.

Analysts attribute this to the uncertainty following Brexit.

Following 2015’s changes to the Liberalised Remittance Scheme in India that increased the amount Indians could spend on properties in the UK (or elsewhere) to $250,000 per person, there has been a notable surge of purchases from wealthy Indian families.

Their interest has been stoked by a sluggish real-estate market back home, LCP’s chief executive Naomi Heaton said in a 14 August release.

“As India has become a more challenging place to invest in, with high loan interest rates and rising prices in the main urban centres, together with increasing global political and economic uncertainty, Indian buyers with a larger amount of capital to spend have increasingly turned to London as an investment destination of choice.”

“As sterling has weakened against foreign currencies, representing a 20% discount for dollar denominated investors compared with two years ago, we are now seeing Indian buyers becoming an increasingly dominant force in the marketplace. They have overtaken buyers from the Middle-East, who have fallen to third place,” Heaton said. In the year to 15 August, the pound has fallen 1.38% against the rupee.

Indian developers beat Indian buyers to London by a few years.

In 2014, Mumbai-based Lodha Developers Pvt. Ltd acquired the MacDonald House property from the Canadian embassy in Mayfair for over £300 million.

Lodha also bought another property in Lincoln Square, and started selling apartments in the project last year. In May, Lodha UK, the London-based development arm of Lodha Developers, also raised $375 million (£290 million) of construction finance from Cain Hoy for the Lincoln Square project. It has sold 78 units worth almost $170 million (£130 million) between May 2016 to May 2017.

Another Mumbai-based developer Indiabulls Real Estate Ltd soft-launched its project Hanover Bond—a collection of 79 apartments and a five-star hotel—in March, and opened bookings for customers. The developer bought the property in London’s Mayfair in 2014 for around Rs1,550 crore.

In an investor presentation in July, Indiabulls said it has sold four apartments during the soft launch at £4,750 per square foot, at a total value of £15.48 million.

The project is scheduled to be officially launched in the third quarter of 2017.

Lodha’s No.1 Grosvenor Square project in the heart of Mayfair, and just around the corner from Bond Street and Mount Street, comprises 39 apartments and five bespoke duplexes. The apartments start at £7.5 million or Rs63 crore.

“Since its opening of private preview earlier this year, the project has been sold at exceptionally high rates of £6,000 per sq.ft,” a Lodha spokesperson said.

By: Madhurima Nandy
Courtesy: published on Aug 17, 2017


Realty Firms Up With Rs 12,700 Crore Inflows In First Of This Year

Residential market got $1,075 mn, commercial $796 mn, retail $119 mn

India's real estate market has seen an investment of $1,990 million (approximately Rs 12,766 crore) in the first half of this year, and the residential segment has cornered 54% of it. The inflows have been robust thanks to greater transparency ushered in by various reforms.

Terming the investments as a massive boost to the sector, Anuj Puri, chairman of Anarock Property Consultants which has come out with the report on inflows in real estate, said, “Residential property remained the most preferred asset class in Indian real estate during H1 2017.

While overall investments in Indian realty touched $1,990 million in this period, the residential sector accounted 54% ($1075 million) of total investments. In the same period, investments into commercial realty accounted for 40% ($796 million) and retail received 6% ($119 million) of total real estate investments.”

Similar views were shared by Shobhit Agarwal, managing director - capital markets and international director, JLL India.

“As far as investment inflows into Indian real estate are concerned, 2017 seems to have set a new milestone. The total investments are the highest ever seen in any year’s first half. It has not only exceeded the H1 2007 but also H1 2016. Given the scale, 2017 seems set to break all previous investment records,” Agarwal said.

Realty firms up with Rs 12,700 crore inflows in first of this year

Explaining the factors behind the surge in investments, Puri said that the institutional investors have for long been waiting for greater transparency in the Indian real estate market, which has now arrived with the deployment of Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act (Rera) and goods and services tax (GST).

Besides, liberalisation of foreign direct investment has also improved the investment community’s sentiment. This measure is expected to attract further private equity from foreign players, opined Agarwal.

Thirdly, non-credible players are in a dock with the consumer-friendly Rera law. As a result, they either have to withdraw from the market or get into a joint venture or joint development or outright sale of the project with strong and well-known players.

According to Puri, all indicators point towards a decisive return of buyer interest over the next 18-24 months. This revival is likely due to a combination of factors such as improved buyer confidence with Rera implementation, new taxation norms and repo rate cut being to 6% by Reserve Bank of India.

Hence, there is a possibility of top-notch developers becoming the preferred lot with the buyers during the upcoming festive season. In order to be Rera compliant, real estate firms had kept new project launches on hold, which will happen just before the festive atmosphere kicks in.

By: Ateeq Shaikh
Courtesy: published on Aug 17, 2017


Shapoorji Pallonji Real Estate To Launch Six Projects In Fy18

Shapoorji Pallonji Real Estate CEO Venkatesh Gopalakrishnan says 2-3 projects will be developed in Mumbai, two in Pune and one in Delhi-NCR

Mumbai: Diversified Shapoorji Pallonji group’s real estate arm is lining up at least six projects across the country in 2017-18, with two in the affordable housing segment, a senior company official said.

“We plan to launch at least six projects this financial year. Out of these, we would be developing two projects under our ‘Joyville’ brand to build affordable homes,” Shapoorji Pallonji Real Estate chief executive Venkatesh Gopalakrishnan told PTI in Mumbai.

Of the six, 2-3 projects are being planned to come up in the megapolis, two in Pune and one in the National Capital Region (NCR), he said, adding that the company already has 40 million sq ft land bank across the country.

“We will be officially launching our affordable housing project in Virar by September-October. The second project under the Joyville brand at Hinjewadi in Pune will be launched by March 2018,” Gopalakrishnan said.

The SP Group entered the affordable housing segment last year by joining hands with Standard Chartered Private Equity, International Finance Corp. (IFC), an arm of the World Bank, and the Asian Development Bank (ADB).

Under the agreement, the partnership will invest about $250 million, which will be used primarily for buying land and setting up initial infrastructure. The company launched its first project under the brand Joyville at Howrah near Kolkata.

Asked whether the company is looking to raise funds for these projects, he said, “We already have the land, so the funds would be raised on project to project basis. This would be mainly through debt.”

About the impact of the new Real Estate Regulatory Act (RERA) and the goods and services tax (GST), he said there will be certain teething issues in the beginning, but then developers will have to adapt to the change.

“As per the RERA, we have registered five ongoing projects, with four in Maharashtra and one in Bengaluru where the rules are out. We have projects in West Bengal and the north, but the rules there are not yet out,” Gopalakrishnan added.

Courtesy: published on Aug 20, 2017


Doklam Settlement In Line With Interests Of Both: China

Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs said China would continue to patrol the Doklam region.

Setting aside their differences exactly a week before the BRICS summit, China and India Monday signalled the end of the border row in Doklam. China said it had confirmed that India had withdrawn personnel and equipment from Doklam and that the Chinese side would make “necessary adjustments” to the deployment of its own forces along the border.

China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Beijing would continue to patrol the region. “Chinese personnel conducted an on-site check at the disputed area at 2.30 pm (Beijing time). China will continue to safeguard its territorial sovereignty according to historical boundary treaties,” MFA spokesperson Hua Chunyin said.

The MFA also indicated that China’s deployment in the disputed area would be “adjusted”. “China’s border guards will continue to patrol the area. At the same time and in view of changed situation, the Chinese side will make the necessary adjustments and deployments,” Hua said. She added that the settlement of the issue through diplomatic means were “in line with the interests of both countries”.

She emphasised the importance of diplomacy in ending the dispute, which began mid-June. “The Chinese government attaches great importance to developing good and friendly relations with India. We hope that India will earnestly abide by historical and basic principles of international law and work with China to safeguard peace and tranquillity along the border and promote the healthy development of bilateral relations on the basis of mutual respect for territorial sovereignty,” said.

Foreign policy experts in China welcomed the thaw in relations with India considering the BRICS summit in Xiamen in China, which starts next Monday. “All BRICS countries should celebrate the easing of tensions between India and China. This is a very good signal that the two countries have more in common than disputes,” said Wang Yiwei, professor at the School of International Studies, Renmin University.

Wang Dehua, Director, Institute for South and Central Asia Studies in Shanghai, said the decision to end the dispute was a symbol of BRICS unity. “This 2017 BRICS summit is very important. It is the tenth edition of the summit and discussions will centre on planning the future and leaders are expected to take major decisions on projects over the next decade,” he said.

According to Wang Dehua, leaders of both countries would now have to demonstrate the importance of bilateral ties between India and China. “With this conflict out of the way, leaders of both countries can use the BRICS platform well. They must focus on the importance of Chindia and the cooperation between two important civilisations,” he said.

“India and China have no reason to quarrel and if it ever comes to war, it will be a lose-lose situation. Only negotiation will work. Peace is very valuable. I remember a scholar once telling me that if the dragon and elephant fight, they will trample the grass,” Wang Dehua said. By grass he was referring to other countries in South Asia.

By: Apurva

Courtesy: published on Aug 29, 2017


Isro’s Private Sector-built Irnss 1h Satellite Launch Fails, Agency To Analyse

The launch of India’s latest navigation satellite onboard its polar rocket failed on Thursday following a technical glitch just prior to its scheduled orbiting in space.

The launch of India’s latest navigational satellite IRNSS 1H in its indigenous GPS system NavIC (Navigation with Indian Constellation) failed due to a technical glitch on Thursday.

A rare setback for the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) mission, the satellite’s fourth stage in the launch mission did not go as planned, nearly 20 minutes after satellite had a perfect lift off from the space centre in Sriharikota. (HIGHLIGHTS)

ISRO chief AS Kiran Kumar said the mission, the eighth navigational satellite to be launched, was unsuccessful and said further analysis would be carried out.

“The C39 launch vehicle had a problem, heat shield has not separated. As a result of that the satellite is inside the heat shield and we have to go through the detailed analysis to see what has happened,” he announced at the Mission Control Centre.

The first three stages of the satellite launch were completed as intended. However,in the fourth state, the satellite did not deploy as something went wrong with its heat shield after the command for separation was initiated.

Adressing media after the failed launch, Kumar said it was fortunate that the PSLV-C39 had only one satellite on board.

A successful launch would have ushered a new era in the country’s history of space exploration as, for the first time, the private sector has been actively involved in assembling and testing of a satellite. Earlier, the private sector’s role was limited only to supplying components.

The 1,425 kg satellite took off from Satish Dhawan Space Centre at 7 pm on Thursday. The IRNSS 1H was to augment the existing seven satellites in the NavIC system.

The seven satellites in the constellation were launched between 2013 and 2016, and the IRNSS 1H was necessitated because of “anomalies” in all three atomic clocks on-board IRNSS 1A, the first satellite in the system.

Atomic clocks are used to provide time-stamped data. The on-board rubidium-based atomic clocks have a high degree of precision and do not lose or gain even a single second over millions of years.

However, the IRNSS 1H will not replace the IRNSS 1A satellite, which will now be used for providing messaging services.

The IRNSS 1H had navigation and ranging payloads on board and was set for a mission life of 10 years. Just like the other seven satellites in the NavIC, this satellite too was to orbit nearly 36,000 kms above the earth.

The indigenous GPS – NavIC – will provide reliable time-stamped navigational information to users and will have position accuracy better than 20 metres over India and surrounding regions extending to about 1,500 kms.

NavIC will reduce India’s dependency on foreign satellites for GPS data.

The system will be useful for any kind of navigation apps, taxi aggregator apps, location based operations like finding a hospital or shop, or even for the fishermen who will be able to access information on high-yield areas and the kind of weather to expect. It will help in disaster relief operations, among others.

With this navigational system, India will become a part of the elite group of countries that have their own navigational systems including the USA, Russia, China and Europe.

With inputs from PTI

By: Anonna Dutt
Courtesy: published on Sept 01, 2017


Modi, Abe To Kick-start India's First Bullet Train Project

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe will break ground on India's first bullet train project on Thursday in western Gujarat state, as the country seeks faster travel for millions.

Modi has pledged to invest billions of dollars to modernise India's creaking railway system, with the bullet train one of his key election promises ahead of his landslide victory in 2014.

The leaders will lay the foundation stone of the high-speed rail network between Ahmedabad -- the capital city of Modi's home state -- and India's financial hub of Mumbai on September 14, a statement by the Gujarat government said Saturday.

Japan is a pioneer in high-speed rail networks, and its Shinkansen bullet train is among the fastest in the world.

Japan will provide 85 percent of the total project cost of $19 billion in soft loans.

The train will reduce the travel time between the two cities from eight to three-3.5 hours, and is expected to complete by December 2023. It will have a capacity of 750 passengers.

India's traditional railway network is the world's fourth largest by distance and remains the vast country's main form of travel, with 22 million passengers commuting daily.

But passengers have to often endure chronic delays in journeys on the British-era network, where only a few trains hit 100 miles per hour, and which has been hit by series of deadly crashes in past years.

Modi recently replaced his railway minister after a series of derailments, including one last month which killed at least 23 passengers in the northern Uttar Pradesh state.

In November, 146 people died in a similar disaster in Uttar Pradesh.

Abe's two-day visit to Ahmedabad comes ahead of Modi's 67th birthday on Sunday. Modi has a history of 'birthday diplomacy' in his home state, hosting Chinese President Xi Jinping in Gujarat on his birthday in 2014.

The two leaders are expected to sign several agreements during the visit and inaugurate a Japanese industrial park in the state that already hosts Honda and Suzuki auto plants.

By: Hitender Rao

Courtesy: published on Sept 10, 2017


Doklam Standoff: How Did India, China Resolve The Crisis?

Two weeks on, no official word from India and China on how the Doklam standoff was resolved

New Delhi: It has been two weeks since India and China agreed to disengage after a 73-day military standoff on the Doklam plateau in Bhutan. But so far, there has been no official word from New Delhi or Beijing on how the two struck a deal to pull back from their most serious face-off in two decades—creating space for theories to mushroom.

One of these is that Chinese President Xi Jinping sacked a senior general in the People Liberation Army’s (PLA), who was thought to have been standing in the way of a resolution of the Doklam standoff—and that this led to the deal being struck.

According to Brahma Chellaney, professor of strategic studies at the New Delhi-based Centre for Policy Studies think tank, “the mutual withdrawal deal” by India and China that was announced on 28 August “was clinched just after Chinese President Xi Jinping replaced the chief of the People Liberation Army’s (PLA) joint staff department.”

This position, considered the most senior in the PLA and equivalent to the chairman of the US joint chiefs of staff, was created last year as part of Xi’s military reforms to turn the Chinese Army into a force “able to fight and win wars,” Chellaney said in an article in the Hindustan Times last week.

“The Doklam pullbacks suggest that the removed chief, General Fang Fenghui, was an obstacle to clinching a deal with India and probably was responsible for precipitating the standoff in the first place,” he said.

In his piece, Chellaney recalled that Chinese President Xi’s visit to India in 2014 happened in the midst of a Chinese military incursion in Ladakh—just as a visit by Chinese premier Li Keqiang to India in 2013 was overshadowed by another incursion, also in Ladakh.

Chellaney further pointed to Xi’s repeated demand of “absolute loyalty” from the Chinese military—most recently at the PLA’s 90th anniversary in July. “Had civil control of the PLA been working well, would Xi repeatedly be demanding ‘absolute loyalty’ from the military or asking it to ‘follow his instructions?’” he wrote.

Other analysts however seem unconvinced by this argument.

“I think the situation in China is more complex than this which, to my mind, is a simplistic reading of the situation,” said former foreign secretary Kanwal Sibal. Sibal’s own view is that “Xi was trying to consolidate his position with the 19th Congress of the Chinese Communist Party due next month”.

“He in the recent past has purged a number of high ranking officers from the military on charges of corruption. So no doubt he is trying to consolidate his position but this cannot be seen in the light of the Doklam standoff,” Sibal said, adding: “It does not fit in with Chinese politics.”

According to Happymon Jacob, professor of international relations at the Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi, “In a tightly controlled regime like China, it is not easy to imagine that the country’s military would work at cross purposes with its civilian leadership.”

“I do not think there is enough evidence yet to suggest that PLA is not under the control of China’s political leadership,” he said.

“With regard to the PLA’s rhetoric against India, there are parallels elsewhere as well. India’s military leadership often speaks out against China and Pakistan which does not mean that the civilian government in India has lost its control over the military,” he said.

By: Elizabeth Roche

Courtesy: published on Sept 11, 2017


India Drop 10 Places In Fifa Rankings, Out Of Top 100 For First Time In Four Months

India's drop in the rankings come despite them winning the friendly tri-nation series at home against Mauritius and Saint Kitts and Nevis. This was followed by a 2-0 win over Macau away from home in the AFC Asian Cup qualifiers

India have slipped out of the top 100 in FIFA rankings. In the latest rankings, India are ranked 107th, as opposed to 97 that they were before this. India have most recently played against teams that are far below them in the rankings as opposed to other nearest teams. This ends a nearly unprecedented four-month stay in the FIFA top 100.

India defeated Macau 2-0 away from home in the AFC Asian Cup qualifier before which they won a friendly Tri-Nation series against Mauritius and Saint Kitts and Nevis. Their drop in the rankings may only be a momentary occurrence considering the volatile nature of the rankings when it comes to the lower rungs. India now have 315 points, as opposed to 341 they had earlier.

Germany have taken the top spot in the FIFA rankings once again after the conclusion of the latest leg of the World Cup qualifiers. With 1606 points, Germany have leapfrogged Brazil to go top of the world rankings. Germany have won all eight of their qualifiers for Russia 2018.

Portugal, meanwhile, have replaced Argentina in third place with 1386 points. Portugals’ qualifying campaign was brought back on track in their most recent matches. European teams, in general, have gained on their South American at the top of the rankings largely due to the former playing two matches as opposed to the one played by the likes of Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and so on.

By: Express Web Desk Courtesy: published on Sept 14, 2017


Narendra Modi, Shinzo Abe Discussed Doklam: China In Mind, India And Japan Agree To Deepen Strategic

The reference to Pakistan-based terror groups is a new addition to the joint statement which said that the two leaders looked forward to “strengthening cooperation against terrorist threats from groups including Al-Qaida, ISIS, Jaish-e-Mohammad, Lashkar-e-Tayyiba, and their affiliates”.

Over dinner, Wednesday at Agashiye, one of Ahmedabad’s top restaurants, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe raised the issue of the recent Doklam standoff between Indian and Chinese troops. He recalled his own experience with China over claims to the Senkaku/Diaoyu islands, between 2012 and 2014, which had rocked bilateral ties between Tokyo and Beijing. That spat ended with a four-point term of reconciliation, and a handshake with Chinese President Xi Jinping towards the end of 2014.

Describing his dealings with the Chinese as “very challenging”, Abe complimented Prime Minister Narendra Modi for standing his ground on the Doklam standoff. And, then the two leaders spoke of their commitment to peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific region. This, sources said, set the tone for the bilateral meeting Thursday.

And the joint statement later reflected the congruence of views, sending a strong signal on strategic convergence - India and Japan articulated their concerns on Pakistan-based terror groups, North Korea’s nuclear programme and China’s One Belt One Road project. They dropped any direct mention of South China Sea in the joint statement but underlined the importance of a “free, open and prosperous Indo-Pacific region”.

Officials said the Rohingya refugees crisis was a “passing mention” at the talks. The two sides agreed to cooperate on defence technology, including dual-use technology, and said they were in “serious discussions” on the US-2 amphibious aircraft, although there was no breakthrough on that front. They said they were cooperating on “surveillance” and “unmanned system technologies” in the defence sector - a clear reference to high-technology equipment for military purposes.

The two leaders, who held talks at the Mahatma Mandir convention centre in Gandhinagar and attended the business plenary session, also participated in the ground-breaking ceremony for a high-speed bullet train.

After the talks, Modi said, “Mutual trust and faith, understanding of each other’s interests and concerns, and continuous high level interactions, this is the uniqueness of Indo-Japan relations. The scope of our special strategic and global partnership is not confined to bilateral or regional levels only. We also have close cooperation on global issues.”

Abe said that as the situation in international scenario gets “more opaque”, the two countries are determined to make strides together. “We have just signed a joint statement which will serve as a milestone to open a new era for Japan-India relationship. Based on that, we will strongly promote Japan-India special strategic and global partnership to drive peace and prosperity for Indo-Pacific region and the whole world,” he said.

The reference to Pakistan-based terror groups is a new addition to the joint statement which said that the two leaders looked forward to “strengthening cooperation against terrorist threats from groups including Al-Qaida, ISIS, Jaish-e-Mohammad, Lashkar-e-Tayyiba, and their affiliates”.

This comes less than a fortnight after the BRICS declaration in Xiamen named LeT and JeM.

Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar said that when such statements are made, be it BRICS or with Japan, “they have value” as they “create a narrative”, and they have an “impact”.

Without naming China, the two leaders also took a strong position on the “One Belt One Road project”, underlining the importance of all countries ensuring the development and use of connectivity infrastructure in “an open, transparent and non-exclusive manner based on international standards and responsible debt financing practices, while ensuring respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity, the rule of law, and the environment”.

While India had openly criticised the Belt and Road Initiative and boycotted the meeting on the initiative in Beijing in May this year, Japan had sent a delegation to the meeting. The joint statement, however, reflected Japan’s “concerns” on Chinese President Xi Jinping’s flagship project, almost identical to India’s statement on OBOR.

“They also reaffirmed the importance of ‘quality infrastructure’ which, among others, ensures alignment with local economic and development strategies, safety, resilience, social and environmental impacts, and job creation as well as capacity-building for the local communities,” the joint statement said.

The North Korean situation was reflected amply and elaborately in the statement, in view of Japan’s concerns. India too made common cause on the issue, and pointed to links between the Pakistan and Chinese nuclear programmes and the North Korean programme.

From the Indian perspective, the line that mattered most in the paragraph condemning North Korea’s continued development of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles was this: “They stressed the importance of holding accountable all parties that have supported North Korea’s nuclear and missile programmes.”

The reference to “holding accountable all parties” was directed at China and Pakistan — India, in the past, had flagged its concerns. Pakistan’s top nuclear scientist A Q Khan shared high-technology and equipment with the North Korean regime which was also likely supported by Chinese technology and expertise.

On the North Korea issue, Abe said that “Modi and I are in full agreement”. But they dropped any direct reference to South China Sea, a rather sensitive issue for Beijing. Unlike the 2016 joint statement which had mentioned South China Sea specifically, the two sides only “reaffirmed the importance of freedom of navigation, overflight and unimpeded lawful commerce in accordance with international laws”, including UNCLOS (United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea).

“The two Prime Ministers also reiterated their desire and determination to work together to maintain and promote peace, stability, and development in the Indo-Pacific region,” the joint statement said.

Asked about the omission of South China Sea, Jaishankar pointed to the paragraphs on Indo-Pacific and the principles of freedom of navigation. “When you have mentioned the full set, subsets are covered” - meaning SCS is part of Indo-Pacific.

On defence, they agreed to enhance defence and security cooperation and dialogues, including MALABAR and other joint exercises, defence equipment and technology cooperation in such areas as “surveillance and unmanned system technologies”, and defence industry cooperation. They also flagged cooperation between the two navies on “anti-submarine aspects”.

The joint statement said that the two Prime Ministers noted recent progress in bilateral cooperation on defence equipment and technology, including the commencement of the “technical discussion for the future research collaboration in the area of Unmanned Ground Vehicles and Robotics”.

On the US-2, the statement said, “Japan’s readiness to provide its state-of-the-art US-2 amphibian aircraft was appreciated as symbolising the high degree of trust between the two countries. The two governments decided to continue their discussions in this regard,” it said — Jaishankar said there were “serious discussions”.

“They recognised the importance of enhancing interactions between governments and defence industries of the two countries in order to encourage equipment collaboration including defence and dual-use technologies,” it said.

On the civilian nuclear cooperation, the two sides also formed a working group to strengthen their cooperation — months after the pact has come into force.

By: Shubhajit Roy

Courtesy: published on Sept 15, 2017


18 Hurt In London Terror Attack, Most Sustaining 'flash Burns'

British police have declared a terrorist incident after a blast sent a "fireball" and a "wall of flame" through a packed London Underground train.

Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley said the explosion was caused by the detonation of an improvised explosive device.

Mr Rowley said it is understood that "most" of the 18 people injured in the blast were suffering from "flash burns".

Officers from the Metropolitan Police's counter-terrorism command have launched an investigation following the explosion in west London during rush hour.

The force said police were called at approximately 8.20am to Parsons Green Underground Station "following reports of a fire on the train".

The Met said Deputy Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu, the national coordinator for counter-terrorism policing, "has declared it a terrorist incident", adding: "At present we are aware of a number of people who have suffered injuries."

British Prime Minister Theresa May is to chair a meeting of the government's Cobra emergencies committee this afternoon to discuss the incident.

The PM said: "My thoughts are with those injured at Parsons Green and the emergency services who, once again, are responding swiftly and bravely to a suspected terrorist incident."

Commuters fled in terror after the blast and witnesses reported seeing several people hurt and "covered in blood" after a "flash and a bang" on the District Line Tube.

Emergency services including armed police rushed to the scene and cordoned off the station.

Pictures posted on social media appeared to show wires protruding from a flaming bucket inside a plastic carrier bag on the floor of a carriage.

The Met said: "It is too early to confirm the cause of the fire, which will be subject to the investigation that is now under way by the Met's Counter Terrorism Command."

Media technology consultant Richard Aylmer-Hall, 53, was sitting on the District Line train bound for central London when panic unfolded at around 8.20am.

He said he saw several people injured, having apparently been trampled as they tried to escape.

He told the Press Association: "I was blissfully reading my paper and listening to a podcast and suddenly the whole world charged past me down the platform, down the Tube."

Sylvain Pennec, a software developer from Southfields, near Wimbledon, was around 10m from the source of the explosion when fire filled the carriage.

"I heard a boom and when I looked there were flames all around," he said.

A major incident has been declared at St Mary's Hospital in Paddington in response to the Parsons Green explosion.

The Metropolitan Police urged anyone with photographs from the scene to upload them to to aid the investigation.

Courtesy: published on Sept 15, 2017


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