In commercial, we are focusing on another phase of our World Street project in Faridabad. In residential, we are launching 100 acres of plotted residences in Faridabad.
Rajan Gupta, VP (business development & corporate strategy), Omaxe

Emphasising that plots are one of the safest investment options, Omaxe vice president (business development & corporate strategy) Rajan Gupta says the real estate developer will launch plotted development projects in tier-II cities to cash in on the trend of homebuyers looking for independent housing options within community clusters equipped with modern amenities. Gupta tells Rishi Ranjan Kala that Omaxe will launch plots in Lucknow, Indore and Faridabad. Excerpts:

What are your plans for commercial and residential?
In commercial, we are focusing on another phase of our World Street project in Faridabad. In residential, we are launching 100 acres of plotted residences in Faridabad. It will be a gated township in Sector 97-98. Plots have been the oldest trick in the book. After gold, they are the safest investment option. We have done plots in Indore and other parts of Haryana and will continue to do them in Indore. Lucknow will soon have a project. What we have seen is that people want to live in an independent house, but as part of a community. They want all the amenities a high rise has, like security, green area and gyms.

How is your strategy of expanding in Tier-II and III cities working out?
We are present in Lucknow, Indore, New Chandigarh, etc. Omaxe will come up with plotted and low-rise developments in tier-II and III cities. It’s simple, organic growth moves to these cities after the market in metros matures. Many working in big cities will get the best value for money in their hometowns, which is usually a small city. Also, most professionals would prefer having a house in their hometown. We realised that requirement for houses for the middle class in small cities will always grow and demand will be organic. Organic demand, and our internal cash flows helped us grow in these tier-II cities. People there are looking at larger houses that work as a fully functional unit with study, kids’ room and open spaces.

Noida and Greater Noida are developing very fast. When will we see the Faridabad story unfold?
Gurgaon and Noida have developed as commercial cities. Faridabad is developing as a suburban town from where both cities are a 40-minute drive. In Rs 1 crore, a homebuyer will get more value for money in Faridabad than in the other two towns. For `2 crore, a good villa can be constructed on 300 sq yards, which is Faridabad’s story. If we compare it with the US, Faridabad is becoming New Jersey. It is developing as a high-end suburban family city.

How is the Chandni Chowk project progressing?
We expect to complete it by Diwali of 2022, but our intention is to finish it before the deadline. The intent was to move away from conventional construction and use steel frames. The entire structure is steel frame, which has reduced construction time. It is an outlier product and enhances the overall image of Chandni Chowk. We are well prepared after going through two waves of Covid infections …By the time we finish the project, the consequences of the pandemic will be behind us.

How are construction timelines looking?
The impact of reverse migration of labour is hard. The thumb rule for real estate is that impact of no work for a month leads to a delay of three months. We are working on how to minimise the impact, which differs from project to project. But we are working back fast to build momentum.