‘Real Estate Is Waiting To Be Disrupted'
Businessworld|August 30, 2021
Mahindra Lifespace is among the businesses in the group that recorded losses in the past couple of years. The cautious approach at the time eventually transformed into a focused strategy on markets, project turnaround time and specific areas that the company wants to play in. In this chat with BW Businessworld’s Noor Fathima Warsia, Arvind Subramanian, Managing Director & CEO, Mahindra Lifespace Developers, explains how this has now created momentum for the company that is pushing it forward. Excerpts:
Noor Fathima Warsia, Arvind Subramanian

You began your journey at Mahindra Happinest, the affordable housing division. We saw some interesting propositions from the company at the time. What were some of your thoughts behind it?

I must begin by stating that, in many ways, I am an accidental real estate professional. I joined the company seven years back after a long stint in management consulting, where a bulk of my work was around technology. Moving into real estate was strange but it naturally had an impact on how I view the sector and what I wanted to do with Mahindra Lifespaces. Many times I would end up asking questions that may appear even silly but eventually, it helped uncover many things.

You are right, I came in to lead the affordable housing business, which was a bridge to another leg of my previous work. This was about customers who had the means but did not have access to various product categories. This segment made business sense but individual companies found them unviable. We saw innovation in that space come from cross-sectoral collaborations and industry intersections. There was demand but supply did not meet it. I came to Mahindra with the single-minded goal to crack this consumer group. We were looking to create a category for the country as a whole with Mahindra leading the charge.

What were some of the early experiences in that objective?

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