The Top 50 Real Estate & Infrastructure Companies
Construction Week|November 2019
So we celebrate 11 years of existence in India.
Jayashree Kini Mendes

That is a milestone. For that matter, every year is a milestone. Much has happened in a year around the world, and in our own tiny little world. But we are glad to be alive and kicking. Somewhere deep down, there’s a sense of satisfaction of being associated with Construction Week India. Ranking the Top 50 real estate and infrastructure companies is no small feat. Consider ing the gigantic and complex projects these companies do, we do feel insignificant, and to a certain extent, timorous.

As usual, we sought out compelling parameters that could withstand the test of time, and disagreements, if any. For that reason, we took help from renowned consultants who could corroborate the criteria and segregate the submitted data. There were numerous criteria to rank companies. Right from number of projects launched to projects completed to technology, innovation, number of cities present, and several others.

We adopted an unbiased approach to tally the scores and arrived at the final list. The more points you score on the parameters, the faster is the climb up the ranking sheet. There are plenty of surprises this year.

We hope you will appreciate our efforts and understand that we mean well.

RANK 1: PRESTIGE GROUP - Irfan Razack, CMD

Prestige Group has shown by example what real estate developers need to do. Chic and smart projects, a customer-friendly approach, and in turn fewer or no complaints. The company has also ensured regular announcements of new projects. For instance, it has tied up with Mumbai-based DB Group for a mixed development project comprising a large hotel and convention centre in Delhi at a total investment of around Rs 2,000 crore. The 3.5 million mixed-used project would be built over 7.70 acre at Aerocity in Delhi.

It's also building the largest Forum Mall in Bengaluru. Besides Prestige Falcon City, an integrated township on Kanakapura Road, the company launched Prestige Technostar – a commercial development at Whitefield; and Prestige Gulmohar – a high-rise residential development at Horamavu.

There are plans to focus on mid-income and affordable housing projects, the segment that has been driving demand for residential units in India. The Bengaluru-based company, which has ready stock worth over Rs 2,000 crore in the luxury housing segment, will take up more luxury housing projects only selectively.

Razack is also looking to expand its presence in Hyderabad, NCR, Pune, and Mumbai with residential projects.

RANK 2: GODREJ PROPERTIES - Pirojsha Godrej, Executive Chairman

At a time when most developers are reeling under the 'slowdown' effect, Godrej Properties has reported a 50% year-on-year (YoY) rise in consolidated net profit at Rs 31 crore for the quarter ended September 2019.

Despite the pessimism, the company continues to add new projects and enter new micro-markets in large cities and deepen its presence. Godrej is hoping to see an increase in market share in the short term. There are also plans to invest Rs 5,000 crore in the next two years, through a combination of equity and debt, in new projects.

The Group believes that developers who have a good track record and credibility are better positioned in the current market. For instance, its premium project launches have also done well.

Godrej had also announced that the company plans to launch about 18 projects during the current financial year. It has identified four focus markets and they are Mumbai, NCR, Bangalore and Pune. Then there plans to expand and launch projects in newer cities such as Ahmedabad and Kolkata.

It has seen a series of success with Godrej Central Park in Pune, where the company sold over 600 apartments. Other two successful launches were in NCR, Godrej Habitat in Gurugram and another project in Noida.

RANK 3: KALPATARU - Parag Munot, MD

Last month, Kalpataru launched Kalpataru Parkcity, its integrated mixed use township project on Kolshet Road, Thane. The township, spread over 100 acres, situated around the 20.5 acre Grand Central Park comprises residential projects, commercial establishments, high street with premium retail outlets, dining and entertainment options, proposed ICSE school, and amenities catering to the lifestyle needs of various age groups.

The township will be developed in phases and currently offers a choice of three residential projects. ‘Sunrise’, which is ready to move in and offers 2 and 3 BHK homes, ‘Immensa’ which offers 2, 3 and 4BHK homes, and Starlight which offers 1,2 3, 4 BHK and 3 BHK Sky Loft apartments.

The real estate developer was one of the first adopters of the LEED-India rating programme launched in 2006, and became a founding member of the Indian Green-Building Council soon after. It has consistently improved its green-building footprint, and the cumulative area under certification and in pre-certification stage has increased from 3.26 lakh sq-ft. in 2007, to 353 lakh sq-ft. in 2017.

Then there's Kalpataru Avana, an upcoming luxury condominium tower in Mumbai’s Parel, which goes beyond the boundaries of luxury.

RANK 4: SALARPURIA SATTVA GROUP - Bijay Agarwal, MD

Salarpuria Sattva Group launched one of their most awaited projects, Salarpuria Sattva Exotic in Bengaluru. The property is spread across 4.65 acres of aspired landscape with a total of 345 units. Conceptualised, designed and built by world renowned architect, Hadi Teherani from Germany, this RERA approved property comprises 2 and 3 BHK boutique apartments.

The Bengaluru-based firm is also entering into affordable housing segment and plans to develop two projects in the IT city with an estimated investment of around Rs 900 crore.

Considering that its main focus is commercial real estate projects, it is in partnership with global investment firm Blackstone and has developed many commercial projects.

Recently, Blackstone and Salarpuria Sattva bought 'Global Village Tech Park' in Bengaluru from Coffee Day Enterprises for Rs 2,700 crore.

The Group has completed 114 projects across seven cities in India in about three decades. It has completed about 50 million sq-ft area and around 40 million sq-ft development is in progress. The development of over 30 million sq-ft is in a planning stage. Early this year, it bought French multinational Schneider Electric’s Rs 8 lakh sq-ft commercial property for over Rs 100 crore.

RANK 5: RUSTOMJEE - Boman Irani, CMD

Early this year, Rustomjee announced its luxurious project ‘Rustomjee Crown’ that will soon come up in Prabhadevi, Mumbai. Rustomjee Crown aims to be a palatial gated community that contains every imaginable luxury conceptualised as a haven for someone who aspires to live in a well-planned, internationally designed home. The developer had announced plans to invest about Rs 3,000 crore over the next four years on construction of new luxury housing project in South Mumbai. The company has tied up with HDFC for funding of this project and construction work will be done by L&T.

Since establishment in 1996, the Rustomjee Group has emerged as a well-known construction brand under the indefatigable developer Boman Irani. The individual houses and buildings in the megapolis and the suburbs are a monument to Irani’s keen understanding of human needs and the carefully cultivated housing skills that go with them. Among the leading architects of modern Mumbai, Irani looks a few steps beyond as he moves in tune with the trends. Essentially, he builds communities. “Our endeavour in land development or building houses is based on research, as far as I am concerned,” he says. “Essentially, we think constructive, in a manner of speaking. We plan and raise homes for those buyers we have in mind.”

RANK 6: PURAVANKARA LTD - Ashish Puravankara, MD

The Bengaluru-based realty firm has chalked out an expansion plan to start 13 new housing projects this fiscal at an estimated construction cost of around Rs 3,000 crore. The company is set to launch in the current fiscal 13 projects, of which six are in Bengaluru, three in Mumbai, two in Pune and one each in Chennai and Kochi.

The company would develop over 11 million sq-ft area in these 13 projects, of which 7 projects with 8.2 million sq-ft area to be under its Provident brand that caters to mid-income customers.

In a first-of-its-kind initiative, Puravankara announced a unique initiative ‘Purva Cash’first virtual real estate currency. The innovative initiative is introduced for Puravankara’s flagship expo - BIG 72Hrs to give additional benefits to the discerning home buyers.

In another move, it has planned bumper project launches this financial year, mainly from its affordable housing arm Provident Housing, as it looks to establish the brand pan India. Provident, which launched its first project in Chennai exactly a decade ago and mostly sells homes priced between Rs.30 lakh and Rs.70 lakh, seems to have hit the sweet spot in a tepid real estate environment, when many developers aim to launch projects in the mid-income segment.

Puravankara was among the first to form a separate business vertical dedicated to affordable and mid-income housing projects.

RANK 7: MAHINDRA LIFESPACES - Sangeeta Prasad, MD & CEO

Mahindra Lifespaces has a portfolio of 25.3 million sq-ft of completed, ongoing and forthcoming residential projects across seven Indian cities and over 5,000 acres of ongoing and forthcoming projects under development and management at its integrated developments and industrial clusters across four locations.

The company has completed 2.8 lakh sq-ft of development at Vivante, Mumbai, and Bloomdale, Nagpur, and attained collections of Rs 258 crore in residential business, taking overall collections to Rs 492 crore during H1 FY20.

During the ongoing festive season, the company launched its Vicino project in Mumbai. Simultaneously, it's evaluating half a dozen stressed and redevelopment projects in Mumbai, Pune and Bengaluru. With HDFC Capital, it has launched an affordable housing project in Palghar under the brand of 'Happinest'. And, looking to launch one in Kalyan. With Actis, it has developed projects in Gurgaon and Bengaluru.

Besides this, its joint venture has acquired land in Thane, Maharashtra, that has a potential to develop housing project comprising over 8 lakh sq-ft.

RANK 8: SOBHA LIMITED - Ravi Menon, Chairman

Real estate developer Sobha Ltd. launched Sobha Dream Heights, the first residential project of Gujarat International Finance Tec-City (GIFT City) – a global financial and technology hub – which is an operational Smart City and International Financial Services Centre (IFSC) offering world-class infrastructure. The 33-storey building will be the tallest residential project in Gujarat.

The company, known for its luxury apartments, is venturing into the Hyderabad and Delhi residential property market. The firm has entered into a joint development agreement with local landlords to build a high-end apartment totalling 1.5 million sq-ft in both cities. The firm also plans to launch over 10 million sq-ft of residential projects including its affordable segment -- dream series -- to boost growth. The total investments will be about Rs 4500 crore including debt and equity over the next five years.

Separately, Sobha has also increased its focus on the mid-income homes apart from launching more commercial and retail projects. The Bengaluru-based firm expects its housing business in the Rs 50 lakh to grow significantly faster due to rising demand in the market. The company currently has ongoing real estate projects aggregating to 42.15 million square feet of developable area and 29.16 million square feet of saleable area under various stages of construction. Sobha has a land bank of 2430 acres across different cities.

RANK 9: HIRANANDANI COMMUNITIES - Dr. Niranjan Hiranandani, Founder & MD

Realty firm Hiranandani group has announced investments to the tune of Rs 500 crore to develop a new housing project in Mumbai. The company will construct 500 one-bedroom apartments in the first phase of the project named 'Regent Hill' at Powai.

Hiranandani Communities is also diversifying into affordable housing and industrial warehousing parks for its next stage of growth. The company is in discussions with a strategic partner to start work on its first warehousing park spread across 5 million sq-ft, on a 250-acre plot it owns in Pune. Besides Pune, it is also working on building industrial logistics and warehousing parks in Chennai and Nashik, where it owns around 200 acres and 77 acres, respectively. It announced an investment of about Rs 1,000 crore to develop 115-acre industrial and logistics park in Chennai. It is also scouting for land at other warehousing hubs such as Bhiwandi (near Mumbai), Kolkata, the National Capital Region (NCR) and a few locations in Bangladesh.

In December, Hirananandani had launched GreenBase, a warehousing and logistics parks vertical. It will develop built-to-suit warehouses, industrial facilities and cold storage.

Hiranandani Communities is separately building another 2.5 million sq. ft of office space at Panvel in the outskirts of Mumbai.

RANK 10: K RAHEJA CORP - Chandru L Raheja, Chairman

Though this has nothing to do with development, it's nice to know that K Raheja Corp has earned the repute for being a strong employee friendly company, and more-so for its women workforce. The company has, for the fourth consecutive year, been ranked amongst ‘India’s Top 100 Best Companies for Women’ by Working Mothers Media, a 3-decade old US based company that researches best practices for working mothers amongst corporates, and Avatar.

In terms of development, in July, news emerged that K Raheja Corp, backed by US private equity major Blackstone Group, is set to acquire Citibank India’s erstwhile headquarters in Mumbai’s business district Bandra-Kurla Complex (BKC) for over Rs 400 crore. In 2017, Blackstone had picked up around 15% stake in K Raheja Corp’s commercial real estate portfolio of 20 million sq-ft across Mumbai, Navi Mumbai, Hyderabad and Pune.

In another news, Blackstone Group and K Raheja Corp are set to take their jointlyowned 20 million sq-ft commercial portfolio public through the listing of a Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) by March. Out of K Raheja Corp’s total commercial development, the portfolio carved out for the REIT includes grade A office spaces spread across around eight IT parks in cities including Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR), Pune, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, and Chennai.

RANK 11: KOLTE PATIL - Rajesh Patil, CMD

Kolte Patil Developers has entered into Share Purchase Agreement with ICICI Venture Funds Management Company (Fund Managers of India Advantage Fund III & IV) to acquire 50% equity stake in Kolte-Patil l-Ven Townships (Pune). The objective of the acquisition is to increase the controlling stake from 45% to 95% in KPIT. The cost of acquisition is Rs 140 crore.

The company is planning to enter into affordable housing project and increase its presence in real estate market of Mumbai and Bengaluru. Currently 90% of its business comes from projects in Pune and the rest is contributed by Mumbai and Bengaluru. By the end of this financial year, it's expecting the contribution from Mumbai and Bengaluru to grow up to 25% and by the year 2020 it is likely to touch about 35%. Affordable housing is a segment that it is looking to enter as there is a lot of impetus from the Government towards 'Housing for All'.

Meanwhile, the company has completed Phase-I of its 'Three Jewels' project at Pune, which is spread over 15-acre land parcel located within Pune city limits, in the prime Katraj-Kondhwa area of south Pune.

Kolte Patil is a real estate developer having operations in Pune, Mumbai and Bangalore markets.

RANK 12: THE WADHWA GROUP - Navin Makhija, MD

The Wadhwa Group has several mantras it lives by. They believe that offering the right elements is what makes them distinct. Houses may be looked at. Eventually they are to be lived in. The Group believes that housing is part of the atmosphere. So talk of sufficient air, ventilation, natural light and the height to facilitate these functions. Elevations and façades are all very well. That’s outside in. Makhija is into inside out. It’s about people living in a house, not about just admiring it from the outside.

For the soft-spoken Makhija, on time delivery of projects is just as important. Giving credit where it is due, he says he acquired this trait from his mentor. “Just launching a project with fanfare and deferring delivery is pointless. He is one of the few who stressed on completing projects before time. He knew where the shoe would pinch six months down the line and spent time addressing each one of them,” he says. The Group believes that locations should command a premium based on the time it takes to reach there and the multiple modes of transport available. It entered Panvel with Wadhwa Wise City knowing that when the new airport comes up, the area will demand a premium. An airport cannot survive on its own and will need infrastructure. The strategy for them is not to build affordable but look at locations that will appreciate over time.

RANK 13: L&T REALTY - Shrikant Joshi, CEO & MD

Larsen & Toubro's real estate arm L&T Realty is eyeing revenues of ₹3,200 crore from an upcoming project in the satellite city of Navi Mumbai. The 10acre parcel, the first transit-oriented development in India coming up near the Seawoods Darave railway station, has a development potential of 1.5 million sq-ft and will be developed in a phased manner.

For the first phase, it has received nearly 1,800 booking applications from home buyers for 500 units offered, which belies the fears of a slowdown in the market.

L&T Realty has a track record of creating landmark projects that include several large mixed-use integrated developments like Raintree Boulevard, Bengaluru; Emerald Isle, Powai; Crescent Bay, Parel; and Transit-Oriented Developments (TOD) like Seawoods Grand Central, Navi Mumbai.

As industry major in the real estate sector, L&T Realty’s competitive edge comes from a strong consumer connect, development of designs based on in-depth customer insights, the highest levels of compliance (development) and transparency at all levels.

RANK 14: CASAGRAND BUILDERS - Arun MN, MD

Casagrand introduced Chennai’s first and only unique kids’ friendly community Casagrand Asta. The community is full of attractive kids’ friendly amenities such as skating rink, kids outdoor play area, cricket practice pitch, half basketball court, chessed meadows, etc. Special attention has been given to the security aspects of the community by building vehicle free podium, wide drive-ways.

Casagrand launched Tamil Nadu’s first wellness community with unique wellness amenities like an air pavilion surrounded by air-purifying plants, a tree-house for kids, chlorine-free non-chemical swimming pool, Vitamin C shower and air purifier at the master bedroom, oxygen infuser in the clubhouse, gym and other activity areas.

Casagrand has launched more than twenty-five projects in Chennai, Bengaluru and Coimbatore in the last two years.

In another move, the Chennai-based developer has agreed to sell 2.2 million sq-ft of pre-leased warehousing assets of its subsidiary, Casa Grande Distripark (CGD), to Asia Pacific logistics property specialist LOGOS. CGD builds and operates multi-product warehousing and industrial parks with capabilities to provide value-added services (facility management, inventory management, materials management, etc.) on demand. Currently, its client base includes names across auto-components, energy and cold chain logistics sectors.

RANK 15: TOTAL ENVIRONMENT - Kamal Sagar, MD

Bengaluru’s transformation from a garden city to India’s tech capital has not only changed its landscape but has also caused concerns over the thinning green cover. Architects and developers are catering to the eco-conscious home buyers and bringing nature inside apartments and row houses in the Rs 1-3 crore category.

Total Environment Building Systems, known for its residences with step gar dens and creepers, is adding temple trees in bath spaces and tall trees engineered to grow through the walls and living rooms of apartments. While the selection of trees is not finalised, the plan is to source them locally. “Since Bengaluru’s weather is conducive to cultivation, it is easier to implement such green projects in the city than in cities like Hyderabad,” says Sagar.

In 2017, Canada-based Brookfield Capital Partners, private equity arm of Brookfield Asset Management, had invested Rs 800 crore in Total Environment Building Systems’ portfolio of five projects spread over 4.5 million square feet.

Additionally, the company has a portfolio of seven under-construction projects totalling 3,500 units.

RANK 16: RMZ CORP - Arjun Menda, Group Chairman

Bengaluru-based RMZ Corp is looking to double its commercial portfolio to 75 million square feet over the next five years. The company, which recently entered into an agreement with DB Realty to transform the six decade-old Kamalistan Studio in Mumbai, has acquired 30 acres in Gurugram to add to its growing office portfolio.

In one of the largest buybacks by a private company, RMZ Corp recently purchased 45% shares held by QIA and Baring Private Equity Partners for around $1billion. The real estate firm is looking to acquire assets across major cities in the country to expand its commercial portfolio. In a recent transaction, the firm has acquired the development right to build 1.7 million sq-ft of commercial space from a Hyderabad-based cement manufacturer in Hyderabad. It has also acquired two acres of land from Hetero group, a leading pharma company, to develop a 3-millionsq-ft office project in the city.

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