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Founder's Message

Founder
MR M.R. JAISHANKAR
CMD
jaishankar-cmd

Our world is in turmoil. The mindless war in Ukraine continues. The number of Covid cases across the world has gone up to 650 million with 1% mortality. In other words, about 6.5 million deaths. The numbers are going up in the United States and more particularly in China – thebirthplace of the Wuhan virus.

With inflation levels inchingtowards double digits in Europe and parts of America, talk of recession in the western world is gaining momentum. Our country, by and large, seems to be insulated. The question is for how long will we be insulated in this globalised world. Only time will tell. Despite what is going on around us, Indian stock indices have reached an all-time high! It is an enigma. There is money with the Indian public with few options to invest. Unfortunately, big investments in the industrial sector are not happening to the desired extent to match the government’s expectations. Probably, Indian businessmen feel the risk factors are high based on macro indicators with impending elections in many States during 2023, and the Parliamentary elections in 2024, which is not far away. To reduce inflationary effects, Central Banks across the world, led by the US Federal Reserve, have increased the base interest rates significantly. The Reserve Bank of India has followed suit. The full effect of increased interest rates is yet to be felt by the business community. However, it is bound to hit profit-ability across sectors and the risk factors of higher borrowing will only increase.

In such a scenario, the Indian real estate sector is holding the fort and has shown a lot of resilience. The residential sector continues to do well. Business in retail malls and multiplexes is at an all-time high. Hotel occupancies and ADRs have also bounced back and have exceeded pre-COVID levels in many cases. The only area of concern is office leasing business, where companies in the IT sector are showing cautious approach and postponing major decisions. Employment generation is a key factor for the health of real estate business. However, Indian companies in the software sector and GCCs (Global Capability Centres) expect higher offshoring over time to ensure companies profitability is maintained in their home countries.

Having received all approvals for our residential projects – Brigade Valencia on Hosur Road and Brigade Calista on Budigere Road, the team is geared up to launch both large sized projects in the new year. Response to our maiden large plotted development project – Brigade Oasis on Devanahalli to Doddaballapur Road is very encouraging, having sold the 1st phase in a short period.

Succession in leadership is a necessity at various levels in any organisation. The time has come for me to take a step back from day-to-day routine activities. Having crossed 67 years in age, our Board of Directors have decided to elevateExecutive Directors Pavitra and Nirupa to Managing Director and Joint Managing Director, respectively. They are both eminently qualified with MBA degrees from Ivy League colleges – Columbia Business School and Cornell Business School, and each with more than 15 years’ work experience. They are both young, energetic, full of ideas and ready to work hard. I will continue as Executive Chairman.

I am happy and proud that FKCCI (Federation of Karnataka Chambers of Commerce and Industry) conferred on me the ‘Bharat Ratna Sir M. Visvesvaraya Memorial Award 2022’ on his birth anniversary, September 15, which is also celebrated in his honour as ‘Engineers Day’, across the country. It is in recognition of my services and contribution in the construction and building sector, as well as in the fields of education, health, community development, social and philanthropic work. I dedicate this recognition to all in Brigade Group. Without the support of Brigadiers, it was impossible to achieve, whatever has been achieved.

Lastly, I wish all the Brigade stake-holders season’s greetings, and the very best during the New Year 2023. We need a Santa Claus for the business sector also.


—Jaishankar CMD, Brigade.

 

ARCHIVE INDEX
"A few thoughts…" is a column that our CMD Mr M.R. Jaishankar writes regularly for our house journal Brigade Insight. A few of his columns are reproduced here."
December 2019

Celebrating the 150th Birth Anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi - the Father of our Nation is a great way to recall the principles of this noble man, in this chaotic and materialistic world, especially to Millennials & Generations X - Z. I wonder what may have been the status of our country if the Mahatma had not succeeded in securing independence through his non-violence movement. India as a country did not exist before 1947. It was just a collection of hundreds of princely states within a geographical region. What a daunting task it must have been for Gandhi & his band of leaders to bring all the diverse, multicultural states under one umbrella. What is noteworthy is that our country is growing from strength to strength on its journey (to become the 3rd largest economy in the world) by trying to overcome the economic & political challenges one can expect with an over 1.2 billion population. We have a visionary leader in Prime Minister Narendra Modi and he needs all the good wishes to steer the country towards the right path, to eliminate poverty and to give the vast population of India a decent quality of life.

Diwali, the Festival of Lights, is indeed a festival to celebrate the victory of Good over Evil. This is aptly demonstrated by the elimination of the ISIS leader, thanks to the relentless American efforts. What a contrast between a violent leader and a leader who is an epitome of non-violence!

After Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s resounding election victory, one expected the growth of the Indian economy to go northwards at a faster rate. Unfortunately, that is not the case. It appears that the laws of economics are stronger than the wishes of the population. To me, it seems like a cyclical slowdown affecting the economy, and it appears like a 10-year business cycle. Our country did witness economic slowdown / recession, particularly for the real estate sector, during the years 1988-1991, 1998-2001, 2008-2011 and now. The current recessionary cycle for real estate started quite early in 2016-2017 due to DeMo, the introduction of RERA & GST. The slowdown has taken a huge toll with few large and most one-time, small-medium sized developers exiting the real estate sector. The complexity of doing business has vastly increased due to regulatory changes and challenges. It is seriously, not for the weak-hearted.

Thankfully Brigade, with its diverse portfolio, but more importantly due to following its core corporate values, is managing not only to survive but also to grow. Recessionary & slowdown times create a lot of opportunities for the wise and people with money. This is the time for smart people to make investments but after a proper study of the pros & cons. There are many good real estate projects worthy of investment in our portfolio. While preparing to launch new projects in Chennai & Hyderabad, our focus has been to complete many ongoing commercial & residential projects, apart from launching the next phase of large projects in Bengaluru.

I am delighted to mention that the Indian Music Experience was formally launched with an outstanding music event by Padma Bhushan Ustad Zakir Hussain on the 27th of July 2019. I am elated with the continued appreciation for the concept & content of IME by all those who have visited the museum. It has encouraged the team to work harder and innovate more.

I am also very happy to have signed an MoU with the reputed St. John’s Hospital to set up a ‘Not for Profit’ Health Centre to start with, and a Hospital subsequently for the benefit of the neighbourhood at our large residential project - Brigade Meadows, in Bengaluru South.

Season’s Greetings & Best Wishes for 2020.



May 2019

I am delighted and proud that the Indian Music Experience (IME) - conceived, supported & developed by Brigade - is complete and open to public. Though it took nearly 10 years, the end result is excellent and very satisfying. It has received and is continuing to receive appreciation from many critics, music experts & general public who visit the museum. See pages 28 to 31 for more information. I think it is one of Brigade Group’s profound contributions to the city of Bangalore and to enhance India’s cultural heritage. Due to the very nature of the project, IME received quick financial support from the Central & Karnataka Governments, many banks, corporates and philanthropists. I am grateful to each one of them. What is required is more & more people to earmark their time to visit the museum in this busy world.

Results of Indian Parliamentary elections, is bound to have far reaching impact on the future of the country for the next 5 years and probably many more years. Managing 900 million voters is a daunting task, which the Indian Election Commission has mastered like nobody else in this world. What is required is stability and a strong purposeful leadership to take this country of 1.2 billion people forward. Our country was the major economy of the world 4 centuries back but lost its position due to colonial rule and missing industrial revolution. While it is poised to become the 3rd largest economy of the world in the next decade, per capita income must cross US$ 5000 for poverty to be eliminated.

During the last 3 years, Real Estate Sector has been facing the brunt of the Government’s policies - DeMo, RERA & GST. Though some aspects of the policies are positive, it did unsettle the Sector for couple of years. While business was appearing to return to normalcy, the GST Council has made major changes in GST rates, methodology & treatment for residential real estate. One fails to understand the logic of these changes which goes against the very essence & principle of GST. While, in its wisdom, the intent may have been to reduce the impact of GST for housing, the changes effective from April are counterproductive except for premium housing (square foot rate of Rs 10,000 & more. See page 56 for more information. Unwittingly, it is a wrong step towards reaching ‘Housing for all’. It will be a challenge to make customers understand the real negative impact of recent changes in GST for residential sector. Hope the GST Council realises this anomaly and takes corrective steps soon. So also, the anomaly on GST rate of 28% on Cement, which is a major ingredient for civil construction industry. 28% rate is meant only for ‘luxury’ & ‘sin’ goods. Big question - Is using Cement in construction a ‘sin’? Good to get an opinion pool.

The last few months saw a flurry of new initiatives at Brigade. Starting with signing an MoU with the Government of Tamil Nadu to set up World Trade Center (WTC) Chennai and an MoU with Government of Kerala to set up WTC at Thiruvananthapuram. Also, the launch of Art Café at Brigade Gateway and most importantly our foray into Co-working business segment with the launch of BuzzWorks!

The last two quarters also witnessed the completion of 10 projects - Brigade Lakefront (2nd Phase), Brigade Tech Gardens (1st Phase), Plumeria @ Brigade Meadows, Brigade Panorama, Arcade, Cedar & Deodar @ Brigade Orchards, Brigade Atmosphere (1st Phase), Brigade Symphony (2nd Phase), Mysore and our 1st hotel in Kerala, Four Points by Sheraton, Kochi InfoPark.

Our new project Brigade Cornerstone Utopia, a 6 million Sq.ft. mixed-use development in 47 acre will be very unique and is bound to become a major landmark in Whitefield zone. Response to the pre-launch was very encouraging. Few other major launches in the next few months will be Brigade El Dorado, in Aerospace Park near Bangalore Airport, Premium Residences @ WTC Chennai and 2nd Phase of Brigade Xanadu, Chennai.

With sincere hope for a good monsoon, a good and stable Government at the centre for a better India, I convey my best wishes to all our associates, customers & staff, and seek their continued support.



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