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Hiranandani Group — Building better communities


									                                                        In Focus

             Hiranandani Group — Building better

ICJ : Toda y,
ICJ: oday       Hiranandani Con-
                Hir anandani                     place from a lonely hillside quarry          forts at Powai but are also incorpo-
      struction Pvt Ltd is synony-               with about 20 trees to one that is           rating the technological changes
      mous with quality construc-                bustling with activity, with over 5          that the last two decades have
      tion of housing and com-                   acres of greenery, as well as top-of-        brought upon all of us.
      mercial premises. How did it               the-line commercial, residential,
      all begin?                                 recreational and educational facili-    ICJ : W ith the av aila bility of easy
                                                                                         ICJ:             availability
                                                 ties is something we all cherish. We          home-loans      at     affordable
N H : It all began about 25 years ago,
                                                                                               rates of interest, the housing
      when my brother, Surendra, and I           are also in the process of putting
                                                                                               sector in urban India is show-
      decided that real estate develop-          up a 110-bed hospital which will
                                                                                               ing healthy signs of growth.
      ment offered the best outlet for           have state-of-the-art equipment
                                                                                               What are the steps needed to
      us to express our entrepreneurial          and facilities as well. Hiranandani           sustain and enhance this
      spirit. The work towards quality           Estates in Thane has also provided            tempo?
      construction was an apparition             us with a deep sense of satisfac-
      fuelled by the fact that all over the      tion as we have not only been able      N H : The Government of India has a vi-
      world, quality in real estate was          to improve upon our pioneering ef-            sion to provide "Housing for all"
      taken for granted. However, in our
      country, even the reinforced con-
      crete structures were neglected                                 Niranjan Hiranandani
      and shoddy work was apparent all
                                                              Mr Niranjan Hiranandani is the Managing Director of the
      over the country.                                       Hiranandani Group of Companies (including construction). The
ICJ : Could you please briefly
ICJ:                                                          group is today considered as a producer of good quality housing
                                                              and commercial premises in the country for which the group has
      highlight the major achieve-
                                                              won prestigious awards. Apart from construction, the group has
      ments of the Hiranandani
                                                              diversified into education, horticulture, hospitality,
                                                              entertainment, information technology, customer interaction
N H : The Hiranandani Group has                               centres and retail.
      worked on real estate projects for
      more than 2 decades and has cre-              A commerce graduate and a financial cost accountant, Mr Hiranandani is
      ated small and large real estate        on the board of many government committees. Currently, he is the president of
                                              the Maharashtra Chambers of Housing Industry (MCHI), member of Task Force
      projects in the residential, indus-
                                              for Reforms in Housing And Urban Development, Government of India, member
      trial, commercial and retail sectors.
                                              of the Study Group on Slum Rehabilitation Scheme (Maharashtra Government),
      Later on, we have diversified into
                                              Chairman of Mumbai City, Development & Environment Committee of Indian
      hospital, entertainment, retail,        Merchant Chambers (IMC), to mention a few. He had also been the ex-director
      infotech, education and horticul-       of Housing and Urban Development Corporation Ltd (HUDCO).
      ture. The metamorphosis of the

June 2003 * The Indian Concrete Journal                                                                                       1109
                                                          In Focus

       by the year 2010. Towards achiev-           view, there are plenty of opportu-          are also changes in materials,
       ing this, they have brought out a,          nities in exploiting economies of           equipments, systems, procedures,
       National Habitat Policy. This policy        scale, using the larger tract of land       etc which one needs to try and
       was discussed in the Lok Sabha              to plan out the development, pro-           keep abreast with for efficient func-
       and approved by the Opposition as           vide more open spaces, more mod-            tioning.
       well. It is a wonderful document in         ern amenities and facilities and
       which many key issues have been             generally a better environment for      ICJ : What is your opinion on the
       addressed for creating sustained            communal living and sharing.                  “Urban Land Ceiling Act”
                                                                                                 and “Rent Act”?
       growth in the housing sector. It
       only needs to be “enforced” / im-      ICJ: What are latest trends in com-
                                              ICJ:                                   N H : The ULC Act is an antiquated law
       plemented at all levels down the            mercial   property    develop-
                                                                                           that should have been buried a long
       line and the results will be there                                                  time ago. It was introduced during
       for all to see.                                                                              the Emergency of 1976
                                                                                                    with the intention of pre-
      I believe, that the
                                                                                                    venting hoarding of land
      State Governments
      need to take appro-          "There are plenty of opportunities in                            in private hands as well as
                                 exploiting economies of scale, using the                           facilitating the govern-
      priate steps to scrap
                                                                                                    ment in executing social
      Urban Land Ceiling             larger tract of land to plan out the                           and common welfare
      (ULC), rationalise         development, provide more open spaces,                             schemes. The implementa-
      stamp duty and im-
      prove the processes          more modern amenities and facilities                             tion of this scheme was a
                                  and generally a better environment for                            monumental failure. It only
      of sanctioning build-
                                                                                                    served to further compli-
      ing plans, a clear cut             communal living and sharing"                               cate an already complex
      policy of eradication
                                                                                                    situation. I have stated this
      of slums and its
                                                                                                    from numerous platforms
      upgradation needs to
                                                                                                    and many prominent lumi-
      be worked out in ear-
                                                                                                    naries from the legal and
                                                                                                    business world have also
ICJ: Earlier we              build bun-
ICJ : Ear lier, w e used to b uild b un-   N H : The information technology revo-          voiced the same sentiment. Mr
      galows and isolated build-                 lution has rewritten the way in           Ram Jethmalani deserves kudos
      ings. oday
      ings . Toda y, the emphasis is             which commercial properties are to        for having scrapped the ULC Act
      on the development of town-                be developed. They want to locate         at the Centre, when he was Law
      ships and housing colonies.                in knowledge corridors and require        Minister. However, land being a
               own slog
      Your o wn slo g an also sa ys says         ready-to-move in spaces with un-          State subject, many States are yet
      “Building Better Communi-                  interrupted power supply and all          to follow suit and scrap the Act. It
      ties”.     Could     you    please         other services in operational mode.       is also very unfortunate that lead-
      briefly tell us about the sig-             They can move their business lo-          ing, progressive states like Mahar-
      nificance of this new trend?
                                                 cale across the globe very rapidly.       ashtra and Andhra Pradesh are still
N H : As the world heads toward becom-           So, from a developer’s perspective,       clinging onto this draconian Act.
      ing a global community with tel-           he would need to anticipate the IT
                                                                                           The Rent Act is another such law
      ecommunication breaking down               industry needs that he can cater to
                                                                                                     that only served to create
      distance and time
                                                                                                     artificial shortages in hous-
      barriers, people are
                                                                                                     ing, especially in metro cit-
      starting to look for     "In other conventional areas of concreting, ies like Mumbai and New
      more quality and
      meaning in their en-
                                we are exploring the use of 4th generation                           Delhi. People have kept
                                 plasticisers with an aim to achieve high                            apartments locked up for
      deavours. A self-
                                                                                                     years and years for fear
      contained township          strength and durable concrete which is                             that they may not get it
      provides the oppor-          crack free, homogenous and durable"                               back when they have need
      tunities for more in-
                                                                                                     for it. Locked up premises
      teraction, wide and
                                                                                                     tend to decay and later
      varied exposure and
                                                                                           require extensive repairs. This is a
      most importantly, minimised travel         and prepare for it from at least a
                                                                                           national waste. The recent amend-
      – ergo more time for self and fam-         year or more in advance. Obviously,
                                                                                           ments will definitely help. How-
      ily. From a developer’s point of           this has its attendant risks. There
                                                                                           ever, the flat owner needs to be

1110                                                                                            The Indian Concrete Journal * June 2003
                                                           In Focus

      convinced that not only is his as-             use of 4th generation plasticizers        What steps are needed to
      set safe, but that in case he needs            with an aim to achieve high               popularise  such  systems
      to, he has recourse to a legal sys-            strength and durable concrete             amongst builders?
      tem that will work quickly and effi-           which is crack free, homogenous
                                                                           N H : As mentioned earlier, through IT
      ciently without costing him exor-              and durable.                and telecom, we are heading to-
      bitant amounts of money and dec-                                                 wards a borderless world.
      ades in times.                                                                   International operating prac-
                                                                                       tices in environmental and
ICJ : You hav e a str ong
ICJ:        hav     strong
      R&D      department;                                                             other systems will need to
      what are the areas                    "Through IT and telecom, we are            be put into place. A seminar
      of its focus?                        heading towards a borderless world.         on green buildings was held
                                                                                       last year in Hyderabad.
N H : The use of admixtures               International operating practices in         More such seminars and
      and chemicals is a                  environmental and other systems will         workshops will be required
      continual and on-going                    need to be put into place"             to help disseminate the in-
      R&D effort. The                                                                  formation to all levels.
      objectives will naturally
      vary       with      the                                                                        ICJ:
                                                                                                      ICJ :   What are your
      application.         For                                                                        plans for the future?
      instance, in compound paving, a           ICJ: Your commitment to en vir on-
                                                ICJ:                           viron-
                                                     mental conservation is well          N H : Our projects in Powai and Thane
      wear resistant surface, achieving
                                                     known. In this context, TERI               are on-going and we are actively
      greater strength with a leaner
                                                     is   planning   to    introduce            looking at other projects. I think
      concrete mix, opening the road to
                                                     green building rating system               our by-line “Building Better Com-
      traffic quickly are the focus areas.
                                                     in India on the lines of LEED              munities” expresses our future
      In other conventional areas of
                                                     (USA) and BREEAM (UK).                     plans quite aptly.
      concreting, we are exploring the

June 2003 * The Indian Concrete Journal                                                                                       1111

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