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BW Businessworld

‘Homes Are Getting The Attention They Deserve’

Listed entity Puravankara is an example of how the turnaround in the realty sector is reflected in the financials of stable, growing and efficient companies. Ashish R. Puravankara, Managing Director, Puravankara talks to Ashish Sinha. Excerpts:

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On Puravankara’s performance during the last quarter 
Sales during the third quarter has been strong and robust. The third quarter witnessed a steady recovery with a significant jump in sales at around 0.91 million square feet (msft), up 40 per cent vis-à-vis the third quarter of FY20. We saw a remarkable improvement in customer collections at Rs 355 crore as compared to Rs 241 crore in the previous quarter, amounting to a growth of 47 per cent. We have done 2.42 msft in the nine months, which is up 13 per cent YoY despite a muted Q1FY21.

On the growing importance of the digital medium
With the introduction of our home-booking engine ‘BookMyHome’ (an end-to-end booking platform), we have managed to stay ahead of the curve and address the operational issues that arose due to Covid-19.

On the surge in NRI investments in real estate
We saw a surge in demand from NRIs for luxury and ultra-luxury apartments. The pandemic seems to have led to an increased demand for homes with space and gated communities with amenities. Also, purchasing a home online has made it easier for people to invest in property without travelling or visiting the site. We have seen an almost 40 per cent rise in NRI sales during April-December 2020 compared to the same period in FY19-20.

On the current and future roadmap 
We are focusing on our planned launches for FY22, which span over 9 msft. Provident Housing, our affordable housing arm, will account for 82 per cent of the launch pipeline. New launches include our Mumbai project (ultra-luxury segment), and a dedicated arm for plotted development (Purva Land) which will launch 5.5 msft across six projects in Bangalore, Chennai and Coimbatore over the next six-seven months with an investment of about Rs 825 crore.
 On the outlook and challenges ahead
The immediate challenge is the constant fluctuation in steel and cement prices. As a result, it has pushed up the input costs that developers have to eventually pass on to the customer if this trend continues. The realty sector is a highly capital intensive industry, and in the current situation, only well-capitalised developers can manage operations and cash flows effectively.