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'We are the Only Developer to deliver 8-projects in 3-months': Pankaj Bansal, M3M

Sticking to its company motto of "Quality, Timely Delivery and Excellence", Gurugram-based developer M3M says it had a good 2020 whereby it was the only developer, it claims, to deliver 8 projects in three months. Last fiscal, it clocked a revenue of Rs 4,200 crore - this year it expects to close 10 per cent higher than that Pankaj Bansal, Director, M3M tells Ashish Sinha of BW Businessworld. Excerpts:

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How has been the sales for M3M since the Unlock phases? 

We recorded sales to the tune of Rs 1150 crore in July-August 2020 as part of our 'Unlock Gurugram' campaign. The overall demand has been evenly distributed with both residential and commercial segments accounting for a 50% share. In the commercial segment (including offices, retail spaces and some service apartments), 15-20% of the demand was generated in the delivered projects that mostly comprise high-street retail. It is heartening that the residential segment has bounced back, and the demand is being seen in under-construction properties as well. A total of approximately 450 units have been sold in the residential segment with an average ticket size of these properties ranging between 85lakhs to Rs 1.5 crore.  

How has the residential segment fared for M3M post the lockdown?  

The demand has been quite robust in the residential segment. The end-users accounted for a substantial share of demand that was generated primarily due to the pent-up demand in the past five months. Going by this momentum, we expect that our residential sales will surpass those of commercial projects by March 2021. All units of our project M3M Sierra Natura located on Sector 68, Golf Course Road (extension), have been sold out. Approximately 750 out of a total of 1200 units have been sold out in M3M Heights SkyCity located in Sector 65, Golf Course Road (extension). We expect this project to be entirely sold out by March 2021. The average size of units in these properties ranges from 1250 to 2450 sq ft. 

What is the status of Trump Towers? Does the change of administration in the US impact the project? 

We are committed to the timely delivery of Trump Towers. Until now, 14 floors out of 50 floors have been constructed. The project is expected to be delivered by March 2023. About 50 per cent of the project has already been sold out.  People are confident of the Trump association as an iconic brand, and the projects in Mumbai and Pune are its success stories. There has been no change as far as buying behavior is concerned. 

How has been your experience in terms of the cost of construction and labour issues since the lockdown? 

The primary focus of the developer should be the timely delivery of projects that otherwise accounts for a majority of cost over-runs. As a responsible organization, M3M is committed to timely delivery. For instance, if we are planning to deliver a project in 28 months, we try to deliver it within 27 months as even one month impacts 1% of the topline. Despite labour issues due to the lockdown, we have been the only developer to deliver 8 projects in three months- July-Sep 2020. 

Your views on government initiatives and the ground reality. 

Currently, the cost of funds for developers is high, and the market confidence in the realty sector has gone down due to the non-delivery of some projects and construction issues. The government is taking steps, albeit slowly, as they need to weigh the pros and cons of any decision across sectors. Real estate is the second largest employer in India. Hence the government must support the real estate sector in all possible ways. 

As far as M3M is concerned, our key focus is on timely delivery and revenue. Both the government and developers are doing their bit. It would be great if we can collaborate and come up with solutions to bring back the money into the system that is stuck owing to the non-delivery or delayed projects. 

Has COVD-19 impacted land acquisitions? Have you acquired land recently for any of your projects? 

We have acquired a parcel of land spanning 25 acres for our floors in a 250 -crore deal from Ireo. We have been the highest bidder of approx. INR 1000 crores to acquire Vision Towers, an erstwhile project by Religare located along the Golf Course Road (extn). 

How has been M3M's performance in 2019? What are your expectations for this year? 

We clocked Rs 4200 crore in revenue. This year, we are hoping to achieve 10% more over this figure. 

Do you plan to diversify into co-working and co-living? 

No. we hadn't thought of it in the past, and neither are we thinking of it right now. Product diversification may be happening at our end, but our focus is to continue doing what we are doing; we have a robust portfolio of residential as well as commercial projects. Our focus is to deliver what we have promised to our customers and investors. 

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