By Vinay Umarji
While it has already found success in its affordable urban housing project in Ahmedabad, jointly launched with Arvind Ltd, Tata Housing Development Co Ltd is bullish about the sector across the country and especially in Gujarat. Brotin Banerjee, managing director and chief executive officer of Tata Housing, in an interview with Vinay Umarji on the sidelines of Vibrant Gujarat Summit 2013, talks about the company’s role in affordable housing in the state. Edited excerpts:
You have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Gujarat government during the Vibrant Gujarat meet. What is it about?
Yes, we have signed an MoU again with the government with regards to providing affordable housing in the state. We have seen success in our earlier projects in Gujarat and we believe we could contribute more to the chief minister Narendra Modi’s vision of providing five million affordable houses.
What would be the size of the investment in Gujarat by Tata Housing this time?
We have already invested around Rs 3,000 crore for providing more than 5,000 urban housing units at affordable pricing. While this time we have signed an MoU for Rs 3,500 crore again, we can invest about Rs 5,000 crore for developing affordable urban areas in Gujarat over the next five-seven years. Since we are into urban housing, we can only look for projects in urban cities of Gujarat apart from Ahmedabad.
Land availability has been an issue for developers in the country. In what ways are you tackling it?
Indeed. This is why we have signed an MoU with the government of Gujarat to work on a public-private partnership (PPP) model. Though not always, our partnership with the government can help us in sourcing land easily as well as gain certain incentives in offering urban housing. Our strength lies is in providing the right technology for urban housing at affordable prices.
Would you be looking to change the pricing for your future projects in urban housing?
With the right technology, we definitely wish to offer urban housing in Gujarat for prices lesser than what we have been offering in current projects. Even otherwise we will continue to offer the same affordable pricing.
Will you continue to look for partners like Arvind for your future urban housing projects in Gujarat as well as across the country?
We need not necessarily continue to partner with someone. We can either partner with the state government like we did by signing the MoU today or work alone as well.