From property business to allied industries such as cement, steel and paints, Real Estate TV, the country's first channel for the realty industry, covers a wide range of news keeping in mind the requirements of the consumers. It's not only news alone! The 24x7 channel telecasts niche shows on lifestyle, heritage homes and also interior decor. Manoj Namburu, promoter of Alliance group, is the brainchild behind the launch of the real estate channel. With the sole aim of gaining pan-Indian presence, Real Estate TV has roped in cable operators to expand the reach of the channel.
Under Manoj Namburu's stewardship, the Alliance group has grown leaps and bounds. From tech parks, residential apartments to luxurious villas, Alliance has it all. Alliance currently has projects worth Rs 5000 crore and more projects are in its pipeline. A voracious reader Namburu has authored the book - 'Moguls of Real Estate'. Namburu has now shifted his focus to the Indian property market after being in the US for nearly 10 years. He is upbeat on the Indian property market and expects a solid growth for the sector over the next twenty years. In an exclusive interview to Sify.com, Manoj Namburu throws light on the country's first real estate TV channel and also about his Alliance group.
How do you manage to sustain viewership in the cluttered TV space?
We are a niche channel just focused on real estate and infrastructure and hence the viewer is clear what he gets to view in this channel.
What's the USP of Real Estate TV?
RE TV is the first of its kind niche channel in India. There's no other real estate focused channel in the world. Our research desk is our USP. Our news is very methodically identified, screened and researched before it is presented to the viewer.
Throw light on your funding pattern?
We are funded by promoters' equity and also through loan from Syndicate Bank.
Do you wish to look beyond realty in the TV space?
We also cover infrastructure, since infrastructure is very closely associated with real estate industry. Since we are a niche channel, we would not look at focusing on any other verticals.
Affordable housing remains a distant dream for many Indians. What's your say?
Government is proposing the so-called SRZs (special residential zones); where they will give income tax exemptions to the developers, this will help increase the bottom lines and IRRs of the developers and hence there will be an interest to the real estate developers to invest in this space. In the next 5 to 6 years, we will see a slew of budget housing projects launched all around India.
Tell us about your expansion plans?
We had projects worth Rs 180 crore in the first year of our operations. Now we have projects well above Rs 5000 crore. We have been growing aggressively.
We are targeting some new and large projects; one of them in Bangalore is a 275-acre integrated development with a golf course, apartments, villa's row houses, mall, multiplex and a 5 star hotel in the project. We are also looking at a large 640 acre land parcel in Chennai which will have about 60,000 "budget homes" in the range of Rs 5 lakh to Rs 14 lakh. Some more projects are in the pipeline.
What's your assessment on the Indian property market?
The long term stands good for the property market as the families are becoming more nuclear. Also, people moving from rural areas to urban are pushing the demand.
Property market will remain strong for the next 20 years to come. However, the speculators who had a good run between 2004 and 2007 may be out now. It will only be the genuine buyers. The entire 10,000 odd developers in the country are focusing on high-end homes. Once the margins in the high-end segment come down further, there will be an exodus to affordable housing. Lot of developers will show interest in developing affordable houses.
What's the impact of rising interest rates on property purchases?
It is impacting the consumer badly. They have to spend major portions of their monthly earnings on repaying their home loans.
A quick comparison between Indian and global property markets?
India is a new market just coming out of its shadows. Most developed countries have seasoned developers with processes well established and more focused on delivery timelines. The government policies to get project approvals are pathetic in India compared to other developed nations. Also, interest rates on loans are higher in India compared to developed countries.