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30 Best Companies To Watch 2016

Prestige Estates: Building Trust, Brick by Brick

silicon-review-irfan-razack-prestige-estates“We ensure that we give our loyal patrons only the best from Prestige.”

This is an organisation that has, literally, been built brick by brick. It may well have taken 30 years to do so, but every foundation stone that was laid, or wall that was built, took the company from strength to strength. Today the Prestige Group occupies its rightful place among the biggest and the best. It is India’s second largest developer, ending fiscal 2016 with a turnover of Rs 4700 crores.

Prestige Estates was born in Bengaluru in 1986 and has now become synonymous with world-class infrastructure development the city. In fact, the Prestige Group is touted as the architect of Bengaluru’s modern-day skyline, where the mighty Falcon, which is the icon of the Prestige Group, has found its pride of place. As Bengaluru emerged to be the IT capital of India, Prestige kept in step, creating top class spaces that became home to best in class companies. Today the group has a presence across all real estate asset classes, from homes to malls to retail, hospitality, leisure business and IT Parks and SEZs.

It’s not just size
The company has over 160 properties in Bengaluru. In fact, 85% of its portfolio stands on home turf. As we write, the company has completed more than 195 projects covering over 67 million square feet of space. It has 65 ongoing projects generating 70 million square feet and 36 upcoming projects aggregating 48 million square feet of world-class real estate across asset classes. More recently, it has expanded its footprint to Chennai, Goa, Hyderabad, Kochi, Mangaluru and Mysore.

The company also has a lot of firsts to its credit. Prestige Acropolis was among Bengaluru’s first luxury residential developments. Forum Mall was Bengaluru’s first retail mall. Prestige Shantiniketan was the city’s first wholly integrated township project. The Collection, UB City, built in partnership with the UB Group, is south India’s first luxury mall. Prestige Bluechip Tech Park in Koramangala was among the first of its kind and was built in the early 2000s. The group also has tie-ups with world-class hospitality brands like the Hilton-Conrad and Sheraton. Not just this, Prestige was also among the first real estate companies to use QR codes in their communication and the first to use augmented reality.

Nevertheless, the Prestige Group’s core strength remains the residential segment, where the group has created some of the most sought-after addresses in Bengaluru. The homes are not just stylish, elegant and comfortable, but justify the prices at which they are sold. There is now a focus on middle-income housing, where the demand is expected to be substantial. This does not mean that the commercial or retails segments are lagging. They are also witnessing high volumes of leasing, with rentals of malls and office spaces making handsome gains.

Developing trust
It’s not just about buildings and style. Perhaps the singular achievement of the group has been to build stability in a market that has historically been fragmented, unorganized and arbitrary. It has successfully converted the real estate industry from one that was treated with suspicion to one that commands trust. As Irfan Razack, the group’s Chairman and Managing Director, himself says: “In the past, real estate was treated with a considerable amount of suspicion and apprehension by the wider public due to the lack of regulatory oversight and a large number of unscrupulous developers who often took buyers’ money and either delivered poor quality final products or, in many unfortunate circumstances, failed to deliver at all. The industry was crying out for ethical, dependable and transparent developers and I am proud to say that Prestige was at the forefront of that revolution and set many benchmarks.”

Bringing trust and dependability under one roof was made possible through a dedicated focus on consumer priorities. The group has pushed for building value-based relationships with all stakeholders – buyers, architects, suppliers and employees – which has made it an industry leader. Trust, combined with ethics and high-quality infrastructure, at affordable prices, has become the hallmark of business at Prestige. As a matter of rule, the group goes all out to live up to the customer’s faith in its ability to deliver what is promised. The group’s core value is based on the 7 Cs concept – Comprehensive, Capable, Competent, Consistent, Credible, Cost Effective and Confidence.

To that end, Prestige has developed strong after-sales strategy, by which all client queries – past or present, are dealt with a similar sense of urgency and commitment. The 950-strong Prestige Property Management and Services (PPMS), which was set up in 1996 to provide high quality maintenance and post construction care for all Prestige developments, is a result of this focus. The group provides an application where homebuyers can track the progress of the projects that they have invested in. This creates transparency while making the company more accountable to its clients. In this respect, Prestige can be considered a trailblazer.

Clearly, the Prestige Group has raised the bar in real estate and created an environment of credibility that will not just stand the company in good stead, but will also do the industry a world of good…brick by brick.

Meet the Chief Architect

Mr. Irfan Razack, Chairman & Managing Director, Prestige Group

If “Vision is the art of seeing the invisible”, Mr. Irfan Razack, the Chairman and Managing Director of the Prestige Group, has proved just that. He has been the chief architect of the company’s growth, ably partnered by brothers Rezwan Razack and Noaman Razack. The success of the Prestige Group stands testimony to his leadership, foresight and sharp business acumen. Under his able leadership, the Prestige Group has become the symbol of innovation and world-class infrastructure.

Mr. Razack is also known for his philanthropic activities. He supports several causes. His active involvement in society, led him to institute the widely acclaimed ‘Prestige Citizen Extraordinaire Award’ in association with Rotary Midtown, to honour citizens of Bengaluru who have contributed selflessly. Currently the chairman of CREDAI (National), Mr. Razack was also the Honorary Secretary of Al Ameen Education Society for 21 years.

Mr. Razack’s Valuable Advice to Fellow Builders
“Always ensure that your property is in the right location with the right pricing. That is the main criteria. Apart from that, your reputation, track record, relevant government clearances and clean documentation will go a long way in gaining the trust of the customer. Also, in a bid to make more sales, do not price your product too low. In a market where there is sufficient supply and every developer is working with thin margins, if you end up offering prices below the average market price, at the end of the day, you will run out of cash and, in spite of well-meaning intentions, be unable to deliver the goods.”

Chairman’s Speak – “We have always attempted to understand the void in the market and fill that gap”

In Irfan’s words

“At Prestige, growth and expansion is constant, as change is constant. So, we have to think creatively all the time to see how new initiatives can be taken up. While we are always on the lookout for fresh opportunities that may come along, we would also like to consolidate our position and complete what is on hand.”

“We, at Prestige, wholly endorse the demonetization move made by the Honourable Prime Minister. We believe that it is a single rare opportunity to clean the system and start a new regime altogether, and hence this move should be supported by all.”

“2016 has been quite an exciting year for the Prestige Group. This year we managed to deliver about 17 million square feet of total built area to thousands of happy homeowners. We’ve completed 14 projects during the year and launched 3 projects -Prestige Kew Gardens and Prestige Lake Ridge in Bangalore and Prestige High Fields in Hyderabad. Prestige High Fields is Hyderabad’s first ever Disney-themed residence. We have also completed a couple of million square feet of IT office space this year.”


Upcoming Projects
The company has several projects lined up, like Kingfisher Towers – a super luxury residential project next to UB City and the most anticipated ultra-premium development from the company; Prestige Lakeside Habitat – located at Varthur, Whitefield, and spread over a sprawling 102 acres, features 3428 apartments and 271 villas, it is the largest residential development by the company till date; Prestige Leela Residences – offering 88 ultra luxury homes centrally located on Old Airport Road and set amidst lush landscaped gardens, and Prestige Kenilworth – an exclusive community of 42 residences located on Cunningham Crescent Road, set in a 23 storey tower.

Other projects in the works include: Prestige Edwardian, Prestige Summer Fields, Prestige Silver Springs in Chennai, Disney themed residences – Prestige Hillside Gateway in Kochi and Prestige High Fields in Hyderabad.

Milestones Achieved

  • The Prestige Group entered the Capital Market with an Initial Public Offering of Rs 1200cr in October 2010.
  • The company recorded the highest ever sales in its history in 2013.
  • The company gave Bengaluru its first mall – The Forum which, till date, continues to be one of the best designed malls in the country.
  • UB City has grown to become one of the best-known landmarks in Bengaluru.
  • The Prestige Group was the only developer from India in 2009 to win the coveted international FIABCI Award for Prestige Elgin.
  • Prestige has also partnered with the Public Works Department and Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), to improve the condition of city roads.
  • The Prestige Group was the only developer from India to win the celebrated FIABCI World Prix d’Excellence Award in 2016 for their landmark luxury residential development, Prestige Silver Oak.