Vaishnavi Group leases 700,000 sq.ft. to smartworks

Vaishnavi Group, one of the top real estate companies in Bengaluru, has leased 700,000 sq. ft. to Smartworks in Vaishnavi Tech Park. This is the single largest flex office transaction in the country. The 50% pre-booked 9000+ seat center will be operational in the final quarter of 2022.

Vaishnavi Tech Park is a multi-functional IT and Business Park with a contemporary design that has been built using global offsite precast construction technology. Vaishnavi Tech Park has been developed on a land parcel of 5.6 acres and has a total leasable area of 7 lakh sq. ft.

Designed for IGBC platinum certification, the building is energy efficient as it significantly optimizes the operational expenditure. Speaking about this transaction, C N Govindaraju, Chairman & Managing Director, Vaishnavi Group said, “Vaishnavi Group has been developing commercial spaces for over two decades now and we have leased out 1.5 million sq. ft. in the last year to many marquee clients from a cross-section of organizations and government bodies. Smartworks has recently leased out 7 lakh sq. ft. at Vaishnavi Tech Park, which is the single largest managed office space transaction in the country.”

Strategically located next to the Outer Ring Road (ORR), close to the Sarjapur Junction, Vaishnavi Tech Park offers excellent connectivity to the upcoming Bellandur Metro Station and hotels such as Novotel, DoubleTree Suites by Hilton, and Fairfield by Marriott making it a vibrant business destination. Designed keeping workspace wellness in mind, Vaishnavi Tech Park is also equipped with a food court, amphitheater, outdoor sporting zones, futsal court, gymnasium, and F&B and retail zones.

Vaishnavi Group sets a new benchmark in Bengaluru’s residential plotted development with its latest offering ‘Vaishnavi Life’

BANGALORE, India, April 8, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Vaishnavi Group, a renowned Bengaluru real estate developer with an enviable track record of over 23 years of ahead of schedule delivery, has announced the launch of ‘Vaishnavi Life’, a premium plotted development located at Yelahanka Extension, just 25 minutes from Hebbal flyover.

Spread across 45+ acres, Vaishnavi Life features pre-engineered and smart plots ranging from 1150 – 3550 sq. ft. Vaishnavi Life boasts of a host of thoughtfully planned amenities such as a courtyard-themed 32,750 sq.ft clubhouse, 14 thematic parks and over two acres of central activity space amongst others.

Commenting on the launch of the premium plotted development project, Mr. C N Govindaraju, Chairman & Managing Director, Vaishnavi Group said, “Vaishnavi Life is an outcome of a larger vision to deliver premium residential plots and thoughtful, yet luxurious amenities for discerning home buyers in Bengaluru. The company has garnered customer goodwill for delivering projects ahead of schedule. Now, through Vaishnavi Life, we at Vaishnavi are redefining the concept of premium plotted developments.”

“Currently, we see that North Bengaluru is the most preferred among seasoned investors as well as first time home buyers as a viable option for long-term real estate investment. Connectivity to the arterial Outer Ring Road as well as proximity to the Kempegowda International Airport apart from access to Bangalore’s CBD are the key factors driving this demand,” he added.

Yelahanka, touted as a high growth location is also peaceful and safe owing to the multiple defence establishments. Located before the airport toll, Vaishnavi Life, is strategically located with access to all parts of Bangalore as well as the peaceful environs of Yelahanka extension.

The residential plots at Vaishnavi Life start from Rs. 49.10 lakh onwards.

About Vaishnavi Group
Vaishnavi Group, a Bangalore based real estate company was started with the explicit aim of making a mark in the real estate segment as the most admired brand for its integrity, commitment and for exceeding expectations consistently. Started in 1998 by its charismatic leader, C N Govindaraju, a civil engineer by profession, the Group has come a long way, carving a niche for creating boutique projects, leaving an indelible mark amidst its expanding customer base. Never inclined to be a volume player, Vaishnavi Group has always been focused on smart developments that ensures micro focus and stringent quality control.

For more information log on to: www.vaishnavilife.com

For more details, please contact Priya on 91-9900962760 or mail on priya@vaishnavigroup.com

Union Budget 2022: What the realty and infrastructure sector expects

With Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman set to present the Modi government’s eighth Budget on February 1.

Pandemic burdens small to medium players with debts
By Mr Pranav Dangi, Founder of Hosteller”The prolonged effect of Covid-19 pandemic on the overall hospitality sector has created a burden on small to medium scale players to service their debt obligations. Ongoing pressure on such players to maintain high operational standards, as required in the hospitality industry, has pushed them towards higher operational costs and thereby, towards the inability to service their debts.We feel, in the 2022-23 budget, the GoI shall create provisions to create liquidity for the travel & tourism industry, provide directions to the central bank to roll out low-interest working capital loan schemes and expedite the paperwork process. This shall navigate the industry through the difficulties imposed because of the Covid-19 pandemic.”

Tax deduction for home loan interest should be increased to Rs 5 lakh
ByMayur Shah, Managing Director, Marathon Group”To pass on greater benefits of home ownership, the government should consider increasing the available tax deduction for home loan interest under section 24B from Rs. 2 lakh to Rs. 5 lakh and also consider increasing the home loan principal deduction under section 80C from the current 1.5 L limit.The definition of affordable housing should be revised from the current limit of Rs 45 lakh to at least Rs 75 lakh or else the criteria should be changed to only apartment size of under 60 sqm in metros, and not the cost of the flat, as the cost in metros is invariably higher than non-metros . This would level the playing field and give a big boost to buyers in metro areas. Currently, very few projects within the city come under the definition of affordable housing when in fact, the need of the hour in a city like Mumbai is to create a more affordable housing stock. The project eligibility deadline for affordable housing also should be extended to 2023.The Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana benefit for the first-time homebuyers in the Middle Income Group lapsed on 31st March 2020 and should be extended further so that first time buyers are encouraged to enter the market”

Budget must continue concessions in home loan interest rates
ByLakshay Jindal, Director and CMO, Jindal Mechno Bricks”The budget 2022 is, indeed, one to look forward to. The stock market touched an all-time high in valuation the previous year, and we witnessed many multi-billion dollar so-called ‘start-ups’ being listed on the Stock Exchange. On top of that, the Real Estate sector, which had been dormant for quite some time, has picked up pace again, and the market has considerable liquidity today.I hope this budget continues the concessions in home loan interest rates, which have been the key driving force for the real estate market in India. The time is just right for the government to boost its spending on affordable housing under PM-Awas Yojana. This move will further strengthen the growth prospects of the Real Estate sector. Another opportunity to seize is the trend of manufacturing facilities shifting away from China. The government should incentivize establishment of such facilities in India. There should be some budget allocated to build large logistic hubs, medium and high-skill training institutes, upgradation of infrastructure, and the like, in order to facilitate global investments in the manufacturing sector. Lastly, I expect large government spendings on the renewable sector. There could be introduction of schemes that accelerate investments in production, distribution or consumption of renewable energy.Another, big expectation is schemes or tax concessions that are targeted to help the middle class of the country. Inflation, which is a record high, has adversely affected the savings of the middle class. It has been evident that the more this class saves and flourishes, the faster our domestic demand comes back on track.”

The stock market will jump up and overall expect a populist budget
By Mr Anil Lala, Managing Director, Fanzart,”The budget will be a progressive continuity of the last years budget policies fueling economic growth. I expect the government to ease repayments from borrowers especially those businesses impacted by covid. The stock market will jump up and overall expect a populist budget.Since the retail sector has been badly impacted due to covid I expect the government to boost the sector with ease in financial support from lenders and improvise policies to help the sector get back on its feet.”

A tax concession to developers for unsold inventory can be directly passed on to customers by way of price reduction
C N Govindaraju, Chairman & Managing Director, Vaishnavi Group,”Reduction of GST on cement from 28 per cent to 12 per cent and reduction of GST on steel from 18 per cent to 12 per cent, thereby bringing down the overall cost of construction. Reduction of rate of interest on housing loans.PMAY scheme eligibility is currently INR 45 lakh. The eligibility for metros should ideally be increased from INR 45 lakh to INR 65 lakh so that more home buyers can avail themselves of this benefit.A tax concession to developers for unsold inventory can be directly passed on to customers by way of price reduction. This will serve a two-fold purpose in terms of clearing of unsold inventory and completion of projects.”

Introduce PLI for the furniture and associated industries
BySrikanth Iyer, CEO and Co-Founder, HomeLane“This is the opportune time to introduce PLI for the furniture and associated industries.The real estate industry is going through an unprecedented boom globally post Covid and India is no exception. This has led to the demand for home interiors shooting up and the Indian furniture industry is in the middle of an unprecedented boom in the organised sector. This is projected to be close to 30Bn$ in FY22.However, the manufacturing is still being done in other SE Asian countries as the overall costs are still much higher for manufacturing in India. Given that there is a global crisis in the supply-chain because of which costs are temporarily high, it is the appropriate time to give a significant boost to the large players in the furniture industry to manufacture in India. I would request for the Minister to consider a PLI for the furniture and associated hardware industries. This will ensure that we are able to divert most of the manufacturing requirements domestically thereby generating much needed employment, investments and help the industry break from the stranglehold from China and other countries.”

India seen boosting budget spending on infrastructure
India plans to raise spending on infrastructure in its annual budget next week to set the economy on a firmer footing, but fiscal constraints leave little chance of concessions for households hurting from the pandemic, officials said.

Vaishnavi Icon- Exhilarating facade

Commercial buildings, especially office spaces can be more than just brick and mortar structures. Creative design elements can lend character and charm to an otherwise staid building. Architects typically experiment a lot with the interiors of the buildings but little has been done to enhance the exteriors.

For making the exterior of commercial design attractive, one can try creative facades, green forays and art installations. One such experiment has been done at Vaishnavi Icon, a ground plus six storey commercial building by Vaishnavi group located in the CBD on Richmond Road, just a few meters away from Trinity Circle.

The company has installed a 15-foot sculpture crafted from stainless steel at the entrance of the building premises, which appears as grand and striking as the building itself. The structure that appears to be a wired profile of a human face stands tall as you enter and prompts one to take a deep look at it.

Titled “Exhilaration”, the concept of the sculpture is all about keeping an open mind and letting your imagination run free.The stainless-steel sculpture took 6 months to create and has been conceptualized and executed by well-known sculptor, ArzanKhambatta.

“In the current work scenario where everyone seems to be competing, meeting goals, pushing for deadlines, and in the process losing themselves, this sculpture is about giving the mind a vacation, so the soul can wander,” explains ArzanKhambatta, about his masterpiece.

“In the most stressful of situations, if the mind is open, if you let it breathe, life becomes better and miracles happen. The sculpture aims to bring about a calming, soothing & relaxing feeling to those who view it,” adds ArzanKhambatta.

Karnataka: Property revenue exceeds target in 2021 amid pandemic pressure

BENGALURU: While the cash-strapped Karnataka government struggles to control its fiscal deficit, there may be some relief in terms of better revenue mobilization. The department of stamps and registration, the third-highest revenue grosser for the state, has already met over 76 percent of its revenue target for the financial year 2021-2022, which is also indicative of a booming realty sector.

The pandemic seems to have made no dent in the revenue as the department’s coffers continue to swell. Ravindra-PN, inspector general of registration and commissioner of stamps, said they had racked up Rs 9,784 crore as of December 31, 2021, which is higher than the nine-month (April to December) target of Rs 9,500 crore.

“We have achieved around 76 percent of the Rs 12,665 crore target for the 2021-22 financial year and are confident of surpassing it by March this year,” he added. The department had managed to meet only 85 percent of the Rs 12,665 crore target in the 2020-2021 financial year,” a senior official said.

In the past six months alone, the government has netted Rs 7,000 crore, which is twice the revenue earned during pre-Covid times. The number of property registrations has been on the rise after the government eased Covid curbs in June last year even as sub-registrar offices functioned with limited staff strength.

B’luru, Mys contribute 60%

Among the districts, Bengaluru and Mysuru accounted for the lion’s share (60%) of the revenue. The government had not revised the 2020-21 target of Rs 12,665 crore since the real estate market was reeling under the impact of the pandemic’s first wave.

Senior officials are overwhelmed by the response as revenue remained unaffected despite the government not considering their proposal to reduce the guidance value last year. The government had only reduced stamp duty for the first registration of apartments costing between Rs 20 lakh and Rs 45 lakh to 3% from 5%.

Official sources said earning much higher revenue was a possibility since the government has now reduced guidance value by 10% across the state effective from January 1. Prashanth Reddy, chairman, real estate expert committee, Bangalore Chamber of Industry and Commerce (BCIC), said: “It’s certainly a good move, but it would have been better if they had offered the sops for a year instead of three months.”

Suresh Hari, chairman, Credai Bengaluru, said the cut in guidance value should be extended till December since real estate may be affected again due to spread of new variants of Covid.

CN Govindaraju , chairman and MD, Vaishnavi group, said the change in guidance value is primarily applicable to the available stock of residential and commercial buildings which have already obtained the occupancy certificate. “If the government extends the sops for another nine months, it will motivate other developers to complete projects sooner and obtain OC. This way, it will help the government earn higher revenue in terms of registration fee and stamp duty,” he added.

 

Office leasing looks up as people start returning to work

Large IT companies are leasing properties as they foresee substantial growth going ahead, says CREDAI, Bengaluru

With new COVID-19 cases reducing and more people returning to work, the real estate market is seeing a positive response to office leasing.

According to ANAROCK Property Consultants, the main southern office market has overtaken other regions in terms of new supply, net absorption, and even rental growth, with Bengaluru, Hyderabad, and Chennai seeing an increase in their share of total office leasing.

Raghu Cheluvaraju, General Manager- Corporate Leasing, Vaishnavi Group, said Bengaluru continues to see above average vacancy levels through 2021. However, market sentiment has improved and leasing has picked up through Q2 and especially in Q3, he said.

“Leasing has gone up as occupiers that have been looking to come back to office for sometime have found opportunities to lease new spaces or consolidate. Some IT occupiers are announcing back-to-office plans, whereas occupiers that work around teamwork and collaborative approach have already come back to office. The fact that people are going everywhere except offices has been noticed, but companies have been sensitive, considering employees have elderly people or children at home. With the vaccination drive being aggressive and schools reopening now, even these apprehensions are being addressed,” he said, adding that the high vacancy peripheral markets will experience some stress over the next quarter, but the market is poised to recover in Q1 – Q2 of 2022, when most employees are expected to come back to office.

Monica Matthias, Director, Hoysala Projects, said premium office spaces in the MNC technology spaces has seen an absorption increase of over 20% this year despite the second wave of COVID-19.

Errol Fernandes, vice-president, CREDAI Bengaluru, said the sector is currently facing an over supply situation. “Constructing an office space takes around three years. All builders have slowed down construction and new projects are on hold till the situation improves. Large clients (such as IT parks) continue to pay rent as their servers cannot be relocated and are critical to their functioning. However, small clients have surrendered their office space or are not renewing their leases. Current vacancies are in the region of 10%,” he said.

How then is leasing up? Mr. Fernandes explained that they are taken up by large IT companies as they foresee substantial growth going ahead.

Despite a multitude of challenges, the sector is on the growth trajectory and new opportunities are emerging from sub-sectors like warehousing, data centres, and logistics. The growth of this sector is well complemented by the growth in the corporate environment and the demand for office space as well as urban and semi-urban accommodations, said Farook Mahmood, Chairman and Managing Director Silverline Group.

Corporates do their bit for Employees, Get them Vaccinated

BANGALORE:
Every corporate, be it large, small or mid-sized, wants employees to be productive. Work from home is not possible for all employees in many companies, especially in sectors like real estate, construction, architecture and interiors, where labour force is required to carry out the job at site and even a few senior employees have to be physically present to supervise the work. In such a scenario, it becomes the responsibility of the corporate to provide a safe working environment for its employees, so that they can be physically present at their place of work.

Vaccination camps, reimbursing costs of vaccination:
Several companies in Bengaluru have taken the onus upon themselves to ensure their workplace is safe post the lockdown by making sure their employees get vaccinated.

“We decided to arrange a vaccination camp for all our employees, and various other stakeholders and tied up with Manipal Hospital Group for the same. The vaccination drive was held at three of our project sites – Vaishnavi Serene, Vaishnavi Tech Park and Vaishnavi Tech Square. The vaccine has been administered to 1500 people including Vaishnavi employees and their families, various support staff including security and housekeeping, and construction site workers across all Vaishnavi projects for free,” explains C N Govindaraju, Chairman & Managing Director, Vaishnavi Group, a leading real estate developer.

The company made sure each site was equipped with doctors, nurses, medical personnel and an ambulance to ensure seamless vaccination for all. They adhered to strict covid protocols and avoided overcrowding by allocating time slots for everyone and conducting the activity in large open spaces

“There were rumours about side effects of vaccine in the market. However, we educated our workers and employees that the best way to prevent from getting covid -19 infection is to get vaccinated.All our employees are below 45 years, hence post the government announcement for a vaccination drive of 18+ and above, we have arranged vaccination drive for our employees in different office locations across India with the help of our medical partners. All our employees are vaccinated now,” says Priyadarshi Mishra, CEO & Founder of Design & Construct, a proptech company into end-to-end construction, where assessing the soil to civil work, all have to be carried out physically at site.

Some companies who found it logistically difficult to arrange for a vaccination drive due to employees being spread across the country made sure they reimbursed the cost of vaccination to their employees and workers.

“As we witnessed the second wave of Covid-19 in India, our primary responsibility was to keep our employees safe and motivated. To this end, we have encouraged all our colleagues to get vaccinated. The company has supported by extending reimbursement of the cost of vaccination to them and their immediate family members,” informs Dr Prashanth Reddy, Managing Director of Fundermax India, a company dealing in architectural products for interior & exterior applications where onsite work is crucial.

Educating employees about self-hygiene, sanitising workplaces:
A few other companies went one step ahead and took measures to educate their employees on hygiene and made changes in their office environment.

“Besides holding a vaccination drive, we started holding regular meetings to educate each and every employee on how to maintain self -hygiene and how to protect each other from getting infected by washing hands, using the sanitizer and masking up at all times. Windows in every air-conditioned space were kept open and we set up fans everywhere for a good air circulation. Every visitor was briefed about our protocols and it was the responsibility all employees to take ownership and safe guard each other. We promoted and encouraged additional protocols for our technicians who visited project sites for installation of our fans so that the residents would feel comfortable. We also advised them to carry the message home to their families and yes, we made it a big deal for everyone to take it seriously. After all none of us have ever experienced a pandemic before,” explains Anil Lala, Founder & Managing Director, Fanzart, a luxury fan manufacturer with showrooms across the country.

“At Fundermax, the operations team is functioning at 25% capacity, taking turns in handling the supply chain during this period. The office space and warehouse facility are regularly sanitized to ensure safety of the working staff,” adds Reddy.

The fight with Covid is still on and it is truly encouraging to see corporates do their bit for safeguarding the health of their employees. This will go a long way in not only ensuring productivity at workplace but in retaining talent.

Prop Tech Poised to Revolutionize Real Estate Sector

The real estate sector, like other industries, has been seeing disruptions due to technology- more so in the last few years and rightly so, as it has proved to be a win-win scenario for both developers and buyers. Hitherto, the pace and quality of the work had been hindered due to outdated workflows and disjointed communication but technology is filling this gap today. The pandemic has only served to hasten it as more developers are now adopting technology at every stage of their businesses.

Back-end technology

Today, developers rely on 3D rendering software like BIM (Building Information Modelling) that are able to convert architectural drawings into 3D models through which they are accurately able to estimate a project’s cost. Additionally, they rely on ERP solutions that smartly enables cross department integration and ensure such cost estimates are adhered to thereby driving internal efficiency.

Construction technology

A new trend that has been adopted by builders with foresight is the use of precast technology for construction as opposed to conventional construction. Precast is truly disruptive construction technology that has revolutionized the real estate industry globally.

In precast, the smarter one is the offsite precast technology. Here, the concept of DFMA (Design For Manufacturing and Assembly) is used where the building is designed keeping both ease of manufacturing and assembly in mind, and of course the end user. The design efficiency and precision of the immaculately finished product is high given the controlled planning and machine manufacturing, all while ensuring that the wastage of materials is minimized. The factory finished concrete elements are in a ready-to-erect state when brought to site and have all requisite mechanical, electrical and plumbing cut-outs already factored into their design.

This ensures 50 per cent faster completion time while reducing pollution on site by over 60 per cent. Since the elements are manufactured in an assembly-line fashion in a dedicated factory, there is significant saving in the input material, as well as a 30% saving in the water used since the curing process is done through steam in the factory. Being a factory manufactured product, the life of the precast structure is up to 90 years. There is also a 60 per cent decrease in the requirement of project managers at site while the hiring of unskilled construction workers is almost eliminated. The scope for human error in the factory fitted precast concrete slabs is non-existent as well.

In fact, we went a step further in one of our projects and incorporated factory manufactured bathroom pods which merely had to be plugged into the designated slots on site. These bathroom pods are complete with wall and floor tiling, taps, basin, commode, shower stall and even mirror at the factory itself. This also reduces the need for toilet waterproofing, which is a highly time consuming and strenuous task.

The adoption of offsite precast manufacturing technology in our project not only resulted in unmatched quality of the final finished apartment units but also completion of the project way ahead of schedule.

LIDAR (light detection and ranging) is another software which uses light in the form of pulsed lasers to measure ranges to the Earth. This helps in generating a precise 3D model about the shape of the ground and its surface characteristics. The software helps identify ways in which one can build the structure without disturbing the roots/health of the trees.

Additionally, we use drones to identify the best views at different heights and ensure that the homes are not just made of the best quality materials but accentuated with the best views.

Technology for customer interface

What has evolved fast and adapted faster owing to the pandemic is the CRM software.

Real estate CRM software is enabling real estate professionals to identify, track, and manage their customer interactions with existing and prospective clients across the customer lifecycle within a single system.

This customer facing platform provides the customers with a digital update on the construction of their home, virtual tours, video calls to resolve customer queries, track their payment schedule and much more.

Karnataka-RERA has changed realty sector but long way to go: Stakeholders

BENGALURU: Four years after the Karnataka Real Estate Regulatory Authority (K-RERA) was established, it has brought about a paradigm shift in the way the realty sector functions and offered some relief to homebuyers. But, it’s still not 100 per cent effective as concerns regarding enforcement of its own orders remain.

“RERA has played a crucial part in changing the fabric of the real estate sector over the past four years. While it has helped enhance governance and discipline, it still has a long way to go,’’ said MS Shankar, who represents homebuyers and heads Fight for RERA’s Karnataka Chapter.

Farook Mahmood, managing director, Silverline Realty, said slow-paced registration of projects and execution of orders released by the Appellate Tribunal continue to be two major challenges for K-RERA even after four years. “Despite several provisions for imposition of penalty, revocation of registration or confiscation of properties available under the Act, none of these has been strictly enforced by the authority. Homebuyers do not have access to some crucial information on K-RERA’s website. While information related to complaints is available, one cannot view online copies of the same. Even judgment copies are not uploaded in real time,” he claimed.

The authority also faces a shortage of technical staff to deal with cases and inspect projects, wherever required. “As the present set-up is making the authority toothless, the government should appoint a retired district judge as an executing officer,” Mahmood added. The positive impact of RERA can be observed in the form of gradual improvement in transparency. It has also boosted the homebuyer’s sentiment.

A lot has changed with regard to project registrations and infor mation is being provided on a timely basis to homebuyers. The introduction of a conciliation forum for facilitating amicable settlement of disputes between developers and buyers has reduced prolonged litigation.
Suresh Hari, chairman, Credai Bangalore, said RERA has not only helped homebuyers but also builders. “It has enabled focused action by developers regarding delivery schedule and also blocked fly-by-night operators from entering the field,’’ he added.

CN Govindaraju, chairman and managing director, Vaishnavi Group, said: “RERA has made developers accountable to customers when it comes to delivering a quality product in the stipulated time period. This has helped reduce deliberations and disputes between customers and developers as the expectations are clear. RERA has also brought in a lot of financial discipline.”

Builders and homebuyers are hoping things will change since the state government has appointed HC Kishore Chandra, a retired DGP-rank officer, as the chairman and another retired DGP, Neelmani Raju, as one of its members. They will take charge from June 1.

“One of the reasons why RERA has failed in its task is because many retired bureaucrats see it as a post-retirement opening, and the government has been playing musical chairs by frequently transferring key officials. The previous secretary of RERA, KS Latha Kumari, had brought about a lot of reforms but she was transferred midway for no reason,’’ alleged Shankar.

Work from home | News and Media | Covid Crisis | Vaishnavi Group Employess | Bengaluru

How work from home has impacted productivity and office absorption in Bengaluru?

With the Covid-19 situation in Bengaluru, like several other parts in the country, worsening, many companies in the city are again opting for work-from-home option.

As the practice of work-from-home has its own pros and cons, Bengaluru-based companies have varied views regarding the productivity and office absorption in the new normal.

Darshan Govindaraju, Director of Vaishnavi Group feels that although the pandemic has adversely impacted many businesses, some of the sectors witnessed major growth around the same time.

“Covid and its continuous impact since early last year has undoubtedly forced businesses across all industries to adapt. The absorption of office spaces today is lower when compared to pre-Covid numbers for a few sectors. Having said that, some sectors such as healthcare, cloud computing, video conferencing, digital content or home entertainment, online educational platforms, payment gateways or any such companies building the digital infrastructure have seen phenomenal growth this past year. Growth in some sectors coupled with de-densification, which has now become a standard Covid safety protocol, we are noticing steady absorption,” he said.

“Today an occupant is looking at more than just the rental costs. An occupant is keen on safe, well ventilated and Grade A buildings with a reputed builder. Given that most developers have slowed down infusing new supply in the market and given the occupants preference, rentals/ leasing of good quality developers has remained the same,” he added.
When asked about if work-from-home has any impact on the overall productivity, Govindaraju said that companies that mostly rely on personal interactions, suffered a hit.

“Work from home has enabled a certain section of the workforce to work at the same efficiency levels as before. For individual contributors and smaller startup companies, the king’s effect has been marginal. However, for companies that need teamwork, collaboration and interpersonal skills such as sales, relationship management etc., it has been detrimental. Building new relationships with new colleagues or clients has been a challenge. Most companies today admit that wherever team effort is required, productivity levels are down substantially,” he said.

Errol Fernandes, Secretary of CREDAI Bengaluru, feels that the second wave of Covid-19 will result in a lot more work being outsourced to India, creating further demand for office space.

“While the absorption of smaller units from the mid-size software companies has stagnated, the absorption of large spaces by the Googles, Amazons and Microsofts of the world has actually increased. This is largely due to India becoming the digital capital of the world and the migration to the cloud is rapidly increasing, which is being facilitated by companies working out of India,” Fernandes said.

Fernandes further said that while the lease rates have remained stable for the mid-size office spaces, rent has increased by 5 per cent for the larger office spaces over the last one year.
Regarding productivity under work-from-home system, Fernandes feels that while productivity and efficiency has improved, it has its own side effects with people being cloistered together not just for hours but for days, weeks and months on end.

Prashanth Reddy, Managing Director of Fundermax India said that his company foresees at least 20 per cent drop in office absorption. He also feels that it is difficult to carry out certain activities from home.

“March ending quarter 2021, demand side and supply side is stable for office absorption. With the increase in Covid cases, we foresee at least 20% drop in office absorption. All the functions can’t be conducted from home as some functions require reporting to office to ensure smooth operation of the organisation. There are challenges like internet connectivity, privacy, online classes of children, etc. This set up is a temporary situation and offices are going to stay. By Q3, we expect at least 75% of the workforce to comeback to offices,” Reddy said.