Setting New Benchmarks in Premium Residential Market

AVIGHNA India Ltd is a leading Mumbai-based developer that has taken up premium projects in the metropolis. In an interview with Urban Vaastu, Nishant Agarwal, Managing Director, Avighna India Ltd, talks about the company’s flagship project, One Avighna Park, located in the heart of central Mumbai, and about the company’s plans, trends in Mumbai’s real estate sector and the challenges confronting urban India.

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Could you tell us about your company and its activities?

Avighna India Ltd is a leading real estate company. The group, under the leadership of the Agarwal family, continually sets new benchmarks in the niche premium residential market. Our developments are testaments of our pursuit for perfection. The diverse range of our premium properties includes luxury residential highrises, office towers and mixed-use developments that match Indian heritage with global aesthetics.

What are your ongoing projects and what are their main features?

One Avighna Park is a premium residential project and it happens to be Mumbai’s first cluster redevelopment project. Spread across 6.7 acres of Islam Mill Compound in Lower Parel in central Mumbai, it comprises twin 64-storey luxury residential towers, proposed commercial and/or hospitality tower and seven rehabilitation towers.

Each three, four and five bedroom ‘sky villa’ at One Avighna Park offers 25ft-high landscaped decks with plunge pools for the residents. Outdoor facilities include a covered jogging track, gymnasium, yoga/meditation centre, tennis court, children’s playground and leisure and kids pool. The two-level club offers amenities such as a spacious 30-seater theatre, recreational rooms, banquet and a conference hall, indoor sports zone, salon and spa, multi-purpose gym, graffiti rooms and an indoor lap pool.

In terms of the residence layout, all the ‘sky villas’ have not only been designed according to Vaastu, but minute aspects related to function and space planning have also been given due consideration. Separate staff entrance and passageway ensures utmost privacy and security for the residents.

Annual maintenance contracts with key vendors have been pre-negotiated to ensure that the residents at One Avighna Park enjoy low lifetime maintenance costs.

Designed by a team of world-renowned consultants, One Avighna Park has brought international standard quality materials from across the globe. Elemec, the leading electromechanical contactor from the Middle East has deployed 300plus skilled international workers from various Gulf countries for the execution of mechanical, electrical and plumbing work to create one of the most sought after addresses in Mumbai.

The first residential tower in Mumbai to be precertified Platinum by the Indian Green Building Council, One Avighna Park has ensured that its residents will enjoy low maintenance costs for their lifetime through the implementation of practical, sustainable solutions in its architectural design.

The project has also been accorded a 7-star rating by CARE. This is the only residential project in Mumbai to get this rating from the agency. The project is a proud recipient of 26 prestigious awards including Best International Residential High-Rise development by IPA, London for 2012 and 2013.

How many projects have you executed?

The company is debt-free and the philosophy of the promoters is to focus on only one project at a time. We have executed six projects in the past. They include:
• Nishika Terraces, Worli Seaface
• Satlaj Terraces, Walkeshwar
• Yashika Apartments, Vile Parle
• Yashika Residences, Borivali
• Advent Plaza, Andheri
• Advent Atria, Malad

What are your future plans?

The group holds significant land parcels in Bandra, Navi Mumbai, Mira-Bhayander and Pune for future developments. However, the current focus of the company is on developing the flagship project One Avighna Park, proposed commercial and/or hospitality tower and rehab residential tower.

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What are your views on trends in the real estate industry in Mumbai?

Mumbai has been one of the most preferred destinations for real estate investment and still holds ground. Post 2014 budget, the sector has been reflecting positive sentiments because of the new FDI norms, implementation of REITs and allocation of new funds for infrastructure. The election results and the incentives announced for the housing sector have further improved buyer sentiments.

Buyers who were till now hesitating to invest in real estate are now indicating a positive outlook. Price stability was witnessed in the residential segment across several cities over the course of 2014. Going forward, prices are expected to see an uptrend owing to rising input costs, and cities like Mumbai and Bangalore are expected to lead the recovery with growth in demand as per the latest report by Knight Frank.

Several infrastructure initiatives like the Santacruz-Chembur Link road, the WadalaChembur monorail and the Versova-Ghatkopar metro corridor have been successfully executed in Mumbai and have had significant impact on the adjoining realty markets.

The Mumbai residential real estate market is predominantly end-user driven. End-users today prefer ready-to-move in apartments or closer to delivery projects, given the substantial delays seen in several projects across the city.

There has been a surge of landmark real estate projects which have come in and around Parel, Lower Parel, Mahalakxshmi, Prabhadevi, Lalbaug, Curry Road, Dadar, Matunga and Worli, hence consolidating south Mumbai as one of the most prestigious and costliest places to live in India. Significant commercial presence in Lower Parel and Worli is fueling residential property prices in southcentral Mumbai. Ready properties in these areas will continue to attract lot of demand as delivery of projects is slow.

All in all, the sector seems to have a positive outlook in the coming months.

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Could you elaborate on growing urbanisation and the challenges being faced by Indian cities?

The rapid growth of urban population both natural and through migration has put heavy pressure on public utilities like housing, sanitation, transport, water, electricity, health, education and so on.

As more people move into India’s cities, they will need safe places to live, work, and commute. There is considerable shortage of homes in Indian cities. Real estate developers will inevitably aim to fill this gap, which means that they will have a massive influence in shaping what cities looks like in the future.

The challenges of urbanisation relate to transportation and connectivity, sustainability, water, trash disposal and sewerage.

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